You don't put Susie Essman and J.B. Smoove from Curb Your Enthusiasm in promos for the show's 10th season and tell them to keep it clean.
No fucking way, Larry David!
Essman works unabashedly blue, letting F-bombs fly in NSFW content that channels Susie Greene, her perpetually potty-mouthed character from the show (who also appears in video snippets and soundbites).
In a spoof of old-school cable-TV spots for mellow-hits music collections, Essman notes, "It's hard to turn off the world and de-stress without the right soundtrack." She goes on to hype "The Real Sounds of Susie," an actual Spotify playlist with "no music, no tempo … it's just me, Susie, reciting my most soothing lines from Curb, with absolutely no filler."
The joke, of course, is that the strident, swear-smeared selections are the antithesis of calming. Susie's tirades are guaranteed to set fans' nerves on edge in the best possible way, and get everyone chanting "De-CAP-itated!" for the rest of the day:
Her profanity plays out on Instagram Stories, too, with "Susie Horoscopes" so blunt and forceful, they might leave you seeing stars.
Meanwhile, Smoove (who plays Curb's Leon Black) locks into a nasty groove for this guided-meditation send-up, exhorting viewers to "Breathe in your mouth … exhale through your ass," then declaring, "I don't gotta tell you how to breathe, that shit is involuntary."
Damn, those mountain streams really are sexy, carrying all our fucking fears and worries away!
"For the guided mediation, we looked at meditation apps, and for Susie's playlist, the inspiration was easy-listening music CDs from the '90s," HBO director of content Michael Gluckstadt tells Muse. "The 'mindfulness' trend is pretty ripe for parody, so we wanted to highlight the disconnect of putting these disruptive characters in traditionally calming environments."
After nine seasons, "fans know what they're getting with Curb, and they know what they're getting with Larry," Gluckstadt says. "This was a fun way to call out some of the other fan-favorite characters in a way they hadn't been seen before."
Essman nailed her lines on the first take.
"We told her the concept and she looked at us and said, 'I know exactly what to do,'" Gluckstadt recalls. "The real Susie could not be a nicer and more helpful person, as opposed to Susie Greene, who could tear you to pieces with her rants or even just a look."
He describes Smoove's shoot as "a memorable experience, to say the least. He was working with a loose script, but improvised several different versions over more than hour, never repeating the same exact approach twice. Crew members had to turn around and face the walls to keep from laughing."
The show's 10th season premiered this past Sunday, a little more than two years after Season 9 ended. Seasons 1-8 aired between 2000 and 2011.