Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
The TCA session today promoting Showtime’s forthcoming new comedian interview series Inside Comedy got weird at a few points. One such moment came about midway through, when a questioner asked executive producer and host David Steinberg if being involved in the show was “a nonstop orgy where you were well-paid.” A shocked expression crossed Steinberg’s face before he replied, “Well, given that the focus was always on the other person, maybe I’d say it was like being a eunuch at an orgy.” Shortly thereafter, Steinberg was asked why there are so many Jews in comedy. “Jews are smarter,” came his reply, to great laughter in the room. Afterward, he elaborated that he wasn’t really being facetious. “Entertainment is always seized by the downtrodden and disenfranchised, which is why you maybe now see more young Latinos coming up,” he said. “And that was Jews back in the day.”
The funniest moment of the panel was caught by nearly no one in the room and involved panelist Larry David, making a rare public appearance on behalf of promoting the show for friend Steinberg. When he was seized upon by the usual crush of reporters, David grew perplexed in a moment that would have been worthy of Curb Your Enthusiasm. “Wait a second? What’s this part of it?” David asked as reporters began tossing questions his way, chiefly, “Will you be coming back for a ninth season of Curb?” Hands up, wide-eyed, backing away, David was mercifully rescued by a Showtime publicist and quickly whisked away.