'The Goldbergs' Continues The Trend Of TV Dads Being Real-Life Trash
The producers of The Goldbergs have made a dramatic two-part announcement: 1) The Goldbergs is somehow still not canceled, and 2) Jeff Garlin, who played the patriarch of the Goldberg family, is, in more than one sense. Garlin's character has officially been killed off in the upcoming tenth (?!) season and as great as Garlin might be in Curb Your Enthusiasm and other shows not called The Goldbergs, this is probably for the best for all involved. For one thing, it means the show won't have to continue using the CGI nightmare demon version of Garlin that replaced his character after he left the show partway through the previous season amid workplace misconduct allegations.
Seriously, the one up there on the thumbnail is just straight-up a demonic entity using some sort of reality-bending spell to go undetected by the other characters. We're guessing the next season will start with the Goldbergs thanking the Ghostbusters for vanishing it back to the demon realm.
Garlin himself probably isn't too broken up about being killed off, considering that he spent his stand-up shows trashing The Goldberg right before "mutually agreeing" to depart. While the exact details of Garlin's alleged misconduct aren't known, based on his own stand-up, his fondness for randomly spouting the names of certain body parts on the set was a factor. In his 2019 Netflix special, Garlin said that one of his favorite on-set jokes was that every time he got up from his reclining chair, he'd say, "Ah, my vagina. Ah, achy vagina. Ah, my vagina's killing me." Elsewhere, he talked about how he likes to "put two words together that don't belong together like 'grandma' and 'c*ck.'" This made other cast members so uncomfortable that Garlin was called into HR over the vagina situation, which he says led to this exchange:
"I get called in, and they go, 'Look, you can’t do this.' And I go, 'Oh yes, I can.' They go, 'You might get fired.' I go, 'I'd love to be fired and have it hit the papers: Cover of TMZ: 'Jeff Garlin Fired Because His Vagina Hurts.'"
But, in a way, Garlin's inappropriateness is oddly appropriate. The Goldbergs was always pitched as an old-school-type sitcom, and what's more old school than a TV dad being played by someone who sucks behind the scenes? That's a tradition that stretches at least as far back as The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952-1966), starring Ozzie Nelson as the laid-back and loving dad who was a raging tyrant to his sons/co-stars behind the scenes. Or The Cosby Show, starring "America's dad," who turned out to be more like "America's perverted uncle we don't talk about anymore."
And, of course, this wouldn't be Cracked.com if we didn't once again remind you that Tim Allen of Home Improvement (and Santa Clause and Toy Story) fame went to jail for trafficking cocaine and got out early by snitching on his friends.
Remember the dad from Growing Pains, the show that gave us Leonardo DiCaprio (but also Kirk Cameron)? Dude was dating actress Kristy Swanson when she was 17 and he was 40. Which is creepy, but obviously not on the same level as Stephen Collins, the wholesome preacher dad from 7th Heaven, whose career ended when he admitted he abused an underage girl and exposed himself to two others. It's almost like the more the TV dad is supposed to be a moral standard, the more awful the actors are behind the scenes. At the other end of the spectrum, you have guys like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Frank Reynolds, possibly the worst father figure in the history of sitcoms ...
... who is played by national treasure Danny DeVito. Or Malcolm in the Middle's inept Hal, played absolute sweetheart Bryan Cranston. Or Everybody Hates Chris' Terry Crews, who puts his foot in his mouth every once in a while but seems like a swell guy. Or Arrested Development's Jeffrey Tambor who-- okay, uhhh, that one's a bad example.
Anyway, we can't wait for the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode where Garlin complains about hating his job, and Larry David is like, "Just say vagina. Say vagina all day, you'll be out in no time."
Thumbnail: Sony Pictures Television, Carsey-Werner Distribution