Cheers: The Sam and Diane Years

"I'd rather have written Cheers than anything I've written." - Kurt Vonnegut.

Let that Vonnegut quote sink in for a minute.

In 1984 I saw my first Cheers episode on AFN (Armed Forces Network) over in Germany. I don't know if it was love at first site - it probably wasn't since my memory is hazy. But I vividly recall seeing "Strange Bedfellows" in our basement in Weiderstadt two years later. Ye Cheers savvy out there know that this is the first episode of the Janet Eldridge (Captain Janeway) trilogy. This activates the will-they-or-won't-they tension between Sam and Diane. At the end of the story, the last of season 4, Sam calls one of them on the phone and asks her to marry him.

Which woman did he call, Janet or Diane? Audiences in 1986 had to wait until the fall season to get the answer.

That summer the McMillans moved back to the States. A week after settling in to our new place, season five began. And with the exception of a few years here and there, thus began a tradition that continues down to the present: watching 

The first 5 seasons of Cheers, to be referred to here-on-out as -

are different than the show's last 6 seasons (Cheers A.D. "After Diane," of course.) Later I came to really appreciate the later seasons. But for many years, I was content with the re-runs, which just so happened to coincide with when I got home from baseball practice and reheated my dinner (5:30 pm) and when I went to bed (11 pm.) Most importantly, the constant cycle of reruns re-enforced what I recognized but was unable to articulate at the time: if you start with "Give Me a Ring Sometime" (Season 1, Episode 1) and end with "I Do and Adieu (Season 5, Episode 26) you have the beginning, middle, and end of a great novel, with a compelling and still widely-copied romance between the two leads, a rich supporting cast who all have things happen to them that are not - as was standard TV practice of the time - conveniently forgotten by the next episode. The chronology of it all was very important.

I love practically every episode of Cheers. There are few shows I can say that about. 15 episodes from the Sam and Diane years seemed easier to work with than 121, though. And really, there's only so much you can really say and screencap about the show. Like the best things in life, Cheers is better experienced than discussed. 

But what can I say? I'm a discusser. 

Most plot summaries below copied from IMDB. Everything else is me, so you know who to blame. And without further ado...

Season 1, Episode 11. Directed by James Burrows. Written by Katherine Green.
Plot: Two unlikely customers enter the bar: One is an 80+ year old who is the only arrival for his WWI squad's reunion, and the other is an awkward virgin looking for a night of drinking and fun before he becomes a monk.

Opening Bit: Coach physically checks Melville's to see if a patron's table is ready. (The joke is: he could have just called up.)

Why I Love It: There's an awful lot going on in these 2o-something minutes.

First, Ian Wolfe (aka Mr. Atoz from "All Our Yesterdays") is fantastic in this episode. Probably on a short list of my favorite Cheers guest performances. From his first line ("Lock up your daughters!") to his gags throughout (the bit where he describes to Sam the practical joke he and his fellow vets play at their reunion and then the payoff for that shortly afterwards) to the ending, where he accepts the sad truth that he is the last survivor of his outfit: all fantastic. They did not give an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Performance in a Comedy Series in 1982, but had they, Ian Wolfe should've won. 

Second, Diane spends this episode jotting down overheard remarks for the Great American Novel she's always talking about writing. Sam's repeated failed attempts to get into the book and his eventual triumph at episode's end ("What does a stuffed shirt know about blue collar poetry?") are great.

Third, Kevin (aka the would-be monk/ awkward virgin.) I'm a sucker for these types of it's-a-miracle-no-actually-it's-easily-explained-but-is-it-a-miracle-anyway? sort of stories.

Great Lines: "This would make a great bar story. Too bad we're all here." (Norm.)

Season 1, Episode 18. Directed by James Burrows. Written by Heide Perlman.
Plot: Diane reluctantly enters the Miss Boston Barmaid contest, but only so she can publicly denounce the competition as sexist and chauvinistic.

