03x03 - Jimmy 5 is Alive

Adult Adam: Back in the '80s, before you could film a major motion picture with your phone, the only way to capture memories was with this monstrosity... the video camera.

It was literally backbreaking work, but the result was always priceless.

What's up, b-ball fans?

Big tasty coming to you live from the drive.

Rumor has it you like dunks.

Well, I call this one "slam, jam, thank you, ma'am."

All: Oh!

"Honey, I dunked the kid."

All: Oh!

"Good morning, Viet-slam."

All: Oh!

All: Oh!

Call me Jean-Claude van jam.

All: Oh! [ Laughter]

What?! Hoo-hoo!

This is the worst thing I've ever seen, and I see my dad in his underpants every day.

But we're only halfway through watching my jampilation... the extrava-jam-za.

Yeah, this has been amazing, you know, a Saturday really well spent, but I am gonna go do anything else.

[ All cheering]

Beverly: Aah! It's my little love muffin's birthday!

Dude, did you tape over your 5th birthday party?

That could have been anyone's parents.

No, I remember that party... your mom gave me a haircut 'cause she said my mom did a bad job.

Oh, no, no, no, no.

Yes! This is wonderful!

For me.

For you, it's like as bad as it gets.

It's fine!

Mom has millions of tapes of us.

It's not like she has every one of them memorized.

Hi, love nuggets.

Oh, your 5th birthday!

Oh, I remember every single moment.

We should go.

No, no. Stay.

Let's all watch the best time in my life when you were my little Schmoo and you used to give Mama endless huggies.

You heard Mama. Play the tape.

Why watch an old video when you can get a real huggie right now?

For real?

Get in here, you.


Ohh, ain't this the best?


I can really feel your whole body against mine.

Oh, my baby's so big and squishy.

♪ 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 ♪

Adult Adam: It was October 7, 1980-something, and my dad was engaged in his favorite hobby... watching the weather channel.

Back then, there were only five channels to watch.

With the invention of this exciting network, Dads across America were hooked.

Call cousin Arnie.

They have a blizzard warning in Denver!

They have no idea what they're up against!

Unless it banks South.

Then they'll just have nice, mild flurries.

Ooh. My knee is acting up.

Bet it's gonna rain.

[Laughing] Oh!

This guy thinks it's gonna rain today with 5% humidity.

I liked you better when you hated everything.

Yep, the weather was my dad's hobby.

And of course, it couldn't be any more different than mine.

Okay, here's the deal. [Click]

You're looking at a sentient robot named Johnny 5 from the hit movie "short circuit" and the less critically acclaimed "short circuit 2."

Why is the "robit" lounging on a raft?

That thing weighs a ton. It makes no sense.

The point is, the hobby shop is selling a limited-edition kit to build a mini replica Johnny 5 and I need money.

You do realize I'm gonna say no, right?

I do know that, yes.

And that's why I'm gonna call this a learning-based project and ask you to build it with me.

Do not do that. Do not call it a learning-based project.

Then give me the money.

I won't involve Mom, and we can each go our separate ways.

Done. How much?


I'm gonna ask you to go away now.

Mom, I have a learning-based project Dad won't get involved in!

What is this about a learning-based project?

I like the sound of that.

I want to build a robot with Dad, but he doesn't want to do it with me.

Murray! It's a learning-based project!

Mama, why won't he let me learn stuff?

It's a learning-based project!

The thing costs 100 bucks.

Tell you what... instead of going to the store and buying a bunch of robot parts, Dad will help you build one from junk around the house.

Oh, no, what have I done?

I was literally just sitting here.

No. Zip it.

Zip it. Zip it. I've made up my mind.

You two are building a robot, and that's final!

Yay! Learning-based project!

Yeah, I'm a putz.

While I was stuck with the grumpiest man on the planet, Barry went to the smartest man he knew.

Coach Meller! Coach!

I need your help.

[Whistle blows]

Third graders, out!

You're of no use to me until you develop adult bodies that can play something besides tag.

What are we looking at here, Goldberg?

I taped over my 5th birthday party!

My mom will never forgive me if I can't get her tape back.

You're the A.V. Club adviser. Help me.

Well, it's more of a ceremonial title.

I just get to keep the key to the A.V. Closet on my belt, but mostly I just hand the key off to that weird kid with the muppet voice.

My brother? That's him... muppet boy.

So is it possible?

Can we un-film what I taped over?


All we got to do is pop that tape into the vcr, hit record and rewind at the same time, and it will un-record the top layer of video.


The answer was in front of me the whole time.

Except that wasn't the answer.

To the nerd hole.

