Susie Essman

Susie Says

Air Date: May 9, 2015

Susie Essman unpacks her bitingly hilarious comedy.

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I’m Alexander Heffner, your host on The Open Mind.

On Halloween no less, we are taping today’s show with a favorite star of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm for 8 seasons and, for those of us who are obsessive viewers, we can only plead for more from the Seinfeld brainchild Larry David, or LD as our guest affectionately knows him.

Legendary comic New York native Susie Essman is the author of the bitingly hilarious What Would Susie Say? Bullshit, Wisdom About Love, Life, And Comedy. Rereading her book, I laughed out loud plenty – to the seeming outrage of fellow Amtrak passengers – and the depth of her commitment to the craft of humor is what most absorbed me.

“There are levels of comedy to strive for that are more difficult to achieve and therefore much rarer,” Essman writes. She emphasizes, “Comedy that uses language and rhythm and nuance to say things never said before, new things, new ideas…Comedy that makes people think and feel and, at the same time, makes them laugh.”

From precocious stand-up routines over the last several decades, encapsulating diverse perspectives from across a culturally transforming New York City, to her Curb rendition of the take-no-prisoners foul-mouthed Susie Greene, we love this comic sage who makes us both think and laugh most certainly.

I want to know what Susie says about the contemporary comedy scene, but also let her riff on whatever domestic or world affairs are on her mind. And first maybe I’ll ask her – remembering that we’re on public television and not HBO – is there truth to the observation that Larry makes that you always “double your laughs” with profanity?

ESSMAN: Hah! You know I don’t know that that’s true. And, thank you for having me, Alexander.

HEFFNER: It was so delightful to hear the history here, too.

ESSMAN: And, and also that … to have the witchiest of witches on Halloween …

HEFFNER: (Laugh)

ESSMAN: You know, I always feel with Susie Greene people think it’s the profanity that they’re responding to, but I think it’s her complete and total comfort with her anger that they’re really responding to. Especially women.

HEFFNER: Hmmmm. And Larry laughs when you do that …

ESSMAN: Yes.

HEFFNER: … when you improvise …

ESSMAN: Larry gets, you know, the giggles every time I start to yell at him because he’s a masochist, he loves being yelled at. Even before I even open my mouth, he starts giggling. It’s, it’s very challenging. (Laugh)

HEFFNER: How do you respond? Keep a straight face when possible.

ESSMAN: I wait ’till he’s done … I’m, I’m a professional.

HEFFNER: (Laugh)

ESSMAN: I stay in character, and I wait till he’s done and I, I do it again.

HEFFNER: But you said something interesting. You don’t think that the excessive profanity … not in Curb, but generally in our entertainment scene has necessarily injured the quality of the entertainment experience or the comedy per se …

ESSMAN: It’s just words. I mean it’s, it’s just … it’s, it’s part of our language. I don’t, I don’t understand … I have actually had this discussion with a friend of mine last night at dinner, who’s a grandmother and she was talking about her three year old grandson has an affinity for a certain four letter word that I use quite often and, you know, she was saying to him “that’s a bad word”. And I was like, well why is that a bad word? I don’t understand that whole concept of a “bad word”.

To me a bad word is, you know, a disparaging, ethnic slur or something … something that has a bad intent. Whereas, you … other kinds of … it’s all about the intent I think …

HEFFNER: Right. And to the extent that it emphasizes or exaggerates a point, that’s what gets the big laugh.

ESSMAN: Yes, yes and, and with Susie Greene, the character I play, it’s all about her anger. It’s not … she doesn’t, she does not use profanity just in normal conversation. She only uses it when she’s angry … so it’s all about her, her expressive anger.

HEFFNER: And, of course, she couples that with terrific Yiddish.

ESSMAN: Yes …laugh … well, that’s, that’s the most beautiful language in the world for expression and for comedy.

HEFFNER: I mean that’s a tag team that no one could compete with … right ..

ESSMAN: (Laughter)

HEFFNER: So, in, in all honesty, though … you’re journey has been, I watched recently one of your early stand-up …

ESSMAN: Ahhh … god …

HEFFNER: … performances, which is, which is just as resonating and resonant of the contemporary comic tradition. How have you seen comedy evolve since you started stand-up?

