Have u seen TV's "The Goldbergs"? Its very 1980s.

New ABC comedy 'The Goldbergs' based on Jenkintown, Pa families

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
For Chad Kremp, bunkering down on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. to catch “The Goldbergs” is not just a time to unwind and enjoy being with his family; it’s an excuse to travel down memory lane.

Set in the 1980s,“The Goldbergs,” a new comedy that premiered on ABC this fall, follows the crazy antics of the Goldberg family, which consists of Beverly and Murray Goldberg and their three children, Adam, Barry and Erica, who reside in the quaint town of Jenkintown. The show is inspired by the childhood of the show’s creator, Adam Goldberg, who grew up on Newbold Road in Jenkintown.

The Kremps, the owners of Kremp Florist in Willow Grove, lived across from the Goldbergs. Even though the families were different, they became close friends, Chad said.

Chad recalled going to the Goldberg’s home to play with Adam and seeing Murray walking around the house in his underwear and a T-shirt, which is highlighted in the show. During dinner time, Chad said a Goldberg would make a comment that could cause the conversation to escalate into a big argument, which Chad said, didn’t happen at his house.

“We were your everyday family. There were four boys, and we all got along and did things together,” Chad said with a chuckle. “There wasn’t the bullying and the picking on each other like they did across the street. That was an eye-opening experience. The [brothers] punched each other — we weren’t used to seeing that.”

This contrast seemed to be what inspired the newest episode of “The Goldbergs” scheduled to air Nov. 12 titled “The Kremps” where the Goldbergs meet their new, all-American neighbors for the very first time. When Beverley invites the family over for a BBQ, the situation, in Goldberg fashion, turns into a frenzy.

“I always found it so fascinating that two polar opposite families could be so close,” Adam said in an email. “We had an open door policy where the Kremps, Chad and I spent our childhood roaming between our houses. The Kremps were quiet and had Nintendo and junk food — so I always got the better end of the deal. We were loud and had an Apple II Plus [computer] and stale pretzels.

“The idea for the episode came about when I told the writers about the time Chad came down to the shore for the weekend with my family. For three days, Chad lives as a yelling, dysfunctional Goldberg. When Chad went back home, he immediately talked back to his mom who was horrified and hurt. Chad’s mom wrote him a letter expressing her displeasure. A letter! At that moment I realized our families just did things very differently. It was amazing … being raised in [a] very different family and having [the Kremps] always welcome me with open arms.”

“The Kremps” episode would not be complete without a slated cameo appearance from a Kremp himself. Chad had the opportunity to fly to Los Angeles at the beginning of October for the filming of the episode, and the experience he said was “surreal.” Chad got the chance to try out his acting skills and appears in a deli scene where he is yelled at by the actress playing his mother.

He also had the opportunity to meet the cast and the actors who portrayed other members of his family including actor Jacob Hopkins, who appeared in “True Blood,” and plays a young version of himself.

“When I met Jacob, he had just come off set, and he walked by and I said, ‘Hey, you’re doing a great job.’ He said thank you, and then I said, ‘Oh, by the way I’m Chad Kremp.’ He said it was nice to meet me before he realized who I was and then his eyes got big and he said, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s so nice to meet you.’ That was a fun little moment.”

The episode is a fictional account of when the Kremps met the Goldbergs, but Drew, one of Chad’s older brothers, remembers the actual meeting.

“The Goldbergs had a pool, and I remember asking my mom if we could go swimming,” he mused. “At the time, the people that my mother bought the house from were saying this is such a great neighborhood, except the Goldbergs — they’re kinda crazy. [As] it turned out, they ended up being our best friends. … I went over, and that’s when I met Barry, Adam’s brother, and I’m still best friends with him today.”

Soon, Chad and Adam became pals and bonded while making home movies with their VHS camcorders. Adam uses some of that footage at the end of each episode.

“[Adam] asked me to send out all of my VHS tapes, because he wanted to go through it all and find little snippets,” Chad said. “I probably sent him 40 VHS tapes and together we probably had 100 tapes of old footage. The videos are of some family things, but we did a lot of our own sketch comedy type stuff, made our own commercials, had interview shows and sometimes when we didn’t know what we were going to do, we would just turn the camera on and start making fools of ourselves. The camera was always rolling.”

Not only does Chad enjoy the show due to the close connection it has to his childhood, but he said he always enjoys hearing the characters make references to Philadelphia sports teams and is pleased when the show depicts local landmarks like Alverthorpe Park, the Willow Grove Park mall and now Kremp Florist.

“Just the idea of Adam having a show on television was awesome and then having it be a show about his family made it more amazing,” Chad said. “Now our names are on it — you can’t get any more surreal than that.”

Follow Jarreau Freeman on Twitter @JarreauFreeman.

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