Adam Frederick Goldberg was born April 2, 1976 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His Jewish parents, Beverly (born October 8, 1943) and Murray Goldberg (September 25, 1940 - February 1, 2008), also had two other children, Barry (born October 15, 1969) and Eric (born August 18, 1967). The family grew up in Jerkintown. At 1992, at age 15, Goldberg produced his first play, Dr. Pickup, earning him a win at the Philadelphia Young Playwrights Festival. He graduated from William Penn Charter School two years later, and then moved on to New York University where he double-majored in film and dramatic writing. He graduated there in 1998, but not before writing over 50 plays. His works were performed all around the country including such venues as the Sundance Playwrights Lab, Illusion Theater, Greenwich Street Theater, Saint Marks Theatre, Walnut Street Theater, and the Joseph Papp Theater.

In 1995, while still in college at New York University, he was awarded the Anne M. Kaufman Endowment ARTS Award in the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts program for his Playwriting. He was also a finalist for the 1997 Osborn Award through the American Theater Critics Association for his full-length play, One on One.

When asked about his early interest in writing, Goldberg couldn't help but mention The Goonies. "The Goonies is my favorite movie of all time", he told "It's the reason I'm a writer. I've seen it a billion times. I would reenact it. I wrote Goonies scripts as a kid."

Goldberg is best known for his television and sitcom writing, which began in 2003 with the sitcom Still Standing. He worked on the show for four years and became a co-producer. It was during his first year on Still Standing that he developed the screenplay for Fanboys along with his college friend Kyle Newman, Triggerstreet, and Picture Machine. Fanboys was then sold to the Weinstein company and ended up on the 2005 Black List for most popular unproduced scripts of that year.

Fanboys' success earned him the opportunity to write several other screenplays including The Jetsons, Aliens in the Attic, and The Muppets' Wizard of Oz. In 2007 he was commissioned to create a remake of the 1984 Revenge of the Nerds, which was cancelled after only three weeks of filming. He moved on to write DreamWorks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon as well as it's 2011 Christmas Special, Gift of the Night Fury. He also wrote Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space. In addition to co-producing Still Standing, he has produced several movies including The Comebacks for Fox, Daddy Day Camp for Columbia, Bobism for MGM, Jeff the Immortal for Universal, and Warner Bros' Night of the Living Dorks remake.

Goldberg spent time working with Adam Sandler's production company, Happy Madison, and wrote four pilots for various networks. In 2010 he was introduced to Seth Gordon, director of King of Kong, and together they created the comedy series Breaking In that debuted April 6, 2011 on FOX. The show was advertised as "The Office meets The A-Team" and was debuted as a mid-season replacement following American Idol. During production the project was also tentatively titled Titan Team and Security. The show starred Bret Harrison, Alphonso McAuley, and Christian Slater.


Christian Slater's character, Ferris "Oz" Oswald Osbourne, is particularly notable. Several episodes are started with the character saying "Greetings and salutations", which is a reference to Slater's role in Heathers as Jason "J.D." Dean in 1988. Slater's Breaking In character, Oz, is a former thief and counterfeiter who now runs a security company. This is tied to Slater's future roles as "Mr. Robot" in the 2015 show of the same name, where he plays a computer hacker, and his Archer character, Slater, who is a CIA agent and undercover cocaine and arms dealer. 

Later that year, Goldberg signed a three-year deal with Sony Pictures TV. He produced NBC's Community and in 2012, was afforded the opportunity to create an autobiographical show titled "How the F--- Am I Normal?" The show was later renamed to The Goldbergs and picked up by ABC. It was described as "a dysfunctional Wonder Years set in simpler times and is an autobiographical show about growing up in the '80s with a highly screwed up but loving family." The show is currently on its sixth season, airing on ABC. It stars Windi McLendon-Covey, Jeff Garlin, Sean Giambrone, Troy Gentile, Hayley Orrantia, George Segal, AJ Michalka, and Sam Lerner.

The theme song for The Goldbergs was created for the show by I Fight Dragons, an alternative rock band from Chicago which creates musing using unique Nintendo Game Boy and Nintendo Entertainment System sounds. The band announced: "I got a message from the backer who had just donated to receive our epic NES-guitar. We hadn't met before but his name was Adam Goldberg and it turned out he was a big IFD fan. He wanted to ask us to write the theme song for his eponymous TV show coming out in the fall, The Goldbergs, which he based on his childhood growing up int he 80's. After wiping my eyes a few times in disbelief, I replied with a hearty "Hell yes!" and we got talking. It was an exciting, crazy process from there until now. Adam is awesome and has been a huge champion for the band."

The Goldbergs was included in TV Guide's Top Twenty "Best Shows of the Year" and was awarded the Best Comedy of 2013-2014 by SpoilerTV. Tim Goodman of the Hollywood Reporter called it "one of the rare freshman comedies to deliver" and David Wiegand of the San Francisco Chronicle stated "you'll immediately like everyone in the family and the jokes derive from credible situations." Entertainment Weekly called the season two premiere "the best of any family comedy on TV in the way it eschews dysfunction for its more appropriate, real-world term: love." The show also sparked a spin-off, Schooled, which was picked up by ABC and scheduled to air in 2019.

When asked what advice Goldberg would give to aspiring screenwriters, he responded "Write in your voice. Write what you know and what appeals to you. This where you'll have the most success." "Don't write a thriller just because you hear thrillers are an easy sell. Only write a script that you know you can knock out of the park. I wrote Fanboys because I'm a giant Star Wars Fan. I wrote Revenge of the Nerds because, well, I am one. They say 'write what you know' and there's a real truth to that!"

Last Modified: Apr 7, 2020

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