Adam F. Goldberg tells EW about some of his thrilling ideas
Credit: John Fleenor/ABC

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Nobody does pop culture homages quite like The Goldbergs. Through four seasons, the ’80s-set comedy has paid tribute to The Karate Kid, Dirty Dancing, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and more. And while there are more on the way in season 5, a few thrilling ideas have proved to be impossible to make a reality, including creator Adam F. Goldberg’s holy grail.

“Every season there are four or five that we write a scene or an episode about,” Goldberg tells EW. “And then, I remain hopeful until the very end that we can push it through, and a couple don’t happen.”

For the first few years, a Beastie Boys episode was his white whale, but they were finally able to get it done in season 3’s “The Tasty Boys,” which Goldberg points to as one of his favorite episodes. But now, with the legendary rap group checked off, what’s the next dream homage?

“A full-on ‘Thriller’ re-do is kind of the holy grail to me — and it’s absolutely impossible,” admits Goldberg of the Michael Jackson track. “You have to pay for the song and you have to pay for the choreography, which each costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, and you have to get approvals. We wrote a complete ‘Thriller’ script that is just sitting there that no one will ever see.”

Among the other seemingly out of reach properties that Goldberg has tried and failed to bring to his ABC sitcom are The NeverEnding Story and Les Misérables. “We do a theater episode every year and I’d love to do [Les Miz] because that was the pinnacle ‘80s musical,” he shares. “But again, very complicated. There’s tons of owners and they’re French and they’re hard to get to.”

And if that never works out? Wendi McLendon-Covey, who plays the Goldberg family’s matriarch, has an idea: “I would really, really love to see this family go on vacation like the Griswolds,” she says. “Like the first Vacation movie, they have the station wagon, so I want to see these idiots go on a road trip. I need to see that.”

The Goldbergs returns Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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