Jeff Garlin in his underwear.
If you witnessed the series premiere of The Goldbergs last week, the image probably is burned into your brain.
"In that era I wore tighty whiteys," reveals Garlin, referring to the fact that The Goldbergs - which airs Tuesdays on ABC and CTV - is set in the 1980s. "Now I'm all boxer-brief.
"But when I do get into my home, my pants are off within two minutes."
Just like his character.
The Goldbergs is written and executive-produced by Adam F. Goldberg, who was a little kid in the 1980s, running around with a videocamera and driving his already bonkers family even more bonkers.
Goldberg's surviving videotapes are the foundation of the sitcom, which stars Garlin as dad Murray, Wendi McLendon-Covey as mom Beverly, Hayley Orrantia as 17-year-old daughter Erica, Troy Gentile as 16-year-old son Barry, and Sean Giambrone as the young Adam himself. Rounding out the cast is George Segal as a busybody grandpa known as Pops.
In the episode airing Tuesday, Murray is irked that Erica is less than enthusiastic about continuing a daddy-daughter tradition, while Beverly takes Adam shopping for new school clothes.
"I've seen a lot of Adam's videos, yes, and they're quite enjoyable," says Garlin, who is best known to TV audiences for his role as Larry David's buddy Jeff Greene in Curb Your Enthusiasm. "I already was sold on (The Goldbergs) before I saw (the videos). But once I saw them, I thought, 'Wow, this is going to be great.' "
When someone asks Garlin if he has met Goldberg's real dad, Garlin replies, "His dad's dead, so if I did, it was in a dream, and he came to me as an apparition. Adam has been very pleased because I remind him of his dad. But I made no choices based on that, having seen the family stuff (videos)."
Filming The Goldbergs certainly is a different experience for Garlin than filming Curb Your Enthusiasm.
"As an actor on Curb, I don't lose it (laughing at inappropriate times and ruining scenes), Larry loses it," Garlin says. "I stay focused, I'm pretty good. Every once in a while I'll lose it, like the episode where Larry lost his pants and he was wearing ladies' red underwear. Seeing Larry David in ladies' red underwear, I was not prepared for that, even though I knew it was coming. I laughed for, like, 20 minutes.
"Curb Your Enthusiasm is, I'd say, 98% improvised," Garlin says. "(The Goldbergs) is 98% scripted, maybe even 99%. But it's so well written, I'm not even worried about it.
"If I have an idea, I do it, I either surprise them or I say, 'I've got something.' And they used a few of mine in the pilot."
Was the underwear bit yours? Inspired by Larry David, maybe?
"I just made sure it fit," says Garlin, referring to the tighty whiteys.
Thanks, Jeff. On behalf of TV audiences everywhere, a heartfelt thanks.