“TOUGH GUYS FOR TRUMP!” the President tweeted with a short clip of Larry David in a “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) hat from his HBO hit show Curb Your Enthusiasm.
TOUGH GUYS FOR TRUMP! pic.twitter.com/DbjZjGzLWU
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2020
The clip features David, who plays a fictional version of himself in the series (a series I love, by the way), driving his electric minivan along a Los Angeles street. Lost in thought, he swerves into the next lane and almost takes out a rough-looking biker, who shouts a series of threats and F-bombs.
“What the fuck are you doing?” the biker yells. “Motherfucker! What the fuck? What are you trying to do, man?”
On the verge of panic, as they arrive at a stop, Larry comes up with an idea: he rolls down the window, dons his red MAGA hat, and apologizes.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t see you,” Larry says.
The hat changes everything. Spotting a kindred soul, the biker immediately cools off, “Just be more careful next time, OK?”
Trump loved the clip so much, he pinned it to the top of his Twitter feed.
Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty cool.
What the president is doing here is obvious to anyone with half a brain: it’s a lovely bit of trolling where he turns what many see as David’s ridicule of Trump supporters into a plus. Trump won’t allow David to ridicule his supporters, so he’s taking to Twitter to defend them as “tough guys.”
Trump’s got this exactly right.
And as much as I love Larry David, if he believes the portrayal of a badass biker raising hell with the clueless driver behind the wheel of an electric BMW who nearly killed him is a negative thing, maybe the real Larry David is as clueless as his character.
This entire episode (which aired a few weeks ago) is partly premised on the fictional David, a notorious misanthrope, discovering that the MAGA hat is a “great people repellent.” To ensure no one bothers him when he’s out and about, to keep people from sitting next to him, he dons the MAGA hat and enjoys the perfect solitude.
Here’s an extended NSFW clip that shows how it all plays out:
The thing about David is that he’s so brilliant, you never can really tell what he’s joking about.
Yes, in real life, he’s a die-hard Democrat and no fan of Trump or his supporters. Watch this…
I love Larry David with all my heart and soul. pic.twitter.com/OEDANgVLho
— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) February 11, 2020
But what I mean is this…
David is also an environmental extremist in real life, but if you watch Curb — which I recommend as highly as David’s first classic, Seinfeld, which he co-created with Jerry Seinfeld — Larry and his wife (now ex-wife Cheryl — played by Cheryl Hines) are heavy into environmental activism, total believers in the Global Warming Hoax, so you can never tell if he’s making fun of this part of himself or not.
All Larry and Cheryl do to “protect the environment” is lick envelopes, attend ritzy fundraisers, drive around in luxury electric vehicles (powered by electricity created by burning fossil fuels), live in large homes that must have a massive carbon footprint, and boycott things like AAA… To me, I always laugh at all of this because they both come across as clueless dilettantes; typical, super-wealthy elites sacrificing nothing while they lecture the rest of us.
For instance, are we supposed to laugh at Larry’s environmental hypocrisy when he complains to his girlfriend about not being able to sleep unless the air conditioning is turned down to 68 degrees?
You just don’t know. And if David is not making fun of this, it actually makes the show funnier.
Anyway, what is David doing here with the MAGA hat? Is he mocking Trump supporters, is he mocking the intolerance of his Brentwood and show business pals, or is he mocking both?
In the clip above, the visceral reaction Larry’s manager and best friend Jeff Greene (Jeff Garlin) has against the hat is not a clue. Jeff is likable but not always sympathetic.
To the surprise of no one, the reaction from the far-left media to Trump tweeting out the clip is typically clueless…
“Trump Apparently Thought a ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Insult Was a Compliment,” sniffs TheWrap:
Unfortunately for POTUS, the actual joke of the episode is that “Larry David” figures out how wearing the hat saves him from all manner of situations he wants no part of. Specifically, awful people are suddenly nice to him, and decent people he doesn’t want to deal with avoid him. Or as he sums it up later in the episode, “it’s a great people repellent.” And of course, it’s worth mentioning that the real Larry David is an outspoken critic of Trump.
The far-left Daily Beast is especially triggered:
But what the out-of-context clip fails to capture is the much larger joke of the episode. If Trump had watched the whole thing, he would realize that Larry is using the MAGA hat as a “great people repellent,” something to help him get out of lunch with a guy who annoys him or to make sure no one takes the seat next to him at the sushi bar.
The bit with the biker is actually the moment the joke gets flipped on its head. Not only does the hat repel most people in David’s Hollywood circle, it also attracts maniacs on motorcycles who would otherwise want to violently attack him.
You know, because only in the ether of dim-bulb celebrity is a biker angry over almost being killed “awful” or a “maniac.”
I honestly don’t know if Larry David gets his own MAGA hat joke about left-wing intolerance. As I explained above, part of his second-to-none genius are the layers behind his jokes. But Trump sees those layers and understands his audience, even if David and the bubbled media do not.