How Me and Larry David Almost Got Arrested
In 1976 I was still getting my feet wet as a comedian, but I had begun to establish myself on the east coast club circuit and was getting bookings as a headliner. My best friend was Larry David, who although brilliantly funny (at least to all his fellow comics), didn’t translate as well to audiences. He thus didn’t really work the comedy club circuit outside of the New York City area.
I got myself booked at a Philadelphia comedy room called Grandma Minnie’s. Because the owner liked and respected me, I asked if I could bring my friend Larry David with me to open. He said yes and off we went for a week in Philly. The shows were fine and nondescript, but one day we were knocking around the city, sightseeing and hanging around. We decided to go to Independence Hall, the reverent shrine where the both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were signed. Larry and I walked in, and oddly, we were the only tourists in there that day, or that hour. We went down a hallway and came upon a room…THE room…where the actual Declaration was signed. When we walked in we could see the area was cordoned off with a plush velvet rope; on the other side were about 25 rows of ornate 18th century chairs. There was a raised stage with about 8 more chairs, and a lecturn. This was the lecturn at which our founding fathers gave their speeches and signed the declaration. Larry and I looked at each other and marveled how right there, 30 feet away from where we stood, Franklin, Jefferson, Hancock et al spoke and led their brethren to independence. We were in awe. And then, suddenly without warning, Larry climbed over the velvet ropes, romped up onto the stage and up to the lecturn, and began to bellow in a British accent: “My fellow compatriots, we will not allow the British to refuse us our liberty, we must sign our document of independence…” I was laughing uncontrollably at crazy Larry, incredulous and shocked at his nerve. Suddenly a security guard ran into the room and upon seeing Larry started screaming, “You two get the hell out of here before you are put under arrest!” Larry bolted down from the stage and we ran up a staircase and out a door, laughing hysterically, all the while with the security guard in hot pursuit. When we got outside we kept on running. To this day I can still palpably feel the adrenaline of perhaps the craziest stunt I’ve ever been involved in. All thanks to Larry David. It was such a good idea to get him on the show with me. As they say, no good deed goes unpunished.