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  • What a great show in the middle of the 20th century!

    Not only did Gertrude Berg star, but she also wrote the material for the show. She was a wonderful actress and her sudden passing, just before Rosh Hashanah, in 1966, was a terrible shock to all.

    The show depicted a typical Jewish family living in the Bronx in the 1950s.

    Molly may have been harried but she was always on the ball. "Yoo hoo, Mrs. Bloom," was my favorite as the 2 women stuck their heads out to converse. The door bell of that apartment never stopped ringing. People came in and out and would sit down to dinner as if it were nothing to invite themselves in.

    Gertrude Berg (Molly) had a kind Jewish heart and that was usually reflected by the rest of the cast.

    Her husband, Jake, worked in the garment industry in Manhattan. When he would come home, in a bad mood, watch out. Remember, "Jake, your liver is on the table?"

    The show was up-to-date. As many Jewish families moved from the Bronx in the middle and late 1950s, the Goldbergs moved as well to Forest Hills in Queens.

    The show was nostalgic and was a testimony to Jewish people of that era. Too bad we can't sit down with some chicken soup, gefilte fish et al and watch some reruns.
  • i don't watch television entertainments (other than SNL occasionally). but, one night at about 2am, while channel-surfing the UHF band i stumbled onto an episode of "The Goldbergs".

    the contrast between this show and today's dreck literally brought tears to my eyes. in this particular episode, a couple who were friends of the Goldbergs had just separated. it seems that they did not 'communicate' openly and honestly with each other during their marriage.

    in discussing this, the Goldbergs started to become increasingly candid with each other about mutual disappointments from the past. as they did so, the emotional air became more and more acrid.

    the point was that there is no easy answer to the question of how much to 'confront' and how much to sweep under the carpet. but, there was no hitting below the belt, no potty humor, no double (or mono) entendres. just two decent people discussing a universal domestic problem with a leavening of humor.

    i haven't been able to find it again, but i wish it would go into syndication locally.
  • The picture is missing. Roy Neal and the cast of "The Goldbergs" in 1949. (Left to right) Gertrude Berg, Roy Neal, Phillip Loeb and Eli Mintz (Click on the photo to see a larger version) This picture is from the WPTZ broadcast hosted by Roy Neal called, "Open House" which aired Wednesday evenings from 7 to 7:30 pm. Ironic that in a few years, "The Goldbergs" television show would take over that very time period.

    The television program, "The Goldbergs," was based on the life of one Molly Goldberg and her family. It was based on the long running radio show. "The Rise of the Goldbergs" (later "The Goldbergs"), was created by lead actress, Gertrude Berg. It evolved from skits her produced at her family's hotel in the Catskills Mountains of New York. Its TV life started in 1949 on CBS-TV and was aired live.

    The Goldbergs live in Apartment 3-B of 1030 East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx. Residents included the Parents, Molly and Jake and their children Rosalie and Sammy and, of course, Uncle David (played by Eli Mintz). During its life on CBS-TV, the program aired on Monday evenings in three different time periods. The show disappeared in June of 1951 and resurfaced in February of the next year on another network, NBC-TV. In only ran to July and aired Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday from 7:15 to 7:30 pm. The format didn't work and the show again went away and reappeared a year later as a Friday evening half-hour weekly broadcast, again on NBC. It lasted only a couple of months and the next spring (April of 1954), the struggling DuMont network picked it up as a Tuesday evening half-hour program. It went off the air that fall and resurfaced as a first-run filmed, syndicated program (called "Molly") during the 1955-1956 television season.

    Molly Goldberg's husband was initially portrayed on television by actor Phillip Loeb. He's the reason the show went off the air in 1951. Loeb was a victim of McCarthyism and was labeled a communist. Loeb had always denied the charged but the network and sponsors demanded that he be dropped from the cast and replaced. When Berg didn't cave in, the network dropped the broadcast. When the show returned to television a year later, Loeb was gone and replaced by Harold J. Stone. But the publicity hurt the program so much that it never really recovered from the bad press.

    In 1955, depressed and out of work, Loeb killed himself. Less than 10% of the shows exist today. Contracts between the networks and the producers demanded that any kinescopes (filmed recording shot off a television screen) be destroyed three months after the initial airing. Few of the "live" shows survived into the 21st century. Only the filmed syndicated program exist intact today but none on the original 35mm masters

    Larry Schiff, a visitor to our website e-mailed: ...My brother came across the story of Roy Neal's Open House show on WPTZ concerning The Goldbergs.

    I'll try to make this as short as I can - we're originally from the Bronx and one day during either March or April 1950 during lunch break, a kid came into the school yard telling us the cast from The Goldbergs were at a party in an apartment building nearby.

    He told us to follow him and he took off with a bunch of us following closely - I lucked out being one of the fast runners and stood next to the kid at an apartment door while he knocked - someone answered the knock and invited a few of us in - later we found it was a ploy to get a bunch of kids to run around making noise in back of the building while movies were being taken. Meanwhile a few of us that were in front at the door were invited in - we had cake and got autographs (if I look hard enough I think I still have them). The show aired the following Monday I believe. I appeared for a second or two in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

    The premise of that show was a neighbor of the Goldbergs was annoyed at all the noise in the neighborhood (the show opened with a construction worker using a jack-hammer and eventually showed the film of all the kids running around making a lot of noise).

    We were all late and because someone told their teacher I was probably the leader I got called down to the Principal's Office and I thought I was in for it, but Gertrude Berg was there with a photographer who took some pictures. Miss Berg convinced the Principal it was not the kid's fault and promised if no punishment was given they would mention our school on the show..., which they did - our school was P.S. 94.

