This is Adam Goldberg. Many probably know him from Fargo or Friends or from a number of independent films.
Based on a conversation he had with Marc Maron on Maron’s WTF podcast, I think it’s fair to assume that Adam Goldberg is a bit of a grumpy guy.
This is Adam F. Goldberg. He is the creator of the ABC sitcom The Goldbergs, a fantastic comedy set in the 1980s inspired by the life of Adam F. Goldberg.
Adam Goldberg and Adam F. Goldberg are obviously not the same person, but occasionally, people have confused the two. I will admit that when The Goldbergs was initially announced, I thought it was going to be based on the life of the Adam Goldberg from Friends. (That probably would have been a very gloomy show.)
Anyway, there has been a long-running real-life pissing match between Adam Goldberg and Adam F. Goldberg because they share the same name, and Adam Goldberg thinks it unfairly leads to marketplace confusion. This feud came out into the open in the summer of 2015, when Adam Goldberg (the one from Fargo) got irritated because people kept confusing The Goldbergs with the show he was on, The Jim Gaffigan Show on TV Land. It led to an extended argument on Twitter.
It began with this tweet, where actor Adam Goldberg tried to trick The Goldbergs‘ viewers into watching The Jim Gaffigan Show on TV Land.
Adam Goldberg followed it up with four or five more tweets in the same vein. The Goldbergs‘ Adam F. Goldberg responded thusly:
This led to an extended back and forth on Twitter that was both hilarious and petty. Adam Goldberg, the indie film actor, is clearly unhappy about sharing the same name with a sitcom writer.
Cut to the 2016-17 season of The Goldbergs, when a new character is introduced to the series: Adam Goldberg. This new Adam Goldberg also hates sharing a name with the existing Adam Goldberg — the lead character — on The Goldbergs, so the new Adam Goldberg makes the existing Adam Goldberg change his name to Adam F. Goldberg.
Adam F. Goldberg. Gotta use the middle initial because there’s another Adam Goldberg in school, and he’s very mad about the same name situation.
Basically, the two characters within the show mirror the two Adam Goldbergs in real life. This has been a running joke all season long, as Adam F. Goldberg (the character in the show and the creator who writes him) take shots at Adam Goldberg, the character (which are really not-so-veiled shots at Adam Goldberg the actor).
It all came to a head last night in what was one of the series’ very best episodes, pitting Adam F. Goldberg against Adam Goldberg — the sitcom characters — in a Karate Kid showdown. The episode began when Adam F. Goldberg wrote a review of Karate Kid for the school newspaper but neglected to add the middle initial to his name, enraging the other “indie, artsy” Adam Goldberg, the one with the “Jim Jarmusch” vibe, who is “very mad about the whole same name situation.”
In a manner echoing their real-life, this particular slight upset Adam Goldberg, the character, because by associating him with Karate Kid, Adam F. Goldberg was “ruining his reputation,” similar to the way the real-life Adam Goldberg believed Adam F. Goldberg was ruining his reputation by associating him with The Goldbergs. “Everyone thinks I wrote this hacky tripe,” Adam Goldberg yelled at Adam F. Goldberg. “I’m tired of the marketplace confusion. You gotta change your name. Now!”
Initially, the show’s Adam F. Goldberg considered changing his name because it “inconvenienced the other Adam Goldberg every so often,” and so that the “pretentious Adam Goldberg” was no longer confused with the “mainstream” Adam Goldberg. However, the two did eventually end up in a Karate Kid style match, but not before Adam F. Goldberg’s mother, Beverly, tried to save her son from getting his ass kicked.
Where have we seen Adam F. Goldberg’s mother, Beverly, get involved in the fight between Adam Goldberg and Adam F. Goldberg before?
The showdown, however, eventually took place. Adam F. Goldberg stood up for himself and his name. “You know what, other Adam Goldberg,” Adam F. Goldberg yelled. “I’ve had enough of this. Who CARES about marketplace confusion? We’re not that important. No one gives a crap about us but us!”
I don’t want to ruin the ending for those who still haven’t watched the episode, but let’s just say that it involved the recreation of the final match in Karate Kid, Joe Esposito’s “You’re the Best Around,” and two crane moves. No one knows his 80s movies better than Adam F. Goldberg (and the proof is in one of the show’s best Easter eggs ever).
And thus concludes the sitcom’s best running gag.