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‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Plans for a Spite Store Pop-Up in LA Were Thwarted by the Pandemic

Season 10 showrunner Jeff Schaffer said that as the team was prepping a real-life installment of Latte Larry's in March, they couldn't find any Purell.


“Curb Your Enthusiasm”

John P. Johnson/HBO

[Editor’s Note: The following story contains spoilers for “Curb Your Enthusiasm” Season 10.]

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” Season 10’s grand finale revolved around the reveal of Larry David’s coffee shop Latte Larry’s, a “spite store,” as he put it, started to put Mocha Joe’s — whose coffee Larry deemed cold and whose tables he deemed wobbly — out of business. According to “Curb” writer and Season 10 showrunner Jeff Schaffer, who recently participated in a virtual Q&A for new start-up In Creative Company with IndieWire’s Managing Editor Christian Blauvelt, the show’s team was actually planning a Latte Larry’s pop-up in Los Angeles back in February. But finding Purell right on the brink of quarantine in the United States proved a challenge.

“We were gonna have a spite pop-up store in March. We were going to do a Latte Larry’s. It was going to be in West Hollywood,” Schaffer said. “In February, everyone was getting it together, and as we got closer to the beginning of March, our set designers were like, ‘We can’t find any Purell to put on the tables.'” (One of the signatures of the Latte Larry experience was a bottle of hand sanitizer at every table, along with the “no defecation” rule.)

“We were like, we’ll get bottles and just make the decal and slap it on, and then I’m like, ‘Oh my god, everyone’s going to steal this Purell thinking it’s actually going to work. And it’s just going to get them sick.’ Then everything got shut down and we never got to do it, but we were about to just have hundreds of contraband, not-working Purell just out in the environment.”

At the end of Season 10, Latte Larry’s tragically burns to the ground after one of his employees mishandles his self-warming coffee mug devices, and one of the most harrowing images, in hindsight, is a closeup on a stockpile of Purell melting in the flames.

“All anyone thought when they saw the final episode was, ‘Oh my god, you burned all that Purell!'” Schaffer said. “It wasn’t really what we were thinking about in 2019,” which was when they were writing and filming the 10th season.

Schaffer also said that Season 11 will indeed address the pandemic, but in a very Larry way. “We figured out a way that we are definitely living in a reality where the pandemic has happened, and we’re addressing the pandemic, and we’re doing stories about it, but not exactly the way you’d expect,” Schaffer said.

He also said he doesn’t expect the show to return to HBO until at least fall of 2021. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” Season 10 is nominated for four Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series.

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