To some, he’s Marty Funkhouser on Curb Your Enthusiasm. To others, he’s Super Dave Osborne, accident-prone stunt comedian of late night television. To yet others, he’s Larry the Middleman, the guy who served as George Bluth Sr.’s stand-in of sorts, on Arrested Development. But the late Bob Einstein, who died in early 2019, was so much more than that. His career stretched back to the ‘60s, when he was on the heroic writing staff of The Smother Brothers Comedy Hour, alongside Steve Martin. And he’s finally, at long last getting the HBO documentary treatment he deserves.
It’s called The Super Bob Einstein Movie, of course, and it features a trove of colleagues/friends — Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld, Rob Reiner, Susie Essman, JB Smoove, as well as Albert Brooks, his brother (yes, Albert Brooks’ birthname is Albert Einstein) — gushing about a guy who miraculously combined nice guy vibes with edgy, even life-threatening humor. Or as Sarah Silverman puts it, “The straight man’s usually what the funny man bounces off of. But he’s both.”
There’s a heaping helping of Curb clips in the trailer, usually him blowing up on Larry. (What there isn’t is his incredible scene in his brother’s 1981 anti-rom-com Modern Romance, as a predatory sporting good salesman who all but robs Brooks’ new single sadsack.) But it will also give the young-‘uns a chance to see Einstein’s Super Dave Osborne — a staple of Late Night with David Letterman and tons of other late night shows, which aired clips in which, long before 50-something Tom Cruise, he almost killed himself to entertain.
The Super Bob Einstein Movie bows on HBO and HBO Max on Dec. 28. You can watch the trailer in the video above.