Cheryl Hines was at a New Year’s Eve party where the guests “were cool but a little pretentious and drinking champagne,” says her fiancé, Paul Young. It was too much for her. Sneaking a peek into their hosts’ fridge, she saw a bottle of beer, dumped her bubbly, refilled her glass with the brewski and calmly rejoined the others.
It’s the sort of stunt that Hines’s TV husband, Larry David, might pull on Curb Your Enthusiasm, the hit HBO sitcom in which David (playing himself) routinely mortifies his level-headed spouse with his social gaffes. “I can now understand being married to someone who drives you crazy,” says the never-wed Hines, 37. She’ll tie the knot Dec. 30 with Young, 33, who is the board chairman of the L.A. improv group the Groundlings, where Hines began to hone her comic skills five years ago. “Paul is sweet and supportive, the polar opposite of Larry,” she says teasingly. David agrees: “I love that you can’t offend her. I’ve tried. No matter what you say, she laughs it off.”
Nothing seems to faze the Tallahassee, Fla., native, who tended bar in L.A. between guest shots on ’90s series from Swamp Thing to Suddenly Susan. Curb, which started in 2000, is “like summer camp,” she says. Still, Hines has one big worry: Singing karaoke at her wedding reception. “I sing so horribly,” she says. “And I don’t think Paul wants to hear me do ‘Fever’ one more time.”