When you watch ABC’s "The Goldbergs" sitcom, you also see the house of a Southern California Edison (SCE) retiree.
Paul Klein, who retired last year from SCE media relations after a 25-year career, is spending time in the entertainment world instead of the electric utility industry.
“It’s a lot of fun to watch how a TV show is produced,” Klein said.
Klein and his wife, Joanne, live in a residential neighborhood on the Westside of Los Angeles. The exterior of the house next door is used as the outside of the Goldbergs’ house. On the TV show, you see the side of the Kleins’ house, as well as scenes with the palm trees in their backyard.
“Living next door to ‘The Goldbergs,’ we see and hear virtually everything that goes on in the production of the scenes that are shot here,” he said. “That’s the most fun part of all of this.”
Klein said he and his wife are about 50 feet away from the actors during filming.
His favorite episode is when Sean Giambrone, his favorite actor who plays Adam Goldberg, dresses up as a Rubik’s Cube, and with two of his friends, plan some mischief — egging some of the houses. Klein said the actors ran up the street in front of him, and he liked watching the “television eggs — they don’t break with yolks in them.”
The television adventure started two years ago when Klein and his wife were contacted by a production company for the use of their driveway and backyard during filming for the sitcom’s exteriors. Klein said they get an email with several days of notice each time the production company wants to film, and they need to sign a contract each time the show is recorded.
The entertainment industry has other connections to SCE. Many of SCE’s facilities and properties have been featured in movies and TV shoots, including “Terminator 3,” “Transformers,” “Mad Men” and “Bones.”
Klein, since his retirement, also has volunteered for the Special Olympics, writing news releases about athletes who will participate in the upcoming World Games. Before retiring from SCE, he provided media relations support for the Transmission and Distribution department and electric transportation.
Klein’s career has come full circle with having a TV show film outside his house. He started his career as a political deputy to then-Los Angeles City Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky. Part of Klein’s responsibilities was to work with TV crews in the district.
“It’s kind of ironic for me to be a customer now on the other side,” he said. “I was kind of the middleman in trying to manage the relationships between TV crews and the residents. And back then, it was not so congenial. They’ve come a long way.”