Struggling: Early 1970s and Homeless Anxiety

During a stint in 1972, Larry was going through a particularly rough time. He was unemployed, living with his parents, girlfriend-less and broke.

It was at this time he wandered around the streets of New York looking for a place to live if he became homeless.


During this difficult time, his mother would ask him how he was doing. He felt he couldn't be honest about his depression because it would stress her out. So he came up with one of his key catchphrases, "pretty, pretty, pretty good."

It was in some ways for Larry David the making of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm: a key ingredient at turning a situation inside out and then laughing at it.

He was taking the acting class at night while he was working at his various jobs and trying to find himself. One night, he had to perform as himself and while doing so he got everybody to laugh.

That was when he first decided to try stand-up comedy. He quit acting class and asked a buddy from college who was already performing for advice.

Larry was afraid he might chicken out, so he told everyone he knew he was going into stand-up as extra motivation.

Larry's first night of performing stand-up at Folk City in Greenwich Village came in 1974. It was an open mic night, a hoot 'nanny.

Despite not doing well, he felt like he was on the right track so continued on the path. Young Larry David Circa 1972

The second time he performed was at a bowling alley in Brooklyn, and third time was at the famous comedy club To Catch A Rising Star, where he felt like he fit in and eventually became a regular.

Stand up Comedian: 1974, "Catch"

To Catch A Rising Star was home to many comedians that would later go on to legendary status.

Despite Larry feeling comfort at To Catch A Rising Star, he still had anxiety about performing in general and especially for live audiences.

He has said:

I had this dream once where I was in a big houseā€¦ I heard a lot of shooting and gunfire downstairs. So I get up in my underwear and go downstairs where there's a war going on. I duck behind a couch and ask a uniformed soldier 'what the hell's going on here?' Then all of the sudden another soldier comes up to me and shoves a gun to my head. He says 'get up and do a set.' young_larry_david_1970s_standup There was a little stage area off to the side with a microphone. I go 'what are you crazy? There's a war going on here! I can't get up there!' He shoves the gun against my head again, 'get up and do a set!'

Larry's act at the time was eclectic, and he liked to begin with by saying, "I'll tell you something about good looking people. We're not well liked!"

If the audience didn't laugh, he knew it was going to be a rough night. In his stand-up routine, he joked about his personal life, especially women, as well as made silly jokes, social observations, and topical humor.


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