Atlanta/ Politics & Govt
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Published on April 02, 2024
Georgia Secretary of State Engages in Playful Banter with "Curb Your Enthusiasm" Star Over Voting SkitSource: Wikipedia/David Shankbone, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Comedy and politics collided when Georgia's top election official sent a humorous letter to "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star Larry David, following a skit from the HBO show's latest season that mocks a controversial voting law in Georgia, Atlanta News First reported. In the series' final season premiere, David's character was arrested for distributing water to voters at a polling station, and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger responded with a letter acknowledging the fictional offense and quipping about celebrity jail treatment, a playful jab seemingly at Donald Trump's own booking photo which took place in Georgia.

The letter from Raffensperger congratulated David for being the "first and, to our knowledge, only person arrested for distributing water bottles to voters within 150 feet of a polling station," as he sarcastically apologized for failing to supply the expected celebrity treatment in jail, once saying the mugshot backdrop had become somewhat of a star-studded wall. Secretary of State even touted the efficiency of Georgia's voting system, highlighting the historically low waiting times faced by voters, "including Leon's aunt," a character central to the "Curb" episode's plot, in recent elections, as per The Hollywood Reporter.

This satirical exchange comes amid real legislative changes as Georgia lawmakers passed Senate Bill 189, potentially shaking up the 2024 presidential race in this pivotal swing state; the bill's provisions ease the process for certain independent candidates to appear on Georgian ballots. While Raffensperger's letter seemed in good spirits, he stated he lacked the power to pardon David's character, whose faux legal ramifications could lead to a fine and imprisonment under the state's election laws.

"Curb Your Enthusiasm's" storyline highlighted the highly criticized law, with the show's executive producer Jeff Schaffer calling it "terrible" and telling The Hollywood Reporter that many people were unaware of it, noting the naming of the 'Election Integrity Act' as peak cynicism, comparing it to the deceptive nomenclature of North Korea. Schaffer also revealed that the idea for David's Trump-like mugshot stemmed from the real arrest of Trump in Atlanta, the serendipity of delay via a writers and actors strike, which led them to include the comedic photo in the show, capturing just enough of David's scowl to echo the controversial former president.