Jeffrey "Jeff" Todd Garlin (born June 5, 1962) is an American comedian, actor, producer, voice artist, director, writer, podcast host and author. He has acted in many television shows and some movies, totally knows magic,and is known for his role as Jeff Greene on the HBO show Curb Your Enthusiasm, for which he was nominated for seven Emmys in his role as Executive Producer, and two wins for Producing from the PGAs. He currently stars in the ABC sitcom The Goldbergs.
Garlin was born in Chicago, Illinois, to father Gene Garlin and mother Carole Garlin (nÃ©e Crafton). He grew up in Morton Grove, Illinois, where his father had a family plumbing supply business called Bilko and his mother was active in community theater. He has a younger brother named Michael. Garlin is Jewish and attended Hebrew school.
Garlin says he has wanted to be a comedian since he was eight, when he saw Jimmy Durante perform in Chicago.Garlin attended Melzer Elementary School in Morton Grove, Illinois. He enjoyed playing sports at school, but had to stop, because he has Wolffâ"Parkinsonâ"White syndrome, a heart ailment.
When Garlin was in sixth grade, his father sold Bilko and the family moved to South Florida. He graduated from Fort Lauderdale's Nova High School in Davie, Florida in 1980. He attended Broward Community College, followed by a stint at the University of Miami studying film, but eventually dropped out. He began performing stand-up comedy there.
In 1984, at the age of 22, Garlin moved back to Chicago to pursue a stand-up comedy career. He performed with the comedy troupe The Second City. He worked in the box office with Stephen Colbert.
In the late 80s, Garlin was briefly roommates with Conan O'Brien, who was then a comedy writer. He remains close to O'Brien, and after O'Brien was removed as host of The Tonight Show in 2010 so that Jay Leno could return, Garlin stated that he would not be a guest on the show again.
Garlin was hired by comedians Denis Leary (Lock-n-Load) and Jon Stewart (Unleavened) to help develop their specials. He worked as a stage director for their shows and edited the scripts. Garlin worked with Larry David in this same way.
Garlin continues to do standup, where he says he improvises a lot on stage, and feels very relaxed, "maybe too relaxed [laughs]."
Film and television
Garlin has a variety of television and film appearances to his credit, as an actor and a stand-up, including Dr. Katz, Arrested Development, Everybody Loves Raymond, Late Show with David Letterman, Tom Goes to the Mayor, The Life and Times of Tim, The Daily Show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and Entourage. From 1997-1999, Garlin spent three seasons on NBC's Mad About You in the role of Marvin. Garlin co-starred and executive producer in the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm. The show stars Larry David, the co-creator of Seinfeld. Garlin co-stars as Larry David's manager. In 2013, Garlin signed onto the ABC sitcom, The Goldbergs, which is based partly on the life of actor-writer Adam F. Goldberg. He had a recurring role on the series Wizards of Waverly Place as Uncle Kelbo, appearing in three episodes over the first three seasons.
In 1992, Garlin made his film debut in Dolly Parton's comedy Straight Talk. He had a small role in RoboCop 3 as "Donut Jerk" after a member of the casting crew witnessed Garlin eating a doughnut while leaving Krispy Kreme with an additional two dozen doughnuts. He also had cameo appearances in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me in 1999. Other cameo appearances include Run Ronnie Run, After the Sunset, Fat Albert, and Sleepover. He appeared in Steven Soderbergh's Full Frontal (2002) and with Eddie Murphy in Daddy Day Care (2003). In 2005, Garlin played a small role in Fun with Dick and Jane as a man who falls victim to Jim Carrey and TÃ©a Leoni's crime spree.
In 2008, Garlin appeared in The Rocker as Stan. Also in 2008, he played Ed Lawson in the film Strange Wilderness. He lent his voice to Disney/Pixar's film Toy Story 3, as Buttercup. He appeared as Sid, alongside Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler, in the 2010 comedy-action film The Bounty Hunter. Garlin plays Ed Burch, father of Megan (played by Keira Knightley) in Laggies, released in 2014.
His feature directorial debut, I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With (which he also wrote), premiered to favorable reviews at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival. It opened in September 2007. The film co-stars Sarah Silverman and Bonnie Hunt, with supporting appearances by Paul Mazursky, Dan Castellaneta, and Amy Sedaris. In 2013, Garlin directed his second film, Dealin' with Idiots, which was inspired by his experiences with his two sons in Little League. The entire movie was improvised. In 2006, Garlin directed This Filthy World, a one-man show performed by director John Waters. Garlin also was a voice actor in WALL-E, an animated film by Pixar that was released June 27, 2008, as the Captain of the Axiom spaceship. Garlin executive produced the documentary Finding Vivian Maier (2013).
