Adam F. Goldberg, creator and executive producer of ABC sitcom The Goldbergs wants to settle something once and for all: Die Hard isn't just a Christmas movie, it's the best one ever. And he's backing that claim up with an entire episode paying homage to the Bruce Willis film.
For those not familiar, The Goldbergs is a semi-autobiographical series that is based off of Goldberg's own childhood experiences in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania in the 1980s. The series, which stars Jeff Garlin as husband and father Murray, Wendi McLendon-Covey as wife and mother Beverly, is frequently told from the perspective of Adam who documents the family's life with his video camera. It's Goldberg's real-life experiences and love of Die Hard that has inspired the upcoming Christmas episode/Die Hard homage entitled "Yipee Ki-Yay, Melon Farmer," a play on Willis' iconic line from the film as well as a nod to what Goldberg describes as one of the greatest disappointments of his childhood.
"If you grew up in the 80s, you know how big a deal it was when your favorite movie finally aired on TV," Goldberg explains. "Unfortunately, that usually meant a lot of stuff being edited out or cleaned up for kids. I remember how excited I was to show my family the greatest Christmas movie ever, Die Hard. I shushed everyone into silence in anticipation for John McClane's iconic line. But they had dubbed it to make him say, 'Yippee Ki Yay, Melon Farmer! I was like, 'what is happening? That doesn't make any sense! What's a melon farmer?' I'll never forget my disappointment and confusion...."
On The Goldbergs, the episode will see Adam (Sean Giambrone) and his Uncle Marvin (Rick Fogler) attempt to write and film a perfect rip-off of Die Hard. Marvin claims to have the connections that will guarantee their Die Hard clone will make it to the big screen which results in several wild variations on the theme pitched by Adam -- as well as plenty of references to the iconic action film.
As for Goldberg's claim that Die Hard is the best Christmas film ever, fans can likely expect to see that woven into the show as well, though some viewers might find themselves disagreeing. A recent Morning Consult/The Hollywood Reporter poll found that only 25-percent of their respondents consider Die Hard to be a Christmas movie, though it might be worth noting the relatively small 2,200 person sample size. How representative the poll really is could be up for debate.
What's not up for debate, however, is how The Goldbergs has leaned into its references to iconic genre films from the 80s. Earlier this year, original Freddy Krueger, actor Robert Englund, reprised the iconic role for its Halloween-themed episode. It was the first time Englund had played the character in 15 years, something Englund admitted he did for his fans.
"I’ve been very protective of the character for years … I said no to [series creator] Adam [Goldberg]," Englund admitted to the New York Post. "And then he sent me probably the most beautiful fan letter I ever received, telling me how much A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors meant to him. And then I started thinking about my fans, how it dovetails with the ’80s experience and this sort of retro memory play that The Goldbergs is about."
The Goldberg's homage to Die Hard, "Yipee Ki-Yay, Melon Farmer", will air Wednesday, December 12th on ABC.