01x23 - Livin’ on a Prayer

I'm home!

Adult Adam: My dad was the least complicated guy on the planet.

His first order of business was to always be comfortable.

That meant parking his pants at the door.

His hobbies included sleeping in his chair...


Watching "Fantasy lsland"...

Oh, don't worry, boss.

Sleeping in his chair...


Yelling at the Phillies...

What is that pitch?!

And sleeping in his chair.


Even his parenting style was simple and always involved choice vocab words.

Hey, you morons. Stop being morons.

Unreal. I raised a moron.

Why you got to be a moron all the time?

He wasn't a complicated guy or, frankly, even that interesting.

But every once in a while he would accidentally reveal something about himself that would make you feel like you didn't know him at all.

All right, all fixed.

Wow! Where did you learn how to do that?


What? Did you say "army"?

Dad, is this you and Lou Reed?

Yeah, we, uh, waited tables together.

What? Tell me more.

Eh, it was a whole thing.

Wait! Come back! I want to know you!

[Video game beeping]

Pull up! Pull up! You're gonna crash the plane.

I was in a plane crash once.

Nap time.

Yep, some people glorify the past, but not my dad.

To him, it's like it never even happened.

Oh, my God, Murray, you're not gonna believe it.

I just got off the phone with your old high school.

Your record has been broken.

Whoa, wait. Dad had a record in high school?

What kind of record?

Chili! He loves chili.

It's something to do with chili.

True, but that's not it.

Your dad set the record for most free throws in a row at Central High.

Like, in basketball? W-what are you talking about?

What can I say? We won state.

Uh, I hit 79 free throws in a row.

Uh, what do you want from me?

Murray, the high school wants you to go back so they can honor you at the game Saturday night.

We get to stay downtown, and there's gonna be a banquet.

A banquet?!

That's the fanciest of all food parties!

I know! It's a very big deal.

Here's the thing about that. Pass.

No pass.


I already told them you'd be there.

Why would you do that? You know I don't have an interest in things.

Is this for real?

I mean, we've never even seen you touch a basketball.

Yeah, I mean, I can't believe this.

It's one of my dreams to play in the NBA, and you never once mentioned it?

Didn't see how it was relevant.

Oh, it's relevant.

What you gonna do? What you gonna do?

Huh? Huh? What you gonna do? What you gonna do?

Not much more than what I'm doing right now.

I want you to show me what you got, free-throw king!

Are we, uh, done here yet?

No! You were clearly some type of popular high school god.

Tell me what it was like.

I don't know. I, uh, dated a lot of girls.

I went to parties.

I got elected class president a few times.

Lunch lady gave me free jell-o.

Eh, the usual.

Not usual. That's the opposite of my life.

The lunch lady said I look like the warlord who burnt down her village.

I'm going in.

No, wait, wait! Come on!

I thought you were gonna give me some pointers.

Unless you want me to give you some.

How about from way downtown?

Hope you brought an umbrella, 'cause it's about to rain some 3s!

Swish, baby!





And that's how you do it.

♪ 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 ♪

'Sup, Lexy Bloom?

Ready to break the seal on this new yearbook, or what?

Uh, sure.

This year, Barry left an entire page blank for the one signature he cared about... his dream girl, Lexy Bloom.

"Have a bitchin' summer, Gustav"?

I'm not the Swedish exchange student!

I'm speaking English to you!

Swing and a miss.

Aw, you love her, and she thinks you're from Sweden.

I've spent all year trying to make a name for myself, and Lexy Bloom still doesn't know who I am.

She's so lucky.

If only there was a way to, like, have a casual get-together with the coolest kids from school, like, at our house, but without the formal, sit-down dinner.

I think you're describing a party.

Oh, my God. I have the greatest idea.

I'm gonna throw a party.

Mom and dad are staying downtown Saturday night.

[Gasps] I'll invite the whole school!

Whoa, hold on.

Uh, I want you to think about this...

High-school friends!

This Saturday night, I'm inviting you to the best party in the history of William Penn Academy, thrown by yours truly!

Boy: We love you, Gustav!

No! I'm Barry Goldberg!

Doesn't matter! Party at my place!

For the next few days, Barry spread the word all over school.

It was gonna be a wild rager, and nobody was more excited than me.

Oh, man. My first high-school party with R-rated language and adult situations.

This is my "Risky Business."

Damn right!

There's gonna be dancing, fistfights, pizzas on record players, hot cheerleaders jumping from the roof into the pool.

We don't have a pool.

Don't we?

Blow this up.

[Gasps] Sweet!

