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One of the hallmarks of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” was its slew of A-list celebrity guest stars, who often appeared as themselves and lampooned their public personas through grating social interactions with Larry David. The show’s guest star pedigree remained strong until the very end, with the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Salman Rushdie making self-deprecating appearances in the last few seasons.

Given the busy schedules of celebrities, fans would be forgiven for assuming the show had multiple people in mind for each appearance. But at this week’s PaleyFest LA panel celebrating the show’s final season, David and his collaborators revealed that they often wrote scripts for specific people without backup plans in mind.

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Ewan McGregor as Count Rostov in A Gentleman in Moscow streaming on Paramount+ 2024. Photo Credit: Jason Bell/Paramount+ With Showtime

While reflecting on the show’s many legendary guest stars, series director and executive producer Jeff Schaffer reminisced about a Season 10 storyline in which the fictionalized Larry David writes a Broadway musical about Salman Rushdie’s fatwa and enlists Lin-Manuel Miranda to star. The famously nice “Hamilton” creator appeared in two episodes, playing against type as an egomaniac who constantly demands ill-advised creative changes.

While the arc brilliantly capitalized on the cultural phenomenon of “Hamilton,” Schaffer revealed that it almost didn’t happen. He noted that the team had already planned the episodes before learning about Miranda’s availability, and the composer’s busy schedule forced them to move shooting dates rather than look for a backup plan.

“We called [Miranda] and said ‘Did you want to do this?’ He said ‘Yeah, I’d love to, but I’m about to go to London for eight months. So we had to somehow move heaven and earth to push that one,” Schaffer said. “We never learned to call people first.”

David echoed Schaffer’s sentiments, recalling that he went through a similar process for the show’s other Broadway-centric saga. Season 4 follows David as he’s cast in a production of Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” musical before learning that Brooks was actually recreating the premise of the original film by attempting to maximize his personal profits by making a flop. David revealed that he wrote full episodes for Brooks before asking the Oscar winner if he was even interested in appearing on the show.

“Mel Brooks. I wrote the three to four episodes that he was in, and then I had to have lunch with him,” David said, before joking that the season’s meta gag could have been altered to focus on another musical. “But I could have done ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’”

Reporting by Marcus Jones.



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