While you could easily tape over something, you could never un-erase it.

[Grinding] [Electricity crackling]

No! Why didn't it work?

'Cause nobody really knows how vhs technology works.

It's a mystery science can't solve.

Looks like your only choice is to come clean.

Or I double-down and keep lying.

I lied on a job application once and said I was proficient in the audio-visual arts.

Now here we are.

So the lesson is... don't lie.

Unless it gets you an extra 60 bucks a week and a butt-load of extension cords.

I feel good about today.

In my brother's mind, there was only one logical choice... frame my mom.

First, he took his ruined birthday tape and steamed off the label.

Next, he stuck it onto my mom's Phil donahue tape so the next time she'd watch Barry's birthday, she'd find this.

In the long-term, it's not good for us.

I just don't understand how I could be so careless!

Don't beat yourself up too bad.

I mean, yeah, it's an unforgivable mistake.

But one day, I'll recover.

But I won't!

Those were the first moving images of my precious love monkeys.

Lost! Forever!

Dude, I'm all for lying to our parents, but this is very not okay.

The good news is she'll totally forget about it in a few days.

I will never forget about this!

Or a few weeks.


Mom's a mess.

I've failed as a mother...

I can't take it, Barry.

...as a woman...

Either you tell her...

...and as a human person.

...Or I will.

This is all your fault, Phil donahue, you gorgeous white-haired b*st*rd.

Okay, brainstorming session.

Murray, now that you've been forced to build a robo-man, you get to delight in Adam's favorite hobby.

I was about to delight in the weather channel.

They got a new ticker at the bottom of the screen.

It's always moving.

Are we done here?


Come on. Tell me what this metal-sucker should look like.

Get the ball rolling, Mur-man.

I don't know. Um...

It could have a... Button.

Good! A button.

Way to go there, big guy. Adam, your turn.

It definitely should have a "back to the future" -style flux capacitor for time travel.

Don't write that down.

No time travel. That's not a thing.

There are no bad ideas in brainstorming.

What else you got?

I don't know.

Maybe like a pointy hand that could poke stuff.

An ion-based magma Cannon.

A hat. A combat-ready cloaking device.

Metal feet.

We should also give it emotions and a sense of humor.

No! Don't write that down!

Ever heard of "short circuit"?

Once we get it struck by lightning, it'll be alive just like Johnny 5.

That was a movie.

For the sake of argument, let's entertain the notion that this robot can have anything we want it to have.

That's what I'm trying to do, bro, but unless this robot can give fog advisories, my father ain't getting on board.

A weather "robit."

Now, that actually makes sense.

I want this thing to have a snow plow.

And inter-dimensional portals.

Now we're cooking with gas.

Adult Adam: While my dad and I were finally coming together, my mom was still falling apart.

Dude, look at her.

She's even lost her will to jazzercise.

You were supposed to tell her by now.

I know, but I have great news.

I came up with something so much better than the truth.

I searched through all our old tapes and cut together Beverly Goldberg's most awesome Moments as a Mom.

I call it a "Momtage."

I don't understand.

See, I took the word "Mom" and mushed it into the word "montage," which is Spanish for the word "honesty."

I know what "montage" means.

Just tell me how it'll make her feel better.


There's nothing that woman loves more than taking care of us.

When she watches her greatest hits, she'll give me a hug and forget all about the other tape.


Never surrender

Barry: Momtage!

Starring our Mama.


Living the dream!

Cooking foods!

Too hot, but thank you!

Unclogging stuff!

♪ A mighty warrior ♪

It was Dad, not me!

Giant hair!

Fashion icon!

♪ When they try to break you down ♪

Yelling about safety!

We heart Beverly!

Against the wall

Well? Good stuff, right?

Yeah, I'm going to tell her myself, because this will literally send her into madness.

Why can't you trust me that for once I make things better?

Beverly: You did it Schmoo-Barry!

You went on the big potty!

We'll remember this forever.

No! That's why!

Because you taped over another priceless memory!


I can fix this with another Momtage.

Adult Adam: It had been two days since my dad came aboard my greatest hobby, and the results were epic!

Big news!

I got a tin of rugelach.

You two look like you could use a break.

No breaks. We're on a roll.

Check it out.

Here's our robot in killer cyborg form.

Here he is shooting his laser-guided fist.

And here he is using a doppler radar to predict black ice.

Hoo-hoo! Can you imagine?!

Now let's get to work.

On what?

Duh. Our robot.

Sure, it won't be easy, but you said you'd tinker.

We can't build this thing. It's got a time-travel thingy.

This technology doesn't even exist!

