Funny Business: Jeff Garlin Talks THE GOLDBERG, 80’s Fashion and Larry David

the gold bergs cast
By: Victoria Nelli

Energetic, compassionate, funny, and loud! Words that describe Murray Goldberg on ABC’s breakout hit, THE GOLDBERGS. After speaking with Jeff Garlin, it was very clear to see that much like Murray, Garlin is very energetic, compassionate, funny, and loud! (Also, very understanding of a nervous interviewer)

I spoke with Garlin about his role as the couch selling, underwear doting, family man, what it was like working with Annie Mumolo on this week’s episode, and adapting to a show set in the 80’s.

Garlin comes from a background at the famous Chicago based improv school Second City, while Wendi McClendon-Covey (Beverly Goldberg) and Annie Mumolo (Betsy Rubenstone) come from The Groundlings in L.A. When asked if any of the episode was improvised his response surprised me, “no, I mean there’s a little. Really not much improvising on the show.” The writing on the show is extremely witty, and very much captures the essence of the 80s, this episode in particular “The Other Smother” was written by Stacey Harmon.

Another hit show about Family on ABC is the Emmy winning powerhouse MODERN FAMILY, we asked Garlin if he though a move was in the near future for THE GOLDBERGS to be on the same night lineup as MODERN FAMILY. He responded with “My guess is that ABC is going to move MODERN FAMILY to 9:30 on Tuesdays to follow us” he joked. We hope to see that soon, all of our favorite shows all in one night!

Playing a role is difficult as it is, but portraying someone that already exists is extremely challenging. “It makes it harder, because you don’t want to be imitating somebody, you want to just bring what you bring to it, I just want to learn my lines and do the part.” You don’t want to be unoriginal but at the same time you only have so many things that you can change about the person without making the person a completely different character all together.

With Bev’s dad Pop’s (George Segal) being a staple on the show we asked Garlin whom his dream GOLDBERG parents would be “I haven’t given it much thought, I just do the show I don’t think about any of that”

Fringe, shoulder pads, and neon colors, the 80’s had a fashion all it’s own. We don’t blame Garlin for disliking the 80’s fashions him and his costars and him rock on a daily basis. “The only thing I don’t like are the 80’s clothes, so the wardrobe is kind of a downer” (Even though he hates the 80’s clothes, he had nothing but wonderful things to say about the wardrobe team at the show)

Garlin appeared as Jeff Greene on Larry David’s CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM for many seasons. When asked what he took away from that experience, and what he implements in his acting on THE GOLDBERGS he said “the only lesson that I have is I work really, really, really hard to make sure that everything that I do is good, I care about what happens in the scene, I don’t just do anything. The writing is so good on THE GOLDBERGS that kind of makes it easy.”

Garlin gave us a quick look at this weeks episode of THE GOLDBERGS as well as Mumolo’s part in the episode, “primarily my wife (Wendi McClendon-Covey) challenges another wife (Annie Mumolo) to see who is the better mother. And I get into a fight with a guy at a video store, which is pretty easy to do.” On working with Mumolo he had only wonderful things to say, he gushed, “she is hysterical she is really funny, she’s really cool too.”

You can watch “The Other Smother” episode of THE GOLDBERGS Tuesday, January 14th on ABC. And for more information on THE GOLDBERGS visit

Victoria Nelli loves TV so much that she is paying $30,000 a year to learn about it in College. When she’s not learning about TV she enjoys writing about her favorite shows, interviewing anyone in the industry that will let her, and ranting about how underrated Parks and Recreation is. She is very much aware of her Netflix addiction, and no she will not be seeking help anytime soon. You can follow her on Twitter @VictoriaNelli