Daily Archives: May 18, 2015

Larry David’s “Fish in the Dark” is funny, but pretty much a “Curb” episode. A wrenching tale from an Amtrak train survivor. And Southwest Airlines does really wrong by a passenger

FISH IN THE DARK - 2015 PRESS ART - Larry David and Ben Shenkman - Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

FISH IN THE DARK – 2015 PRESS ART – Larry David and Ben Shenkman – Photo Credit: Joan Marcus 

So as a fellow Jewish New Yorker myself, it’s not really a big surprise that I’m a huge Larry David fan.

Loved “Seinfeld,” and loved “Curb Your Enthusiasm” even more. So four months ago, when tickets went on sale for David’s new Broadway show, “Fish In the Dark,” I snapped up a few for myself, my Dad and my stepmom (my wife is one of the very few people I know who doesn’t like “Seinfeld.” Oddly enough, my ex-wife disliked it, too. Do I somehow attract anti-Costanzas? A question for another day.)

Because it was such a hot ticket here in N.Y., I didn’t get to actually see the show until Saturday. And it was terrific, no doubt about it. Really funny, with a few “I missed the next line because I was laughing so hard at the last one” moments.

But honestly? It felt like a two-hour episode of “Curb,” with lots of the same Larry ticks and verbal miscues we’ve come to know and love.

The plot of “Fish in the Dark” is this: The dysfunction of the Drexel family is on full display after the patriarch, played by Jerry Adler, dies in an early scene. David’s character, Norman, has a loving but frustrated wife (Rita Wilson), an arrogant lawyer brother (Ben Shenkman, who was terrific), a housekeeper with a family secret she finally spills (Rosie Perez, also great), and a host of other aunts, uncles and relatives.

It’s really well-written, Shenkman and the supporting cast were all great, and I enjoyed myself. But I couldn’t help thinking me and the rest of the audience got tricked into spending over a hundred bucks to see a two-hour “Curb” movie.


**Next up today, an extraordinary piece of writing from a woman named Seyward  Darby, who was a passenger on Amtrak train 188 that crashed and killed eight people last week near Philadelphia.

Darby writes in this Washington Post piece about her lifelong debilitating worry that those she loves are about to die, and how having a near-death experience herself made her see her worries in a whole new light.

Really, this is a sensational, wrenching piece that deserves to be read. Truly great work.


**Finally today, I have long been a big fan of Southwest Airlines. For the 5-plus years I lived in Daytona Beach, I was on the Orlando-Long Island flight at least 6-7 times per year, and always found Southwest to be on time, with friendly (and often really funny) pilots and flight attendants, and reasonably priced. I recommended Southwest to all.

But after the story I just read about this weekend, man, I don’t know if I can feel good about this company anymore. Did you hear about this?

A Wisconsin woman named Karen Momsen-Evers was onboard a flight about to take off from New Orleans back to Milwaukee on April 3 when she got a text from her husband:

“Karen, please forgive me for what I am about to do, I am going to kill myself…,” Andy Evers’ text read.

Naturally panicked, she immediately tried to call Andy and had her phone slapped out of her hand by a flight attendant, who told her to put the phone away.
When Karen explained what was going on, the flight attendant cited FAA regulations, even as Karen told her the whole story. She said she then begged the flight attendant to have the pilor or someone in the cockpit radio the authorities in Milwaukee, to do something to help Andy Evers.

Even after the flight reached cruising altitude, Evers was prevented from making a call, and a different flight attendant said she couldn’t disturb the pilot with this information.

When Karen landed, she called the police, who then found Andy Evers dead at the family home.

I mean … come ON! The woman gets a text from her husband threatening suicide, and the Southwest personnel can’t even do one thing to help this poor woman?
Just deplorable. Southwest’s statement in response to this is as tone-deaf as it gets: “our hearts go out to the Evers family during this difficult time. Flight attendants are trained to notify the Captain if there is an emergency that poses a hazard to the aircraft or to the passengers onboard. In this situation, the pilots were not notified.”

Just awful. There ought to be some serious discipline handed out to those flight attendants, and as this story gets more and more traction in the media, Southwest should rightfully get more and more scrutiny.