Unleash Your Enthusiasm

Jeff Garlin screens his latest film at his alma mater.

Jeff Garlin just might be the most famous dropout of the University of Miami. “Actually I’m the second,” the ebullient comedian, costar of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, and auteur of the new indie rom-com I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With, explains. “Sylvester Stallone is probably the most famous UM dropout.” Back in the day, Garlin was studying film and dreaming of directing in the university’s film department. The self-described “funniest kid in school” soon realized stand-up was his calling. “I wanted to be the next John Belushi. My dad was very negative about that.” Garlin followed his dream, and faith in his own funny paid off and then some.

On Curb Your Enthusiasm, he plays Larry David’s enabling agent, Jeff Greene -- the kind of guy who’ll sneak into your guest room during a dinner party and unabashedly leave a shameful stain on your sheets. “The guy on Curb, I find reprehensible. I relate more to the character in my film,” says Garlin, who wrote, produced, directed, and stars in Cheese. He plays James, a 39-year-old comedian who lives with his mother. He’s having issues with his job, women, and food. Enter Sarah Silverman, who woos him with free ice cream and gives him liberal sprinkles of trouble. “I worked my butt off on this. I started writing it at the end of the last century. And all of my costars are people I’ve had a history with. I’ve known Sarah Silverman since she was 19. I wrote the role for her, and now I’m riding her coattails,” he cackles. In an unprecedented move, Garlin’s baby is also being screened as part of IFC’s screening series On Demand, so couch potatoes can watch at home. But fans should come out in numbers to meet Garlin at the screening tonight at the Bill Cosford Cinema.
Thu., Dec. 6, 2007

 
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