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Richard Lewis Riffing in One of His Last Interviews

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“Curb” began airing on HBO in 2000 and once took a six-year hiatus between seasons. Did Lewis imagine David would change his mind about ending it now? “He’s always changed his mind,” Lewis said.

The two met as kids at summer camp and had been friends for most of their lives, including in their early days as stand-ups in New York, Lewis said, recalling, “I always had a pad with me, from Day 1, and so did Larry. And we would write premises down, wherever we were.”

He preferred comics who were authentically themselves, he added. “Without sounding too pompous about it, I always dug comedians who were the same onstage as they were offstage. There wasn’t too much fake stuff going on, they didn’t create a character, they were just who they were.”

He called David “the storyteller of my generation,” comparing him to Norman Lear.

“He’s not going to stop writing things down,” Lewis said. Then again, nearly a quarter-century is a pretty long run.

“I’ve always been so blessed to be on this show, and so grateful,” he said. But there was one thing that bugged him — that he didn’t get more one-on-one screen time with Essman (who was not much like her character, he noted, and with whom he happily toured).

“I’m in the scene, eating ravioli, while she’s screaming at everybody else but me, for some reason,” he said. “I’m like such a nice guy, apparently.” Given the chance, “I would’ve gone out of my way to screw up the scene, just to make her angry at me.”

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