There’s something cheeky and impudent about the theme music for Curb Your Enthusiasm, from the moment the brass pomp-pomp-pomps in after the HBO ident.
The song doesn’t appear in the credits, but is called ‘Frolic’ and was written by Italian composer Luciano Michelini.
In James Andrew Miller’s excellent new podcast Origins, which delves into the story behind beloved TV shows, Larry David explains how he discovered it:
“Two years earlier, I’d heard a bank commercial – I heard this music, I only saw the commercial once, it was off the air very quickly, but after I saw it I came into the office the next day and I told my assistant ‘there’s this music that I love, see if you can find out what it is’.
“She did some research, got the name of the music, and I said ‘well hold onto that I think I’m going to use that one day,’ and then two years later [I did].”
As for why he chose it, David explained that it’s all about bringing balance to a show that has ‘gone there’ with 9/11, the Holocaust and more:
“There was something circus-y about it, it’s the kind of music that – I like to get away with things, comedically, and sometimes music can help in that regard.
“It tells the audience: don’t take this seriously – it’s just funny – so a lot of the music we use in the show is designed with that purpose in mind.”
As for the show’s sarcastic title, that came to him quite suddenly:
“I think maybe I read something and the phrase popped out. I was in the mode at that point of thinking about titles, so my antennas were up and then I came across that phrase in a book.”
Curb Your Enthusiasm returns after six years off the air for a ninth season on 1 October.
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