01x11 - Kara-Te

(Adult Adam) In the '80s, a defining moment for every teenage boy was seeing "The Karate Kid."

It kicked and punched and swept the leg of our hearts.

No one loved it more than my brother Barry.

(Gong resounds)


Come at me!

High block! Cobra strike! (Panting)

Fake left, go right! Ninja roll!

(Kicks table)

Ahh! It's okay. I'm okay.

Now throw a chop!

(Karate yell)

I block that chop! I retaliate! High kick! Fist of fury!

(Rhythmic panting) Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!

Death blow!


Hmm, you know, I was thinking...

It might be better if you didn't call out your moves first.

That's a great idea.

Sneak attack!


Sure, my big bro had an inflated sense of skill, but in my house, my mother was the one who did the inflating.

She wore something we called "Mom Goggles."

They made everything we did not just good, but spectacular.

Oh, look at you, my little kung fu master!

(Adam groaning) Aah!

It's not kung fu. Stop!

I do kara-te.

Bilingual and dangerous?

Oh, you are just off-the-charts amazing, honey.



Most kids ignore their mom's high praise, but Barry wasn't most kids.

He really believed the hype.

Unfortunately, that confidence did not translate to his moves with the ladies.



Locker strike! Hyah!

Ow! Oh...

Are you okay?

I'm fine. My hands are like rocks.

But they're soft, too. And gentle.

Like baby ducks.


(Man) All right, kids! That time of year again.

Holiday talent show. (Laughs) Eh?


Oh, my God, I love the talent show.

Oh, do ya now?

Do ya now?


(Chuckles) You're great. See ya later.

Barry had a plan in motion, and that night, he put it into action.

Good evening.

Glad you could all make it tonight.

What... what is this?

Big announcement.

I've decided to do a kara-te routine at the school talent show.

Auditions are tomorrow.

Now I don't wanna make too big a deal out of this, but I do believe it will be the greatest moment in the history of everything.

Oh, my goodness! What a wonderful idea!

Murray, isn't this a wonderful idea?

If I say yes, can I be out of the conversation?

What about you, Erica?

You should absolutely do this talent thing.

I've heard you singing Pat Benetton in the shower.

Don't worry, guys. I'll be at the talent show... In the front row.

'Cause my friends and I always go for a good laugh.

Go ahead! Bring all your hot friends. I'll wow 'em with my moves.

Now, Adam, chuck a dinner roll at my face.

Watch me deflect it. Come on.

No. No. Not like that. Gentle.

And don't hit me in the face if you can...

No... What are doing?!


Let me get ready, okay? Come on.

(Murray) Stop it!


(Beverly) Yes!

What the hell?

Like lightning! I'm like lightning!

I knew you could do it! I knew you could do it!

♪ (I Fight Dragons) ♪

Season 1, Episode 11 "Kara-te"

♪ I don't know the future, but the past keeps getting clearer every day ♪

It was December 9th, 1980-something, and Barry's holiday cheer was nowhere in sight.

(Vacuum whirring loudly)

(Shouting inaudibly)

(Turns off vacuum)

What's the point of anything?!

Whoa, whoa. Slow down. What's wrong?

I didn't get into the talent show.

I don't understand.

They rejected me.

That literally makes no sense.

Everyone who auditioned got in but me.

I hear what you're saying, but I cannot wrap my mind around that.

Mr. Glascott said my routine was too inappropriate.

How is being a perfect kara-te angel inappropriate?

Barry! Okay, I have been thinking.

Your kara-te routine... It needs a professional director.

That's me! A big idea guy.

Plus, I've seen a million karate movies.

Are you crying?

(Voice breaks) No.

(Gasps) No! They're warrior's tears, and it doesn't matter!

The school said no! I'll never cobra strike again!

(Crying) Uhh! This isn't fair!

At that moment, there was only one thing running through my mom's mind.

(Door slams)

No one tells my baby he can't cobra strike.


Mr. Glascott! I need to speak to you immediately.

Oh, I'm sorry. I have an important morning meeting with the kids from the math club.

The nerds can wait. My son... Barry Goldberg... cannot.

Are you... Beverly Goldberg?

Oh, yes, I am.

Tell me, what kind of educator stomps on the dreams of his students?

Look, Barry's a good kid, which is kinda why I discouraged him from taking part in the show.

See, some of the more high-profile students here can be very critical, if you follow me.

I really don't.

The popular kids here are real douche-sacks.

Last year, one kid did a lovely ventriloquist act.

The kids... well, they did unspeakable things to that doll after the show.

Quite frankly, it was very jarring.

And Barry's karate is really ripe for that type of ridicule.

Uh, this is high school, not "Star Search."

