Results tagged ‘ Rob McElhenney ’

How ABC’s The Goldbergs Recreated the Vet

SEAN GIAMBRONEABC’s “The Goldbergs” is a sitcom set in 1980’s suburban Philadelphia. This Wednesday’s episode at 8:30 p.m. ET centers on young Adam Goldberg getting lost at a Phillies game at Veterans Stadium.

The show recreated the stands, the concourses, the concession stands, the bathrooms, etc. But the show almost never happened.

Goldberg spoke with recently about the episode, being a Phillies fan and more.

Click here to read the story, which includes a couple clips from Wednesday’s episode.

Q: So why did you want to have a Phillies/Vet episode?
A: The Goldbergs is completely autobiographical about my life growing up in the ‘80s in Philadelphia. Every day in the writers’ room, we just talk about stories from our childhood and things that mattered to us. I grew up in a sports family. As you see in the show, I wasn’t athletic. But my brother was. My dad was an athlete. I was the black sheep. But that didn’t stop me from being dragged to Phillies games, Eagles games. We had Flyers season tickets. So sports are a big part of my family and growing up. Some of my best memories were going to Phillies games with my dad, going to Veterans Stadium. There was one particular instance where we got separated, and in the ‘80s when you got separated from somebody in a big place without a cell phone there was no way to find them. So I was telling this story about how I went with my dad to a Phillies game and we got separated. And there was this panic you felt because Veterans Stadium was so big and so scary. It was terrifying. It’s really an episode about Adam’s transition into manhood as he learns to survive in Veterans Stadium by himself only to be reunited with his dad at the end.

Q: But I remember seeing on Twitter you couldn’t get script approval.
A: The show is a love letter to the ‘80s, but it’s also a love letter to Philadelphia and a love letter to the sports that I grew up with. So it’s a love letter to all the Philly teams. I’ve done a lot of Flyers stuff. The NHL is really cooperative. Baseball, everybody knows, they’re just tougher. So the interesting thing was, when we approached them they had concerns about the scripts as any franchise would. Be it sports or even when we try to get an ‘80s movie cleared. Everyone wants their property to be portrayed in the right way and they have concerns. And the way it happened was I tweeted my frustrations and the Phillies saw that fans wanted Veterans Stadium to be resurrected so badly. So MLB has been awesome because they’ve decided to stay out of it and leave it in the hands of the Phillies. So now I’m working with the Phillies, which is so cool, to really come up with something that I’m happy with comedically and they’re happy that represents the Phillies in the best way. The other thing that’s amazing that is that it is a comedy and the Phillies were able to have a really good sense of humor about what Veterans Stadium was. So that’s been really cool. I think there’s concerns that naturally, we don’t want the fans to be portrayed in a certain way. So what was explained back that this isn’t about the fans. This is about Veterans Stadium, what that meant to the city and yes it was rough around the edges, but it was a place that people loved. So we’re recreating the stands and the bleachers. We’re recreating the bathrooms. There’s a lot of people from Philly on my show. And those bathrooms. Those giant troughs that you had to pee in with the drunk fans. You’re so crowded in. I remember having stage fright for the first time, having to go so bad, but being so freaked out by the experience I couldn’t go. There was so much. It was so ripe for material. This episode came out so easily because we all have so many experiences going to Phillies games with going to Veterans Stadium.


Utley Writes Back Mac

Chase Utley finally answered Mac’s letter from It’s Always Sunny.

I spoke to Rob McElhenney in 2010 about the love letter to Utley and more.

Rob McElhenney Talks Utley, Howard and Phillies

Always Sunny still.jpg

A little more than a week ago you probably thought this weekend’s series in Atlanta would mean something.

It turns out it doesn’t.

We’ll have plenty of time before Game 1 to discuss the NLDS rotation, the postseason roster, the Cincinnati Reds, Placido Polanco‘s elbow and Jimmy Rollins‘ hamstring. So let’s move into the weekend the right way, with an interview I did Tuesday with Philadelphia native Rob McElhenney, creator and star of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are appearing in the Dec. 2 episode, so I thought it would be a good time to talk to Rob about it, and get his thoughts on other things Phillies related:

(Note: Rob allowed me to watch the scenes in which Utley and Howard appear. I definitely laughed. Check out the story on, with reaction from Utley and Howard.)

Question: I know Utley and Howard are appearing in an upcoming episode. I’ve seen some dicey cameos from athletes on other TV shows. How did they do?
Answer: I thought they did a really amazing job. I thought they were better than a lot of actors we wind up having on the show. I thought they did a (freakin’) amazing job.

Question: Really?
Answer: I thought so.

Question: Were you aware of Utley’s reputation for being a guy that isn’t especially talkative or outgoing, at least publicly? I was surprised he even said yes.
Answer: He was the first person to say yes. We got word back from his representation, I think within an hour, that he was into it. I don’t think that he and (his wife) Jen watched the show before we mentioned him in the last season. I think a bunch of his buddies watch the show and handed him the DVD. I think he got the joke.

Question: I know Chase told me that he thought the “Chase Utley love letter” was pretty funny.
Answer: It spawned from a conversation we were having in the writer’s room about what an interesting phenomena it is as you grow older to continue to think about professional athletes as being older than you. I think it’s just something that happens when you’re a kid, and then when you look up the ages of some of these guys … I’m like two years older than Chase, and I thought what a funny idea it would be if a character looked up to Chase Utley as his older brother-type figure. Then he comes to find out that he’s older than him and how sad that is.