Opening bit: Tip O'Neil comes in for a drink and overhears Norm's appraisal of Congress. (A sidenote: it always bothers me to see political celebrities on TV these days. But watching old SNLs and old Cheers eps, not so much. What can I say? Big personalities have big contradictions, as Gene Simmons once said. It sounds nicer than "I'm a big ol' hypocrite.")

Why I love it: The writing in this one is particularly crisp. Funny and loaded with character. And it's a great showcase for the amazing comedic talents of Shelley Long. Does Shelley Long get the credit she's due?

Says Ken Levine: "Yes, she could consume a lot of rehearsal time, but that was just her process. And it was because she cared so deeply about getting it right. She’s a very good-hearted person. Trust me, I’ve worked with monsters. I’ve worked with actors who were mean-spirited, unhappy, and took a perverse delight in making everyone else around them unhappy too. That was not Shelley. She asked a lot of questions? And at times it was annoying. But so what? Look at the results. On the screen she was just luminous. She managed to take a character who easily could have come off strident, condescending, and insufferable and made her real, loveable, vulnerable, and funny. With all due respect to the gifted ladies who have won Emmys for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy over the last thirty years, I don’t think any can compare to Shelley Long."

Hear, Hear.
Great Lines: "I never saw anyone with so many silly pictures of themselves. You by your car, you with your cat, you on your pony. You by your car with your cat on your pony." (Sam to Diane, after being busted for going through her wallet.)

Season 2, Episode 4. Directed by James Burrows. Written by David Lloyd.
Plot: Against Sam's better judgment, Diane tries to help her former homicidal blind date Andy become an actor.

Opening Bit: Carla wears a fake baby bump to get better tips.

Why I Love It: The Andy-Andy episodes are all gold. Much like the Gary's Olde Towne Tavern episodes from the later years, you knew you were in for a treat when Derek McGrath was guest-starring as Andy Schroeder. (First appearance: Season 1, Episode 17, "Diane's Perfect Date.")

"I saw you kissing Sam! I saw you kissing Sam!" Later, I used this as a title for a Boat Chips song on the classic album Wild Boobies from Mars (1998.)
"Mommy! I'll clean my roo-oom, Mommy!"
So many great moments and lines in this one: Norm and Cliff's late springing-into-action once Andy's been disarmed, the performance of Othello at the end with Sam and Coach unsure which lines are Shakespeare and which are Diane's cries of mortal terror, the acting professor's mistaking said terror for inspired improvisation ("I love it - a Desdemona that fights back!") and this bit from Coach:

Somewhere along the way, I co-opted "Showfolk" as my "shrug-what-are-you-going-to-do" phrase of choice. (Coach says it in response to Andy's seemingly-unprovoked blood-curdling scream of rage.)

Great Lines: "He can spot an actor a mile away" "That'd sure come in handy at a drive-in." (Diane and Coach. Ahh, Coach.) Also, this bit from Carla:

"What time is the second show?"

Season 2, Episode 17. Directed by James Burrows. Written by Heide Perlman.
Plot: Carla has everyone convinced that the bar's new fortune-telling machine can predict the future. But does that include Diane's fortune that seems to indicate that her relationship with Sam could be in trouble?

Opening Bit: Norm has a blind date (that later turns out to be Vera.)

Why I Love It: A great little story about self-fulfilling prophecies, as well as sounding the inevitable (and intermittent) note of doom between Sam and Diane. Great and ambiguous ending - Diane is worried the machine's fortune (as mentioned above) coming true, so Sam decides to let it decide the fate of the relationship. The card he pulls? "Machine empty, order more fortunes today." Roll credits.

Great lines: "It's a sad world where Sam Malone is the voice of reason." (Also a line that I've pilfered for my own use on many occasions. I guess doing these blogs is sort of a confessional for all the Cheers lines I've peppered my conversation with over the years.)

Also: (Carla) "Who is the biggest bigwig of them all?" Answer:

Back to Ken Levine: "Remember the old guy who used to sit at the bar? His name was Al Rosen. He became a semi-regular. He had lines in probably thirty episodes. His name on the show was Man Who Said Sinatra."