ESSMAN: Well, you know, I think it, it’s changed a lot for women. You know with the recent death of Joan Rivers … I’ve been thinking about this a lot because Joan was such a pioneer and I think that women who came up … Phyllis Diller, Tottie Fields, Joan and there was … you know you could count them on one hand … they were all … they needed to be self-deprecating in a way to be accepted. In, in a way that I think women don’t need to do anymore. Phyllis Diller who was a very attractive woman had to dress in these wacky outfits, you know. Joan had to … who was also very attractive … had to constantly be putting herself down. I think that that was a default mode that … that was how the audience would accept them, if they turned themselves in first, before the audience could do it to them. And I think that’s changed for women in a lot of ways.

HEFFNER: We’ve progressed socially enough …

ESSMAN: Not, not enough …

HEFFNER: Not enough …

ESSMAN: (Laugh) Not enough …

HEFFNER: Somewhat …

ESSMAN: … but somewhat, somewhat and I think that, you know, I see these young comedians now. I mean my favorites are, are IIana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson on Broad City where I’ll be a guest star next year actually … next season. And I just see what they do and I just … they’re like my … you know, like I gave birth to them. They’re like my protégés … I, I see how far out they can go and how completely honest and, and … I don’t want to say crude … but how they can rip themselves open in a certain way and they have permission to do that, that was … it, it didn’t used to be that way. Am I making any sense?

HEFFNER: Oh, you’re making plenty of sense.

ESSMAN: (Laughter) Okay.

HEFFNER: And …

ESSMAN: And I’m actually proud of that, I, I feel very proud when I see them because I feel as though maybe I’ve blazed a little bit of a trail. You know, when, when I first started and I was a, was a young single girl in New York and I would talk about sex … that I actually liked it … you know where nobody was really doing that. (Laughter)

HEFFNER: What are the most animating qualities of the comedian? Because in, in your book and in your own work, you share those moments of banter after comic performances … those are so important, right …

ESSMAN: Yeah.

HEFFNER: … for the experience, not just on the set or standing up and delivering for an audience, but the conversations afterwards with fellow comedians.

ESSMAN: I thinik … oh, god, you know … it’s very difficult for me to intellectualize about comedy. There’s something when you start to intellectualize … you know, there’s all these sayings, it’s, it’s tragedy minus …

HEFFNER: (Laugh)

ESSMAN: … time or some … it starts to diminish for me when I start to intellectualize … ahem … to me the most …

HEFFNER: But you do … you do.

ESSMAN: Well, you know, the most important qualities in a comedian to me are, are honesty, you know, and it’s a personal honesty. It’s not literal honesty, you know. When I tell stories … a lot what I say on stage is, is literally true, but you know, you’re. you’re expounding on something, you’re exaggerating, you’re embellishing … that’s what stories do, stories are all about embellishment. So, but I think to have your own truth and your own honesty as a comedian is the most important thing. What are you looking at Alexander?

HEFFNER: Oh, I’m just …

ESSMAN: Are you going to quote something I …

HEFFNER: No, we don’t have to intellectualize anymore …I’m not going to quote you to you.

ESSMAN: (Laughter)

HEFFNER: We don’t have to quote …

ESSMAN: Did I actually say that?

HEFFNER: (Laughter) No, but I think there’s a purposefulness in something you convey here about the nature of the idea of comedy that is profound. That to say something new, to be novel, to be cutting edge, which you have been is different.

ESSMAN: Yeah. I, I think …

HEFFNER: Or distinctive …

ESSMAN: … well, I think that comedians have a little bit of a different brain, that we see things kind of in a twist that other people don’t necessarily see, which is why we’re able to say it and people are sitting in the audience like … they’re laughing because they have a recognition, like … but they didn’t think of it that way, you know, they didn’t, they didn’t think of … they didn’t see it through the same lens that we saw it.

And I think there is a different brain function, knowing so many comics that I know, that we just see things in a, in a little bit of a twisted way that other people don’t. But in a way that’s acceptable to other people to see, when we reveal it to them.

HEFFNER: Acceptable or not I’m thinking of “The Doll”, you’re favorite episode …

ESSMAN: Yeah.

HEFFNER: … on Curb Your Enthusiasm. But I now what you mean by twisted, there’s an ironic element here …

ESSMAN: Yeah, irony is important … uh ha …

HEFFNER: There’s something unexpected about …

ESSMAN: Well, the unexpected is very important …

HEFFNER: Right.

