Larry David Gets WGAW’S Paddy Chayefsky Award
Writer Larry David, creator of such landmark TV comedy hits as Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm, has been named recipient of the Writers Guild of America, West’s 2010 Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television. To be given at the 2010 Writers Guild Awards’ West Coast ceremony on Saturday, February 20, 2010, in Los Angeles, the award honors lifetime achievement for outstanding television writing.
“For a writer who’s made a successful career creating hit television shows about ‘nothing,’ Larry David is truly something among writers,” said WGAW President John Wells. “He has altered the TV comedy landscape and influenced a generation of writers, all the while keeping audiences laughing for two decades by mining comic gold from our most human, awkward, and revealing moments.”
David grew up in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn and attended Sheepshead Bay High School. Of his youth, he says, “I had a wonderful childhood, which is tough because it was hard to adjust to a miserable adulthood.” Not a surprising quote from a man whose alter ego came to life in the form of George Costanza on the television series, Seinfeld, which he co-created with Jerry Seinfeld.
After attending the University of Maryland, David embarked on a career as a stand-up comedian in 1974. That career was peppered with odd jobs, including cab driver, bra salesman, and private chauffeur. In 1979, he moved to Los Angeles when he was hired as a writer and performer on the late night comedy series Fridays, which aired until 1982. David then moved back to New York and eventually landed a job as a writer for Saturday Night Live.
A friend of Jerry Seinfeld since 1976 when the two were performing in comedy clubs, Seinfeld solicited David’s advice in 1988 when he was asked to develop a show for NBC. The two came up with the idea for Seinfeld, which debuted in 1989, and went on to become one of the most successful shows in television history. David occasionally appeared on the show, playing roles like New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. He was Emmy-nominated seven times for his writing on Seinfeld and won in 1993 for the now-classic episode, “The Contest,” as well as sharing an Emmy that year for Outstanding Comedy Series. A nine-time WGA nominee, David earned Writers Guild Awards for his work on Seinfeld: in 1993 for “The Contest” and again in 1995 for “The Mango.” He left Seinfeld after serving as the show’s head writer and executive producer for seven seasons – but returned to write the series finale in 1998 two years later.
In 1999, he received an “AFI Star Award” at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. That was also the year he wrote and starred in Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm, a one-hour special for HBO, which spawned the critically acclaimed HBO series the following year. David was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy series three times (2003, 2005, and 2006) for his work on Curb Your Enthusiasm. The show also received a Golden Globe award for Best Television Series, Musical, or Comedy in 2003. In addition, Curb has been Emmy-nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series four times, and in 2003, David was also Emmy nominated for Lead Actor in a Comedy series. In 2006, he received a Writers Guild Award for Comedy Series for his writing on Curb and was nominated again for overall Comedy Series in 2007. In 2009, he was nominated by SAG for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series on Curb, as well as for Outstanding Performance by An Ensemble in a Comedy Series. David recently completed his seventh season.
Named after one of the most acclaimed writers in entertainment history, the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television is the WGAW’s highest award for television writing, given to writers who have advanced the literature of television throughout the years and made outstanding contributions to the profession of the television writer. Past Television Laurel Award recipients include Steven Bochco, Susan Harris, Stephen J. Cannell, John Wells, David Chase, and the WGAW’s most recent honoree, William Blinn.
The 2010 Writers Guild Awards will be held on Saturday, February 20, 2010, simultaneously at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles and the Hudson Theatre at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York City. For more information about the 2010 Writers Guild Awards, please visit WGA.ORG or WGAEAST.ORG