Jeff Garlin of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' on Playmates, comedy and Charlie Sheen's 'really stupid' audience
Jeff Garlin has risen to fame playing Larry David's manager on HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm." But he's also become a fixture on Hollywood's comedy circuit, and on Wednesday night, the 48-year-old comic will co-host a benefit for the victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunami at the Colony in Hollywood. The show was organized by Playboy Playmate Hiromi Oshima, with appearances by director Brett Ratner, rapper Too Short, skier Bode Miller and others.
Garlin spoke with Show Tracker about the upcoming season of "Curb" as well as his vast experience with Playmates. Excerpts:
Show Tracker: How’d you get this lucky gig?
Garlin: I know Hiromi, and she called and asked me. My wife is so amused that I know Playmates. I would love to be able to say, "I date them! All the time!" But that’s not the case. You run into them in show business. I filmed "Curb Your Enthusiasm" at the Playboy Mansion, and I’ve been invited to parties there, but I would never go.
ST: Originally, Jeff Ross was supposed to host alone, and you were supposed to be the special comedic guest. But then Ross had a time crunch due to Charlie Sheen's tour, and now you both will co-host.
Garlin: I am quite relieved, honestly. Jeff was out roasting Charlie Sheen. So Hiromi said to me, "Would you host the event?" I said, "God, yes." With a sense of relief. Having to do a comedy set in front of an audience that's -- I mean, yes, they’re there to be supportive for Japan, but let’s be honest, these are gonna be Playmates in bikinis and lingerie and dancing! So it’s not exactly the hot comedy audience that you want.
ST: Comedy can be tough.
Garlin: Like the Charlie Sheen tour? Every person in that audience is stupid! There’s not an intelligent person in that audience unless they were dragged with somebody out of curiosity. Ninety-eight percent of Charlie Sheen’s audience is really stupid people.
ST: Tell us about the new season of "Curb" coming up July 10. This time, half of the season will be set in New York. What's the deal?
Garlin: I’ve seen every episode, obviously. It’s really funny. I hope people dig it. Michael J. Fox guest stars. He’s really, really funny. There’s no other information I can give you. It's like working for the FBI.
ST: Until then, it's the life of an emcee for you?
Garlin: I will be funny at this Playmates event. But I’ll be able to be funny situationally, as I see things, and I can comment on them. But if I’m introduced and I have to do a 15-minute set, there’s nothing to comment on. I really don’t have an act! I said yes because I really want to help out. And I’m brave. I’ve been doing this for 28 years.
Also, for hosting it, I’ll stay for the whole time.
ST: How many hours will that be?
Garlin: I hope a lot.
-Scott Collins (twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT)
Photo: Jeff Garlin at the Oscars in February. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press