(Chuckling) I mean, who died and made you Ed McMahon?

Mr. Johansson. Our gym teacher. He died.

Yeah, it doesn't matter. Barry is doing that show.

I will go to the top on this.

I'll petition the principal, the school board, the superintendent, the mayor's office, the U.S. Secretary of Education, if I have to.

So what's it gonna be, Andre?

You know my name.

I know everything.

I got into the talent show!

(Gasps) That's good news, and very surprising to me.

Mr. Glascott said the tri-state talent show committee met and ruled that kara-te is an art form.

Wow, the tri-state talent show committee met.

You know, that's almost unbelievable!

Well, it happened, so let's just move on.

Oh, man, we're back in business! Let's get to work!

I'll go get my nunchucks and firecrackers.

No firecrackers!

So... you threatened a teacher?

Please. I just gently suggested that he do what I say, or there'd be dire consequences.

Why is it you go trotting down to the school and yell at somebody every time one of our kids doesn't get their way?

I'm involved. That's a good thing.

You are out of control!

I had no choice, Murray.

Have you even seen Barry do kara-te?

It's like a beautiful ballet, but with punching and grunting and rolling around.

He quit after eight lessons because he didn't want to bike the six blocks to get there.

It hardly makes him Chuck Norris.

Oh, really?

Barry, get in here.


Your father would like a sneak peek of your routine before the big show.

Adam, get the firecrackers.

No fire-crackers!

No fire-crackers.

("The Touch" by Stan Bush playing)


♪ You got the touch

Dragon stance! Kee-ya! ♪ - You got the power

Tiger claw! Hyah!

Sumo tomahawk chop!


Assistant. Present weaponry.




That's okay. I'm okay.

Bo staff! Hyah!

(Thuds) Sorry.

♪ After all is said and done


(Broom clatters)

And now... The most deadly weapon of 'em all... my hands.



Oh, no! A robber!

Don't worry, Kelly Lebrock, I'll save you!

(Exhaling) No... oh... Don't! Ow!

You're not supposed to hit me. Disarm! Adam!

(Lowered voice) Jeez, you're supposed to disarm.

You're supposed to let go!


He has been disarmed!

And now... The big finish.

♪ You got the touch



(Fading) ♪ You got the power

(distorted growl)


(Distorted roaring)

Aah! Damn!

♪ you got the touch

That'll break during the show. (Turns off music)

That was the greatest thing my eyeballs have ever, ever seen!

Do you want me to go again?

(Laughing) Yes!

We're going again!

Yes! (Murray groans)

Turns out, not everyone had mom goggles.

Do it again! Do it again!

The talent show was the furthest thing from Erica's mind, but pops was hoping to change that. (Knock on door)

Hey, kiddo, mind if I sit down?

I know what you're gonna say, and I'm not doing the talent show.

That's not why I'm here. I came to...

Borrow this magazine.

"Eight ways to catch a hunk." What is this garbage?

But since you brought it up...

Pops, forget it!

Doing the talent show is social suicide.

I might as well go up on stage with a sign that says, "I have lice."

That doesn't sound like much of an act.

Come on, you have an amazing voice, a-and you're terrific on the guitar.

You got to play the guitar.

Can't. Sold it.

What?! You loved that guitar.

And now I love my leather jacket.

That is very angering.

Look, I appreciate you believing in me and all that crap, but there's no chance I'm gonna do the talent show.

Oh, there's a chance, 'cause I'm gonna get you to do it.

Uh, not gonna happen!

We'll see!

Waste of time!

Can't hear you...!

(Rhythmic exhaling)

Good morning, Bar. Nice karate pajamas.

It's called a gi.

You need to educate yourself, man. See more movies.

Listen, I know your mom loves this whole Hong Kong-fooey act, but...

Haven't you considered doing something else?

Why would I ever do that?

Because you're Barry Goldberg, a man of many different talents.

It's true. I am great at a lot of stuff.

Skateboarding, rapping, break-dancing.

A little...

Pop-and-lock action.

Why are we even having this conversation?

I'm doing kara-te. The committee ruled in my favor.

Barry, you can't do this act. I speak from experience.

What are you talking about?

When I was your age, I was the funniest guy on the football team.

Funny? Since when are you funny?

I'm plenty funny, okay?

I was hilarious.

I used to tell dirty jokes, I'd snap guys with a towel.

I gave everybody a nickname, like, uh, Pretty Boy and Shorty.

Those are terrible nicknames.

Shorty wasn't short.

As a matter of fact, he was a giant. Oh, my God. Had a gland problem.

Actually sad stuff.

What's the point to this?

The point is, the coach said, "Murray, you're a card."

