Bob Einstein (1942-2019) | 5 Streaming Favs
Imagine if Evel Knievel was funny and all his daredevil stunts had ended very badly
In high school my parents finally relented and ponied up to pay for HBO. Boy was that ever a game changer!
HBO’s first scripted series 1st & Ten followed the on-and off-field antics of the California Bulls. It was basically boobs and football with plenty of cameos from real-life professional football players—the perfect program for a 14 year-old sports nut. But it was when my family added Showtime that really changed things; I was the only one of my friends with Showtime, so my house became a destination to watch It’s Garry Shandling’s Show and Super Dave. For a couple of years ‘Garry and Dave’ Showtime in the clubhouse as the top movie channel before HBO changed television forever.
Several years ago HBO had been working with Garry Shandling to workout a deal to add Larry Sanders’ 89 episodes to HBO GO/HBO NOW. The groundbreaking series from the 1990s was finally added on September 23, 2016 six months after Shandling’s death. Since then, HBO has also added other early HBO Original’s like Arli$$ and Dennis Miller Live. Obviously, things get murky with shows that aired before today’s streaming apps as contracts were written without any kind of streaming language not able to envision just how vital a vault full of content would be in today’s landscape. I’d love to see Showtime add Super Dave, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show and how about The Chris Isaak Show to its Showtime Anytime app and On Demand.
Here’s my 5 favorite Bob Einstein things streaming
1) Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee | Netflix “It’s Not So Funny When It’s Your Mother”
Bob Einstein was beyond funny on both appearances on Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee—but I’ll side with his second appearance for the top spot—both episodes are from the “Late Night Espresso” season. Bob’s jokes! Thee car and backstory! Bay Cities Italian Deli! I can verify that Bay Cities makes the best sandwiches in West LA! Bob has a field day when telling the story of how his dad died when Jerry starts talking to the sound guy asking about audio levels.
2) Curb Your Enthusiasm | HBO “Palestinian Chicken”
Marty Funkhauser (Einstein) disapproves of Larry’s eating at a Palestinian chicken restaurant which extends to the bedroom.
3) The Extreme Adventures of Super Dave (Movie) | Amazon Prime Video Rental
Unfortunately the series isn’t streaming. This film made 10 years after the series wrapped doesn’t meet the level the Showtime Original achieved, but it has its moments. Before Bird Box, Super Dave did one of his daredevil stunts blindfolded. The movie is available for rental or purchase at Amazon Prime Video.
4) Curb Your Enthusiasm | HBO “The Pickle Gambit”
“Funkhauser’s Crazy Sister” is better episode, but Larry and Jeff do most of the heavy lifting. In this episode Funkhauser’s nephew, Kenny, a promising pitcher days from signing a scholarship to Stanford until Larry and a pickle jar derail his career and other joys.
5) Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee | Netflix “Bob Einstein: Unusable of the Internet”
Bob Einstein: “There’s a saying in showbiz; never get too big to use your friends. And you use your friends more than anyone I ever met.”
BONUS | Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast
Einstein tells some great stories: writing for Red Foxx, rooming and writing with Steve Martin, etc.