These days, Rob Schneider is probably best known for his slide into a deluge of movies with ridiculous premises — a superhuman cop with animal parts, a women in a man’s body, a male gigolo, etc. But there was a time when the comedian was part of the SNL comedy elite. Now Netflix is drawing on his status as a wealthy has-been in a new self-financed comedy called Real Rob, which debuted a new trailer today.
In the two-minute compilation, Schneider does his best Larry David impression, clearly channeling the Seinfeld creator’s HBO smash hit, Curb Your Enthusiasm. And while there’s not much in the first few minutes that seems all that original, there is something rather unexpected at work here: it’s pretty damned funny.
The clips show Schneider playing his meta self, which includes awkward conversations with studio execs (“Is this something you have to star in?”), a conversation about his wife’s potential infidelity (only with Ryan Gosling), and cameos with his celebrity friends, including a chat with fellow former SNL cast member Norm MacDonald about vasectomies (the pre-shot hurts worse than the main shot).
It’s all a bit ridiculous, and it’s hard not to feel like you’re trapped in a Rob Schneider rip-off of a Curb script, but if anything could bring Schneider back into living rooms, a self-deprecating bit of vicarious Hollywood inside baseball seems like the winner. There’s even a moment where Schneider is ignored, and left to suffer with a battered face in a clinic by the great David Spade because his leg fell asleep — how’s that for self deprecation?
Schneider was at his best back in his SNL days when he was playing the weirdo, the loser, or the awkward copy guy. If the scripts for his new series are fresh enough, and viewers can get past the Larry Davidisms, Netflix just might have a hit on its hands in Real Rob.
We should find out soon enough, as Real Rob premieres on Netflix December 1.