01x19 - The President's Fitness Test

(Whistle blows)


No hustle, no muscle!

Adult Adam: Gym class in the '80s --

The shorts were super-short, the exercises dumb, and the games were barbaric.

I know you're aiming for down there, Ryan, but it's not cool!

Teams weren't assigned, but handpicked with brutal honesty and no consideration of a fragile adolescent's feelings.

Oh, God. This is not gonna be easy.

I'm gonna have to go with small wonder over there.

You're going down, "Goldnerd."


After years of thinking I had suffered through every indignity gym class had to offer, turns out the worst was yet to come.

The presidential fitness test -- our great president, Ronald Reagan, along with the Predator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, care enough about you to demand physical excellence.

Technically, Arnold wasn't the Predator.

He was the prey.

Nobody cares, Goldfarb.

It's Goldberg.

It's literally written on my shirt.

Good for you. Now, why is this test important?

America needs warriors to fight the evils of communism.

Tomorrow, that battle begins with the seven basic exercises, which include the sit-and-reach, the mile run, and the pull-up.

What if you can't do a pull-up?

I'm asking hypothetically for a friend that couldn't make it today.

Name's Josh. You don't know him.

Well, if you are the kind of boy who is weak of will and spirit, you don't have to do it. [ Sighs ]

Instead, you will join the girls in the flexed arm hang.

Josh is not gonna like that.

The news was bleak.

I was definitely screwed.

I mean, Josh was screwed.

Honey, it's so late.

Why are you sitting alone in the dark?

Oh, no. What's the matter?


Poopie, something's wrong.

There's a storm inside you, and I'm not leaving till I see a little sunshine.

Why do you always say super-weird stuff like that?

Looks like someone needs a sugar shower.

[ Smooching ]

All right. All right!

[ Grunts ] Stop!

[ Laughs ]

If you must know, the presidential fitness test is tomorrow, and I'm gonna be the only guy doing the flexed arm hang with the girls.

Say no more.

Mama will never, ever let anything remotely uncomfortable happen to you.

I'll just write you a note and get you out of it.

For real?


Absolutely not.

Every kid in America has to take that test.

Well, w-what does that have to do with my Adam?

[ Chuckles ] It's a rite of passage.

You can't get out of a rite of passage with a note from your mom.

Fine! We get it. I won't write a note.

[ Sighs ]

I'll write you a note.


I'm gonna hug you so hard right now, I might break every bone in your body.

Oh. [ Laughs ] Oh, come on, Adam.

Don't be scared. You can hug me harder than that.

Okay. How does this feel?

[ Grunting ]

Mama will write you a note.

[ Chuckles ]

♪ I'm twisted up inside ♪
♪ but nonetheless I feel the need to say ♪
♪ I don't know the future ♪
♪ but the past keeps getting clearer every day ♪

it was April 8, 1980-something.

Before e-mail and Facetime, the way to keep in touch with somebody was by sending them an actual piece of paper with writing on it!

Are you kidding me? Where are your pants?

My pen pal will be here any minute.

Doesn't having a pen pal come to your house defeat the whole purpose of having a pen pal?

Fanny's just gonna be here for a few days.

You can suffer through by wearing bottoms.

And for the love of all that is holy, be nice to the girl.

Why wouldn't I be nice to her?!

We speak the same language.

[ Imitating speaking French ]

Mom, if he doesn't not wear his pants and stop speaking French gibberish, I will leave this house forever.

[ Angrily imitating French ]

Come on, ambassador.

Let's get you some pants.

That means nothing! [ Sighs ]

Whoa! What is this?

Why do you look like a bigger knob than usual?

'Cause I saw that pic of your sexually charged French friend, and I am not letting this amazing opportunity go to waste.

Oh, no.

Just because she's French doesn't mean she'll make out with you.

Albert: [ Scoffs ] I beg to differ, actually.

In my experience, the French demoiselle is very adventurous.

What's her name again?


Oh, that's a lay-up.

Score! Pops!

What? She's named after a butt.

That's a green light if I ever saw one.

Erica, I'm gonna need your help.

Here's a bunch of phrases I need translated into her native tongue so I can get a little of that native tongue.

