Great dramas, comedies, concert specials and more illustrate the pay cable channel's sweep
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" (2000-present)
Larry David was not only the co-creator of "Seinfeld," but the inspiration for George Costanza. With the largely-improvised "Curb" (which began as a hybrid stand-up/sketch special the year before), David got to step out in front of the camera to play himself — or, as some viewers saw it, as a George Costanza with limitless wealth and, therefore, self-confidence to challenge the laws of polite society. And though "Curb" is filtered more through Larry's point of view than "Seinfeld" was through any one character's, the HBO show has introduced its own collection of hysterical supporting players, from Susie Essman's blisteringly profane Susie to Bob Einstein's pained Marty Funkhauser to J.B. Smoove's irrationally confident Leon. The comedy of discomfort at its most painful and funny, and David's deal — HBO leaves him alone until he has another idea that feels worthy of doing a season of the show — suggests we could have years and years of "Curb" to come.