Rusty Holzer – Good Friends in Real Life

Richard Lewis

I have been very touched by the tribute Larry David has paid to Richard Lewis, his friend and fellow comedian who passed away at the age of 76.

This unique duo first captured my attention on Curb Your Enthusiasm, David’s show on which Lewis was a frequent guest. Their onscreen chemistry was so palpable, that it was not at all surprising to learn that the two were good friends in real life.

In a 2002 interview, David explained, “Our relationship in life is very much, I would say almost exactly what it is in life as what it is on the show… We scream at each other. We fight all the time, but we have a lot of fun. We have a great time. It’s a great friendship. I love him.”

David and Lewis met at summer camp in 1959 when they were both 12 years old. They immediately disliked each other. Fast forward ten years, and the two were reintroduced when they performed at the same New York comedy club. This time, they hit it off.

David expressed his sorrow at Lewis’ passing, “For most of my life, he’s been like a brother to me… He had that rare combination of being the funniest person and also the sweetest. But today he made me sob and for that I’ll never forgive him.”

In 2023, Lewis announced that he had Parkinson’s disease and that he was no longer going to perform. He made an exception, however, choosing to act in scenes for the last season of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

In one of his final episodes, Lewis was filmed arguing with David over what he would bequeath to David in his will.

In the show, David is adamant that he doesn’t need any money from Lewis.

But in a scene that is quite telling in retrospect, Lewis insists, saying, “When I die, I want you to know how much I care about you… You’re my best friend, you’re getting it.”

We should all be blessed to have friendships that are as productive and long-lasting as this one.

 For those of you who are reading this who are my good friends, you know who you are and I love you.

– Rusty Holzer