2002 | Los Angeles

Last Wish

Larry David misses a death in the family.

[Larry comes into his parents’ apartment.]

Larry: Hey dad, how you doin’?

Nat: Alright, doin’ fine, yeah. So how’d you get here?

Larry: I had the cab drop me off on my way back from the airport, and Cheryl took it on home.

Nat: Hey, I could’ve picked you up you know.

Larry: How you doin’, okay? How come…I called you a couple of times, you never got back to me.

Nat: I was busy, you know, I got busy.

Larry: You got busy? What do you mean you got busy? What are you doing you’re so busy?

Nat: Let me make you a cup of coffee. You wanna sit down and have a cup?

Larry: I don’t want any, no, I just came to check up on you—how’s Mom doing?

Nat: Oh, well, you know how people do, so, uhh…Tell me about New York! Did you have a good time in New York? It was busy?

Larry: What’s, what’s the…You seem very jumpy. What’s the matter with you?

Nat: Well, you know, I didn’t expect you to come in today; I really didn’t know you were here.

Larry: Where’s Mom?

Nat: Well, your mother, well I’ll tell you all about your mother. After all, you know, we brought her back, you know, your mother. She got sicker, and we had to bring her back to the hospital.

Larry: She’s in the hospital.

Nat: Well, yeah, not now. Not now. That’s um…Well, we had to bring her back for a little while and that’s um…

Larry: Why didn’t you even tell me? You didn’t call me.

Nat: Well, she didn’t want to bother you, you know how she is. She said, “Don’t uh, don’t bother him, he’s in New York. Let him enjoy himself.” She didn’t want to spoil your trip. But uh, she’s not in the hospital now, so that’s, that’s over with. Don’t worry about that.

Larry: So she’s feeling better?

Nat: Well, in a way. She did warn me, she said, “If anything happens to me, don’t bother, don’t bother Larry, because he’s in New York, he wants to enjoy…” So then, after a day or two, nobody goes on forever and ever and ever, and uh—you’re not gonna go on, I’m not gonna go on…

Larry: She died?

Nat: Uh, yeah. Dead. Dead. She’s dead.

[Silence.]

Nat: She didn’t want me to bother you.

Larry: What does that mean?

Nat: Well, you were in New York, you were having a good time, so we didn’t, uh, we didn’t call.

Larry: When did she die?

Nat: Let’s see, the funeral was on Monday…

Larry: The what?

Nat: …So she had to die on…

Larry: The funeral?

Nat: Yeah. The funeral.

Larry: Why wasn’t I…I’m not at the funeral? What do you mean, Monday was the funeral?

Nat: Well, Monday was the funeral.

Larry: Why wasn’t I at the funeral? Why didn’t you call me?

Nat: Because she told me not to bother you, you know…

Larry: She told you not to bother me! What’s that supposed to mean?

Nat: You were in New York. You were busy.

Larry: What do you mean I was busy?! You give me a call! You didn’t call me? You didn’t call me and tell me my mother died?

Nat: The last words she said to me: “If anything happens to me, you don’t bother Larry. You don’t spoil his trip in New York.”

Larry: I missed her funeral because she told you not to call me? Is that what you’re telling me?

Nat: That’s right!

[Larry’s cousin Andy walks in.]

Andy: What’s that—Larry? My condolences! I’m sorry. How are ya?

Larry: Hi, Andy.

Andy: I’m sorry, I really am. Heard you were in New York. You missed a good one. This was really a nice, nice…

Larry: Well, I’m sorry I missed it. Perhaps had I been informed, I may have been able to attend my mother’s funeral.

Andy: It was beautiful. 

Nat: Very nice.

Andy: Very well attended, Rabbi spoke—honestly, Rabbi spoke beautifully, like a friend.

Larry: I noticed you called Andy in New York, and he flew in, right?

Nat: Well, your mother didn’t say not to call Andy. She said not to call you. That’s all, that’s all she ever said.

Used with permission of Larry David

Contributor

Larry David

Larry David, Shelley Berman, and Richard Kind, from Curb Your Enthusiasm. David played himself, Berman played Nat, and Kind played Andy. The scene was improvised, as is all the dialog in the show, with only the basic plot points mapped out ahead of time. David co-created the sitcom Seinfeld in 1989, becoming the head-writer and an executive producer; the show ended in 1998. The Curb Your Enthusiasm series debuted on HBO in 2000.