Created by Adam F. Goldberg, ‘The Goldbergs’ revolves around the titular family living in the Philadelphia suburb of Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, in an alternate version of the 1980s. Like in a typical sitcom, the narrative is largely episodic with multiple overarching plots. Adam Goldberg based the show on his own childhood and family. In the earlier seasons, the episodes were based on the VHS tapes that Adam and his family made when he was younger. At the end of every episode, the related tapes are played. Since Adam’s departure from the show, this format seems to have been discarded. The show depicts David “Dave” Kim (Kenny Ridwan) as one of Adam’s closest friends in high school. If you are wondering whether there is a real Dave Kim, here is what you need to know. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Who Is Dave Kim in The Goldbergs?
Dave Kim has been part of the narrative since season 1, making his first appearance in episode 16, inspired by the 1985 film ‘The Goonies.’ When he and Adam First meet, their amiable, nerdy personalities mingle perfectly, and they soon become friends. They are interested in similar things, including film and art. We learn in season 2 episode 21 that they both love ‘The Princess Bride.’ In season 10, episode 12, Dave writes a spoof of ‘Amadeus’ after the latter wins the Best Picture Oscar, making Adam Jealous.
Dave’s parents run a Chinese restaurant, though their first names are never mentioned. Beverly is a friend of Dave’s mother. He has at least one sister, Jenny. The character’s signature style includes turtleneck shirts, bowl-cut hair, and horn-rimmed glasses. Ridwan stated in an interview with Hidden Remote that he used to hate wearing turtlenecks but had grown to love them.
Dave and Adam were supposed to attend New York University together, but then Adam decided to take a break for a year. This caused some contention between the two friends, but they have since moved past that. With Dave going to NYU and Adam staying in Jenkintown, Dave’s appearance on the show has become much more sporadic.
Asked about his experience on the set of ‘The Goldbergs,’ Ridwan said, “It’s just lovely. Between takes, we dance and try to make each other laugh. Haley gives me love advice sometimes, Sam/JTP and I bant. Sean and I used to play catch and just talk about life. It’s just such a family and it’s great to be able to work in such a supportive environment. Our directors Jay, Lew, Dave, Jason etc. have also taught me so much just by watching them work. I feel so lucky.”
Where is the Real Dave Kim Now?
The real Dave Kim makes an appearance in the show in the Q&A segment of season 7 episode 15, titled ‘Dave Kim’s Party,’ wearing a turtleneck. Sean Giambrone, the actor who portrays Young Adam Goldberg in the show, asks him whether there was really a party as depicted in that episode. “Well, I told one person that my mom was traveling to Korea, and he told the whole football team,” Kim reveals. “Somehow, the whole football team got invited to my party.” When Giambrone asks what Kim’s parents said when they got home, the older man says that they don’t know yet. This prompts Giambrone to ask whether Kim’s parents watch the show.
Kim is modestly active on Instagram, often sharing photos he has taken during his visits to ‘The Goldbergs’ set. Following the death of George Segal, who appears as Albert “Pops” Solomon in the first eight seasons of the show, Kim took to Instagram to express his grief. He shared several photos with the late actor and wrote in the caption, “Cherish the one time I met you.”