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December 19, 2014

Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Rat Dog

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Oct 15th 2007 8:02AM

Shelley Berman and Vivica A. Fox

(S06E06) "I can't pause toast!" - Leon

Best episode of the season thus far. Hands down. Plus, and I know people have been harping on me in the comments for constantly bringing this up, but Larry finally dropped the morbid themes. I'm not saying previous episodes this season have been bad because of their tone, but when they're similar to this one it's better. Larry's trademark jovial obscene and sexual humor always makes for the best episodes and this one was chock full of it.

To start, we've got to talk about Hal (Tim Meadows) and his deaf wife. First off, her dog does look like a rat and from the second we met Mike The Exterminator, I was just waiting for the moment when he was in the same room as the thing. I was a little bugged by the way Larry "insulted" both of them though. First, Larry offended Hal in a men's bathroom and then did it again to the deaf wife at a department store. I think it bugged me because neither instance felt ambiguous. In each case, it was obvious that Larry wasn't insulting them. For me, those situations usually come off funnier when that ambiguity exists. That's not to say I didn't laugh. Hal thinking that Larry called him a cocksucker while drying his hands was hilarious.

Moving on, I'd like to talk about Cheryl. Early on in the season, myself and some commenters questioned whether or not the potential for an affair between Cheryl and Ted Danson stemmed from Larry's own crumbling marriage which manifested while season six was in production. In this episode, we saw a different side of Cheryl. Granted she was sick, but even for her... this was off. She was overly annoying, needy, whiny, and in a few instances, mean. So I have to wonder if this was just another way for Larry to show how marriage ain't easy. Just a thought.

The ongoing story of Loretta and Leon played a much larger role in this episode too and I appreciated that. They played such an integral role in the season premiere and it was nice to finally get another installment where they mattered. They both had interviews and neither of them got the jobs. Blame Larry. The phone switcheroo was to be expected once they mentioned they had the same cell model, but I could not have prepared myself for the conversation between Leon and Hal. What'd Leon say? Something like, "I'm Barak Obama, president of hittin' that ass!" Comic gold.

Other thoughts:

  • Larry's dad is a riot. I loved how the word schmohog came back into play.
  • The whole happy ending fiasco was great too and I was hoping we'd see Kathleen York again. I can't believe Larry's dad fell in love with the masseuse though. He wanted to buy her a cappuccino maker!

So... a deaf woman got insulted, a dog got killed, and Larry went on a "date" with an exterminator. Sounds like a pretty typical day in the David household.

Who's been your favorite guest star this season?
Vivica A. Fox53 (17.5%)
Toby Huss92 (30.4%)
Tim Meadows36 (11.9%)
Tia Carrere43 (14.2%)
someone else...79 (26.1%)

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rossword

When Leon took the phone call from HAL and started his Barack Obama schpiel, who did Leon actually think he was talking to and WHY did he start talking about Obama and hit and Sh *t..???! It was hysterical but... was it supposed to make sense???!

November 05 2007 at 2:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alyssa

Like you had to wonder if the exterminator was chris farley's brother?! LOL I'm so happy that not only does he look startlingly like him, but he's funny too!

October 20 2007 at 3:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jae

How can you take a poll of favorite guest stars from the season and NOT have John McEnroe on there?!?!

"Check out the freaks, Mr. McEnroe."

By the way, this was a great episode. Larry over-pronouncing and acting everything out when he was talking to the deaf woman was hilarious. And Leon's phone call from Hal was brilliant.

October 17 2007 at 12:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruce

Just because it's one of the best things on TV these days doesn't mean it shouldn't be criticized. That only means the general state of the quality of television should be criticized. Crap is still crap, even though some craps are messier and smellier than others.

October 16 2007 at 9:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jesse Finley

I think people just try to compare every episode of Curb to their favorite episode. Not every episode can be as funny as "The Doll" or "Chet's Shirt". They are all great in their own way.

The show hasn't fallen off at all IMO because I have several friends that just started watching this season and absolutely love the show. People are being way too critical of a brilliant show that is still after 5 1/2 seasons a breath of fresh air on television.

October 16 2007 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DT Knows Best

Guys guys, what kind of TV watchers are you? The man playing the exterminator was indeed Chris Farley's little brother.

The younger fans may remember he was one of the members of the faux MTV Boy Band, N2gether. He's also been featured lately in Hertz car rental commercials.

I guess I'm the only person around here that's heard of him. Shame on you folks for ignoring the career for Chris Farley's less-talented younger brother!

October 16 2007 at 10:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
zach Mandell

i think it might be chris farley's brother i totally agree i though it definitley reminded me of him. It would be great if someone could help me find out

October 15 2007 at 10:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JayCaesar

when I first saw the exterminator I said oh Sh*t is chris farley the resemblance is uncanny

October 15 2007 at 4:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Borat

You guys didn't mention sick sex!

I couldn't stop laughing when he was rubbing his hands all over Cheryl and she looked at him with disgust.

And another great scene was when Jeff and LD were talking about the masseuse and as Susie comes in suddenly Jeff smoothly transitions into asking her about their "cleaner". LOL! Brilliant episode.

October 15 2007 at 4:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jordan

Cmon gang...the comments here are WAY to critical. Who cares if theres not enough ambiguity or you know whats going to happen. The show is not a suspense thriller or drama where your on your toes waiting to find out the outcome...the greatness is in the little things you pick up from Larry...facial expressions, tone, crossing the line of the rules everyone else in society follows BUT him. If you watch the show as a critic, getting pissed off if its "too predictable" or seems phony, you are missing the point of what CYE is all about. Its a laugh out load genuis comedy full of rich comics, outrageuos plots that never happen in the socially correct world we live in. I feel bad for you critics who are too hard on the show. Your expectations are simply to high and your missing out on the best half hour of the week.

Long live LD!!

October 15 2007 at 2:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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