Larry David Calls Himself an 'Idiot' for Doing Infamous FTX Super Bowl Ad

Sam Bankman-Fried's cryptocurrency exchange infamously collapsed months after the commercial.

AccessTimeIconFeb 1, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 8:52 p.m. UTC

Comedian Larry David was self-deprecating when asked this week about his infamous Super Bowl commercial for Sam Bankman-Fried's cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which collapsed months after the ad.

"I asked people, friends of mine who were well-versed in this stuff, 'Should I do this ad?'" he told the Associated Press in an interview this week. "They said, 'Yeah, this is totally on the up and up,' ... So, like an idiot, I did it."

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  • In the commercial, David portrayed characters belittling various innovations throughout history.

    "I call it the wheel," he's told as the commercial begins. "Eh, I don't think so," David replies. He then disparages the fork, toilet, coffee and other things, ending with Bankman-Fried's crypto exchange.

    An actor tells him, "Like I was saying, it's FTX. It's a safe and easy way to get into crypto." David responds: "Eh, I don't think so, and I'm never wrong about this stuff. Never."

    Then the text, "DON'T BE LIKE LARRY," is displayed on screen.

    It turned out the sarcastic version of David was on to something. FTX collapsed spectacularly months later, and Bankman-Fried was convicted in November 2023 of stealing billions of dollars from customers.

    FTX users were mostly unable to withdraw their money from FTX as it was falling apart in November 2022, and its bankruptcy filing nine days after a CoinDesk scoop triggered this chain of events further froze funds.

    This week, though, it was revealed that the FTX bankruptcy estate expects to fully repay customers.

    How David will fare is unclear. "Part of my salary was in crypto, so I lost a lot of money," he told the AP.

    Edited by Aoyon Ashraf.

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    Nick Baker

    Nick Baker is CoinDesk’s deputy editor-in-chief and a Loeb Award winner. His crypto holdings are below CoinDesk's $1,000 disclosure threshold.