ESSMAN: … the unexpected is essential in comedy. Because if you’re just … if you know what somebody’s going to say, it’s not funny. You have to like bang them over the head when they’re not looking. It’s … you always have to have that twist of the unexpected. And the expected is just, you know, “hacky”.

HEFFNER: How has the Jewish faith, we talked about Yiddish before, how has that informed, if we can intellectualize a little bit more …

ESSMAN: Okay.

HEFFNER: … you were telling your familiarity with The Open Mind, which I was thrilled to hear …

ESSMAN: Yes, I used to watch your Grandfather all the time.

HEFFNER: And see him in the city …

ESSMAN: I used to see him on the Upper West Side … (laughter)

HEFFNER: In, in light of the Upper West Side and the tradition of Jewish comics … is that something you brought to the table when you were … I mean you really embody more than just a Jewish woman comedian… because in your early stand up in particular, you were Puerto Rican, you were everything …

ESSMAN: Yeah.

HEFFNER: … but is that a piece of this?

ESSMAN: Well, I don’t see how it can be … not be a piece of it, because everything that I am informs what I do. Being Jewish … not religious, but you know, culturally, being female, being a New Yorker, being, you know, a mother, being a friend … everything that I am informs my comedy.

I think the Jewish tradition of comedy is … it’s, it’s a couple of things … one it’s the outsider, you know … it, it’s always, all comics are the outsider looking in. We were all misfit kids … we were all, you know, some, something that didn’t seem to quite fit, you know, and that’s … that’s definitely the immigrant and that’s why there’s so many other great comics now that are not Jewish, but that are other outside groups …

HEFFNER: You remind me of that scene in Annie Hall where Woody Allen as a child is in the classroom, the misfit …

ESSMAN: Yes, yeah, yeah … exactly … I’m so … so that’s part of it and I also think that, that there’s something to, something Talmudic … about comedy and about the tradition in Jewish life of questioning, of not just taking things at face value … of questioning and does this mean this, does this mean that? You know and really taking things apart and looking at them through a different lens. You know, and having an open mind … so I think that that’s, that’s part of a Jewish tradition also. And that’s what comics do, we look at things in a different way, in a twisted way and we ask a lot of questions.

HEFFNER: And it can be cathartic for the viewer …

ESSMAN: Yes, I hope so (laugh)

HEFFNER: So what would Susie say about the state of world affairs generally. I’m interested in, in your perspective because you always bring some zeal and passion to the table on whatever subject you’re exploring. What’s the state of the world to Susie Essman right now?

ESSMAN: Well, here’s the interesting thing … the state of the world to me is not that much different than it’s always been.

HEFFNER: MmmHmm.

ESSMAN: And somebody said to me recently that they, they were doing interviews with comedians and that these older comedians were saying the world has never been worse, it’s the worse place in the entire … it’s, it’s never been in worse shape … yeah, if you’re a White guy … if you’re a White guy, it’s the worst it’s ever been. If you’re other people … women, people of color …

HEFFNER: (Laugh)

ESSMAN: … immigrants, it, it’s not the worst place … you know, I mean I don’t know that I could have made a living doing what I do, the way that I do it, fifty years ago. It wasn’t acceptable for a woman to be on stage cursing and screaming and yelling … and having that level of aggression. So I, I, I kind of think the world … I’m a hopeful person, I’m a hopeful … yeah, there’s horrible things. There’s is, you know, there’s maiming and killing and, and all the things that have always existed. I don’t know that it’s worse.

HEFFNER: Mmmmph.

ESSMAN: I feel good about the world. I feel good about my children’s future in the world.

HEFFNER: In terms of the generation gap you were commenting on, on your protégés and people …

ESSMAN; Yeah.

HEFFNER: … who seek inspiration in your work. Is there really an important pro-social quality to this art form that is comedy? At the end of the day …

ESSMAN: Not always. There can be. It depends, you know, some comedians just want to go out and make people laugh. They don’t want to, you know, have a statement. They don’t want to change people’s mode of thinking. Every comedian is different and one is not better than the other. You know there’s tremendous need for laughter in the world. And, and people who make people laugh are in … prized in our society. You know if I lived in the 17th century, I might be a court … well, I wouldn’t be because I was a woman, but a male comic would have been a court jester or something. Luckily we live in, in a time when I get paid to do this very nicely. But, comedy’s a really important … you know in any totalitarian regime, first thing that goes is comedy. Comedy is by, its nature, subversive. By its nature it is, it’s questioning the status quo. So, you know, there was no comedy in, in … Hitler didn’t have comedy … there was no comedy in Stalin … you know that, that comedy is dangerous.

