This weekend's Saturday Night Live promised us the return of Curb Your Enthusiasm star Larry David and delivered us David it did. The legendary mashugana resumed his role as Bernie Sanders (as a contestant on Price is Right), made a sketch about awkward PSA ads even more awkward, and through Kyle Mooney's bizarre, nostalgic lens, treated viewers to what Curb might look like if it was an awful sitcom from the early '90s. The whole package was one of the better episodes of Season 43 so far.
But one joke, dropped during his stand-up-esque monologue, proved to polarize viewers. In the 10-minute opening, David mused on a number of topics, including Quasimodo's dating life and the recent string of sexual abuse scandals. ("I couldn't help but notice… but many of them... are Jews" he said with great dismay). It was when the comedian segued into what some have considered to be a taboo topic, even for a show like Saturday Night Live, when red flags went up across the country.
"I’ve always, always, been obsessed with women, and I’ve often wondered: If I’d grown up in Poland when Hitler came to power and was sent to a concentration camp, would I still be checking out women in the camp?" The answer launched David into a bit imagining what it might look like if he did try to mix and mingle under horrific settings.
In studio, the reactions to the joke were an audible mix of chuckles and gasps, which echoed through the halls of social media.
"He managed to be offensive, insensitive and unfunny all at same time," wrote Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League. "Quite a feat."