The actor, who plays Larry David pal Leon Black, previews the upcoming season of the HBO comedy.
Curb Your Enthusiasm famously took five years off before launching a comeback with season nine. Now, J.B. Smoove is doubling down on a promise made by his bosses: viewers won’t have to wait that long for season 10.
After a long hiatus, the Larry David comedy returned for a 10-episode season in 2017. Prior to that, the series hadn’t aired a new episode since 2011. The 10th season was announced late 2017 and Smoove says the gang will be returning to set later this year.
“Sometime this year we’ll be going back to work,” Smoove told The Hollywood Reporter at the recent New York premiere for basketball movie Uncle Drew. “I cannot wait. I have a whole list of new Leonisms to drop on Larry, I can’t wait to hit him with them and see how he feels about them — good ones, too. I’m looking forward to going back to work — it won’t be five years like last time, that’s for sure.”
Smoove joined the long-running comedy, which began in 2000, in its sixth season as the scene-stealing Leon Black. After moving his family into Larry’s (David) house in Los Angeles, he never left his curmudgeonly friend’s side. In season nine, Leon continued his goal of trying to educate Larry with his words of wisdom — dubbed Leonisms — when living in his guest house. Smoove even parlayed his role as the breakout permanent houseguest into a bound collection of his Curb-inspired musings with The Book of Leon.
But when the show returns for the milestone season, Smoove is hoping to dig deeper into his character and find out more about Leon. Though his and Larry’s odd-couple routine continued, viewers have similarly expressed interest in seeing more Leon when the show returns.
“I would love to see a little bit more of Leon’s origins,” says Smoove of his season-10 hopes. “All we know is this guy showed up at the door and came in and made himself at home. I would love to know a little bit more about Leon. I would love to see a good flashback of who Leon was before he walked into Larry’s house.”
He adds, “Where did Leon come from? Did he abandon his old apartment? Did he leave his family? What happened? How did he get there? That would be great.”
When breaking down the season nine finale, executive producer Jeff Schaffer dropped some hints about what the show will look like when it returns, similarly promising: “There won’t be as long of a wait.”
Hilary Lewis contributed to this story.