I'm gonna go grab my inhaler and get started.

Okay! I got Twister and ashtrays.

What time's this party kicking off?

Whoa, wait. You're okay with this?

Uh, look, I-I don't condone lying to your parents, but I've been tracking your highs and lows this year.

And frankly, you need this.


Only thing left is to make sure mom and dad leave without suspecting a thing.

Okay, love bugs.

Pops is in charge while we're away for the evening.

Have fun.

No fun here. We're just gonna sit here bored to death waiting for you to come home.

Oh, well, in that case, throw on some shoes and join us!

I insist.

Then it's settled. We're coming.

What are you doing?


Okay, if the kids come with us, I'm staying home.

Great! Stay.

What's wrong with you?!

The more the merrier.

You're a stupid, stupid boy.

Y-you two just go. I'll hold down the fort.

All right.

Dinner's in the fridge.

[Sighs] That was a close one.

We make a good team, guys.

Dover: Ladies and gentlemen...

While Barry couldn't wait to start his epic night, my dad was still indifferent Captain of the 1961 state about his... championship team

Murray Goldberg! [Whistle blows]

[Cheers and applause]

Until this happened.

What the hell's going on?

What's wrong with these people?

Nothing... they love you, Murray.


For my dad, the past was the past.

He never wanted to be one of those guys always recounting his glory days.

But for one shining moment, he decided to embrace it.

All: Chomp, chomp, chomp!

Let's go, Beavers! Let's go!

Chomp, chomp, chomp!

My dad hadn't picked up a basketball in years.

But by the end of the first half, he was ready to shoot up.

Oh! [Laughs]

That's how we do it, Beavers!

Dover: Okay!


Just want to take a quick moment to welcome back Murray Goldberg.

In honor of his 25-year-old record, we'd like to present him with a ball signed by the entire team.

Murray, come on down.

[Cheers and applause]

Whoo! Hey, hot stuff!

Thank you. Thank you very much.

All: [Chanting] Shoot the ball! Shoot the ball! Shoot the ball!

Shoot the ball! Shoot the ball!

Shoot the ball! Shoot the ball!

Really? What are you doing?

Shoot the ball! Shoot the ball!


Shoot the ball! Shoot the ball!

Shoot the ball! Shoot the ball!

That's my husband!

The moment my dad stepped to that line, he realized he was still that kid from high school... an athlete, a legend, a champion.

And then, he did this.

[Camera shutter clicks] Got it!

Boy: You suck, old man!


[Crowd chanting "air ball!"]

In his defense, that was a very common shooting style back in the day. But as the chant of "air ball" rang through the gym, it only confirmed to my dad that he didn't belong on that court.

He belonged in front of the TV in his underpants.

But this wasn't the most embarrassing display of the evening.

That belonged to my brother's epic party.

It was 9:00, and the only people that showed up were me, Roger McFadden, who brought bugles, and Gustav, the foreign-exchange student.

Later. I'm going out.

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

Look... look what's happening in there.

It's a pure sausage fest.

The bugles are for hot chicks only!

You're a popular girl. Invite some of your friends over.

The poor guy needs this.

Barry: Shut up, Gustav!

It's called being fashionably late.

Fine. I'll call a couple of my friends.

Thank you.

[Indistinct conversations] Nowadays, all it would take is a tweet.

But back then, one phone call worked just as well.

I thought you said "a couple of friends."

All I did was call Lainey.

You wanted Barry to have fun, right?

Look at the guy. He is the man.

Welcome to casa de Barry, ladies!

Looking good. Nice pants, random dude.

Told you I'd rock.

Is the party like a rap video, or what?

Move over, Aunt Rose's 50th.

This is the hottest party this dining room's ever seen.

Holy crap. It's Lexy Bloom.

She came!

She's here!

What are you waiting for, man?

Chiclet me.

Whoa, girl.

I see you found the V.I.P. section.

What makes this the V.I.P. section?

'Cause I'm here. Anything you want, I'll make it happen.

Fruit roll-ups? Bagel bites?

Flintstone vitamins?

The world's your oyster, baby.


We just gave your weird little brother the best night of his life.

Whoo! The party has arrived!

You go to school with him?

I do not.

And we're out of hand.

Who wants to take a shower?

By 10:00, Barry's party was blowing up... But not as much as my sister.

Hey! Stop! You're spilling everywhere!


Stop making out in my dad's chair!

He lives there!


What the hell?! That's my mom's!

Why are you wearing that?

Oh, it's a sweater party.

That's not a thing.

And I put a sign on the stairs that said "off limits."