Season 2, Episodes 21 and 22. Directed by James Burrows. Written by Glen and Les Charles.
Plot: (pt. 1) A jealous Diane agrees to have her portrait taken by an arrogant, eccentric artist, even though Sam can't stand the guy and forbids her to do it. (pt. 2) Diane follows through with getting her portrait painted behind Sam's back. But the artist predicts that if she shows it to Sam, she will never see him again.

Opening Bits: (pt 1) Coach volunteers for everything for the picnic. (Pt. 2) Carla's offered a lift home that she redirects to her advantage.

Why I Love It: Cheers ended each of its first 5 seasons on memorable Sam and Diane notes and with one exception (Season 5) they each involved a third character as catalyst for their relationship development. Christopher Lloyd plays that role here, as the eccentric artist Semenko.

Bruce Jay Friedman once wrote of Hemingway's writing: "(Men of my generation) all loved it. We couldn't wait to go out and have our own doomed relationships." Great line. Me, though, thanks to Sam and Diane, I couldn't wait to get into a bipolar but passionate relationship that everyone else groused about. (And thankfully, got it out of the way nice and early.)

So much going on in these two episodes. Noel Murray sums it up pretty well so why grasp for my own wording? "My memory of this episode for years was that we didn’t see the painting (...) It wasn’t until I watched again a few years ago that I discovered that there’s actually a good long shot of that canvas. Which is strange, I agree. But I don’t think the painting is all that bad, really. Maybe that’s because I’ve been projecting Sam’s “wow” onto that space all this time."

I rather like it, too. I wonder who actually painted it? I'm sure the answer's out there somewhere.
I'm equally curious who painted this one but for very different reasons.
Back to Noel: "And what about that “wow,” huh? As Ryan has said, it’s easily one of my Top 10 TV moments of all time, because it’s so unexpected, and says so much about Sam Malone and where he is at this point in his life, since meeting Diane."

Well put.
Sam got so many poignant moments in seasons 1 through 5. This below is from a different one ("Dark Imaginings," Season 4) and is a little flat out of context, but it's another "Wow" moment for me.

Like Noel with the painting, I've remembered this one incorrectly over the years. My memory stubbornly inserts radio-baseball playing softly in the background, but in reality the only sound accompanying this is the sound of the rain.
If there was a fantasy camp one could go to where everyone only spoke in Children-of-Tama-style Cheers allusions - and God I wish there was - I would definitely use "Sam, his gaze through the hospital window" or something like that for "Getting old kind of blows."

Great Lines: "Once the trust goes out of a relationship, it's no fun lying to them anymore." (Norm.) 

"I told them I thought nuclear war was bad news."
(Diane) "Oh Sam, you've really kicked up a hornet's nest there..."

And this exchange between Diane and Semenko: "I make love to everything I paint!" "Your most famous painting is of the Harvard-Yale football game." "Yes, I spent three months in jail." (Good enough but Semenko adds:) "College types don't understand me!" (As a response / continuation to the subject at hand, this in and of itself is hilarious. And still further:) "I do however still get a few Christmas cards..." Ladies and gentlemen, the Book of Cheers. (Praise be to Cheers.)

Season 3, Episode 14. Directed by James Burrows. Written by Heide Perlman.
Plot: Diane gets mad at the guys when she finds out that they took Frasier on a "snipe hunt." But she also doesn't want them to tell Frasier that they played a trick on him.

Opening Bit: One of my favorite openers. Diane, if memory serves - by the way, the whole reason there is an "Opening Bit" portion of these write-ups is because this information is not, I discovered, readily available. You'd figure the official Cheers wiki would be organized at least that much. I guess I could edit that in myself, couldn't I? Well, one for a rainy day - is singing "Sunny Side of the Street" to herself, and the song is passed along from one person to the next until Coach enters, singing something entirely different.

Why I Love It: It's just a great little story. Watching Frasier turn the tables on the gang (who are somewhat sadistic about mocking him) is great fun. Frasier's ups and downs are some of my favorite parts of Cheers, but I'll save discussion of that for next time.