So in a free society comedy can grow and it’s really, really important because it’s … even if it’s not socially relevant, it’s making people laugh and when you make people laugh, there’s an opening. People are open when they’re laughing and you could just stick something in. You know if you get an idea in, or a thought in, or a feeling in, and you could, you could evoke something to them. So, so comedy is, is … I think essential in a democracy.

HEFFNER: It’s wonderful to hear you say that. I’m thinking about one of your Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes that Alan Dershowitz said could “heal the wounds in the Middle East” … “The Palestinian Chicken” …

ESSMAN: Oh, “The Palestinian Chicken” …

HEFFNER: … for our viewers, do you want to tell them about that episode.

ESSMAN: Well, the episode is about Larry has the hots for a Palestinian woman. And ends up having sex with her and … it’s very hard to describe a Curb episode because they’re so multi-layered …

HEFFNER: … moving parts …

ESSMAN: … yeah, but I think that’s essentially and there’s picketing going on, that, that the Jews don’t want the Palestinian restaurant which apparently has like the most amazing chicken in the entire world, they don’t want the Palestinian restaurant next to the Jewish deli and there’s picketing and none of it really makes sense, you know, it’s all about just Larry getting laid, you know, in a certain way, on a certain level … but when we, we discussed that episode after, afterwards and he was afraid that he was going to get some flack from the Jewish community about the episode because really he’s ridiculing the hatred ….

HEFFNER: MmmHmm.

ESSMAN: … is what he’s doing. And he didn’t. There wasn’t any flack and I think that humor has the ability … you know Mel Brooks talks about this with The Producers, you know, that, that … when he did The Producers he was able to ridicule the Nazis and that was in his power, he didn’t have much power to do anything to stop the Nazis, or to do anything about them, but he had the power to ridicule them.

I was reading something, actually, about Charlie Chaplin recently in The Great Dictator and why that was so brilliant, and he did that right in the middle of it all happening. He did that, I think, in the late thirties was The Great Dictator before America was even in the war. But comedy has, when you have the ability to ridicule something, you take an energy away from it. And I think it’s, it’s an important aspect that we don’t probably do enough of.

HEFFNER: And I think you highlighted earlier honesty as the vital piece of this, and is that why young folks are gravitating towards “faux” news, as their source of news because really that is revealing to them the most honest truths.

ESSMAN: Well, it’s satire, you know, yes, it is.

HEFFNER: And, and people are saying now it’s really the pinnacle of media criticism, because it can go places that CNN or The New York Times can’t.

ESSMAN: Ahh …

HEFFNER: Do you find that?

ESSMAN: Yes, and I find that …but what, what it does … it’s, its Voltaire … I mean what it does is it, it tells the truth in an untruth which allows it to actually be really truthful, more so than the real truth. Does that make any sense?

HEFFNER: Yeah, sure.

ESSMAN: (Laugh)

HEFFNER: So what’s next, I know you’re hopeful that there will be another season or Curb or two …

ESSMAN: Listen, we could go on …

HEFFNER: … or three …

ESSMAN: … until our old age, which we’re already old. So, it’s fine, we’re not going to outgrow our characters.

HEFFNER: And the most recent season was in New York.

ESSMAN: Yeah, yeah.

HEFFNER: I know that Larry is the creative mind and will knock on your door as you say in this book, it’s actually interesting how you conceived of this part or how you conceived of it … you were doing a Roast …

ESSMAN: Yes.

HEFFNER: … and it wasn’t even guaranteed that you would be doing that Roast.

ESSMAN: No, I, I actually … you know, this is my whole thing about my … about career … I have kids and I try to like, instill this in them … you keep showing up, you keep showing up, you keep, you keep, you keep doing your work … you focus on the work, you don’t focus on success or, or, you know …you just focus on the work and you be so good that you can’t be denied anything.

When I came up, as a female … there was so many women coming up and there’d be, there’d be a lot of discussion because we were not getting the stage time that the guys were getting, because they wouldn’t put two women on in a row … you know, because we might both mention our menstrual cycle or something … I mean that’s how they were thinking, these club owners. But there would be like guy, guy, guy, guy, guy, woman … guy, guy, guy, … so stage time for a woman was hard to come by.

