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Why Jeff Garlin Left The Goldbergs, And How The Show Handled His Departure

Adam F. Goldberg’s hit ABC comedy series, The Goldbergs, will be returning to the airwaves in September just as the 2022 Fall TV schedule is getting started. But when the show comes back for its 10th season (and its staggering 208th episode), it will be without one of its most notable stars: Jeff Garlin, who played family patriarch Murray Goldberg since the show debuted back in 2013.

Though some may be up to speed on all the drama behind the scenes that led to Garlin leaving the show part way through The Goldbergs Season 9 in late 2021, others could have possibly missed out on the news and are wondering where the cranky yet caring father went when show makes its return. Well, if you fall into that second camp, you’ll really find good use for the breakdown of the situation that follows below. Let’s dive into this story and work out all the details…

Wendi McLendon-Covey and Jeff Garlin on The Goldbergs

(Image credit: ABC)

Jeff Garlin Departed The Goldbergs In December 2021 Following An HR Investigation Into Alleged Misconduct

In late 2021, just as The Goldbergs and other broadcast shows were preparing for their winter break ahead of Christmas, word began to spread that Jeff Garlin, who had been one of the show’s biggest stars since its inception, was being investigated for misconduct on set that was allegedly verbal and physical. No details were released at the time, but Garlin denied he was fired from the sitcom during a lengthy Vanity Fair interview conducted just before Thanksgiving, saying:

No, I was not fired from The Goldbergs. I have not been fired from The Goldbergs.

When asked about the numerous allegations abut his misconduct, the veteran comedian and star of Curb Your Enthusiasm claimed he was unaware his actions had upset people on set, going on to say that it was wrong of him to make someone feel uncomfortable.

The interview was published on December 3, 2021, and quickly built up steam as the story began to take up more and more space. Then, on December 15, 2021, Deadline reported that Garlin was departing The Goldbergs following multiple misconduct allegations and HR investigations into the matter. The outlet, citing sources, also claimed that an agreement had been reached and Garlin would not be returning to conclude the show’s ninth season or any future installments.

Jeff Garlin in Jeff Garlin: Our Man In Chicago

(Image credit: Netflix)

Prior To His Departure, Jeff Garlin Commented On The Issue During A Stand-Up Comedy Routine

In the days leading up to Jeff Garlin’s departure from The Goldbergs, the comedian gave a performance in front of a packed house at Hollywood Improv, according to Variety, where he reportedly talked about the ABC sitcom and him leaving the series he had been a part of for nearly a decade. Phones were not allowed in for Garlin’s show, which took place the same day the Vanity Fair interview was published, but a reporter in attendance explained that Garlin repeatedly told the audience how much he despised the show and that he didn’t want talk about it, though he continued to bring up it.

The Variety report went on to state that Garlin claimed he was in hot water with ABC for comments he was making on the set of The Goldbergs, which he was fed up about. According to the Variety reporter’s account, the routine was largely centered on The Goldbergs controversy and issues stemming from it. But again, no video or photos were taken that night due to phones being not allowed through the door.

the goldbergs season 9 jeff garlin

(Image credit: ABC)

A Combination Of Unused Takes, Off-Camera Dialogue, Stand-Ins, And CGI Was Used After Jeff Garlin’s Departure

Following Jeff Garlin’s departure from The Goldbergs, one question going around was: How will the comedy handle one of its lead stars suddenly no longer being on the show? Well, in December 2021, Variety reported that the plan for the second half of The Goldbergs Season 9 was to use a combination of unused takes, off-camera dialogue, and stand-ins to complete his character’s scenes. Though it appeared as if no deep fake technology or CGI would be needed, the show ended up turning to computer imagery to complete a scene near the end of the season.

In March 2022, the episode “The Wedding” caused a bit of an uproar on Twitter when fans took to the social media platform to call out the CGI that was used to include Murray Goldberg in a scene, despite Garlin no longer being in the cast. Audiences and critics alike were quick to point out just how creepy and unnatural the CGI Murray looked when shoehorned into the scene.

The Goldbergs on ABC

(Image credit: ABC)

The Goldbergs Was Picked Up For A 10th Season In April 2022

Just when it looked like The Goldbergs would join the list of shows cancelled in 2022 due to the Jeff Garlin controversy, the series caught a break when ABC elected to renew the comedy for a 10th season to air at some point that fall, according to Deadline.

There has been no word on if The Goldbergs will continue past the upcoming season, which is slated to premiere Wednesday, September 21, 2022, though it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility if the show does, in fact, get another season order sooner or later. The series joins a list of other shows that lost main stars in recent years. In 2018, ABC cancelled the Roseanne revival after its star, Roseanne Barr, posted a controversial message on Twitter, only for the show to come back as The Conners later that fall. That show is now preparing for its fifth season.

adam, barry and murray nervously surprised on the goldbergs

(Image credit: ABC)

Murray Goldberg Was Killed Off Between Seasons Following Jeff Garlin’s Departure

When The Goldbergs Season 10 premieres, the characters on the show will be dealing with a loss just like the actors on set. In August 2022, co-showrunner Alex Barnow told EW that a decision was made to kill off Murray Goldberg between seasons. According to Barnow, the new season will pick up several months after Murray’s off-screen death, meaning everyone has had time to grieve the loss and kind of start their next chapter. Barnow also explained that the new season will be more about looking forward opposed to looking back on the past.

This catches us up with Jeff Garlin’s departure from The Goldbergs and how the show plans to carry on without one of its biggest stars. Even though Garlin is gone, the hit comedy series is still being pushed as one of the biggest draws on ABC’s 2022 fall lineup of shows.

Philip Sledge
Content Producer

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.