Great Lines: (Cliff) "I wouldn't want to infringe on you and Norm's good time." (Norm) "You're going to have to if you want to come along."

Season 3, Episode 16. Directed by James Burrows. Written by Tom Reeder.
Plot: Sam gets Coach's help to help him pass a geography class and get his high school diploma. But he eventually finds an easier way to pass the course. 

Opening Bit: Cliff asks Carla not to make fun of his ears. (One of the many occasions where Cliff naively bares his throat to the future Mrs. Lebec.)

Why I Love It: Easy. Alban-ia! Alban-ia! You border on the Ad-ri-atic. Your land is most-ly mountainous! And your chief export is chrome.

Coach teaches Sam his mnemonic device for retaining facts.
Great Lines: (Diane knocks on the door to Sam's office) "Go away." "Sam, it's Diane." "Go far away."

Season 3, Episode 21. Directed by James Burrows. Written by Heide Perlman.
I suppose it's silly of me to keep typing out "Directed by James Burrows," as he directed every episode until 1987. But I'm going to keep doing it.
Plot: Norm gets a promotion as a "corporate killer," but he's not sure that he can handle being the guy at the office who fires people. 

Opening Bit: Carla is left a quarter tip and calls the guy out on it.

Why I Love It: The subplot with Carla and Cliff is fun, particularly as it introduces Cliff's postal service nemesis:

Twitchell. He only appeared a handful of times, but man this guy cracks me up.
But it's better remembered for Norm's nightmare sequence. I always loved when they had sequences outside of the bar. And this sequence takes place in Norm's head, so extra points. 

The next episode discussed is from Season 4, so it is here we must say goodbye to Coach. Ted Danson relays a nice story in the DVD Special Features for Season 3. "When Nick had heart disease, he was getting less and less oxygen. There wasn’t a surface on that set that didn’t have his lines written down. There was one episode where a friend of Coach dies, and he says, It’s as if he’s still with us now. Nick had written the line on the wood slats by the stairs the actors would use to enter the studio. Nicky dies, and the next year, we’re all devastated, and the first night we come down the stairs, right there was his line: It’s as if he were with us now. And so every episode, we’d go by it and pat it as we’d come down to be introduced to the audience.

"And then, one year, they repainted the sets and they painted over the line. People almost quit. Seriously. They were so emotionally infuriated that that had been taken away from them."

1924 to 1985
Enter Woody. Whereas Coach was the old man, Woody was the kid. Same sort of innocent cluelessness, though.

Season 4, Episode 5. Directed by James Burrows. Written by David Lloyd.
Plot: (1985's Halloween episode) Diane dreams that Andy Andy has escaped from a mental institution and is coming to kill her. But when she wakes from her nightmare, Andy Andy shows up at the bar to ask a favor.

Opening Bit: Cliff, with a little help from made-up words like "Flork, flerd, and snaff," beats Woody in Boggle. Also, this is one of the few episodes where the opener has information relevant to the rest of the episode. In this case, that Diane is in Sam's office, napping.

Why I Love It: Diane is rocking some great hair in this episode.

Not that that's the sole reason for my approval. It's just a great episode all around. Fun twists and the ending is great.

Great Lines: "I'd just like to give my two cents, here. I couldn't give a damn one way or the other." (Norm.) Another line I've appropriated many, many times over the years. I love it not just because it's funny and a great representation of Norm but because it's even funnier when you picture it as Diane's dream-representation of Norm. She's distilled him to his essence.

Season 4, Episode 21. Directed by James Burrows. Written by Bill and Cherie Steinkellner.
Plot: Sam and Diane have a harrowing near-death experience as passengers on a plane flown by one of Diane's ex-lovers.

Opening Bit: Woody experiences anxiety at the impending arrival of a guy who arrives everyday at 5 o'clock and talks his ear off. ("No, it's not Mr. Clavin, Carla.") Frasier advises he just walk away from the man, which everyone does in the middle of Frasier's spiel. ("Oh, you merry band!")