On February 23, 2010, Garlin released a book, My Footprint: Carrying the Weight of the World, a memoir which documents his journey to lessen both his physical and carbon footprint.
As of January 10, 2013, Garlin is a host on the comedy podcast network Earwolf. His show, called By The Way, In Conversation with Jeff Garlin, is consists of unscripted talks rather than formal interviews. The debut episode featured a chat with Garlin's Curb Your Enthusiasm co-star Larry David. The twice-monthly installments are recorded in front of a live audience at Largo at the Coronet in Los Angeles.
Garlin married Marla Beth Garlin (nÃ©e Cahan) in 1994. They have two sons: James (b. 1996) and Duke (b. 2000). They live in Los Angeles and Chicago. Garlin is a Chicago Cubs fan. His favorite comic is Jack Benny.
Garlin is a practitioner of transendental meditation, which he does twice a day. He says that it has helped him with the symptoms of ADD.
Garlin had surgery in Oklahoma City when he was in his late 20s to correct Wolffâ"Parkinsonâ"White syndrome, a heart condition, an extra pathway in the heart that result in tachycardia. Garlin said he was an early recipient (#72) of the surgery, which millions of people have now had done. Before Curb Your Enthusiasm filming began in 1999 he had a stroke, when he was 37 years old. During the early episodes of the first season he had noticeably slurred speech, although his speech later improved. He also has type II diabetes, which he controls with diet and exercise.
Garlin has written about his issues with food and has discussed his weight issues publicly. Garlin said: "I think people look at fat people as having a lack of willpower, when willpower has nothing to do with it. I didnât change my life until I approached everything like an addict. I havenât had sweets in almost three years because I know if I have one cookie, just like if an alcoholic has his first drink, Iâm off to the races and Iâm back eating sugar again."
- Roseanne â" Fred (1989)
- Open House â" Brian (1990)
- Baywatch â" Larry 'Loomin' Large (1994)
- Gross Ratings â" Jack Bekins (1996)
- Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist â" Jeff (1997)
- Mad About You â" Marvin (1997â"1999)
- Self Storage â" Duncan Baumgartner (2000)
- The Michael Richards Show â" Ed (2000)
- Late Friday â" Himself/Host (2001)
- Three Sisters â" Joel (2001)
- Dead Last â" Ron Belson (2001)
- What About Joan? â" Steinie (2001â"2002)
- King of the Hill â" Dan (2002)
- Everybody Loves Raymond â" Produce Manager Jimmy (2001â"2003)
- Greetings from Tucson â" Executive (2003)
- Crank Yankers â" Jeff (2003)
- Tom Goes to the Mayor â" Pat Croce (2004)
- Pudding Wars â" Tobey (2005)
- Duck Dodgers â" Camoman (2005)
- Yes, Dear â" Howie (2005)
- MADtv â" Hank Whitley (2005)
- Arrested Development â" Mort Meyers (2005â"2006, 2013)
- Hooked â" Mr. Waterhouse (2006/I)
- Campus Ladies â" Mr. Hubney (2006)
- Shorty McShorts' Shorts â" Duke (2007)
- Law & Order: Criminal Intent â" Barry Freeburg (2007)
- The Life & Times of Tim (2008)
- BURN-E â" Captain (uncredited) (2008)
- Curb Your Enthusiasm â" Jeff Greene (2000â"present)
- Wizards of Waverly Place â" Uncle Kelbo (2008â"2010)
- Entourage â" Roger Jay (2010)
- Community â" Himself (2011)
- The Goldbergs â" Murray Goldberg, series regular (2013â"present)
- Repeat After Me - Himself (2015)
- Blade Runner â" Lieutenant Edison Guzza (1997)
- WALL-E â" Captain (2008)
- Toy Story 3: The Video Game â" Buttercup (2010)
Works and publications
- Garlin, Jeff, and John Ficarra. The MAD Bathroom Companion: The Gushing Fourth Edition. New York: MAD Books, 2004.
- Garlin, Jeff. My Footprint: Carrying the Weight of the World. New York: Gallery Books, 2010. ISBN 978-1-439-15010-8
- Garlin, Jeff. Curbing It. New York: Gallery Books, 2010. ISBN 978-1-439-15012-2
- Note: Previously published as My Footprint: Carrying the Weight of the World.
- Jeff Garlin at the Internet Movie Database
- Official website