02x02 - Mama Drama

Adult Adam: The school play ...

That time-honored tradition where a young, budding performer can walk the boards and feel the hot spotlight on their face.

Sure, the sets were flimsy and the costumes cheap, but to us, it might as well have been Broadway.

And I wanted nothing more than to be a part of it.

"Jesus Christ Superstar"!

[gasps] The school is literally doing my favorite musical!

It's fate!

You're gonna become a musical-theater actor!

That's every mother's dream for her son!

This is perfect. I know every part.

The question is, which one do I audition for?

There is only one role suitable for my talented, delicious little boy.

My baby... is Jesus.

Yeah, that's a pretty demanding part.

Maybe Adam would be more comfortable playing something like ...

Get! Get out of here!


Filling his head with doubt and stupid ideas!

I don't know, mom. I-It really is a tough part, and I'm always in the chorus ...

Boopie, I've heard you sing in the shower, mm-kay?

Not just "heard" ... listened.

Not just "listened" ... taped.

And sent to "Star search."

I got to call them back. I haven't heard from Ed McMahon.

I'll just drop him a line, see what's up.

My baby is a star!

Who was I to argue with Beverly Goldberg?

I took her advice and auditioned for the Big "J."

♪ Try not to get worried ♪
♪ Try not to turn on to... ♪
♪ ...problems that upset you ♪
♪ Oh, don't you know... ♪
♪ ...everything's all right ♪
♪ Yes, everything's fine ♪
♪ We want you to sleep well tonight ♪

Can I start over, please?

♪ And if you try, we'll get... ♪
♪ ...by so forget all about us... ♪
♪ ...tonight ♪
♪ Yes, everything's all right ♪
♪ Yes, everything's all right, yes! ♪

Well done, Mr. Goldberg. You've really improved since last year.

Oh, god. The cast list is up.

Relax. You always get the lead.

Man, how are you so calm?

Eh, Miss Cinoman kind of implied that I blew her mind... whatever. All I know is, there's a good chance that I'm gonna be the Jesus to your Mary.

It was that classic moment we've all been through, whether it was for sports or theater.

We've all stood in front of a list to find out, "did I make the cut?"

[gasps] You were right! I'm Mary Magdalene!

I was praying my name would be somewhere at the top of the list.

Oh, god, no! Not the dreaded second page!

Yes, I'm Jesus! Son of god, baby!

Oh... that's great. Um, who did you get, Adam?

Uh, I-I'll be right back. Miss Cinoman!

I-I think there's been some kind of mistake because I'm pretty familiar with the musical, and there is no Todd the apostle.

Oh, there's no Darnell the apostle, either.

But there was such a large turnout, I took the liberty of expanding Jesus' followers from 12 to 30.


You can't fit that many people at the last supper.

Oh, yeah, there's gonna be another, smaller table off to the side.

I'm at the kids' table at the last supper?!

I'm sorry. There was a lot of competition this year.

Remember ... there are no small parts, only small actors.

But there are small parts! Very small! Like Todd!

Do not let your heart be troubled, my child. Trust... in me.

This putz? You made this putz Jesus?


Yep, I was once again shoved into the background.

It was the biggest heartbreak of my young life.

♪ Everything's all right, yes, everything's fine ♪

Beverly: Boopie? [sniffles]

I've been calling. Meatloaf's ready.

Are you crying?


Who hurt you? Tell me and I will hurt them tenfold.


I didn't get Jesus! I'm a random apostle, and I'm so sad 'cause I'm not good enough!

I'm gonna ask you a question that you need to answer with complete honesty.

Is there a world in which you are not the most deserving child for this role?

There is no such world.

Honey, I can get involved.

I want to get involved.

But I need to know that's what you want.

Usually, when my mother wanted to mix in, I'd push her away as far as possible.

This was not one of those times.

Do it, mama. Make me Jesus.

♪ 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 ♪

[car horns honking] It was December 8th, 1980-something, and my dad was driving home from work [screams] and battling his mortal enemy...

Green light, people!


Green light! Why aren't you moving?

Son of a ... [screams]

You're letting him in?!

He's part of a funeral! That could be a hundred cars!

What kind of crossing guard crosses one kid at a time?!

You got to group 'em and herd 'em!

Traffic even came before his favorite thing in the world ... hockey.

...Ho ho ho ho!

Best game I've ever been to. Best game ... hands down.