Not with that attitude.

Okay, it's on me.

I should have known better than to encourage all this "robit" nonsense.

Oh, like your hobby's so great? The weather. Feh.

Don't "feh" the weather. It can make or break us.

Just ask those poor bastards down tornado alley.


My robot can defeat any tornado you throw at me.

Easy, fellas. Have some rugelach.

Really? A category-nine twister versus this tin can? Please!

It's got nuts and jam! Just take a taste.

You fool.

My robot is made out of indestructible adamantium and has a drill that can dig into the core of the earth and change your precious weather patterns.

I should have never agreed to the drill!

I was on the fence about it, and now you're using it against me!

My own son!

Just take a taste.

Al. Enough of your deli cookie, please.

Just take a taste!

Look, you're not a little kid anymore.

You got to stop with these toys and the fantasies and the "robits."

It's robot.

Why won't you say it the right way?

Say "robot"!

I am! "Robit"!






It doesn't matter what you call it.

You need to find a hobby for a kid your age, a hobby that's real.

None of this crap is real!

You think I don't know what's not real?

Well, you sure as hell act like it is!

It's called fun... to pretend, to imagine, to think of things that may be possible one day.

It's what I do.

Hell, I-I'll go build this robot right now just to show you anything's possible.

You're gonna go invent a time-traveling "robit" in your room just to spite me?

Yes, and he will walk and talk and be the father that you could only hope to be.

At this point, I'm very open to a metal man coming down here and taking some of this off my plate!

Good! 'Cause it's done!

No, no, no. Again, I'm really into it.

Rugelach is a friendship snack.

As I convinced myself to build a robot, Erica convinced Barry to come clean to my mom.

Hi, ma. You can unload those groceries by yourself later.

Right now, we need to talk.

What's wrong, squishy?

First, I'll kick things off with a gravity-defying dunk dedicated to my very understanding and forgiving mother.

I named it "I love you, Mama."

You're very sweet to cheer me up, honey.

And remember that.

'Cause after my dunk, I'm gonna tell you all about how I taped over my birthday, then framed you, and then taped over even more precious stuff.

Watch me jam it home!

All: Oh!

[All cheering]

That's right, jtp!

Get my mom riled up with your infectious energy!

He soars like an angel!

You did it?

And then made me turn against Phil donahue?

So you lost a few irreplaceable memories, but think about what you gained!

An explosive jampilation of my sweetest rim encounters!

You think I'd rather have a video of you jam-dunking on some low rim? Seriously?

Low? That's NBA regulation.

It's not.

I just told you that to make you feel good about yourself.

It's low, bro.

Yeah, thing's tiny.

That's not regulation at all.

Oh, my God!

I entered the dunk contest at the villanova game next week!

How could you lie to me?!

Because that's what a good Mama does.

Shes builds you up and makes you feel like you can do anything.

I've spent the past decade planning to be a basketball legend and rap star!

Now I'm just gonna be some lowly rap mogul?

That can't be the life you want for me!

What I want is my old tapes back, but that's not happening, either, is it?

My life's a sham.

Goodbye, dreams.

As my brother's dreams were dying, I was realizing it really was impossible to give life to a robot.

Hey! What are the rules?

Don't come in your room, don't touch your crap, and don't come in your room to touch your crap.

And right now, you're breaking all of them. Get out.

I'm sorry, okay?

But I really need the electrical guts inside this boom box.

For what?

To build a spite robot that can replace Dad... a nice one that keeps his pants on.

Take a seat.

All right, how do I say this?


It's time to give up your stupid thing.

What? No, no, no, no. Never.

Trust me. I'm talking from experience here.

When I was your age, this was my hobby.

Strawberry shortcake. Heard of it?

Yeah, they're those chubby dolls that smell like pie.

Put her in your hand and tell me what you smell.




I smelled her so long and so hard that all the Berry is gone, and you know why?

Because I was playing with these until I was in the 9th grade.

Oh, God.

No one liked this girl, Adam. No one.

Everyone else moved on to real hobbies like sports and boys and wine coolers, and I was still sniffing the straw.

But robots are way cooler than those dolls.

Are they, Adam? Are they?

It's time, dude. Move on.

The last thing I wanted was to be that sad, little geek in the photo.

At that moment, I realized my dad was right.

It was time to give up robots forever.

While Barry's heart was broken 'cause he'd never play in the NBA, my mom felt even worse 'cause she was the one who broke it.

Goodbye, round mound of rebound.

It would have been nice to be your teammate until I became a franchise player and you got traded to Utah in disgrace.