Why I Love It: Another get-out-of-the-bar episode. But this one doubles as a great Sam and Diane episode, as well. Once Jack Dalton (and yeah, James Cameron, that name was taken, though hell, maybe it was a tribute. Something to harangue Leonardo DiCaprio about, if you ever meet him) fakes his death and Diane and Sam think they're going to die, they of course drop their masks and proclaim their desperate love for one another.

This episode has way more footage of the plane than I remembered. I have no idea what it's from. Stock footage? Model? Some Hollywood execs showing off?

Great Lines: "The crazy impulsive Diane I knew in Europe has turned into Ms. 9 to 5, play it safe, dare I eat a peach?" (Jack)

(Frasier) "Does the woman ever say no?" (Carla) "Only to you." 

(Sam) "A real guy doesn't have to jump on sharks and dodge poison darts just to prove he's a guy." (Diane) "I'm astonished." (Sam) "A real guy just has to score heavy with the babes, that's all."

I never noticed all the empty shotglasses in front of Diane at the end.

Season 4, Episodes 24, 25, and 26. Directed by James Burrows. Written by fellow Rhode Islander David Angell, who died on September 11, 2001, R.I.P.
Plot: Sam starts dating Councilwoman Janet Eldridge, leading Diane to campaign for her opponent. Janet pressures Sam to fire Diane, but she quits before he can. Councilwoman Eldridge presses Sam for a marriage proposal, but Sam remains noncommittal. She then dumps Sam after he and Diane create a scene at her press conference. The incident leads Sam to a proposal - but to whom?

Opening Bits: (pt. 1) Woody gets Italian arm wrestling lesson from Carla. (pt. 2) Gary Hart

pt. 3 - Woody makes a mini-cassette recording for his family back in Hanover, IN, which doubles as recap of the past 2 episodes, but when he plays it back, it's Winston Churchill's voice he hears, not his own. 

This is the pivotal storyline of the Sam and Diane years. Not just as the catalyst for their final season together but just such great interplay between them. And between Sam and Janet Eldgridge, as well. Sam's adventures with a different social strata provide much comedy. (As does Frasier's bitter self-loathing and pathetic devotions to Diane.)

The look on Frasier's face says it all. (As does the look on Al's)
Great Lines: These 3 episodes have plenty of fun one-liners and set-up-gags, ("Woody, can I ask you a question?" "Sure, if you're not fussy about the answer.") but taken individually or as a whole, these are exceptionally well-constructed stories. Spreading the Janet/Sam romance out over 3 episodes allows us to get to know them as a couple (however briefly) and believe in her and Sam's attraction to one another. She represents a real fork in the road for Sam - it's all handled so well.

Season 5, Episode 9. Directed by James Burrows. Written by Bill and Cherie Steinkellner.
Plot: Thanksgiving is approaching and no one has anything to do except Diane, who is among a select few graduate students one of her professors has asked to spend Thanksgiving with his family, celebrating in the pilgrim's tradition. Diane suggests that the rest of the gang spend Thanksgiving together in Carla's new home.

Opening Bit: Frasier's Rudolph rant.

Why I Love It: Classic ensemble comedy, this.

This ongoing gag with moving the TV at Frasier's expense cracks me up. Plus, these shots are such time capsule moments, aren't they? Not just the antique television set but hey, Hulk Hogan!
Great Lines: "This will be my first Thanksgiving away from home. Well, unless you count last year." (Woody.)

The closest we come to ever seeing Vera.

Season 5, Episode 21. Directed by James Burrows. Written by David Lee and Peter Casey.
Plot: Simon Finch-Royce, a British marriage counselor, has a pessimistic view of Sam and Diane's relationship; telling them any marriage would be short-lived, he suggests they break up. Diane refuses to accept this, and they repeatedly harass Simon until he tells her what she wants to hear.

Opening Bit: Norm goes to health club to do cannonballs in the swimming pool.

Why I Love It: In addition to comedy royalty stopping by (i.e. John Cleese) it's a fun example of when the real world intrudes on the delusional-but-sincere Sam and Diane bubble. His unswerving takedown of their relationship is so obvious and of course he's 100% correct, yet you want to believe he's wrong, the same way Sam and Diane do.

