US Catholics upset as Larry David takes the piss

Evan Rachel Wood and Larry David in Whatever Works

There’d be a public outcry if Jews or Muslims were treated in this way, say critics

BY Sophie Taylor LAST UPDATED AT 11:58 ON Thu 29 Oct 2009

The American comedian Larry David, creator of Seinfeld and now star of his own sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm, loves to shock and, on the whole, his audience loves him for it. This time he has gone over the edge, as far as American Catholics are concerned.

In the latest episode, shown on HBO in the United States on Sunday night, David visits the bathroom and, while peeing, splatters urine on a painting of Jesus Christ. He leaves without wiping it off.

Minutes later, David's assistant enters the bathroom and concludes that Jesus is crying. She then summons her mother, and both women kneel in prayer.

Not funny, complained Deal Hudson, author and publisher of InsideCatholic.com. "Why is it that people are allowed to publicly show that level of disrespect for Christian symbols?" he asked. "If the same thing was done to a symbol of any other religions - Jewish or Muslim - there'd be a huge outcry. It's simply not a level playing field."

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, said David should "quit while he's ahead," and that the show was proof that the comedian had passed his sell-by date. "Was Larry David always this crude? Would he think it's comedic if someone urinated on a picture of his mother?" asked Donohue.

In defence, HBO said: "Anyone who follows Curb Your Enthusiasm knows that the show is full of parody and satire. Larry David makes fun of everyone, most especially himself. The humour is always playful and certainly never malicious."

This was not good enough for Hudson and Donhue. The former wants the show's producers and writing team to issue an apology. "When is it going to stop?" he asked.

The episode was one of the long-awaited ones for which the cast of Seinfeld were reunited. When David and Jerry Seinfeld (playing himself) are asked if they ever experienced a miracle, David answers: "Every erection is a miracle."

Said Donohue: "That's what passes for creativity these days." · 

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