"Why don't you host the pep rally?" So, I did.

I get up there, I realize I've only got one minute of material.

One minute!

I bombed in front of the whole school.

They threw peaches at me.

Why'd they have peaches?

I don't know! They weren't even in season!

All I know is, I don't want you to go through what I went through.

Please don't do your act. I'm begging you!

So you think I'm gonna suck?

No, son.

I know you're going to suck.

Well, I got news for you.

The audience won't throw peaches.

They'll throw flowers. And cheers! And boobs!

Naked boobs! Everywhere! Just you watch. Watch!

Boobs! Naked!

In that moment, my dad realized he only had one way to protect Barry.

He was gonna stand up for his son by standing in his way.

Mr. Glascott...?

We need to talk.

(Door closes)

I'm out again!


Mr. Glascott said the national talent show committee overruled the tri-state talent show committee.

Well, this is very surprising and unacceptable, but they have made their ruling, and I believe we should honor it.

The talent show committee system in this country's broken!


National committee, huh?

Well, it's more powerful than the tri-state committee.

What can I say?

This is unbelievable.

You trotted down to that school after being so judgy with me about it?

Hey, I'm just being an involved parent. You told me that was a good thing.

Not when you do it. You got your own son kicked out of a talent show. Who does that?

Look, I'm doing the kid a favor by not wearing mom goggles all the time.

"Mom what"?

Goggles! We all know you wear 'em!

It makes you think our kids are so brilliant and perfect and poop rainbows.

For once, just take those mom goggles off and admit that our wonderful children are terrible at so many different things.

I will not.

They're gonna have plenty of people trying to tear them down in life, so while they're under my roof, the least I can do is try to build them up.

Accept our children's mediocrity!

It's freeing!

Seriously? I'm right here!

Oh, not... not you. You're fantastic.

Yeah, you're a real gem yourself.

As the talent show drew near, pops thought it was time to pull out his secret weapon.

(Banjo strumming)

(Pops vocalizing)

(Continues vocalizing, stops)

Hello. I... I didn't realize you were here.

Me, I'm just sitting here, relaxing, strumming the old banjo.

You're wasting your strums.

Am I? Or is it time to do that duet we used to do?

(Resumes strumming)

♪ Won't you come home, Bill Bailey? ♪

(Sings indistinctly) Pops. Pops!

I'm not doing the talent show.

Come on! Do this show!

You can even borrow my banjo.

Don't take this the wrong way, but toting a banjo up on stage isn't exactly what you'd call cool.

Since when is the banjo not cool?

Since the invention of the banjo...?

Erica, when you were younger, you used to do everything...

Volleyball, gymnastics, school chorus.

What happened to you?

Well, I go to high school, where people judge you.


Well, if you don't think the banjo's cool, I can always break out the accordion.

Turns out pops wasn't the only one still trying to get a Goldberg into the talent show.


Or out of the talent show.

(Man) Get out of the way, idiot! (Tires screech, horn honks)

What are you doing here?

Stopping you from doing what you're doing!

The only thing I'm here to do is...

Fake left, go right.

(Pops) But isn't it your responsibility to encourage talented students...


Oh, hey. I-I was just talking to Mr. Glascott here about putting Erica into the talent show.

I can't take this anymore. You want your kids in, they're in.

Oh, great! Which one? (Gasps)

I don't know. Both of them? None of them?

I really don't care! I mean, it's a stupid freakin' high school talent show!

I had one moment of weakness where I tried to do something kind for your son.

I apologize!

All I care about now is that I owe 20 grand in student loans, I live in a studio apartment above a steaming hot dry cleaner, and I have a second job where I work as a pizza man, and occasionally I get to deliver pizzas to my students.

Oh, also I have a parrot that I can't get rid of.

They live for 80 years. Did you know that?

Nobody tells you about that. You have to put them in your will!

It's a nightmare!

So, yeah, do whatever you wanna do, 'cause I really don't care!

That made me hungry for pizza. Who wants pizza?

All right, we've gathered you here because we've got some great news.

There's been some movement on the talent show.

Again? This has been an emotional roller coaster.

Turns out Barry can do the show!

Or not, if you don't want to.

What are you talking about? The national talent show committee already ruled.

It's binding.

Actually, um...

We're the committees.


Your mother took it upon herself to trot on down to the high school and yell at Mr. Glascott when you didn't get into the talent show.


Your father trotted, too.

At least I was trying to get him into the show.

Unbelievable! Why is anyone trotting anywhere?!

The silver lining? Erica's in the show, too.

Excuse me?

I talked to Mr. Glascott. Troubled man.

But I told him all about you.

Well, you can tell him something else. I'm not doing that show.