"Girl, our countries have been at war too long.

Let's make peace and love together."


You know what? I will help you.


I can tell by that smile we're on the same page.

You're gonna mess with him, aren't you?

[ Scoffs ] Big time.

I don't know how he doesn't see that kind of thing coming by now.

It's very upsetting.

While Erica was scheming against Barry, my mom's scheme to get me out of gym class was in motion.

You have Osgood-"Shladder" disease?

Actually, it's pronounced "Schlotter," and there's an article attached.

My hamstrings and ligaments aren't keeping up with my bones.

I'm growing too fast.

You're growing too fast? Where?

I-it's all in the note.

You really expect me to believe your mother wrote this note?

Yes, 'cause she actually did.

Son, did you ever see the movie "Red Dawn"?

[ Scoffs ] A million times.

Do you love movies? 'Cause I love movies.

Let me ask you a question.

What are you gonna do when the russki invaders storm the suburbs of Philly?

Actually, I think they'd be more interested in coastal cities and financial centers.

You're gonna have to fight and use the skills you learned right here!

Even the pull-up?

Especially the pull-up.

You'll need your upper-arm strength to bash skulls.

I don't want to... bash skulls.

The kids in "Red Dawn" didn't want to, either, but they had to in order to survive.

So...Where are we with that note?

I just received an authentic, bona fide note from Mr. Goldfarb here saying that he is physically unable to complete the presidential fitness test.

So, I've decided to push the test one week until he gets better.

Until then, we'll be running laps.

[ Students groan ]

Mr. Goldfarb will stand here and watch.

Feel free to wish him a speedy recovery in your own way.

All right! Let's go!

Hoof it! Knees high!

[ Whistle blows ]

You're so dead, Goldnerd.

Totally get it.

[ Sighs ]

Hey, ow.

Oh, real nice, Lisa. Real nice.

Meanwhile, Erica's pen pal, Fanny, had arrived and was getting the grand tour of the Goldberg home.

[ Speaking French ]


[ Both laugh ]

[ Crunch ]

'Sup, Fanny?

Mi casa es su casa.

Hunk of your native bread?

Oh. Barree. Bonjour.


Oh, here.

Use these cards I translated for you.

Start with this one. It says, "welcome to our home.

It's really nice to have you here."

[ Speaking French haltingly ] Welcome to our home.

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Good stuff. Great start.

Um, I know you want to do this next one.

It's "how you doing, girl?"

[ Laughs ]

She likes it.

Yeah, it's working. Don't stop now.


It sounded like I said "Gary Coleman."


Beautiful language.

Good night. Or should I say...

Let me tell you something, Mr. and Mrs. Goldfarb.

There are three things I hate in life -- my ex-wife, carrots, and lies.

Okay, why did I close my store and rush down here?

Because President Reagan asked me personally through a xeroxed letter to oversee a fitness test of his design.

And your son tried to get t of it with an absurd note...

That no parent would ever write.


I wrote the note.

Oh [Bleep] me.

It was a ridiculous test, Murray.

Since when is strength measured by how many pull-ups a person can do?

You know what takes real strength?

Tackling the role of Levi in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

And Adam was scrumptious.

There's nothing wrong with my test, ma'am.

If Adam suffers from anything, it is from a far more serious and permanent condition called the wuss-bags.

Hey. My son may be unathletic and afraid of birds --

He's not afraid of all birds.

I know, not all birds. Not all birds.

But he's not a wuss.

Look, I am administering a test at the direct order of the President of the United States.

If you want Adam out of it, get a note from him.

Then it's settled.

I'll see you back here on Monday.

What just happened?

She's gonna go get a note from the president.

Look out, Mr. Reagan.

Beverly Goldberg's coming for you.

My mom's mission to track down the president had begun.

First stop -- Harrisburg, the state capital.

Hello. I'm Pennsylvania citizen Beverly Goldberg, and I'm here to speak to the governor.

Um...This is the comptroller's office.

Great. Then I'll speak to the comptroller.

Uh...A-a-and what does this pertain to?

The presidential fitness test.

And the comptroller can help how? he can put me in touch with the governor, who can put me in touch with the president so I can get my son out of gym class.