Great Lines: "Pretentious limey bastard." (Frasier.) Frasier's combination of wounded ego and barely-controlled-hostility are rarely showcased better.

Season 5, Episode 24. Directed by Tim Berry. Written by Phoef Sutton.
Plot: Woody's father thinks Boston is too dangerous a place to live and wants him to come back to Indiana. The gang decides to make a home movie to dispel his suspicions but fail to persuade him, especially after Diane takes their original footage and edits it to her own bewildering specifications.

Opening Bit: Woody explains his father's wishes to Norm, before Cliff appears to insist a vegetable is the spitting image of George Schultz. (That's the running gag with Cliff for Season 5.) Another rare one that sets up the rest of the episode rather than being an isolated joke. 

Why I Love It: Succinctly, because it's perfect. Encapsulation of characters? Check. Playing to cast members' strengths? Check. Sending up both pretentious and amateur filmmaking? Check. A script that moves effortlessly between laugh-out-loud funny and poignant / understated, with surprises to spare? Check. Sight gags? Check. It's a TV 101 for How To Write The Perfect Sitcom.

This particular gag - where Frasier is attempting to allay Woody's father's reservations about the psychiatric profession, while a man committing suicide appears in the window behind him - is so dark and perfect. Slays me everytime.
The bits in the Hungry Heifer are great, as well.
And another one where Al gets the last line. "You're welcome, kid."
Great Lines: Every last one. But here are just a few:

"Those Galatians, when will they listen?" (Sam, attempting to come across as a biblical scholar.)

"He's like the big brother I never had. Well, except for Tom." (Woody, re: Sam.)

"I don't know how you did it, but you made me look like some kind of a jerk. Movie magic!" (Cliff.)

"Besides, he thought it was derivative of Godard." (Woody, relaying his father's reaction to Diane's film.)

Season 5, Episode 26. Directed by James Burrows. Written by Glen and Les Charles.
Plot: Sumner Sloan, Diane's ex-fiancé and old English professor, tells her that he submitted one of her old unfinished novels to an editor at a publishing house, the editor who sees promise in it and sees the possibility of it being published. Diane hasn't yet finished it, in fact she hasn't written anything since she started working at Cheers. Sam secretly overhears their conversation, and thinks that their impending wedding may be holding Diane back in her writing career, something she's always wanted. Sam and Diane discuss her writing career in relation to their marriage...

Opening Bit: Carla attempts again to make sense of Sam's attraction to Diane and tricks him into revealing she makes him feel "oogy."

Why I Love It: Well, here we are. The end of the Sam and Diane era of television. She returns for the series finale and for an episode of Frasier, sure, but those are just postscripts. Much appreciated postscripts, but they'd mean nothing without this episode to rest on. 

It's amazing how much is packed into 20-odd minutes, really. We get a flash-forward sequence where we see Sam and Diane in an alternate future. We get a wedding (or a near-wedding.) We get terribly poignant (and understated) closure to the whole Sam and Diane saga, even as Diane is denying it's happening. And we even learn new and endearing things about Diane. An amazing balancing act. And with a lot of heart to spare.

That's Carla's real-life Dad behind her left shoulder. He gets some memorable moments in seasons to come.
This bit where everyone has lain bets on whether Sam and Diane will actually tie the knot is great.
Great Lines: "I've never been more alive in my life than when I was writing that. Which one was it?" (Diane, after learning one of Sumner's colleagues loved a book she wrote years ago. The name of the book is great, too: Jocasta's Conundrum. That's such a Diane title.)

"Norman, didn't you tell us Vera still had the figure of a younger girl?"
"That's right. It's tattooed on her back."

"I may not have been the greatest relief pitcher in the world -"
"Yeah you were, Sammy!"
(quickly) "Thank you." (The hilarity of this one is kind of hard to transcribe. I'm always amused by both how much of a hero Sam is to these dudes at the bar and how much he needs their adoration, even to the point of interrupting this big speech to Diane about following her dream.)

