Monday, July 16, 2007

Don Duck and Larry David

Donald Duck. Larry David. Seperated at birth?

I was thinking about why I love the HBO show "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Some people hate the show, which, if you don't know already, holds a very humbling mirror up to our daily neurotic moments - the moments that eat at us for the rest of the week. Instead of letting things go, swallowing his pride or simply not expressing his own annoyance at every person around him, Larry David's character loses control on a regular basis. We watch him because deep down, we want to behave the same way, as ugly as it is. To get worked up because your wife makes fun of you for packing a jacket to a beach engagement party, then getting annoyed when the bride-to-be at the beach party puts on the the jacket without asking while you stand there freezing. This is the life of Larry David.

Ok. Then I was thinking about why I love The Duck. Don is, I admit, my favorite cartoon character. There's a place in my heart for Bugs, Scrooge McDuck, Samurai Jack, and countless others. But Don is my favorite, and I think it's for the same reason I love Larry David. When Don bursts a vein trying to open a window -- only to realize it was locked the whole time -- we laugh because we know we've done the same thing. When Don freaks out because a clock spring won't settle, we relate it to every technical mishap we've ever undergone and lost our cool over. And we've had to have done it a lot, because Don's not only still as popular as ever, but he holds the Disney record for the character with the most footage in film or shorts [according to the book "the Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Characters"]

Both these characters allow themselves to lose control. They do and say what, deep down, we know we're capable of if only social dictum didn't stand in our way. They live adult lives with adult relationships, and then when something falls short of their expectiations, they raise hell. Why? Because they followed the rules to the best of their ability and things still get all FUBAR in their hands.

Ah, the human condition.

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