And my whole thing was I was going to be so good I couldn’t be denied. You know, it was a lot easier for a mediocre guy than a mediocre woman, but I didn’t want to be mediocre, I was going to be so good that they had to put me on, they weren’t going to have a choice.

So it was just focusing on the work and focusing on the work and I, I did that and I showed up at so many Friars events and did charity work for them and I had to make my bones with these old guys … you know the Alan Kings and the … these guys that, if you were halfway decent looking they didn’t think you were going to be funny. You know, they just did not go there.

So they were doing a Roast of Jerry Stiller and the Friars put me forward to be on the Roast and Comedy Central rejected me, they didn’t want me on the Roast for whatever reason …

HEFFNER: What year was this?

ESSMAN: ’99 or 2000. I was too Jewish, too female, too old … I don’t know, I wasn’t their demographic. The Friars Club fought for me to be on that Roast. And I think Comedy Central thought, “Okay, fine, we’ll put her on and we’ll cut her out”. And I worked really hard on the Roast because I always work hard in whatever I’m doing and had a great, great set and they left me and Larry saw that. He saw the Roast and had this idea for this character in mind, which was very vague, as Jeff’s wife … he just knew that he had a scene in mind where she’s just screaming and yelling and angry at him and using a lot of profanity. So he called me up … I had, had not seen him for many years since he moved to LA, but I had known him, you know, from the mid-eighties …

HEFFNER: He was a stand up comic like yourself.

ESSMAN: Yeah, that’s when I met him at “Catch A Rising Star” in the mid-eighties. And he called me up and gave me the part. So the rest, you know … just … but there was no character, really, you know, the way she dressed … all that, I just made that all up. (Laugh)

HEFFNER: One of the beautiful things and if you ask fellow actors this, I’m sure they say it, too, about Curb is the improvisational nature …

ESSMAN: Yes.

HEFFNER: Where else on TV is that the standard?

ESSMAN: Ah, nowhere, nowhere … and it’s an amazing way to work, I mean it’s just so much fun …

HEFFNER: Must be liberating.

ESSMAN: … well, there’s an outline …

HEFFNER: MmmHmm.

ESSMAN: … you know, there’s a very detailed outline cause Larry’s all about story. Larry, Larry has a lot of genius aspects, but I think his, his greatest genius is story. I mean he’s just so … talking about the comedic brain, I mean I read those outlines and, and I have a comic brain, I have no idea how he got there. I cannot figure out his thought process, which is why, and I don’t’ use the word lightly … why I think he’s a genius because it’s transcendent and that’s what I think genius is, is that it’s transcendent … you can’t, you can’t figure it out … you can’t get to it, but, it’s there and I’ve seen him do it, you know, for 80 episodes already. So, so he has an outline and in each paragraph it says what the scene’s about and where we have to kind of get to, but there’s no dialog written, so all the dialogue we just improvise. And it’s just, it’s just the greatest. You don’t have to memorize lines, it’s just the greatest way to work, we have so much fun. It’s just pure joy.

HEFFNER: And I think that’s why you’ve had such a positive reaction. The distinctiveness of that improvisational mode and you can throw in a swear …

ESSMAN: Yeah.

HEFFNER: And exclamation point, a, a different style of dress …

ESSMAN: Yeah.

HEFFNER: … and then that all becomes …

ESSMAN: It becomes the character. One of the reasons, we’re all very close and you really need that when you’ve doing improv because you need a lot of trust and we’re, we’re very, very close and that’s one of the reasons we could treat each other so despicably on screen because we’re playing, you know, it’s just all play. And when we first started the show, it was almost literally like “I have a barn, let’s put on a show”. I mean we were this slap-dash … we had no money, no budget, we didn’t have trailers, we had no … we were just like catch-as-catch-can, the way that we put the show together in the beginning. And it just kind of worked.

HEFFNER: Mmm. Reflecting on it now, 8 seasons in the can … what to you has been most insightful about the reaction?

ESSMAN: Just anecdotally, the people that come up to me the most are guys your age …

HEFFNER: (Laugh)

ESSMAN: Guys in their twenties who are obsessed with the show. And you know the networks had this demographic thing …

HEFFNER: MmmHmm.

