Larry David is the second half of the Seinfeld equation. Born 1947 in Brooklyn, New York, David became a stand-up comic in the 1980's when it was very en vogue and relatively lucrative. In stark contrast to Jerry Seinfeld, David's humor was extremely vindictive and self-deprecating, and thus was not a popular face on the comedy circuit. However, David's humor was appreciated by most of the comics who really "got" his edgy shtick, and when NBC approached Seinfeld to do develop a comedy pilot, Seinfeld thought of David.
David's only previous experience had been as a writer during the dark years of Saturday Night Live, and as an actor, on an irrelevant sketch show with Micheal Richards, and more prestigiously, a role in a Woody Allen movie. The best thing David brought to the table besides his humor was his clause that the show would be devoid of hugging and learning. It must be said that this is the downfall of the Friends, which is a definite derivative of Seinfeld.
It has been stated widely that George Costanza was based on Larry David himself, and this along with a strong Woody Allen influence, helped give Seinfeld that ruthless edge and commitment to dialogue which made it so great. David has admitted that he was once part of a bet like the one in the infamous episode, The Contest.
Without the mass appeal of Jerry Seinfeld's comedy, Seinfeld would not have existed, however the same must be said for Larry David, who brought to the show the impressive self-loathing that epitomized the 1990's, and made Seinfeld one of the best sitcoms ever. To his infinite credit, David quit working on the show in 1996 when he felt the show was past its prime.
Currently, David is writing and staring in an improvised HBO show entitled Curb Your Enthusiasm.