Curb Your Enthusiasm has finally begun filming its ninth season, but even while it was away, its theme song has continued its rich history of turning serious online moments into utter hilarity. Fans have used the song in web videos to brighten odd situations in pop culture and life, as backdrop music for those epic “oops” moments the internet brazenly exposes, and then regurgitates, until peak saturation is reached.
The creator of the HBO comedy, Larry David, says he (discovered) “Frolic,” by Luciano Michelini, in a bank commercial several years before the show even began. “It just sort of introduces the idea that you’re in for something pretty idiotic,” David said several years ago when asked why he used it as the series’ theme song. He’s been pretty good at pinpointing social flaws in the human condition ever since he teamed up with that Jerry Seinfeld guy for that show about nothing.
“Frolic” seems able to counter almost any emotional response that humans can’t handle, molding its carousel-like, lackadaisical quality around whatever situation is required of it. When levity is needed during a serious, awkward or uncomfortable moment, the jovial “Frolic” can flip the switch to quell any sense of foreboding and serve as a not-so-subtle hint that something ridiculous is about to happen. As far as song earworms go, this is as pleasant as they come.
Here are 10 pretty, pretty, pretty effective uses of the Curb Your Enthusiasm
theme song online. And yes, it will involve Chris Christie and Donald Trump. You’ve been warned.
“Frolic” is useful as lighthearted musical narration while watching a TV celebrity making a major gaffe, and nothing can be truer than when Steve Harvey mistakenly announced the wrong Miss Universe. While the newly, yet falsely crowned Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez, waves to her adoring fans and basks in the glow of a hard-fought win, Steve Harvey steps up to the mic and the celebratory music stops. “Uh… There’s… I have to apologize “ he starts to say. Yep. Miss Universe was actually Miss Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach. In waltzes “Frolic.” Let it wash over you.
Every day of this year’s presidential campaign has benefitted from a good dose of the song, and almost every candidate has fallen victim. When then-presidential candidate Bernie Sanders campaigned in Seattle in August 2015, two Black Lives Matter protesters interrupted him and basically took over his mic. Ever the gentleman, Sanders stepped away, but the fracas continued. Cue “Frolic.” It’s all you need to hear to know that you’re watching a shit show.
Chris Christie is famous for lots of things, but is probably best known as playing a sucker for now president-elect Trump earlier this year, when he was spotted behind Trump during a press conference at Mar-A-Lago, looking rather lost and confused, his eyes vacant. Boom—the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme song crisply encapsulated this ridiculous presidential campaign season.
Picture this: Trump’s jabbering about an old interview he did with Howard Stern during a presidential debate because of course he is. His voice fades out and the camera zeroes in on Hillary Clinton’s “can you believe this bullshit?” face. No other narration is necessary here.
The classic end scene from Reservoir Dogs has gotten the “Frolic” treatment, as it should. C’mon, nothing’s funnier than murder in a classic caper story about a diamond heist. Quentin Tarantino is still one of the goriest filmmakers we’ve got right now, so someone decided to temper that with a little comedy.
A brief refresher: Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney) is about to kill the severely injured Mr. Orange (Tim Roth), but Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) steps in and says he’ll kill Joe if he does that. “Nice Guy” Eddie Cabot (Chris Penn) points his gun at Mr. White to protect his dad, creating a standoff situation that no one can win. Of course they all kill each other, but leave Mr. White and Mr. Orange barely alive. Then, Mr. Pink comes out of hiding and walks away with the diamonds as “Frolic” plays. Run, Mr. Pink. Run!
Game of Thrones is one of those dramas where you would least expect to receive the Curb Your Enthusiasm treatment, but that’s precisely why it works. This scene involved a battle between Jon Snow and company and hundreds of White Walkers. After the massacre, the Night’s King slowly motions, and all of the dead reawaken with ungodly eyes. The scene is entirely without dialogue. As the guys on the boat float away from shore, the viewer is left hanging, leaving that tiny space open for some wacky tuba notes of the twinkly “Frolic” to fill the void and erase the sense of impending doom.
This Vine, created by the Seinfeld Current Day novelty Twitter account, creates the premise that Larry David’s feet directly influenced Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. While attending the game, David apparently trips Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors, thereby causing the Oklahoma City Thunder to win the game. For added special effect, “Fuck you Larry David” can also be heard. Watch it here.
Fans of both Curb Your Enthusiasm and Breaking Bad have picked up on the parallels between the show, and used “Frolic” to raise viewers’ spirits when unsuspecting characters get maimed and/or murdered. Someone decided to use this method on a mashed-up scene in Breaking Bad’s “Dead Freight” episode, in which Walter White and his goons pull off a train heist to steal methylamine. As Walt, Jesse and Todd celebrate, a young boy sees them, and Todd shoots him dead. The three then laugh uproariously (the laughing took place earlier in the scene). So whenever an innocent character is axed, “Frolic” is there to say, “Hey, watch this murder, and then enjoy some quaint music as a cleanser.”
This one is just a random use of “Frolic” and it’s perfect. A guy torch juggling sets fire to some dude’s shirt by accident. Really, that’s all there is to it. Special nod goes to the creators of the video for timing dialogue from J.B. Smoove (Leon Black) with ignition of said shirt.
This little known video is a scene-stealer for its simple take on “Frolic.” A guy playing Ping-Pong with a chimpanzee gets his butt kicked at the game. That’s “okay” funny, but then the shot freezes and zooms in on the chimp, who has knowingly turned to the camera, and “Frolic” begins to play. It delivers the same kind of comical effect as the “You’re probably wondering how I got myself into this situation” memes that refuse to die.