ESSMAN: Where they think that guys your age only want to watch guys your age. You know, and on this show, we’re basically all old Jews, is what we are in this show. And, yet, men in their twenties who are the, the ideal demographic love Curb Your Enthusiasm. But the other thing that …

HEFFNER: Must have been all those Passover Seders …

ESSMAN: Well, no, here’s an interesting thing about that … is the … I always have, you know Upper West Side Jews said to me, “Oh, nobody else gets this show, except for us.” No, no, no, no … I have people come up to me in Cincinnati, in St. Louis, in Oklahoma, I mean there’s something about this show that completely transcends any kind of Jewish demographic, or New York demographic … New York/LA demographic … because it’s funny.

HEFFNER: Right.

ESSMAN: Because it’s funny. So often, people say to me, you know … will say to me like, a man will come up to me say, “you’re character’s just like my wife”. And I’ll be like “oh, my god, this poor guy”. And they’re like, you know, an African immigrath from Ghana or some … you know what I mean … it’s just … it transcends. And, and that’s what I think is misunderstood about the show. Because it’s funny.

HEFFNER: And maybe people.

ESSMAN: I also think Larry, his character … people relate to so well even thoiugh people have cringe factor with his character, but because he’s saying what everybody’s thinking. He’s saying what everybody’s thinking.

HEFFNER: You know that in order to be successful in the business you do have to muzzle it. And this has been an opportunity for him to express himself …

ESSMAN: Exactly.

HEFFNER: … maybe as he wasn’t able to on Seinfeld. And there are young people who work backwards and they had to kind of work their way towards a more modest degree of less explosive humor … in Seinfeld …

ESSMAN: Yes, yes.

HEFFNER: And I think that’s an interesting evolution here.

ESSMAN: I, I think what Larry has done on Curb is he, he will say, he aspires to be that character. He’s not that character. He’s not that much of a jerk, he’s a sweetheart, but he aspires to be that person that you run into in the street and you say, “Let’s have lunch”, who says, you know what, we’re never going to really have lunch, let’s just cut the charade, I take you email … why are we bothering? He aspires to be that. And I think that HBO, the thing about HBO, is it’s not really the language, I’m really the only one that uses language, it’s the content …

HEFFNER: MmmHmm.

ESSMAN: It’s the content and that’s a freedom that you can’t really get anywhere else.

HEFFNER: Sexual?

ESSMAN: Sexual.

HEFFNER: Perverse.

ESSMAN: Everything.

HEFFNER: Right.

ESSMAN: You know, I mean he’s an equal opportunity offender, whether it’s race, gender … what did he have the, the Denise wheelchair … Wendy Wheel chair, Denise handicapped … you know, whatever it is, he’s an equal opportunity offender.

HEFFNER: Social assassin …

ESSMAN: Yes, social assassin … (laugh)

HEFFNER: We have just a minute left, tell me something more …

ESSMAN: Oh …

HEFFNER: I can’t believe it’s gone like this …

ESSMAN: Why, what more? You’re doing a great job,
Alexander …

HEFFNER: Thank you.

ESSMAN: … your grandfather would be very proud of you.

HEFFNER: That’s sweet of you to say.

ESSMAN: Yeah …

HEFFNER: This has been so … I hope you enjoyed it, too.

ESSMAN: It’s fine.

HEFFNER: I don’t want to intellectualize it, but we can intellectualize it, comedy is intellectual.

ESSMAN: Yes, but that’s for you, the intellectual …

HEFFNER: (Laugh)

ESSMAN: … to intellectualize it. I can’t intellectualize it, because you know I don’t think about it like that. I mean I did in the book, I took it apart a little bit. But, in order to perform it, it, it’s got to be visceral.

HEFFNER: MmmHmm. Well, I was going to say, not to intellectualize it any more, but I think what maybe captures peoples interest is the whole display of the ego, id and super-ego as it relates to …

ESSMAN: Absolutely.

HEFFNER: … Curb Your Enthusiasm.

ESSMAN: Absolutely.

HEFFNER: And maybe we’ll leave it there.

ESSMAN: Okay. Great.

HEFFNER: A little Freudian analysis. Susie Essman so, so delightful to have you here.

ESSMAN: Thank you.

HEFFNER: And thanks to you in the audience. I hope you join us again next time…for a thoughtful excursion into the world of ideas. Until then, keep an open mind.

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