Jeff Garlin is the big fellow on Curb Your Enthusiasm. As Larry David's manager he fits neatly into the background, content in his role as one of the star's orbiting planets, asking about as much from the audience as Norm from Cheers, who seems to share much of Garlin's DNA. As Jon Stewart once noted, he looks nice to hug. But as it usually goes with guys like this, Garlin is not just a character actor. Other comedians call him a comedian's comedian, which is to say that only insiders really get him. It might be true: He directed the HBO specials of both Stewart (Unleavened) and Denis Leary (Lock-n-Load), as well as the filmed version of John Waters' solo show This Filthy World. He also starred in three of his own solo shows, one of which he made into a feature film: 2006's I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With, starring himself, Sarah Silverman, and Amy Sedaris. It received some fair reviews and one great one: Larry didn't like it because the title ended with a preposition. Garlin's also a stand-up, and during this week's run expect him to be in top form -- on Saturday night he's filming his own comedy special, directed by Bob Odenkirk of Mr. Show.
Fri., March 28, 8 & 10:15 p.m., 2008