During that same Larry King interview, Jason Alexander also conceded his character George Costanza was essentially the on-screen alter ego of Larry David, reinforcing the question of why David didn’t play the role himself. There may be a few answers to that question. First and foremost, Larry David has always been candid about his limitations as an actor, even quipping to the New York Post in 2015, “I was inspired to become a comedian because I was a bad actor.”
However, in a 2021 interview with “Pioneers of Television,” Jerry Seinfeld offered a different take on the subject. He did so after praising David’s contributions to “Seinfeld,” offering, “He [David] had a lot more ideas than I had about what we should do, and shouldn’t do.” When pressed on why David never took a role other than the occasional cameo, Seinfeld claimed, “At that time he wasn’t really interested in acting,” before adding, “We never really talked about that…”
The funnyman further claimed David’s duties as “Seinfeld” showrunner were also more than enough to keep him busy. More specifically, Seinfeld notes that had both he and David been on set all day, neither would’ve been able to properly work with the show’s writers and production team, among the many tasks David took point on. Given the amount of praise David has garnered for his work behind the scenes, one has to wonder if “Seinfeld” would’ve survived had he been acting as well. Then again, David may have been holding out for the right role, which he eventually found playing an absurdist version of himself on “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” And we can all agree, that’s the role he was born to play.