Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Richard Lewis Reveals Devastating Health Diagnosis

Richard Lewis is retiring from stand-up comedy after being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.

By TeeJay Small | Published

richard lewis

Comedy legend Richard Lewis, who is best known for playing an exaggerated version of himself in the Larry David-led HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm, shared some shocking and devastating news with his fans on Twitter this week. According to a video update posted by the comedian, Richard Lewis has officially retired from stand-up comedy as he faces a number of health concerns including physical therapy for several intense surgeries, as well as a recent Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. Lewis has assured his fans that despite his retirement from stand-up, his current focus remains on writing and acting, as well as spending time at home with his beloved wife and dog.

Richard Lewis has brought audiences laughter for decades through his hilarious exchanges with long-time friend and collaborator Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm, as well as a number of other stand-up and on-screen appearances. The news of his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis is truly heartbreaking, though Lewis stressed in his video update that the disease has been progressing slowly, noting that developing the brain disorder at an old age is often less serious than getting diagnosed in one’s youth. Parkinson’s disease is often categorized by a series of uncontrollable movements including shakes and stiffness, eventually hindering the patient’s ability to walk and talk.

Notable figures with Parkinson’s disease include Alan Alda, Muhammad Ali, former United States President George H.W. Bush, and Back to the Future star Michael J. Fox. Michael J. Fox has long been an advocate for the advancement of research and cure efforts for Parkinson’s, bringing awareness to the disease and raising millions through his foundation. Fox even took a page out of Richard Lewis’ book by appearing as a comedically exaggerated version of himself in the now-famous season 8 finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm, titled “Larry Vs. Michael J. Fox.”

In the episode, Larry David engages in a comedic war of attrition and passive aggression with the Stuart Little actor after moving into an apartment downstairs from him. Michael J. Fox showed great affability by agreeing to take part in the episode, which tastefully pokes fun at his condition, by exploiting his shakes to frustrate Larry on purpose. With news of Richard Lewis’ recent diagnosis, perhaps Michael J. Fox will reprise his role on the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm to volley back and forth with the iconic comedian.

richard lewis

While delivering his state of affairs update, Richard Lewis also dropped the news that Curb Your Enthusiasm has just wrapped filming on its 12th season, meaning we’ll have a whole new slate of sardonic witticisms from the 75-year-old actor, likely poking fun at himself and the industry of comedy, as he often does during appearances on the series. According to Lewis’ IMDb page, he has starred in 41 episodes of the acclaimed HBO comedy over the course of more than 20 years. Though Richard Lewis’ diagnosis is tragic, the video seems to show him taking the news in tremendous spirits, counting his blessings, and looking forward to the future.