‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ billboard is obscenely defaced in real life, just as it was on the show

Life imitates art, as rogue art collective scrawls penises on the Susie Essman ad at Centinela Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard

Published On
Mar 18, 2024
Susie Essman modeling a caftan outfit on a billboard for Curb Your Enthusiasm

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The current (and final) season of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” has been typically over-the-top, and that includes an advertising-themed side plot in Episode 6, which has led to some real-world shenanigans.

Mild spoilers below...

In Episode 6, Susie Greene (played by Susie Essman) starts an apparel business called Catch as Caftan, and puts up a billboard of herself modeling one of the colorful robes. Later in the episode, though, the billboard gets defaced by some obscene graffiti—first one, then two penises show up on the ad (to the delight of Larry David and Susie’s in-show husband, Jeff Greene).

Last Monday, the day after the episode aired, HBO put up the same billboard in real life (without the graffiti, obviously), at the corner of Centinela Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles. It pointed to CatchAsCaftan.com, which redirected fans to the HBO Shop, where they could buy an exclusive caftan inspired by Susie’s collection.

Later in the week, though, life imitated art a bit more pointedly, as the real-life billboard was also defaced—in almost the exact same way as the one in the show.

HBO billboard with penises scrawled on it

An activist art collective called Indecline took credit for the graffiti, even posting a video of its members doing the actual defacing (see below). “Pretty … pretty … pretty good,” the collective wrote next to the Instagram video of the prank.

Sources told Ad Age that the Indecline graffiti was not part of HBO’s marketing plan.

Indecline’s antics were a dream come true for “Curb” showrunner Jeff Schaffer, who had speculated earlier in the week about whether someone would actually tag the board for real.

“I don’t know how many graffiti artists are fans of the show, but I’m praying for a few dicks,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “If we’re lucky enough to get a few on that poster, I think the sales are going to go through the roof.”

HBO declined to comment on Monday.