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Larry David's Super Bowl ad begs the question: Does he know what crypto is?

  • The Curb Your Enthusiasm star's appearance as a time traveling idiot in a Super Bowl ad for FTX, a crypto currency exchange, left many of David's fans baffled, dismayed and divided. (FTX also released a 2-1/2 minute "Larry's Cut" version of the ad.) "The ad was complete with a crypto giveaway, and left everyone at home entirely confused," says The Cut's Olivia Truffaut-Wong. "I’m sorry, but Larry David starring in a crypto commercial definitely feels like a sign of the apocalypse. It’s the kind of thing I would expect in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, not our actual reality. Twitter will be debating the ad for days to come, but one thing we can all agree on is that there is no way David knows what cryptocurrency is. And while I would normally completely endorse crypto-ignorance, if you’re going to sell something to millions of people, you might want to know what it is." Slate's Justin Peters says "this was one of the funniest ads of the night, but, man, I can’t be the only one getting major turn-of-the-century dot-com vibes from all these triumphalist crypto ads. By the logic of this ad, Larry David would have been skeptical about Pets.com, too—and, you know what? He would have been right!" Later, LeBron James schooled his younger self about taking chances in an ad for Crypto.com. As the Los Angeles Times' Ryan Faughdner notes, "the star-studded ads were the latest example of the entertainment industry’s growing interest in everything blockchain. In the past year, there’s been a preponderance of actors, musicians and athletes talking up digital currencies and or NFTs — unique digital records authenticating ownership of an item, tracked on a digital ledger." But, Faughdner adds, "critics have balked at the spectacle of the rich and famous encouraging viewers to gamble on a risky and speculative market that has been plagued by grifters. Skeptics say the cryptocurrency and NFT craze has primarily benefited wealthy early adopters — the true believers — who could afford to get in early."


    • Curb Your Enthusiasm showrunner Jeff Schaffer says Larry David turned down many Super Bowl ads, but FTX's idea was too perfect to pass up: “We hadn’t done one of these before and we had an absolute blast,” Schaffer told The Hollywood Reporter via Zoom on Friday, hours after finishing a final cut of the spot, which was shot in early January. “Never have I spent more hours on one minute and enjoyed every second of it. And Larry, who’s not known to enjoy many things, also loved it.” Schaffer added: "Larry’s been courted for commercials before, and we’ve taken a look at a lot of different premises. Every time, we would try to spin it somehow so we thought it was funnier. Like, 'This would be funny but we’d like to do it this way.' All these (ad people) would say, 'Well, no, we want to do it the way we want to do it.' So, we said, 'That’s fine,' (and moved on). This was the first idea that came by that was perfect as it was. Who better than Larry to belittle the sum total of human achievement and be wrong. It was a funny idea and we didn’t have to do another spin. He got excited by the idea and that’s what got him to do it. Then we started to think about all the period of time, different inventions and the agency lobbed all these ideas and we were lobbying ideas. At that point, the hard part became winnowing it down to how many we could fit in 60 seconds."

    TOPICS: Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Super Bowl LVI, Jeff Schaffer, LeBron James, Advertising, crypto currency, FTX, Super Bowl