Garlin's world stays busy: The Cubs are back

Sometime after 1 a.m., life brightened for Chicago Cub fans: The  baseball gods has intervened -- via a wild pitch, a hit batter, catcher's interference, a pick-off and more; the Cubs remain in the World Series chase.

Now they head to Los Angeles, home of one of their noisiest fans --  Jeff Garlin, co-star of both "The Goldbergs" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Hee's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

Right now, Jeff
Garlin's life seems to be overflowing.

One of his shows
(“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) is finally back ... Another (“The
Goldbergs”) turns 100 and is everywhere ... And the Chicago Cubs
are back in the World Series chase.

And no, that's not
necessarily the order of importance.

Proof of that is in
the studio, where Garlin portrays the patriarch, Murray Goldberg.
Hanging from the rafters is a giant “W” flag, signifying a Cubs
win. “Last year, he was wearing it like a cape,” said Sam Lerner,
who plays Geoff, a friend of the Goldberg kids.

The flag remains
off-camera, an anomaly for “Goldbergs,” which is set in 1980s

Artifacts of the
decade are all over the set, even in details the cameras won't see.
There are the games (Knight Rider, Fireball Island, GoBots, Hungry
Hungry Hippos) ... the records (Monkees, George Michael) ... and the
movies (“Stand By Me,” “Dark Crystal,” an “ET” lunch

The video games –
Atari, Asteroids, etc. -- seem primitive now, but Sean Giambrone, who
plays Adam, is cheery. “I've become pretty well-versed” in the
era, he said. “I could have had a good time then.”

Another artifact is
the elaborate hairdo that Wendi McLendon-Covey wears as Beverly
Goldberg, Murray's wife. “The women worked so hard at looking
put-together,” she said.

This is part of
Beverly's assertive approach to life, McLendon-Covey said. “She
puts her armor on and she's ready for the world.”

Murray doesn't have
armor ... and sometimes doesn't have pants. He prefers not to be put

This is a decade
Garlin recalls fondly. “I graduated high school in 1980,” he
said. “I started doing (stand-up) comedy in '82. I lost my
virginity in '82.”

He grew up in the
Chicago area, but moved to Florida in 6th grade, after his
father sold his plumbing-supply business. After briefly trying
Broward Community College and the University of Miami, he returned to
Chicago, which had what he wanted – comedy clubs, Second City and
the Cubs.

For the Cubs, those
1980s started horribly (64 wins, 98 losses) and ended splendidly
(93-69). In between were seven other losing seasons and one winning
one. The Cubs did win the division title twice (1984 and '89), but
then lost in the play-offs. The World Series was out of the question.

So last season
became big for Garlin. He flew to Chicago for the three World Series
games at Wrigley Field and saw the Cubs fall behind, three games to
one, in a best-of-seven series. “I asked (manager) John Madden ...
and he said, 'We got it.'”

They did – the
first Cubs World Series in 108 years -- and Garlin returned to work
with his “W” cape. Now comes the new overload:

-- “Curb Your
Enthusiasm” on HBO for the first time in six-plus years. “I knew
it would be back,” he said. He co-stars and is one of the show's

-- “The Goldbergs”
with its 100th ABC episode on Oct. 25. Reruns are on cable
(Pop and Nickelodeon) and this fall began airing on individual

-- And the Cubs.
They won the division title, barely survived the first play-off round
and are in the second, with the winner going to the World Series.
This round has Chicago and Los Angeles; Garlin has homes in both
cities ... but we can guess which team he'll root for.

-- “The
Goldbergs,” 8 p.m. Wednesdays, ABC, with the 100th
episode on Oct. 25. Reruns are on Pop (8-11 p.m. Tuesdays, 8:30-11
p.m. Wednesdays), Nickelodeon (1-2 a.m. daily) and individual

-- “Curb Your
Enthusiasm,” 10 p.m. Sundays, HBO, rerunning often on HBO and HBO2.

-- Cubs-Dodgers
series on TBS, starts Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 14-15) in Los
Angeles; continues Tuesday, Wednesday and (if needed) Thursday in
Chicago; then (if needed) Oct. 21-22 in Los Angeles.