Me, too! 'Cause mom meddled, I'm not doing that show anymore!


(Exhales sharply)

And 'cause dad doesn't believe in me, I'm gonna prove you wrong, and I'm gonna do the show.

Wait. Wh-which one is it?

I don't know!

I'm just so angry at both of you.

(Whispers) I really think you should do it.

All right. I spoke with Adam.

This thing matters a lot to a lot of people.

I'm back in.

The talent show was back on, and so was my directorial debut!

(Dance music playing)

It was only the opening act of the William Penn Academy holiday talent show, and Barry was already getting cold feet.

Wow. They're really good.

It's gonna be a tough act to follow.

What are you worried about? You got a black belt.

That I took from dad's bathrobe!

(Music ends)

(Cheers and applause)

Dorks! (Laughter)

In that moment, Barry realized the reason why Lexy Bloom loved the talent show.

Like the rest of the cool crowd, she could bag on all the idiots on stage.

I can't go out there!


I can't do it! Dad was right. I'm gonna humiliate myself.

They're gonna throw peaches at me!

Peaches? Who has peaches? What are you talking about?

I can't do it!


Despite pops' best efforts, Erica decided to not even go to the talent show.

But our grandfather had one more card to play.

(Cheers and applause)

(Man, amplified voice)

And that was our second-to-last act, Ellen McRae juggling!

All right, karate kid, you're up next.

I can't go out there.

What are you talking about? You're our closer. We gotta have a closer.

Or I could just end it.

Well, I'm out.

I'm in.

My grandfather said you might have a spot open for me.

Well, seeing as I don't care at all, yes.

(Indistinct conversations)

One of the Goldbergs.

(Amplifier hums, scattered applause)

(Amplified voice) So, um...

This is a song I sing in the shower.

(Scattered giggling)

(Erica exhales)

Just get it over with, I guess.

(Strums lightly)

♪ Oh, you're a real tough cookie with the long history ♪
♪ Of breakin' little hearts like the one in me ♪
♪ That's okay, let's see how you do it ♪
♪ Put up your Dukes, let's get down to it ♪
♪ Hit me with your best shot ♪
♪ Why don't you hit me with your best shot? ♪

(Rhythmic clapping)

♪ Oh, hit me with your best shot ♪ (Cheering)

♪ Fire away ♪

(cheering continues)

♪ You come on with your "come on" ♪
♪ You don't fight fair ♪
♪ But that's okay, just see if I care ♪
♪ Knock me down, it's all in vain ♪ (Speaks inaudibly)

♪ I'll get back up on my feet again ♪
♪ Hit me with your best shot ♪

(Boy and girl) Yeah!

♪ Why don't you hit me with your best shot? ♪
♪ Oh, hit me with your best shot ♪
♪ Fire away I'm back in!

Still don't care.

♪ You're a real tough cookie with the long history ♪ (Rhythmic exhaling)


♪ Of breakin' little hearts ♪
♪ like the one in me ♪

(grunting and exhaling) ♪ That's okay, let's see how you do it ♪
♪ Put up your Dukes, let's get down to it ♪
♪ Hit me with your best shot ♪

(Screams indistinctly)

Sneak attack!

♪ Why don't you hit me with your best shot? ♪


♪ Hit me with your best shot ♪
♪ Fire away ♪

(laughing) My babies!


♪ Hit me with your best shot ♪

(Grunts loudly)

♪ Why don't you hit me ♪
♪ With your best shot? (Crowd gasps)

♪ Hit me with your best shot ♪

You can do it, baby!

♪ Fire away...!


(Erica holds note)

Pops was right. Erica had nothing to be embarrassed about.

In fact, in that moment, it felt damn good to be a Goldberg.

I have the most talented kids in the world!

More talented than yours! More talented than yours!

Calm down. Calm down.

Oh, my God!

Especially for my dad, who put on the mom goggles for the first time in his life.

Yeah! Yeah...

Thank you, guys.

And as for me, I did what any good director would do...

I made my star look good. (Snaps)


I switched Barry's board for balsa wood.

(Rhythmic exhaling)


Huh! Hyah! (Grunting)

Ha! Huh! Ha! Ha!

Okay, mom. Next talent show's only a year away.

Can't start preparing too early! Show me what you got.

I wrote a smooth soul jam.

You ready?

♪ Girl ♪
♪ I want to get with you ♪


♪ Big tasty wants to get with you-u ♪
♪ You got to, mmm, back it up ♪
♪ Mmm, back it up, uh, uh, uhh.


I'm sorry, was that Barry Goldberg, or Barry Manilow?

'Cause I can't tell the difference!

(Doorbell rings)


(Sighs) Crap.