[crowd chanting] Let's go, Flyers, let's go!

Let's go, Flyers, let's go!

Let's go, Flyers... Let's go.

What? There's 10 minutes left!

It's a tie game. We got to stay!


When the game ends, we'll be stuck in the parking lot for six hours! Let's go!

That's right. No one in our family had ever seen the end of a game, concert, or show...

Will you just move your leg?!

...not when my father had traffic to beat.

29 minutes, door-to-door! A brand-new record!

My god, am I jealous of you two!

Ron Hextall scores the final goal! Who would've figured that?

Hextall? No, he's the goalie.

Goalies can't score.

That's what I thought!

The first time in NHL history, and you guys were there!

He's wrong. Goalies can't score.

Man: And that's the replay of the greatest goal in hockey history.

It's one of those moments that makes you feel lucky to be alive.

Huh. Goalies can score.


Really? You're gonna make a thing out of this?

You made me miss the greatest moment of my life!

And for what? Traffic?! It isn't that bad!

Stop right there! You should be thanking me.

Thanking you? For what?

You don't know the traffic that I've seen!

Miles of cars lined up for hours, horns blaring!

I know what traffic is!

Grown men with their shirts off walking around 'cause it's so damn hot!

An A.C.'s not meant to run that long. It's not!

It's hockey season! It's cold outside!

No one gets shirtless!

You want to know something?

If I could, I'd go back in time and do it all over again.

As a matter of fact, I'd leave earlier!

That's what you'd do with a time machine?

You'd go back and miss traffic?

You wouldn't help people?! Save President Lincoln?!

Oh, I'd help Abe! I'd go to the theater, I'd say, "hey, man, you ought to leave early tonight.

Traffic's horrible! Trust me!"

Boom! Just saved his life!

Adult Adam: While my dad was sticking to his guns, my mom was in the principal's office with hers blazing.

She stormed into my drama class, ranting at me like a crazy person.

We had to do a 45-minute massage train just to calm me down.

Well, that's on you ... I mean, you wouldn't know a good Jesus if he walked right in here and punched you in the face.

Ball: Okay. I'm glad to see that we're all calm now.

Some... ugly things were said. And done.

Mostly by Mrs. Goldberg.

Look, I am sorry.

Adam is very enthusiastic, and he works so hard.

He's just not as skilled as like, say, Dave Kim.

If I may, I just have one question.

Are you [bleep] kidding me?

Whoa, whoa!


Mrs. Goldberg.

Out of line!

Mrs. Goldberg, this is a school. We can't speak like that.

Well, hear this.

My son will be starring in his own school musical.

His what? What does that even mean?

[mockingly] "What does that even mean?" That's how you sound.

It means Adam will be putting on a rival play.

Yeah, well ... well, here's the thing.

This is junior-high theater, and we have a budget for one play, and even that's a struggle to fill seats.

Tell me something, Earl. Uh, how's your wife?

She's fine.

Lovely woman. Pam, is it?

Remind me again how you two got together.

Well, you knew her from jazzercize class.

You... introduced us.

Did I, now? Ohh.

And how was the wedding?

You were at the wedding.

You made a speech, even though nobody asked you to.

Well, from what I remember, that was the night you said, "how can I ever repay you?"

And I said, "one day, I will come to you, and I will ask you for a favor."

And you said, "but of course, Beverly. But of course."

That day is today.

What's going on?

Adam is starring in a rival play.

I'm home!

Come on, Murray!

A very special "love boat" is almost on!

They're docking at "fantasy island"! They're crossing over!

Oh, my god! That's unprecedented!

[panting] All right. Gimme the remote.

What? I thought you had it.

I just came in the door! Why would I have a remote?

I-I don't know. I figured you took it to work.

Why would I take the remote to work?

Who the hell knows? You're a quirky guy.

Fine. I'll use my hand like an animal.

Where's the knob?!

Do you mean this knob?

I'm so sorry. Are you missing something historical?

Perhaps a crossover event of your two favorite shows that you'll never see, and it will haunt you for the rest of your life?

Gimme the knob.


Gimme the knob!

No. No.

Gimme the knob!

No. No.

Gimme the knob! Gimme the knob!

No. No. No. You took something I love.

Now I'm taking something you love.

Well, what about me? I'm just an innocent bystander!

Sorry, pops. Wrong place, wrong time.