Ah, yeah, that piece of yarn broke, so we all just kind of... Helped ourselves.


[Indistinct conversations]

Off! Everyone take it off!

Yes! It's happening! Take it off!

Adam, go upstairs!

Well, the sign says it's off limits.

The yarn is broken. Upstairs.

I said "upstairs"!

Okay. This is officially nuts.

You need to put an end to this.

Me?! You're the adult!

I'm the cool grandpa. I can't be the bummer.

You be the bummer.

Oh! Uh, there's a pizza on the record player.

[Needle scratching]

It's bad for the needle.

You people are disgusting!

What the hell are you doing?!

It's a sweater party.

That's not a thing!

Stop encouraging this. You need to shut it down.

Shut it down?

No way! This is my party.

And I say we rage on until the crack of dawn!!

All: Yeah!

Well, I say we each pick up one piece of trash and leave!

All: Boo!

[Cups clatter]

Smile all you want. That's it.

I'm calling the hotel where mom and dad are staying.

I see what this is.

You're jealous 'cause I've thrown the greatest party of all time.

Look around. It's not your party.

These are all my friends.

Yo, Ari.

Whose party is this?

Erica's throwing a going-away party for the Swedish dude.

It doesn't matter. Lexy Bloom's here.

She came to see me.

Oh, did she?

Barry, wait.

I didn't mean to... [Sighs]

That did not go well.

No, it did not.

Why are you so mad at me?

I saw the look on your face.

You were thrilled to be back out there on that court.

You know why I don't talk about the past? I'mma tell you.

Because it was great.

I was class president. I was a basketball star.

I was a hero.

And now I'm just none of those things.

Have you ever tried shooting the ball this way?

It was a very common shooting style!

Turns out, my dad wasn't the only one kicking himself.

Barry's big chance to become a legend and win over Lexy Bloom had literally been kissed goodbye.

What's shaking, Gustav?


I wish I was Gustav.

Except for that weird fish lunch he always brings.

So, why you out here, missing your own party?

Well, it has come to my attention that this is Erica's party, and I'm just a big, giant, invisible bag of suck.

Oh, come on. You're not invisible.

You're Barry Goldberg, the guy who freaked out on the lunch lady because they ran out of pudding.

Why is that the only thing anyone ever remembers about me?

Hey, they promised pudding. They had no pudding.

It was a dark day.


Look, I know you feel like this year was a bust, but you did a ton of cool stuff...

Karate in the talent show.

You're on the wrestling team.

You did that rap video about stone cold groovin' on a Ferris wheel.

You like my rap?

It's hilarious.

Wait, that's what you were going for, right?


How do you know so much stuff about me?

Your sister's my best friend.

I've known you my whole life, and I can honestly say there's...

No one like you.


Who knew my sister's wild, bad-influence best friend would be the one to remind my brother that he was special in his own bizarre, Barry kind of way?

[Chuckles] Now stop pouting and come show Erica's friends whose party it really is.

For the first time in ages, things were looking up for my big bro.

It didn't last long.

Oh, God!

Oh, balls!

Uh. Everybody try and clean up a little bit!

I-I'm going to bed! Everyone, run!


As Barry watched my parents get out of that car, he knew there was only one thing to do... freak out.

Mom! Dad!

Why are you home? You're supposed to be at the hotel!

There was a banquet! Who skips a banquet?!

A party?!

I don't even like my own kids, let alone a house full of other people's!

Murray! Oh, my God. They're wearing my sweaters!

No! Those aren't yours!

It's a look that's happening! Watch MTV!

Yeah, I'm sure all the young boys are wearing leopard sweaters.

Hey! That's my leopard!

Okay, fine. Clearly, you're gonna kill me, and...

Yes! Yes, I am!

Do it, Murray. Do it with your hands.

Just hear me out, please.

I'm nothing like you, dad.

I don't dominate in high school.

I don't hold sports records.

People only know me 'cause I get angry at pudding.

Listen, you've had your glory days, and they sounded awesome.

But this, in there, this is the best I'm ever gonna do.

Oh, Boopie. That's so sad.

But you are in so much trouble.

But... Aww.

I'm begging you. This is my moment.

All I'm asking for is seven more hours of nonstop partying.

Absolutely not.

You got 10 minutes.


Yeah, but do me a favor.

Make this a night you'll always remember.

You are the greatest father on this planet.

As my brother desperately sprinted off for his 10 minutes of glory, my dad realized he could still be a hero to someone who actually mattered.

Awful parenting choice.

Just awful.