Question -- do you have any idea what a-a comptroller does?

Of course.

He comptrols the great state of Pennsylvania, and I need him to get me to the man who comptrols America.

Here's a thing -- uh, "comptrol," the way you're using it, isn't a word.

Yes, it is.

No. No, it's not.

It is.

Not really.

Yeah, it is.

Definitely not a word -- straight-up not a word.

Uh, but I get the sense you're not gonna leave, so here's what I'm gonna do.

There's a guy in the state assembly's office who screwed over my sister.

I think he should meet you.

Sound good?

Sounds great.

Now, I'm just gonna write down these directions, and when you see him, just tell him, "Jill's brother says hi."

Thank you for taking comptrol of the situation.

Not a word.

Yes, it is.

Meanwhile, my brother was working on his French connection.

Good morning, mon chérie.

Hello, Barree.


Getting into this right away, huh, Barry?

What? I'm just showing her a traditional American breakfast.

[ Over-enunciating ] Fanny, this is called a pop-tart.

In America, we eat our fruit inside bread -- for you.


You know what else goes down easy in the morning?

Rap music.

Erica, you translated my masterpiece, right?

Every word.

It's called "Mon lit."

It means "My bed."

[ Cassette deck clicks ]

[ Click ]

[ Mid-tempo beat plays ]

[ Rapping in French ]

Enough. I'm sorry. I have to stop this.

It's too far. You speak French?

How many times do I have to tell you this?

I was in the war. I helped liberate France.

That was real?

I'm confused. What's happening?

The song -- it's about peeing in your bed.

That wasn't your intention, right?

No! No.

[ Both laugh ]

It had the word "pee-pee" in it, like, a lot.

[ Both laugh ]

What the hell, Erica?

I asked you for your help, and you made a fool of me?

I told you not to hit on my friend.

I mean, did you actually think you had a chance with her?

I don't know!

I mean, the girls here don't get me at all, so I thought someone from another country might.

Now you ruined that, too.

While Barry had lost faith in romance, I still had faith in my mom.

Has Mom come back from the president's house yet?

Are you kidding? No.

Have you checked the answering machine?

Maybe Mr. Reagan left a message or something.

You know, the president's a very busy man.

He might not have time to help one little boy get out of gym class.

He likes jelly beans.

No, no, h-he's got a fun side, but I think you might want to consider that your mom's not gonna come through on this.

I know it's a bit of a long shot, but she's never let me down before.

And then something happened more surprising than my mom getting a note from the president.

Come here, buddy. I want to talk to you.

My dad decided to open up to me.

You know why I...Really want you to take this test?

You need an outlet for your hostility?

No! Stop aggravating me!

I'm trying to help you here, man.

Okay, I'm gonna tell you something your brother and sister don't know.

I played a lot of sports in high school, but there was one thing I could never do -- swim.



I grew up in the city. Where would I learn?

Well, you could take the bus to the beach, or there's summer camps.

The YMCA has a very nice program.

How about I talk, you listen?

I tried everything in my power to get out of that swim class 'cause I knew if I got in the pool, I'd humiliate myself in front of everybody.

So, what did you do?

I got in that damn pool!

At first, I was embarrassed, but by the end of the semester, I-I developed quite a mean backstroke.



You don't have to be the best.

You just got to try.

Well, since you were an athlete back in the day, maybe you could help me with my pull-ups.

Let's get to work. Come on!

[ "Eye of the Tiger" plays ]

[ Drill whirs ]

[ Coughs ]

Let's do this.

[ "Eye of the Tiger" stops ]

I did it!

I got a note from the president of the United States of America.

Huh? Huh?

Actually, it's from the secretary to the undersecretary to the president, who's the best friend of the lieutenant governor's cousin who just wanted to get me out of the office, but it's got the presidential seal, so it's official.

Wow. But no.

Adam and I just had a talk, and he understands the importance of just trying.

I'll take the note! I'll take the note.

[ Sighs ] Mom, you're the best.

I'll see you around the TV sometime.

And, just like that, I had a presidential pardon from fitness.

Fanny just left for the airport.

You didn't want to say goodbye?