But I got to see this show. Tattoo and Gopher in the same room ...

How's that gonna end?

You are grounded, moron. Six months!

Fine! I'm never going to a hockey game with you again.

But you ... you can't do that. Hockey's our thing.

Not anymore.

Gimme the knob.


Gimme the knob. Gimme the knob.

No. No. No.

Gimme the knob!


So, my dad finally got the remote, but he lost his favorite thing to do with his son. Forever. [television clicks] I can't believe I'm doing a rival play!

Now the question is, what's our show?

I-It's got to be big ... bigger than Jesus.

"Music man"?

[scoffs] Yawn.

"Guys and dolls"?

Seen it.


You want to cover half of this face?



It's so obvious. Who wants to waste their evening sitting through a silly musical about bible times when they can go to the future?

The future.

Our musical is going to be an experience of sight and sound with actors not in common shoes, but roller skates, a story not about people ... something bigger.



"Starlight express"!



L-look at my arm!




[both laugh]

All right! Well, all we need is a cast.

Actually, I know a mighty talented girl named Dana who'd follow me to the ends of the Earth.

Uh, no.

We need to keep looking.

Well, we don't have a lot of options when it comes to leading ladies. I suppose I could maybe be the one to ...

You cannot.

This is a show for children.

Got it. [sighs] Well, if it can't be me... and I think we've... ruled that out.

We have.


How about the closest thing to me?


Hello, daughter. Have a seat.

I just happened to be digging around in your closet, and guess what I found. Three beers, a fake I.D., and sick notes for school that I don't remember writing.

There is a simple explanation for all of that.

I just need half an hour to collect my thoughts.

Perhaps there's a world where I could overlook all this.


I can give you a pass this time.

Just know that one day, I will come to you and ask you for a favor.

Yeah, great. That's totally fair.

And that day is right now.

While my mom was forcing Erica to do the musical, my dad had forced pops to replace Barry.

You're crowding me. Come on, man.

Your ... your jacket's puffing into my side.

So what? It's cold as hell in here.

You think you can get them to turn the heat on?

No! There's a huge block of ice out there!

Ugh! What's that terrible smell? W-what are you eating?

I made myself a whitefish-salad sandwich.

Well, it's wafting!

Barry and I get hot dogs because they don't waft!

You know, I don't think this is about the whitefish or this giant thermos of borscht I'm about to open.

I think this... is about Barry.

Oh, please. It is not.

It's obvious ... you want to be here with him.

[sighs] Well, I-I do miss the moron a little.

Hockey was our thing.

Then just sit in traffic already. It's that simple.

Traffic is non-negotiable.

Murray, sometimes you have to do things you hate for the people that you love.


Like how I'm here with you now.

As much as my dad hated the sweet stink of borscht...

Oh! Oh, that smell.

...he was still too stubborn to give in.

Welcome to the first rehearsal of the disco-pop masterpiece "Starlight express."

[chuckles] As you know, I'm Adam Goldberg, your director and leading man.

And now please welcome my choreographer/assistant/mom, Beverly Goldberg.


Now, I need you all to pay real close attention, 'cause I only want to do this once, okay?

It's like I want to scream and run, but I also want to see what happens next.

Five, six, seven, eight!

"Starlight express"!

"Starlight express"!

The name of the show is "Starlight express."

Smoking car. Smoking car.

Dining car! Dining car!

Sleeping car. Sleeping car.

I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!

Smile! Chug-a-chug-a-chug-a-chug-a...

There's a hobo on the train.

[scattered applause]

What fun. Thank you.

[sighs] All right. Everybody got it?

Let's see it! Five, six, seven, eight!

"Starlight express"! "Starlight express"!

Ah, I like how some of you are going forwards and some of you are going sideways.

Train hands. "Starlight express"!

"Starlight express."

Wow. You seriously think this is worth it?

Thank you for this wonderful gift, mama.

Sure, it was a train wreck, but she had my undying love.

It's totally worth it.

The opening night of "Starlight express" was quickly approaching, and I was melting down 'cause our show was going off the rails.

Beverly: Three, four, five, six, seven, eight!

Join on! Get there! Get there!



Are you kidding me right now?

You're going too fast, and I couldn't hook in.

And I'm fine. Thanks.

Uh, I-I think we need to take five.

Do you think "Superstar" is taking five? No! They sold out!

And how many tickets have we sold, Tyler?


