‘The Goldbergs’: Which ‘Airplane!’ Star Appears in the Premiere Tribute?

The Goldbergs Airplane
©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection; ABC

We know The Goldbergs traditionally opens their seasons with a tribute to a classic ’80s movie — previously honored classics include National Lampoon’s Vacation, Risky Business, and The Karate Kid — and this year is no different.

The long-running ABC comedy is taking to the air with a tribute to the 1980 comedy hit, Airplane!, and TV Insider can reveal exclusively that one of the cast members from the original film will be joining the Season 8 premiere on Wednesday, October 21 (which is followed by a second episode unrelated to the Airplane- centric premiere).

David Leisure, who appeared as a Hare Krishna monk in both the original film and the 1982 sequel, will be featured in a mysterious role in The Goldbergs premiere, which features the beloved, wacky family — parents Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey) and Murray (Jeff Garlin) with kids Erica (Hayley Orrantia) with boyfriend Geoff (Sam Lerner), Barry (Troy Gentile) with girlfriend Ren (Kelli Berglund), and Adam (Sean Giambrone) with girlfriend Brea (Sadie Stanley) — taking a group trip to Miami. The bulk of the story will take place on a flight where, as you can guess, much fun and chaos occurs.

David Leisure was a part of Airplane!, one of the most iconic movies of the ’80s,” executive producer Alex Barnow tells TV Insider. “And as Joe Isuzu, he’s also an iconic fixture [in the Isuzu commercials] of ’80s TV. We’re thrilled to have him on the show.”

Leisure is also known for his role as Charley Dietz in NBC’s sitcom, Empty Nest, which aired from 1988 to 1985.

The Goldbergs, Season 8 Premiere, Wednesday, October 21, 8/7c, ABC