Jeffrey Todd Garlin, known professionally as Jeff Garlin (born June 5, 1962) is an American comedian, actor, producer, voice artist, director, writer, podcast host and author. He portrays Murray Goldberg in the ABC sitcom The Goldbergs.
Garlin was born in Chicago, Illinois to Gene and Carole (née Crafton) Garlin. 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, Michael. Garlin is Jewish and attended Hebrew school.
Garlin says he has wanted to be a comedian since the age of 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 Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome, a heart ailment.
When Garlin was in sixth grade, his father sold his supply business and the family relocated to South Florida. He graduated from 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, aged 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 1980s, Garlin was briefly roommates, in Wrigleyville, Chicago, 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. 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."