Why an Upcoming 'Goldbergs' Episode Features a Bully Named Spink

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ABC's 1980s-set comedy draws from creator Adam Goldberg's tween run-in with fellow Pennsylvania native and "We're the Millers" producer--J.C. Spink.

This story first appeared in the Nov. 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. 

The Goldbergs, ABC's 1980s-set semiautobiographical comedy created by Adam F. Goldberg, will soon feature a tween manifestation of manager-producer J.C. Spink (We're the Millers).

TV REVIEW: The Goldbergs

An upcoming episode sees young Adam get beaten up on the school bus by a bully named Spink. Turns out, in their Pennsylvania middle-school days, Goldberg was the target of razzing by Spink, who one day made Goldberg cry. The two independently made their way to L.A., and not too long ago, Spink reached out to congratulate his childhood classmate on the show. Goldberg, already toying with the storyline, brought it up and asked to use Spink's real name.

Although Spink claimed not to remember the bullying, he said sure -- and apologized for the incident anyway. "I swear to God, I was not in general a bully," says Spink, adding: "It's exciting to be a character on a show that I'm a big fan of."