    It's too bad that less than 10% of the kinescopes have survived - it would be neat to be able to see it again.

    I guess that was my 15 minutes of fame.
  • ivan-2226 October 2001
    I've had the privilege of seeing only two episodes of this pioneering family show, many years ago (in reruns), and I was quite impressed with its unique brand of humor and human warmth. Let's hope that many episodes survive and will be shown again, but sorry to say, the likelihood is small. With the advent of digital TV, "grainy" black and white vintage TV is even less likely to be appreciated. People seem to think that they are not getting their money's worth if they are not utilizing the full potential of their expensive TV sets. Well, there's another kind of potential that ought to be cherished: the human potential, as embodied in THE GOLDBERGS and other priceless, unforgettable family shows like MAMA. If you want to see them, your best chance is the Museum of Television and Radio in Los Angeles and New York. Alas, they don't sell copies of the shows. One doesn't even know who implemented such tight-hearted policies or why.
  • In the early days of television there was a lot of free program timing and what to do to fill it. Simply take the best from medium you are supplanting, radio. The first years of television simply had radio shows be it Jack Benny, Burns&Allen, the Lone Ranger, etc. simply come over from radio and before when you only could imagine what the characters looked like, now they had to fulfill expectations of what you came to expect.

    The Goldbergs were filmed live originally, no canned laugh soundtrack, the laughs Gertrude Berg and her cast got were real. But Gertrude Berg was no stranger to live audiences, she honed her acting talent and the material that she and her husband Lewis wrote at the Borscht Belt Jewish club in the Catskills. From the skits of Jewish life she wrote for her club act, Ms. Berg created the adventures of the lovable and philosophical Molly Goldberg and her family which consisted of husband Jake, Philip Loeb, children Arlene McQuade and Larry Robinson and Uncle David played by Eli Mintz. They and others who replaced them among the older generation were all veterans of the Yiddish Theater and the Borscht Belt nightclubs of the Catskills.

    Though many folks succeeded the other cast members, particularly Philip Loeb who was blacklisted, only Gertrude Berg was with it all the way. As the creative force of the show, it could not have worked with anyone else. It'a also the only television show I can think of besides Car 54 Where Are You that was centered in the Bronx.

    The Jewish Champs Elysees of the time, better known as the Grand Concourse has changed considerably over half a century. Molly Goldberg wouldn't recognize the place now. From where she dispensed her wisdom from out her apartment window or in the living room, she'd more than likely have to do it in Spanish today.

    Yet take out the Jewish character and humor, what you've got with The Goldbergs are the bare bones of a gazillion family comedies that have come through television since then. Family situations are universal and is George Lopez's Show speaking of Molly dispensing wisdom in Spanish all that different from The Goldbergs.

    Gertrude Berg was a real pioneer in nightclub, on radio, and finally on television. Molly, you were a Yiddishe sage.
  • As a Jewish child living in a brownstone walk-up apartment in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood I enjoyed The Goldbergs because it was a show about people like us, the likes of which has never been seen again. Sadly today a wonderful heartwarming show like The Goldbergs might be considered "too stereotypical" or "politically incorrect" but we all loved it years ago. Also it's great to see guest appearances by then unknown but future stars of TV and movies an that show including Beatrice Pons (Lucille Toody on Car 54 Where Are You?) and Frank Sutton (Sgt. Carter on Gomer Pyle USMC) among others. The acting on this show was superb, making the characters truly believable. A great under-rated show for sure. ☺
  • Warning: Spoilers
    If you remember this show you are old. Netflix has ten episodes available. In the first episode the Goldbergs have moved out of the Bronx and are the first Jewish family to move to the town of Haverhills (sp). Molly is worried about making friend as they have been in their new house for a week now and no one has stopped by to welcome them as the etiquette book she has states. Molly, her husband, and Uncle David all have TV Jewish accents; but her son, a college boy, and daughter are totally assimilated and are sans accent. The humor of the show is tame by today's standards and follows Molly as she becomes an inclusive member of her new neighborhood. This show may have some lessons for society but you would need to slow down and let the laid back story play and stop distracting yourself with your smart phone.
  • In today's TV world, it seems as if they go for the straight, unsubtle, some times dirty laughs. Shows like this would simply not be given a chance. Call "the Goldbergs" what you will, it is a gentle and thoughtful comedy. Where I grew up there were many, many people similar to those presented in this show, including my own Grandmother. We also lived near plenty Ralph and Alice Cramden's, and even couples similar to the Mertz's. Slide of life programs really were reflective of life, at least my life. The Goldberg's is a wonderful show in this vein. BTW I've found episodes on Internet Archives as well as YouTube. Enjoy.
  • I am 59 and was searching my ancient memory for the first few TV shows I saw as a boy. We got our first TV in 1948. "Molly Goldberg," not among my favorites, was incomprehensible to me. The Jewish humor escaped me as a little boy. Still, that show stuck in my memory. For better or worse, I would really like to see some of those old TV shows from the first half of the last century.
  • As a young child living in a brownstone walk-up apartment in a predominantly Jewish section of Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood watching this show with my Mom & Dad I didn't realize how cool it was that there was a show about people like us. The Goldbergs were a proud Jewish family. Since that time we've had ambiguously Jewish characters such as the Kravitz couple on Bewitched and Felix & Oscar on The Odd Couple BUT the Goldbergs were indeed the real deal.