The Goldbergs star Wendi McLendon-Covey reveals her favorite gags from the ABC comedy
The ABC comedy's eighth season kicks off with a tribute to the classic film Airplane!
With more than 160 episodes to its credit — plus a lot of crazy sweaters and pop culture tributes — ABC's The Goldbergs kicks off its eighth season with an homage to the 1980 classic movie Airplane! The titular family heads to Miami, and like the show's outstanding season 5 episode "Dinner With the Goldbergs," which was primarily set in a restaurant, most of the high jinks in the season premiere will be contained to the flight, as seen in EW's exclusive clip above. But star Wendi McLendon-Covey — who knows a thing or two about earning laughs in the friendly skies as part of the outstanding ensemble of Bridesmaids — says we will get to see "a bit of the fun" they have in the Sunshine State.
"How do they all get on a plane to go to Miami? Well, do you think maybe Beverly lied to them about what's going to be going on when they get there? Probably," the actress reveals. "And in order to make sure everyone gets on the plane, she has to invite [Barry’s and Adam’s] girlfriends and [Erica’s] boyfriend.
Based on the life of creator Adam F. Goldberg, played in the comedy by Sean Giambrone, the show often incorporates Goldberg's personal home videos. McLendon-Covey says the "insane amount of material" that keeps coming in from the family and those tapes is what helps "keep us fresh."
"And I love the dynamic now that Adam is the only kid in the house," she says. "And Beverly, this season, finally gets fed up with Barry and Erica and is like, 'I don't want to be your mommy anymore!' [Laughs] And after being the mommy for so long she's like, 'I need an adult relationship with you guys. We can't do this anymore.'"
Before we see the show explore more of that dynamic, McLendon-Covey is looking back on the show's past seven seasons and picks her favorite gag from each. Plus, she teases one to come in season 8's third episode.
Season 8 of The Goldbergs kicks off with back-to-back episodes starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT, tonight on ABC.
Season 1 — "Who Are You Going to Telephone?"
"I really loved our Halloween episode from season 1 where Barry is the Hulk, Adam is a Rubik's Cube, Erica is a sexy Jane Goodall, and Beverly shows up to a house party dressed as a ghost, so she can kind of play wingman for Barry with a girl he likes. He doesn't understand [it’s her]. ... I just love Halloween anyway. But Halloween is just right for comedy because you've got an overprotective mother who just knows every urban legend about candy is true. And says things like, 'Take it to the hospital and have it X-rayed.' Like that's a good use of hospital time, like they're just sitting there X-raying everybody's candy because they’ve got nothing better to do."
Season 2 — "Love Is a Mix Tape"
"I love the thing we did at the Laserium. It was the season opener where Adam and his little girlfriend Dana keep going to the Laserium and Adam makes a mixtape that Bev thinks is for her, and they get into a duel about who is the inspiration. You said, 'You're the inspiration.' And in the end, Bev has a laser show made about the two of them dressed as little angels and Bev’s laser image is blessing the whole thing. That just got me because it was so stupid but it also made me cry."
Season 3 — "Couples Costume"
"I think I'm going to say the Halloween episode for season 3 as well, which was Preda-mom. Predator Mom. Dana loses her special ring that Adam gave her in a haunted house so he has to go in and get it but he's terrified of the haunted house. Mom — in order to prevent some kid from getting a sample candy bar that she had put a razor blade in to make a point and accidentally gets in the [real] candy and the candy goes all over Jenkintown — [is] running through the streets dressed as Predator stealing kids’ candy like every nightmare she's always warned Adam about. … That costume, wearing the head for that thing gave me such an achy neck that I had to see a chiropractor. Because it wasn't enough to just wear the head — I had to tilt my head a certain way so that the mic would pick up what I was saying, and the constant running around in it…it was a tough one but obviously worth it."
Season 4 — "Han Ukkah Solo"
"The Judah Maccabee Dinosaur Hunter Hanukkah episode. The one where Bev challenges Barry and Erica to make an enduring song. 'Which one of you can make an enduring song that's going to live as long as "Happy Birthday?" A beautiful traditional Hanukkah song.'"
Season 5 — "Dinner With the Goldbergs" and "Colors"
"Season 5 was on fire. So, obviously, 'Dinner With the Goldbergs' has to be acknowledged. [And] our 'Colors' episode where the Frentas [Beverly's group of friends] and the JTP [son Barry's group of friends] get in a turf war over the backyard, which results in a gazebo getting built so they can't play football back there anymore.' "
Season 6 — "Mister Knifey Hands"
"Mister Knifey-Hands! Again, a Halloween episode, but that was a big one for us. Just to even get [Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger], he doesn't have to come out of retirement and do this, but he was a fan of the show, apparently, and loved [the script]. So, to get him to come in and go through three hours of hair and makeup and then two hours of removal — that's already a full day for him — it just elevated that particular episode so much. Everything we did with it —the art direction, the production design, everything — was so great. And I remember, my mom would have done the same thing as Bev: 'If you watch that movie and get yourself scared to death, then too bad, you still have to go to sleep. You're not coming to me being upset. I told you not to watch it.' But the whole thing about Adam drinking Jolt Cola to stay awake because he doesn't want to go into his dreams, I loved that. It’s another fun Halloween episode. You can get crazy with the Halloween stuff and you can make it more broad because it's Halloween. Robert Englund was an absolute prince. I enjoyed talking to him so much. Everyone around him was just so sweet; they have such a familial bond between them. And why not? They've been together over 30 years. But that speaks to someone's character that they're able to have people in their life for that long. Especially in this business. So it was very, very cool."
Season 7 — "Oates & Oates"
"I loved the episode 'Oates and Oates.' [Laughs] I mean, come on, how ridiculous? We’re gonna dress up as Hall & Oates and no one's gonna know the difference, but neither one knows which one Daryl Hall is."
Season 8 — "It's All About Comptrol"
"In the third episode, we have Adhir Kalyan guest starring and he was in Rules of Engagement — he played David Spades’ assistant. He was really, really funny. I had a recurring role on that show so I got to be reunited with him, which was fantastic. But he's going door to door around the neighborhoods to say 'Hey, I'm running for comptroller and I hope I can count on your vote' and Beverly is like, 'I don't know why I would vote for you.' And he's like 'Well, I'm running unopposed so you technically don't have to, it’ll be fine.' And Bev says, 'Oh, well, you've got an opponent now because I need to start a new chapter in my life, and running for comptroller might just be the thing that I need to do.” So she throws her hat in the ring and she runs a campaign for comptroller never knowing what a comptroller does. And in order to get the youth vote she makes a video to Janet Jackson's 'Control.' But it's 'Comptrol.' She's like, this is gonna seal the deal. The real video goes on for 17 minutes. We don't see it all but I mean, come on. How long can you listen to Beverly sing about, 'I'm gonna be the one…in comptrol'?"
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