And possibly my favorite ending - television or otherwise - of all time, this lovely little bit where Sam, immediately after saying his deflected-goodbye to the love of his life, allows himself to imagine golden years with Diane that will never come to be, scored appropriately to "What'll I Do?" by Irving Berlin.

(A pretty mean version of this song was recorded by 5th season guest star ("Never Love a Goalie, pt. 2") Brent Spiner on his and Maude Maggart's Dreamland album, by the way - just FYI.)

Says Peter Casey: "We shot an ending where they got married. Then we released the audience, and shot the actual ending of her leaving. So anybody who was at the last show was probably out there saying, Hey, they got married!"


I'd like to end on this surprising anecdote from GQ's October 2012 30-year anniversary of the show:

Danson: I'll tell you about the worst day of my life. Shelley and Rhea were carrying that week's episode, and the guys were just, "Let's play hooky." We'd never done anything wrong before. John (Ratzenberger) had a boat, so we met at Marina del Rey at 8 a.m. We all called in sick, and Jimmy (Burrows) caught on and was so pissed. Woody and I were already stoned, and Woody said, "You want to try some mushrooms?" I'd never had them, so I'm handed this bag and I took a fistful. On our way to Catalina, we hit the tail end of a hurricane, and even people who were sober were getting sick. Woody and I thought we were going to die for three hours. I sat next to George, and every sixty seconds or so he'd poke me and go, "Breathe." [gasp] And I'd come back to life. 

I just love the idea of Sam, Woody, Norm, and Cliff, tripping balls in a hurricane off the California coast, playing hooky from the set.


  1. Good read, solid overview, good project to take on.

    1. Thanks, Jeff. Hope we see another Dark Dimension post soon!

  2. If I'm not mistaken, I've seen every episode of "Cheers." I don't remember them particularly well; I was watching them all in reruns during the final two or three seasons. But I remembered most of these from your descriptions, and the fact that I've got even that much memory of them says something good about the show.

    It's one I'd love to revisit at some point, but until that day arrives, these recaps'll do quite nicely!

    1. There will be at least 22 recaps more coming your way... plus the "sequel" episodes from Frasier (I think there's 4 or 5 of those.) So, glad to hear they'll do for you; otherwise you'd be in for a stretch of boring!

  3. Believe it or not, I can recall the first time I ever saw Cheers. The irony was that it wasn't even an episode of the show, it was the intro host segment of an ABC special, Disney's 25th Anniversary. One of the things that made it so memorable was that Woody recalls his first ever childhood trip to the Haunted Mansion.

    Memorable lines:

    Norm: So your dream girl turned out to be a ghost all along?

    Woody:....Yeah....(with slow, after-all-these-years-dawning realization)...Hey, yeah, I guess you're right.

    There was another moment from my childhood that I forgot involving Cheers from another ABC special, Mickey's 60th Birthday (yes, seriously). It's the most memorable moment in the special, and catching up with it recently, my thought was: I think the TV just dropped acid!

    Favorite Lines:

    Norm: Speaking of bad hair days, check out the head-gear on shorty!

    Carla: So what's your story?

    Mickey (yes, seriously): Uh-huh, an evil wizard put a spell on me.

    Norm (shakes head): Uh-uh, uh-uh, no dice, pal. I tried that one on Vera the other night, doesn't work.

    Also, you forgot another line from Diane's Nightmare.

    The power goes out leaving Diane in the dark. A match flickers, revealing Andy, grinning like the Joker from Batman:

    Andy: Hi there!


    1. Nice additions.

      I do indeed enjoy Andy's "Hi there!" But as it's kind of his catchphrase (something mentioned by Diane, too, in that episode, which I'm happy to hear you share affection for, as it's one of my favorite things ever) so it doesn't quu-iit-e fit my "Great Lines" protocol.

      Everything I'm putting in that section and even most of the episodes chosen are, of course, all the epitome of subjective. So, keep 'em coming! All additions welcome, regardless of protocols.