Will the Real Larry David Please stand up?

Life sure gets complicated when you look like TV’s most lovable sad sack.

True story (mostly): Larry David, creator and star of Curb Your Enthusiasm, walks into a crowded Hoboken ice-cream shop. One young woman approaches him and says, “Hey, you’re Larry David!” To avoid a scene, David throws up his hands and says, “I just came here to get some ice cream.”

It’s not every day that Hollywood royalty buys frozen delights in Hoboken. Lots of eyes are on him. David, who is with his wife and another couple, takes his place in line. All is peaceful—until one of his companions notes, “Larry, you’re in the wrong line.” With that, he’s mobbed. The object of attention repeats what he just said, only louder: “Please, I’m just here to get some ice cream.”

David gets his ice cream. Everyone goes on with their lives. And that’s the (mostly) true story. Except for one thing: That wasn’t Larry David. It was my father, Larry Edelstein, a retired office-supply rep from Parsippany.

Consider this fair warning: Larry Edelstein has stopped denying he’s Larry David. “I just go with the flow now,” he says. “It probably wouldn’t happen as much if my name was Norman.”

Dad’s dilemma doesn’t end in Hoboken. At a restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona, the owner asks if he could have a photo for the wall. “I told him I wasn’t him,” my father says. “The guy says, ‘Are you sure?’ ”

At Carmine’s in Atlantic City, two guys at the bar say, “Hey, Larry!” “Do I know you?” my father says. They say no, they just wanted to say hello. “So I said hello, turned around, and left.”

My father isn’t exactly annoyed that everyone thinks he’s Larry David. In fact, he’s taken to growing his hair longish in the back and wearing roundish glasses, just like his doppelgänger. “I’m waiting for my guest appearance on his show,” he says.
Dream big dreams, Pop.

Jeff Edelstein, a regular contributor to New Jersey Monthly, bears only a slight resemblance to Richard Lewis.


Artie Lange


Steps up to the plate

“If the Bad News Bears grew up and became insane alcoholics and drug addicts and joined a softball team,” Artie Lange says, describing his latest film effort, a comedy called Beer League. The 38-year-old comedian, a Union native who lives in Hoboken, has been doing daily radio shtick alongside Howard Stern for the past four years. In Beer League, Lange plays the lead character, a 30-something underachiever, also named Artie, who lives with his mother and devotes his life to knocking back beers, chasing women, and playing softball.

Shot partly in Bayonne and Rutherford, the film has a decidedly Jersey vibe. Lange co-wrote the screenplay with Nutley native Frank Sebastiano, who also makes his directorial debut. Colonia native Jimmy Palumbo, who’s scored bit parts in ER, NYPD Blue, and Desperate Housewives, co-stars, along with Ralph (Karate Kid) Macchio, who plays Maz, Lange’s best friend and voice of reason. Produced by Anthony Mastromauro and Identity Films for a mere $2.5 million, Beer League will be released next year.

Says Lange, who’s held jobs as a waiter, cabby, and longshoreman, “This movie is about what my life would be like right now if I didn’t get lucky and make a living in show business.”

Article from December, 2005 Issue.

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