In that moment, my mom knew that some taped memory from the past wasn't as important as making Barry feel good about his future.

And so Beverly Goldberg did what she does best... build up her children in an unrealistic way.

Beverly: Barry, wait.

Mom, I'm going to school 'cause I actually have to learn stuff now 'cause I'm not getting drafted by the sixers next month.

Love bug, just sit down.

There's something I want you to see.


Never surrender

See, I took the word "Schmoo" and combined it with "compilation."

Mom, don't bother.

It's not gonna make anything better...

Beverly: Starring Barry Goldberg.


Ne-yah! Ne-yah!



Beverly: Kara-te power!

♪ You were born a fighter ♪
♪ In the blood, a mighty warrior ♪

Jumping stuff!

♪ Driven by desire ♪
♪ Glory calls ♪

Popping and locking!

[Screams] I hate this game!

Beverly: Passion!

♪ When they try to break you down ♪
♪ You can take it ♪ [Water running]

Berverly: Long showers!

♪ When your back's against the wall ♪ [Beeping]

♪ The thrill of the fight's got you standing tall ♪

Treasure! ♪ Never surrender ♪

Adam! Get out! Stop video-t...

Beverly: Hero! [Clapping]

♪ You've got the heart of a hero ♪ Whoo!

Never surrender

But you forgot to mention my frisbee skills and how easily I can make friends with horses.


You're so much more than basketball, honey.

You are amazingly talented at so many amazing things.

I am good at basically everything.

I just... Couldn't live with myself if I knew I took away your dreams.

So... Does this mean you forgive me for ruining your tapes?

Of course.

Look, I know it's crazy how much I love them, but they just remind me of a time when you still needed me.


Look at all the stuff you do for me.

Everything I am is because of you.

I'll always need you.

[Rod Stewart's "forever young" plays]

Goodbye, r2 and 3po.

I guess you are not the droids I was looking for.

Well, you did it.

He's giving up all his robots.

I didn't want that.

I just wanted him to grow up a little bit.

Look at him.

He's watching the damn weather.

He has the rest of his life to be one of us.

Why rush him into it?

Oh, damn. I hate when you're right.

♪ And may sunshine and happiness ♪

Where you going?

I'm gonna finish a learning-based project.

Adult Adam: Just as I had given up robots, my dad went out and bought me the one I always wanted.

♪ Dignified and true ♪ [Whirring]

Murray: Hello, earth boy. It's me, short circuit.

Just go away.

Be-bop-boop! Be-bop-boop!

Not interested.

But Jimmy 5 is alive!

[Chuckles] I'm alive!


It's Johnny 5, and you're not alive.

You're a stupid toy.

♪ And in my heart, you'll always stay ♪

Look. I know what I said.

♪ Forever young ♪

And I'd never want you to stop with the "robit" stuff because of me.

It's fine, Dad.

You're not the only one who said I should move on.

Well, they're wrong.

I like that you got a big imagination and you like all that crazy time-travel stuff.

You do?


It's what makes you, you, and I wouldn't want to change that.

♪ Build a stairway to heaven ♪

Maybe a little. You're a weird kid.


So what do you say we take this sucker out and try and get it struck by lightning?

Bring this "robit" to life.

It's robot.

And it's impossible to know when lightning's gonna strike next.

Hey. You got your hobby. I got mine.

And with that, my dad and I combined our hobbies of course, lightning never struck my robot and Jimmy 5 never came alive.

But that night, my dad and I made a memory that would last a lifetime, something we would always have to look back on.

♪ Forever young ♪ [Sniffs]

That's the thing about letting go of the past.

It's never easy.

And sometimes, we never let go of it at all.

But the amazing thing about life is that we make new precious memories every single day.

♪ Forever young ♪ Hey, Mom.

I was gonna go outside and throw down some monster jams.

Maybe you want to come watch?

I'd love to, Baby.

♪ Forever young ♪

And the memories come when you least expect it.

♪ Forever young ♪

All: Oh!


[All cheering]

All: Oh!

I have awful news... do you remember that video of me playing with my strawberry shortcake dolls when I was little?

I accidentally taped over it.

Erica, how could you?

I'm sorry. I guess I just messed up like Barry did.

Yeah, that's a real shame.

Lucky for us, I made a copy.


Oh. Barry!

Good morning, Blueberry Muffin! You smell delicious today!

Oh, why, thank you, Cherry Cuddler.

Do you want to join us at the Berry bake shoppe for tea?

Oh, well, I can't because I have plans with my boyfriend, David Hasselhoff!

[Laughter] So adorable.

You're so dead!


So awkward.

I love her so much.