You've seen him run. He needs this.

[Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" plays]

♪ Tommy used to work on the docks ♪
♪ Union's been on strike, ♪
♪ he's down on his luck. ♪
♪ It's tough. ♪
♪ So tough. ♪
♪ Gina works the diner all day ♪

This was it... Barry's year was coming to a close, and it all came down to 10 magical minutes.

♪ She brings home her pay for love ♪

He knew there was only one way to leave his mark.

That was on the dance floor.

He may have been a far cry from Michael Jackson, but in that moment, he sure felt like him.

It wasn't just Barry's enthusiasm that brought the crowd together.

It was his giant '80s boom box blasting out the anthem of our youth.

And it sounded like this.

♪ We'll give it a shot ♪

All: ♪ Oh, we're halfway there ♪
♪ Whoa, livin' on a prayer ♪
♪ Take my hand ♪
♪ We'll make it, I swear ♪
♪ Whoa, livin' on a prayer ♪

Who is that guy?

That's Barry Goldberg. This is his party.

♪ Tommy's got his six-string in hock ♪
♪ Now he's holding in ♪

Dude, Lexy Bloom's looking over here.

What do I do?

I'm gonna help you out. You ready to make her jealous?

Make her what?

♪ It's tough ♪
♪ Gina dreams of running away ♪

What are you doing?

Ow! I don't know! What are you doing?

♪ Tommy whispers, "baby, it's okay ♪
♪ Someday" ♪
♪ We've got to hold on to what we've got ♪

This is the greatest night of my life!


♪ We've got each other ♪

Time's up! Get the hell out of my house!

And leave my [Bleep] sweaters!

Naturally, my brother was grounded for the entire summer.

And you get to take all my sweaters to the dry cleaners.

But sometimes, those magic moments are worth it.

I'm very upset. You have a lot of nerve, young man.

It was a night he'd carry with him forever, a night no one could take away.

For one brief moment, Barry Goldberg was a legend.

[Guitar solo]

Y-you want to hear about, uh, how I met Lou Reed?

♪ Ooh, we've got to hold on ♪

Uh, yeah.

Okay. It was 1965...

♪ ready or not ♪

Sure, my dad would always be the kind of guy who loved his TV and his lazy boy. but after that fateful night, he found it easier to open up a bit more.

♪ Whoa ♪

Swish, baby!

♪ Livin' on a prayer ♪


♪ Take my hand ♪

Okay, by my count, you've missed the last 22 shots.

♪ Whoa, livin' on a prayer ♪

Just do it my way once.

[Sighs] Fine.

♪ Oh, we're halfway there ♪
♪ Whoa ♪
♪ Livin' on a prayer ♪

Wish, baby!

New shooting style!

♪ Take my hand ♪

And, even crazier, Barry got my dad, the free-throw king... back on the court for some actual pointers.

♪ Whoa, livin' on a prayer ♪


It didn't help much.

♪ Whoa, we're halfway there ♪

Oh, honey.

You're delicious no matter how bad you are.

Oh, damn it, Barry!

♪ Livin' on a prayer ♪

♪ Take my hand ♪

When it comes to my childhood, I may not always remember exactly when something happened, or exactly who was there. but I do know that it was 1980-something and it was awesome.

Doo! Doo, Doo, Doo!

Stop videotaping! Get out! Mom!

Stop! I swear...

[Breathing rapidly]

Death blow. Death blow.

Hyah! Yah! Yah!

You're aggravating me, you little b*st*rd!

He's aggravating me, the little b*st*rd!

Why are you hitting yourself, huh?

What did your face ever do to you? Ow.

[Grunts] Ow.

Open up.

No! No! No! No! No!

No. No. No. No.


My God. This house is going nuts.

This house is going nuts.

I am Optimus Prime, and I am a good guy, and I will kick your butt!

[Knock on door] Who's there?

Murray: Get dressed now!

Man: Get dressed now.

And this is it.

Aah! That hurt! Aah!

Whoa! What a night!

So, you got any OJ?

Sorry, what the hell are you doing here?

Passed out in the basement during the party.

Take off my sweater and get out.

What's in it for me?

Nothing. It's my weater.


Show me your boobs.


Then give me $1 million.

I'd very much like to revisit the boob conversation.

I feel like we've done this once before.

Did it end in boobs?


Tell me something. When was the last time you had a balanced breakfast?

Every day.

Protein from beef jerky, energy from frosting.

Sweetie, sit down. I'm gonna make you some food, you're gonna eat it, then you're gonna take off my sweater and get the hell out.

Morning, Barry.