‘It’s An Honor’ Comedy Center Director’s Name Pops Up On Sitcom Finale

From left are Cheryl Hines, Larry David, Sarah Herman, David Steinberg, Journey Gunderson. Submitted photo

If you are a fan of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” then you know that recently, the show ended its run on HBO.

The sitcom, created by Larry David, who also co-created “Seinfeld,” gave a nod to the National Comedy Center in its final episode.

Specifically, NCC Director Journey Gunderson was mentioned by her full name.

According to the comedy center, Jeff Garlin first riffed on the name Journey Gunderson when they were both speakers at the memorial service for George Shapiro, a National Comedy Center Advisory Board Member, executive producer of “Seinfeld,” and manager to Jerry Seinfeld, Andy Kaufman and Carl Reiner. Gunderson has crossed paths with Garlin, David, and Jerry Seinfeld a few times over the years, and knew first-hand that they were amused by the name, but was pleasantly surprised to see the fun that was had with it in the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” series finale.

“Those guys have one compass: what’s funny,” Gunderson said. “And that’s why they’re great at what they do. It’s an honor.”

Much of the “Curb” finale alluded to the finale of “Seinfeld.” Again, if you are a fan of “Seinfeld” then you would know the allusion.

Other media picked up on the name drop as well. Frazier Tharpe, writing for gq.com (Gentlemen’s Quarterly Magazine website), interviewed producer and director Jeff Schaffer and co-star Susie Essman who portrays Larry’s friend.

“And these two, Larry and Jeff, the brilliance of them of being able to figure those things out – it looks so organic when you see the episode. But there’s painstaking work that goes behind it of trying to figure out how to weave all these storylines together and the flashbacks and the finale and the ending and Journey Gunderson, and all of that,” Essman said to Tharpe during the interview.

And vulture.com followed suit. In Sarah Nechamkin’s story “Curb Your Enthusiasm Series-Finale Recap: A Free Man,” she mentions the Gunderson name drop.

“The gang is going to dinner at Auntie Rae’s restaurant, though not without inviting Cheryl, also in town with Ted, who is protesting the election law. At Auntie Rae’s, the gang orders salad with her famous salad dressing. Susie asks for the recipe, but Auntie Rae insists on keeping it a secret. Since Jeff and Susie’s anniversary is coming up, Jeff decides to try to gift her the dressing recipe by calling up Auntie Rae and pretending to be ‘Journey Gunderson,’ a man whose wife has landed in the hospital after consuming the salad dressing and therefore needs to know the exact ingredients. It’s a success: Auntie Rae is panicked, Susie is elated, and Jeff gets Husband Points,” Nechamkin wrote on vulture.com.

Larry David is no stranger to NCC as David produced the memorial service for “Curb” cast-member and comedian Shelley Berman in January 2018. Berman played Larry’s father on the show.

If you attend NCC, be prepared to spend a lot of time there. It’s the go-to place for comedy as it keeps attracting guests and celebrities with its immersive, interactive exhibits.

NCC said Curb Your Enthusiasm and its cast members are featured in several exhibits including the interactive Comedy Continuum, the “Page to Stage exhibit” and the TV Room, in addition to extensive interviews with Larry David and Richard Lewis that exist throughout the museum.

In August, The National Comedy Center holds the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. The festival attracts comedy enthusiasts from all over the globe.

The three-day festival has more than 50 live events, including stand-up showcases, late night comedy, block parties, Lucy tribute events, kids’ comedy and live music.

Previous Festival headliners, according to comedy center.org, include Jerry Seinfeld, Trevor Noah, Lily Tomlin, John Mulaney, Amy Schumer, W. Kamau Bell, Sebastian Maniscalco, Jim Gaffigan, Paula Poundstone, Joan Rivers, Jeff Foxworthy, Margaret Cho, SNL Legends David Spade, Rob Schneider and Kevin Nealon along with more than one hundred other comedic artists. The 2023 festival featured record-breaking comedians Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias and Taylor Tomlinson.

In June, comedian Tom Segura is scheduled to perform at Northwest Arena. According to comedy center.org, Segura is one of the biggest names in the comedy business. He recently toured over 300 cities on his I’m Coming Everywhere world tour. He is best known for his Netflix specials Ball Hog (2020), Disgraceful (2018), Mostly Stories (2016), and Completely Normal (2014). His fifth Netflix special Sledgehammer released July 4, 2023 and debuted at No. 1 on the streaming service. In July 2022, Segura released his New York Times Bestselling book “I’d Like To Play Alone, Please.”


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