Adam’s first kiss on ‘The Goldbergs’ was inspired by his real-life first kiss at summer camp

Part of the appeal of ABC comedy The Goldbergs is that so much of the source material comes from actual video tapes and memories of the real Adam F. Goldberg’s childhood growing up in suburban Philadelphia.

But as is often the case, real life gets a little blurred when the memories and anecdotes are organized into  half-hour episodes.

Such is the case with Adam’s first kiss in the first season of the show in an episode titled “You’re Not Invited” (Season 1, Episode 20).

In the episode, Adam shares his first kiss with his crush named Dana in his front yard while playing laser tag. In real life, Adam really did have his first kiss with a girl named Dana, it didn’t happen in Doylestown. Instead, it happened at a now defunct summer camp in Pennsylvania called Camp Echo Lark.

The story behind the real Dana, a woman named Dana Marlowe, is brought to life in a recent article about first kisses.

Dana Marlowe, 40, also reconnected with her first kisser, 25 years after the act.

She’s a federal agency IT consultant in suburban Washington, D.C., and new software to access a payment portal included the security question: “What is the name of your first kiss?” Marlowe treated her assistant to the story behind the answer since she’s the one who had to input the name.

The scene: A summer camp in Pennsylvania one hot July night in 1989, near the tree line. Marlowe was 12. Adam was 13.

Adam was of course Adam F. Goldberg, who is played on the show by Sean Giambrone, while Dana is played by Natalie Alyn Lind.

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at and I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.


  1. Hi Matt-
    Thanks for sharing my silly summer camp story. It always makes smiles happen. Just a quick point- The summer camp listed is not correct.
    Feel free to email me. Also, the second season has a great mixed tape episode featured that focuses on a mixed tape Adam made for me at summer camp that year. Then they play a part of it at the end of the episode. Have a great day. Thanks!

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