Seven tickets! And do you know why?

It's because some of you, who shall remain nameless, have no talent.

Sanjeev, Darlene, Ethel, skinny David, other David.

You know what, Adam?

I'm not taking five. I'm quitting.

Fine! Quit! We don't need you!

[groans] Aw, wait! She's the Caboose! Mom, stop her!

Hey. 'Sup?

I haven't seen you in a while.

I know you've been super busy, but I miss you.

Maybe later we could grab a bite?

Who sent you?


Was it Miss Cinoman?

'Cause this has her Cinoman-y stink all over it.

I'm not spying on you, Adam.

That's exactly what a spy would say.

Oh, whatever. I'm gonna go. [chuckles]

Honey, you need to go apologize.

I have to apologize? Have you seen your choreography?

Back to one, people!

In that moment, my mom realized she didn't make her little boy a star.

She made him a monster.

Meanwhile, my dad was still being monstrously stubborn.

Out of options, he brought his favorite employee, Vic, to the next game.

Whoa. Right on the glass.

Best seats for my best pal.

Hey, not bad. Thank you.

Announcer: Please stand for the Canadian national anthem.

♪ Oh, Canada ♪
♪ my home and native land ♪

What are you doing?

I'm singing the song of my country.

What country?

Canada. I'm from Edmonton.

I've told you ... oh, forget it.


♪ Oh, Canada ♪
♪ we stand on guard for thee ♪

[crowd boos]

As 10,000 people booed my father, he officially realized how much he missed Barry.

[crowd jeering] What are you doing?!

Back at home, my mom missed the days when I was happy just to be a schmo in the chorus.

Sorry I quit the play.

But in my defense... it's a turd on wheels.

Oh, it really is.

How did my sweet, little boy turn into such a monster?

You shifted the world so it entirely revolves around him.

Of course! It's what I do!

But usually someone steps in and stops me.

Look, I know Adam's your little superstar, but there's a reason he's always in the chorus.

Well, I can't tell him that.

It would shatter his precious heart.


Lucky for you, I can.

[spray can hisses]

Hey, buddy.

Mom needs to tell you something about the show.

She thinks it sucks.


Don't get her wrong, she thinks you're the most talented, delicious boy in the whole world, who deserves to be the star.

But no one else does.

Mom? I-Is this true?

Honey, I, uh...

I think we both got a little bit carried away.

Maybe a little.

I know how much you want this, and I want this for you... but sometimes... [intro to "Put a little love in your heart" plays]

You just got to be Todd the apostle.

Hearing that, coming from the woman who loved me too much, meant that it was time for me to hang up my skates.

It's probably for the best. Dana's not talking to me, and Sanjeev did break his collarbone.

But thanks for always believing in me, mama.

[sighs] Even when you probably shouldn't.

♪ don't hesitate ♪
♪ put a little love in your heart ♪

I'll never stop.

♪ and the world will be a better place ♪
♪ and the world will be a better place ♪



Too busy... for the greatest rivalry in the history of hockey?

The Flyers-Rangers game? No way!

Still not interested.

What if we stay till the end?

And get stuck in traffic? Why would you ever do that?

I miss you.

Say it again.

[scoffs] No.

You love me more than you hate traffic ... say it!

You're a moron.

Say the words.


Say the words.

No. No.

Say the words. Say the words.

No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

Say the words. Say the words.

My dad never said the words, but Barry knew he meant them when he heard the final buzzer.

[buzzer, cheers and applause]

It wasn't a historical hockey moment, but it was a historical night for the Goldbergs ... the first time any of us saw the end of a game.

And, sure, they got stuck in traffic for two hours and complained the whole time...

Murray: Whoa, what ... what is she doing? Ohhh!

...but my dad didn't care 'cause it meant being stuck for two hours with his kid.

And turns out, miss Cinoman was right ... there are no small roles, only small actors.


I was the greatest 30th apostle at the kids' table the world had ever seen...

I love you, Todd the apostle!

...and it felt great.



♪ Can it be what it seems? ♪
♪ there will be no more love ♪
♪ there will be no more dreams ♪

Come on!

Green light, people! Green light!

One car went through! One car!

Move it, lady! What are you, Sally Field?!

Put your makeup on at home!

Oh, there's a baby on board?!

I'll tell you what, there's a moron on board!


Son of a ... [screams]

[screams] Car full of morons!