Spoilers for "Curb Your Enthusiasm" coming up just as soon as I consult the laws of tzedakah regarding anonymous donations...
Even if season six of "Curb" craters as quickly as season five did after "Kamikaze Bingo," it will have been worth it for "The Anonymous Donor" alone, a hysterical, disgusting, offensive, superbly-constructed half hour of comedy that shows Larry still has it.
The genius of "Curb" so often is that you know where a joke is going (say, Larry getting chased by the guy whose Pepitone jersey he stole) but laugh anyway. What kicks episodes like this up to another level are those moments where storylines converge in that unexpected, classic "Seinfeld" manner, here with the two disaparate anonymous donor storylines (semen vs. NRDC money) colliding when Suzy demands to know who soiled her daughter's teddy bear. I can't remember the last time I laughed as loud or as long as I did at Cheryl's "I know who Anonymous is!"
The episode also featured two different superb examples of Larry deciding the rules of polite society need some fixing, first with the dry cleaning business (his "I don't subscribe to that law" complaint to Gina Gershon should be a bumper sticker on his Prius or something), then with the notion of anonymous donations as "fake philanthropy." As I've mentioned in the past, I have a running debate with my wife about when Larry's clearly in the wrong and when he suffers for being righter than anyone else, and I was with him on both of these. (If I was in California and Barbara Boxer actually expressed that opinion about dry cleaning, I'm not sure I'd vote for her. Well, maybe...)
It helped to have Ted Danson around again, as their hatred of each other -- not to mention Danson's willingness to play himself as a self-satisfied prick so much of the time -- really added some spice to the entire NRDC sequence, particularly Ted pretending to be humble time after time.
Jeff's anonymous donation, meanwhile, led to all kinds of wonderful, horrible brilliance, whether it was Larry and Leon debating the proper pronunciation of the noun form of "ejaculate" ("Uhjackalit?"), Jeff blaming it on the Passover wine (I have to say, Manischewitz has never put me in the mood before) and explaining that he wouldn't have done the same thing on the high holidays, Suzy accusing Jeff of adultery for pleasuring himself outside the home, or the unfinished scene where Suzy goes to confront Danson. (Larry has said that there was a lot of debate over where to cut that scene off, whether to show Suzy berating him, and eventually they decided it would be funnier for people to imagine all the profanity.)
Speaking of Leon, played by J.B. Smoove; what a great addition to the cast. As we saw with "Krazee-Eyez Killa" (my pick for best "Curb" episode ever), Larry befriending black people is money in the bank, and now we have several different personalities for Larry to bounce off of: guarded and cynical Loretta, gregarious Leon and Auntie Rae, whose reaction to Larry's ghost costume was also priceless.
"Curb" is back. For this week, anyway.
What did everybody else think?