Larry Charles (born February 20, 1956) is an American writer, director, and producer. He is best known as a staff writer for the American sitcom Seinfeld for its first 5 seasons, contributing some of the show's darkest and most absurd storylines. He has also directed the films Borat, Religulous, Brüno, and The Dictator.
Born in Brooklyn to a Jewish family, Charles performed stand-up comedy in the 1970s until he was hired to write for the short-lived sketch comedy show Fridays (where he worked with Larry David, who would later give him a job as a writer on Seinfeld and director on Curb Your Enthusiasm). This began a career in television writing which included The Arsenio Hall Show and eventually Seinfeld.
Although series co-creators Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld wrote the bulk of the show's episodes during the first five seasons, Charles was their second in command during this period. Charles had met Seinfeld co-creator Larry David when he was part of the writing staff of the ABC sketch show Fridays, on which David and Michael Richards were also part of the show's ensemble cast. Charles had been unable to write for the show's first season, as he had been writing for The Arsenio Hall Show during its production.