What's the point?

She thinks I'm a bed-wetting loser thanks to you.

Actually, I don't think she does.

Look, she left you this note.

Oh, no! I don't read French!

Right. But I do.

"Barry, sorry I was so weird around you.

"American boys intimidate me, "especially the ones who are so good at sports, nunchucking, and frisbee."

She knows about my frisbee skills?

Did she write about the sketch I gave her of us riding a dolphin?


But she did say if you're ever in Paris, look her up.

Does it really say that?


It does. I-it really does.

Looks like she was into you, kiddo.

I'm not surprised. I'm irresistible.


This is a thank-you note to your parents.

Well, I felt sorry for the big dope.

No, you care about him.

Maybe a little.

Well, it was a nice thing to do.

It was, but unfortunately, it led to this.

[ "Eye of the Tiger" plays ]

[ Seatbelt clicks ]

[ Engine turns over ]

I've got to stop that plane!

[ Tires squeal ]

I'm coming, Fanny!

I'm coming for you!

Thanks to my mom, I was free.

And even so, I could hear my dad's voice ringing in my head.

Murray: Adam, I really think you should take this test.

Turns out it actually was my dad.

Dad, what are you doing here?

I came here to tell you something.

[ Sighs ] I can't swim.

But you said you --

I know what I said... But I lied.

I cut that class, and I-I never learned how.

It's the biggest regret of my life, and I don't want you growing up having the same regrets I do.

Goldfarb, get your ass in here!

I may never be able to swim, but I know you can do one pull-up.

[ "Eye of the Tiger" plays ]

All right, goldfarb. Ready for the flexed arm hang?

No. Today, I'm doing pull-ups.

Hey. You can't park there.

It's okay. I'm here to see a girl. I'm in love.

You got it, chief. That's how the world works.

We need a tow truck at Terminal 3.

[ Woman speaking indistinctly on P.A. system ]

♪ Rising up ♪
♪ back on the street ♪
♪ did my time ♪
♪ took my chances ♪
♪ went the distance whoa!

It's -- it's okay. It's okay.

♪ now I'm back on my feet I just have a pocket knife.

♪ Just a man and his will to survive ♪

All right, go ahead. You're good.

Let's go, Goldfarb. The President is waiting.

♪ so many times, it happens too fast ♪
♪ you trade your passion for glory ♪
♪ it's the eye of the tiger ♪
♪ it's the thrill of the fight ♪
♪ rising up to the challenge of our rival ♪
♪ and the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night ♪
♪ and he's watching us all with the eye-e-e ♪
♪ of the tiger ♪

[ Panting, grunting ]

[ Laughs ]


Yes! Whoo!


My lord, that was the ugliest pull-up I've ever seen.

You'll still get killed in the first wave of attacks, but maybe, just maybe, you'll take a couple of those commie bastards with you.

♪ the eye of the tiger Well done, Goldberg.

♪ The eye of the tiger ♪

[ Man on P.A. ] Last call for flight 612 to Paris, France.

Barry: Wait -- hold the plane!



Shh. Stop telling me you love me.

It's not meant to be.

I have to stay here and become an American sports and music icon.

But we'll always have pop-tarts, Fanny.

We'll always have pop-tarts.

She kissed me.


Two French kisses.


♪ Eye of the tiger ♪
♪ it's the thrill of the fight ♪

[ grunts ]

♪ rising up to the challenge of our rival ♪

Okay, that's enough. No more. I like his little baby arms.

♪ And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night ♪

I'm gonna chew on those arms!

Oh! Tickle, tickle!

Will you stop it? What do you do that for?

♪ And he's watching us all with the eye ♪

I love him so much.

Okay, I tackled my fear.

♪ Of the tiger...

Now it's your turn.

[ Grunting ]

Kick. Kick. Use your legs.

I'm kicking.

See, you're doing it.

I'm doing it!

Keep on going.

All right. [ Grunts ]

Come on, give it all you got.

Come on. A little bit.

Yes! Whoo!

[ Both laugh ]

Has anyone seen my car?

I know the sign says you can't park there, but it's okay 'cause I'm in love.

Hasta la vista, baby.