What has always impressed me about Curb Your Enthusiasm is that Larry David makes it very obvious within the first few minutes of the episode exactly where the story is going to go, but it is still always funny watching it get there.

Tonight’s season premiere starts out with Larry and Cheryl in bed. They are fast asleep until the fire alarm starts going off. Somehow or other Larry knows that it’s not actually a fire, it is just the battery going dead. After combing the entire house, Larry is proven semi-correct when he finds the smoke detector in the kitchen going off, but no fire. Rather than running on batteries though, it is hardwired to the house (so let’s just call it "malfunctioning"). After poking and prodding and prying and some judicious use of a baseball bat, Larry manages to disconnect the malfunctioning detector and goes back to bed. This means that by the end of the episode there will be a major fire in Larry’s house, the only question now is how it starts.

The next day, Larry, Jeff, and Richard Lewis are in the men’s locker room after a round of golf, when a news report about Hurricane Edna begins. It seems as though this fictional hurricane has been a nightmare, causing a huge amount of damage and leaving many homeless. Larry being Larry though, after a few quick lines about the tragedy, is on to that night’s party at Ted Danson’s, and the previous night’s one at Marty Funkhouser’s. While he and Jeff are planning to attend Danson’s, neither went to Funkhouser’s, and they need to come up with good excuses. Jeff is going to use the old-standby of his child being ill, whereas Larry has come up with an ingenious new ploy — he is going to go to Funkhouser’s that night and pretend he got the days wrong. Richard Lewis thinks they are both insane and heads out.

On the way to that evening’s festivities, Cheryl tells Larry that she wants to bring a displaced family to live with them. Not surprisingly, Larry is completely against the idea, and, let’s face it, there is no way that Larry living with more people could possibly work. Before the discussion can escalate into a fight however, the Davids arrive at the Funkhousers’ house and ring the bell.

Whether or not Marty knows that Larry is lying when Larry explains his "mix-up" I do not know, but what I do know is that Marty invites them in (ruining any chance they have of going to Ted Danson’s party). Larry and Cheryl explain that they should not stay, but Marty counters with the old "we have leftovers" and reminds them that as they were planning on going to his party they cannot possibly have other plans. Stymied, Larry and Cheryl go in and Marty recounts some of the fun of the previous night.

As the evening progresses, Larry and Cheryl continue, unsuccessfully, to try and make an excuse that will get them out of the house. Just as things begin to get really uncomfortable, the doorbell rings and who should it be but Jeff and his wife, Susie, who also use Larry’s "wrong day" mix-up excuse. Funkhouser insists they stay as well, where, after dinner, they end up playing The Newlywed Game (apparently it had been fun the night before) and Larry admits to wanting to sleep with Richard Lewis’s new girlfriend Cha Cha (Tia Carrere). Not surprisingly, Cheryl is more than a little perturbed and Larry knows he is in the doghouse.

In order to get back into his wife’s good graces, Larry agrees to take in a family displaced by the hurricane. As they head out to the airport to pick them up, Larry decides to make one little stop — at Ted Danson’s, where he tries the same "wrong day" ploy.

Things once again get uncomfortable for Larry as he tries to make excuses to leave once Ted invites them in. He is saved however once the door knocks and Richard Lewis comes in, trying the same "wrong day" story. Richard Lewis is more than a little angry at Larry because of his wanting to sleep with Cha Cha, it seems Richard got 35 calls about it, and the two have a blow out, giving Larry an excuse to leave.

Larry and Cheryl finally make it to an empty airport, empty except for the four members of the Black family, who have been waiting hours to be picked up. Not surprisingly, Larry makes a bad situation worse by pointing out that an African-American being named "Black" is like Larry having the last name "Jew."

Once they all get back to the Davids’s house, Loretta Black, the mom, starts smoking a cigarette (and the foretold fire becomes just that much more inevitable). Cheryl is too thrilled to care and decides to throw a party for the Blacks. She decides she just must get a cake like the one they had at Marty Funkhouser’s the other night (which, I am told, was delicious). However, upon trying to procure the cake, Larry and Cheryl find out that Marty Funkhouser bought the cake at an erotic bakery and that before being sliced, the cake was a large black phallus. Consequently Larry and Cheryl do not buy the cake for their party.

While Larry deftly avoids the cake purchase, Jeff has no such luck. He just ordered the cake and picked it up already boxed, never looking inside. Thus, the cake makes an appearance at Larry’s party, traumatizing the Black children.

That night however, after the guests have left, Larry decides to have some of the cake anyway. Loretta joins him in the kitchen after calming down her daughter, and starts smoking. Larry, mouth full of phallus cake, asks her not to do that in his house and Loretta stubs the cigarette out in his cake. Somehow Larry takes this in stride, and tosses his piece of cake, with the cigarette, out in a garbage can full of paper plates.

The next morning, as the firemen finish dousing Larry’s house, Ted Danson shows up with a bottle of wine for the party, claiming not to realize he got the day wrong.

Looking for more delicious treats and bogus excuses? You can get your fill at The TV and Film Guy’s Reviews.

Posted by:Josh Lasser