Larry David started his career as a writer for Saturday Night Live. Since then, he has launched some of the most popular shows on television including Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. One of the most popular characters on the hit HBO series is Leon played by J.B. Smoove.
Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, Smoove reveals the story about losing his job on Saturday Night Live and landing a role on Curb Your Enthusiasm.
J.B. Smoove says he lost his job as an SNL writer. One day, he was watching Curb Your Enthusiasm when his wife said he should audition for the show.
“A bunch of things had to happen for me even to be a part of that show. I was working with SNL as a writer. My fourth season I didn’t get renewed, but I was already a huge fan of Curb. My wife was washing dishes one day, and she said, “You gonna be on that show one day because you say crazy stuff all the time. You would fit right in!”
Smoove explains he went to Los Angeles to meet his new agents and that's when he learns he landed an audition with Curb Your Enthusiasm. But, that’s when things get interesting. Smoove goes on to highlight what it was like to audition for Larry David.
So I walk into the room, and Larry is standing in the middle of the room, and I said, “Holy ….” They said, “OK J.B., you’re gonna improv with Larry.” But I was already in Leon mode when I walked into the room. I said, “OK, let’s do this …, Larry”. Because we improv-ing right? I said, “I’ll smack you in the face, right?” And Larry looked at everybody, like, “Who the … is this guy?”
Apparently, his acting technique worked because he landed the role. “I left town, went straight to Pittsburgh to do a comedy show. Got there, there was a big snowstorm. I was in a horrible town, a horrible club. Everything was horrible. I never been in a hotel that filthy in my life.
I said, “What the … is happening right now? I used to work at ‘SNL.’” And I’m driving 15 miles an hour in the snowstorm to get to the airport, then my phone rings. It’s my agent. He said, “Slow down, do 10 miles an hour, ‘cause I need you back in L.A. because you got ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm.’ You start work on Monday”.
At the end of the interview, J.B. Smoove gave some incredible advice. “You don’t know how the universe is gonna work for us. But all this plays a part in our journey.”