Richard Lewis: Curb Your Enthusiasm’s banter king dies

Lewis, who appeared in more than 40 episodes of Curb, died peacefully at home in Los Angeles last night.

Richard Lewis, stand-up comedian and co-star of Larry-David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, has died aged 76.

Lewis, who announced his retirement from stand-up last year following a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, died, as reported in The Guardian, ‘peacefully at his home in Los Angeles last night after suffering a heart attack’.

As well as a successful stand-up career, in which he frequently riffed on his various neuroses and addictions, Lewis starred alongside Jamie Lee Curtis in the American sitcom Anything But Love (1989–1992), and in films such as Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993). But it’s his role as a semi-fictionalised version of himself in Curb Your Enthusiasm, appearing in more than 40 episodes since the show’s pilot in 2000, that may be most fondly remembered.

In a statement by David, shared yesterday by HBO, David wrote: ‘Richard and I were born three days apart in the same hospital and for most of my life he’s been like a brother to me. He had that rare combination of being the funniest person and also the sweetest. But today he made me sob and for that I’ll never forgive him.’

Despite his semi-retirement, Lewis appeared recently in Season 12 of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which is currently streaming new episodes on HBO/ Binge, arguing with David about his plans to include David in his will, in the face of David’s reluctance.

So legendary were the pair’s arguments on the show that a timeline was cut together by a fan on YouTube in 2021, running to more than an hour and a half.

Speaking to Variety in 2021, at which point he was returning to Curb Your Enthusiasm following health issues, Lewis said: I’ve devoted my life to comedy and my sobriety the last almost 27 years. I’m overwhelmed with joy right now. I never learned how to keep joy in my head for more than a minute, but I’m breaking all records for my life today.’

Read: Curb Your Enthusiasm – Season 12 review: still pretty, pretty good

A spokesperson for HBO told People: ‘We are heartbroken to learn that Richard Lewis has passed away. His comedic brilliance, wit and talent were unmatched.

‘Richard will always be a cherished member of the HBO and Curb Your Enthusiasm families, our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends and all the fans who could count on Richard to brighten their days with laughter.’

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites