Jeff Garlin

Jeff Garlin

Garlin in 2008
Birth name Jeffrey Todd Garlin[1]
Born (1962-06-05) June 5, 1962
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Medium Film, television, stand-up
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Miami
Years active 1984–present
Genres Comedy
Spouse Marla Beth Garlin
(m. 1994)[2]
Children 2

Jeffrey Todd "Jeff" 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, is an expert in 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.[2] He currently stars in the ABC sitcom, The Goldbergs.

Early life

Garlin was born in Chicago, Illinois to Gene[3] and Carole (née Crafton) Garlin. He grew up in Morton Grove, Illinois,[4] where his father had a family plumbing supply business called Bilko and his mother was active in community theater. He has a younger brother, Michael.[5] Garlin is Jewish[6] and attended Hebrew school.[7][8]

Garlin says he has wanted to be a comedian since he was eight, when he saw Jimmy Durante perform in Chicago.[6] Garlin attended Melzer Elementary School in Morton Grove, Illinois.[9] He enjoyed playing sports at school, but had to stop, because he has Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome, a heart ailment.[5][5]

When Garlin was in sixth grade, his father sold his supply business and the family relocated to South Florida.[9] He graduated from Nova High School, 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.[10]



In 1984, aged 22, Garlin moved back to Chicago to pursue a stand-up comedy career. He performed with the comedy troupe The Second City.[11] He worked in the box office with Stephen Colbert.[12]

In the late 1980s, Garlin was briefly roommates with Conan O'Brien, who was then a comedy writer.[5] 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.[11][12]

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. He worked with Larry David in this same way. He continues to do standup, where he says he improvises a lot on stage, and feels very relaxed, "maybe too relaxed [laughs]."[5]

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.[13]

Garlin with the cast of The Goldbergs

From 1997–99, Garlin spent three seasons on NBC's Mad About You in the role of Marvin.[14] He co-starred and executive produced the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm. In 2013, Garlin signed onto the ABC sitcom, The Goldbergs.[15] He had a recurring role on the series Wizards of Waverly Place as Uncle Kelbo, appearing in three episodes over the first three seasons.

Nine years after making an uncredited début as Gut Gut in Spring Break (1983), Garlin earned his first film credit in 1992 in Dolly Parton's comedy Straight Talk.[16] 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, he had a small role in Fun with Dick and Jane.

In 2008, Garlin appeared in The Rocker as Stan, and also played Ed Lawson in Strange Wilderness. He lent his voice to the Disney/Pixar 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. He played Ed Burch 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-starred Sarah Silverman and Bonnie Hunt.[17]

In 2006, Garlin directed This Filthy World, a one-man show performed by director John Waters. He 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.[18] Garlin executive produced the documentary Finding Vivian Maier (2013).[19]

In 2013, Garlin directed his second film, Dealin' with Idiots,[20] which was inspired by his experiences with his two sons in Little League.[15][21] The entire movie was improvised.[19]


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.[22] His show, called By The Way, In Conversation with Jeff Garlin, consists of unscripted talks rather than formal interviews. The debut episode featured 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.[22]

Personal life

Garlin is an avid fan of the Chicago Cubs. In this image he is seen in Wrigleyville before Game Four of the 2016 World Series

Garlin married Marla Beth Cahan in 1994. They have two sons: James (b. 1996), and Duke (b. 2000). They live in Los Angeles and Chicago.[2]

Having grown up around Chicago, Garlin is a fan of the Chicago Cubs.[23]

Garlin is a practitioner of transcendental meditation, which he does twice a day.[24] He says that it has helped him with the symptoms of ADHD.[25]


Garlin had surgery in Oklahoma City when he was in his late 20s to correct Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome, a heart condition, an extra pathway in the heart that results in tachycardia.[5] Garlin said he was an early recipient (#72) of the surgery, which millions of people have now had done. In February 2000, before filming began on Curb Your Enthusiasm, he had a stroke, when he was 37 years old. During the early episodes of Season One, he had noticeably slurred speech, although his speech later improved. He also has type II diabetes, which he controls with diet and exercise.[5]

Garlin has written about his issues with food and has discussed his weight issues publicly.[24] Garlin said: "I think people look at fat people as having a lack of willpower, when willpower has nothing to do with it. I didn’t change my life until I approached everything like an addict. I haven’t had sweets in almost three years because I know if I have one cookie, just like if an alcoholic has his first drink, I’m off to the races and I’m back eating sugar again."[25]



Year Film Role Notes
1983 Spring Break Gut Gut Uncredited
1992 Straight Talk Bob
Hero News Vendor
1993 RoboCop 3 Donut Jerk
1994 Little Big League Opposing Little League Manager
1995 The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes Agent Reese
1997 The Love Bug Highway Patrolman
1998 Senseless Arlo Vickers
1999 Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me Cyclops
Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm Jeff Greene
2000 Bounce Emcee
2002 Run Ronnie Run! Birthday Woman's Friend
Naked Movie Writer No. 1
The Third Wheel Office Worker Uncredited
Full Frontal Harvey
2003 Daddy Day Care Phil
2004 Sleepover Mr. Corky
Outing Riley Partner in Architects' Firm Uncredited
After the Sunset Ron
Fat Albert Jer Uncredited
2005 Fun with Dick and Jane Boss
2006 The Jeff Garlin Program Jeff
I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With James Aaron Also writer/director
The Jimmy Timmy Power Hour 3: The Jerkinators! Shirley (Voice)
2007 Trainwreck: My Life as an Idiot Lenny
2008 Strange Wilderness Ed Lawson
The Rocker Stan
WALL-E Captain B. McCrea Voice only
2010 The Bounty Hunter Sid
Toy Story 3 Buttercup Voice only
2011 Hawaiian Vacation Buttercup Voice only
Cars 2 Otis[26] Voice Only
Sin Bin Dean Theatard
2012 ParaNorman Perry Babcock Voice only
Safety Not Guaranteed Mr. Britt
2013 Dealin' with Idiots Max Morris Also writer/director
2014 Laggies Ed Burch



Episode #[27] Guest Date Duration
01 Larry David 01/10/13 1:22:02
02 Lena Dunham 01/24/13 1:29:44
03 Jeff Tweedy 02/07/13 1:42:34
04 J.J. Abrams 02/21/13 1:50:58
05 Mitch Hurwitz 03/07/13 1:19:27
06 Will Ferrell 03/21/13 1:32:17
07 Zach Galifianakis 04/04/13 1:23:55
08 Conan O'Brien 04/18/13 1:17:53
09 Michael Moore 05/02/13 2:03:23
10 Matthew Weiner 05/16/13 1:50:24
11 Tig Notaro 05/30/13 1:27:22
12 Judd Apatow 06/13/13 1:39:15
13 Aziz Ansari 06/27/13 1:08:58
14 Henry Rollins 07/11/13 2:04:56
15 Amy Poehler 07/25/13 1:18:44
16 Vince Gilligan 08/08/13 1:37:05
17 Marc Maron 08/22/13 1:38:01
18 Colin Hay 09/05/13 1:15:27
19 Rosemarie DeWitt & Lunn Shelton 09/20/13 0:57:23
20 Bob Odenkirk 10/03/13 1:00:49
21 Sarah Silverman 10/17/13 0:57:30
22 Jay Roach and Sussanna Hoffs 10/31/13 1:27:00
23 George Segal and Wendi McLendon-Covey 11/14/13 1:13:00
24 Maya Rudolph 11/28/13 0:31:00
25 Mike Birbiglia 12/12/13 1:04:00
26 Jeff Garlin 12/26/13 0:54:00
27 Jenji Kohan 10/23/14 1:06:33
28 Michael Sheen 11/06/14 1:23:41
29 Andrew Bird 11/20/14 1:46:12
30 Stephen Merchant 12/04/14 1:03:58
31 Jon Favreau 12/22/14 1:14:45
32 Adam Resnick and Bob Odenkirk 12/31/14 1:01:53
33 Bill Burr 01/16/15 1:13:10
34 Benmont Tench 02/12/15 1:12:14

Video games

Works and publications


  1. "Jeff T. Garlin - United States Public Records". FamilySearch. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 Witchel, Alex (June 25, 2006). "The Improviser". The New York Times. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  3. "Gene A. Garlin". Chicago Tribune. November 2, 2011. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  4. "Gene A Garlin - United States Public Records". Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Maron, Marc (January 12, 2015). "Episode 567 - Jeff Garlin" (Audio podcast). WTF with Marc Maron. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  6. 1 2 Torok, Ryan (June 1, 2010). "Jeff Garlin…Seriously". Jewish Journal. Retrieved August 24, 2010.
  7. Westbrook, Caroline (October 19, 2004). "Jeff Garlin interview". Retrieved June 23, 2010. ...very proud and happy to be Italian, and I think everything that I do is naturally Jewish.
  8. Smiley, Tavis (September 12, 2005). "Jeff Garlin profile". The Tavis Smiley Show. Retrieved June 23, 2010. I guess you could say – I mean, I'm Jewish, Larry's Jewish.
  9. 1 2 Sotonoff, Jamie (June 7, 2011). "Jeff Garlin: Spontaneous, sugar-free and suburb-loving". Daily Herald. Paddock Publications. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  10. Fine, Arlene (March 6, 2008). "Jeff Garlin definitely will not curb your enthusiasm". Cleveland Jewish News. Retrieved July 3, 2010.
  11. 1 2 Downs, Gordon (February 1, 2011). "Interview With Comedian Jeff Garlin". Archived from the original on February 4, 2011. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  12. 1 2 Rivers, Joan (September 24, 2013). "In Bed With Joan - Episode 29: Jeff Garlin". In Bed With Joan. Archived from the original (Video interview) on January 23, 2015. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  13. "Jeff Garland". Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  14. Murray, Noel (August 29, 2007). "Jeff Garlin profile". The A.V. Club. Retrieved February 26, 2010.
  15. 1 2 Zeitchik, Steven (July 23, 2013). "Jeff Garlin takes another directorial swing in 'Dealin' With Idiots'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  16. "Jeff Garlin". Turner Classic Movies Database. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  17. "Jeff Garlin biodata". The Speaker Agency. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  18. The Weakly News, Episode Episode #217,; accessed October 29, 2014.
  19. 1 2 Marshall, Rick (July 25, 2013). "Jeff Garlin on Improv, Little League, and Dealin' With Idiots". IFC. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  20. D'Alessandro, Anthony (July 18, 2013). "Jeff Garlin Got So Annoyed at L.A. Little League Parents That He Made A Movie About Them". LA Weekly. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  21. Webster, Andy (July 16, 2013). "Youth League Tantrums, but Not by the Kids". The New York Times. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  22. 1 2 Hibberd, James (August 1, 2013). "Jeff Garlin discusses 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' and his new podcast". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  23. Posnanski, Joe. "The Poscast - Stories: Jeff Garlin". Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  24. 1 2 Puckrik, Katie (June 22, 2011). "Jeff Garlin: 'Monty Python changed my life'". The Guardian. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  25. 1 2 Pixie (October 27, 2011). "Can I Please Say This? Jeff Garlin talks to us about ADD, eating disorders, and why adversity is the best thing that can happen to you.". Rookie. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  26. "Cars 2 Interview - Jeff Garlin". Trailer Addict. June 24, 2011. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  27. Garlin, Jeff. "By The Way, In Conversation with Jeff Garlin podcast on Earwolf". By The Way, In Conversation with Jeff Garlin. Earwolf. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
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