We spent 11 years sitting with the gang at Cheers, through the good times, bad times and sad times. We laughed both at them and with them. We all remember all those years and those people who have come and gone. Saddle up to the bar once again...
The owner of Cheers and the glue that held the whole gang together. Sam had a promising professional baseball career with the Boston Red Sox, nicknamed "Mayday Malone", until he drank himself out of it. He bought the bar in a drunken stupor and when he quit drinking, he kept it for sentimental reasons and worked there day in and day out and is probably still there.
Sam is a genuinely good guy who cares for the people in his life and would do anything for you. The "give you the shirt off his back" type that you hear about and rarely encounter. Sam is a simple man, he loves his Corvette, his hair, his little black book and those awful 80's sweaters (he gives Cosby a run for his money) and most of all his bar, Cheers. His bad boy ways made him popular with the ladies and this made him a sort of a hero with regulars who lived vicariously through him. Even though he was a bit of a man-whore, Sam was always open to falling in love and commitment.
He fell for Diane and even went as far as proposing to her (many times) but she eventually broke his heart and left him. This upset him so much that he sold his beloved Cheers and decided to buy a boat and sail around the world. Well, his boat sank and he soon finds himself back at the bar when Rebecca, the new manager the Lillian Corporation hires to run Cheers, takes him back and he vowed to someday own it again (and he eventually did). Now, I know what you must be thinking, Sam put the moves on Rebecca. Well, you're right. It is Sam after all and they flirted back and forth and ended up being good friends, they even tried to have a baby at some point.
"To me, our relationship makes perfect sense. You want me to propose to you, I propose to you. You say no, I say fine, I never wanna see you again. You drive me nuts telling me you want me to propose again, I do, you turn me down. Next thing I know I'm in a court of law where I've got to propose to you or go to jail. It's the classic American love story..."
"I need a little help, here, because I don't have that much experience saying no to women. I mean, the closest I've ever gotten is, not now, we're landing"
"In that case, my horsey guy takes your pointy headed guy"
When I think back about Coach, I feel happy and sad at the same time. He was such a lovable man, warm and caring and most of all, genuine. He coached the Red Sox and that's where he met Sam and became good friends. Sam gave him a job at Cheers and he was a great fit.
Some would say he was dim witted or simple, but we all knew it was because he held the record for the most balls to the head when he played baseball back in the day. He even thought that he was named Coach because he always flew coach, instead of first class and his other nickname was Red, not because he had red hair, but because he had read a book. So funny. He was always the last one to understand things, I like to say he was almost blissfully unaware.
We were all shocked and saddened when he died. Cheers was never the same, there was always a hole in everyone's heart, but we were comforted by the thought that he joined his wife and we all wished his daughter well. We will remember him always...and on a side note, for me personally, I will always be grateful to Coach for teaching me that Albania borders on the Adriatic.
"Norm. Normie, you want to hear a crazy, hopeless dream? I wanted to play baseball, and uh, maybe coach a little you know, and then afterward tend bar in a nice place. And look what happened to me?"
Coach: (about being held back a grade at school) It's just as bad to skip a grade. Carla: You skipped a grade, Coach? Coach: Yeah, I skipped four. High school I think they called it...
Woody was a great addition to the Cheers crew, especially after Coach died. It was funny that Coach had taught Woody how to be a bartender in a mail order course and they were pen pals, exchanging actual pens, not letters. When he came to Boston to finally meet him, Sam had to break the news of his death. Sam offered him Coach's job and he joined the team.
Everyone loved Woody instantly. He was a naive, but well-meaning, honest and loyal farm boy from Hanover, Indiana. He never had anything really nice to say about his childhood. He was an obese teen and gave us the occasional glimpse into the rural life of a farming community.
We were all happy when he met Kelly, the daughter of a millionaire. She seemed out of his league, but the IQ and intellect were a perfect match. It took some convincing to get the blessing of her father, but Woody won him over like he won us all over and they were soon married.
Diane walked into Cheers one day with her fiance Sumner Sloane. They were talking about his ex-wife and how she still had his wedding ring. He left to meet with her and get it back. He never came back...we weren't sure what ever happened to him. She was pretty upset, as you can imagine. I think her world sort of fell apart. She was educated and all that but not much life experience, some would say book smarts not street smarts. She didn't want to go back to school, so Sam offered her a job and she took it.
As we all got to know her, we found her to be smart in a pretentious and slightly demeaning sort of way. She was annoying too. She seemed so refined and cultured and yet had no social skills at all. I think it's because she was an only child and she had so much, too much education if you ask me. I think she was kind of lonely too, because she was an had no siblings and her parents were passed away. She was alone in the world and completely unprepared for it.
Right from the start she was unlucky in love, from Sumner Sloan, Frasier and then Sam. We all know Sam and every woman eventually falls for him. Diane was no different. She found him repulsive and magnetic at the same time, and you know what, I think Sam felt the same way about her. It was obvious to everyone in the bar that the relationship was doomed from the start and it was rocky, but entertaining to watch. Then she ended up in a psychiatric hospital for severe depression and that's where she met Dr. Crane. They started datingand things got really serious. Dr. Crane seemed like a good match, except that Diane is crazy and everyone knows you can't cure crazy, even for a shrink. They were going to get married and she left him at the altar. Poor Dr. Crane.
Then she went to work at the convent, but she just couldn't stay away from Cheers and Sam, so she came back to work. You would think it would be awkward with Frasier around and Diane and Sam rekindling their relationship. Sam even proposed to Diane a bunch of times, but the proposals were never right for her. Either they weren't romantic enough or she thought they were under duress. None of us were sure what he ever saw in her, he should have seen the warning signs that were so obvious to everyone. Well, she finally left to write some book and she never came back. Thankfully, no one liked her anyway.
Carla was one of my favourites. She is feisty, mean, superstitious and slightly vicious but fiercely loyal to Sam and the bar, which you have to respect her for. She always described herself as a breeder and it was hard to argue, she does have 8 kids by three different men.
Her taste in men was always questionable. I mean, we all remember Nick right? That guy was slimy and that new fiance of his...yikes. Eddie Lebec was a bit better, he played for the NHL, the Boston Bruins. I remember when they met. He was on a winning streak and when they started dating, that broke his streak. Carla, being a Bruins fan, would break up with him before every game and that seemed to work. He ended up joining the Ice Show when his hockey career went bust and he was killed in a crazy zamboni accident (as a hockey fan, the best way to go). She even dated John Allen Hill (the owner of Melville's upstairs) and that didn't last long. We all knew she truly and deeply loved Sam and always would. It was obvious with the way she treated all the women he ever got close to.
Vodka, vermouth, lime juice, cucumber spear and celery stick. When ordered bartender should ask customer if he wants the cucumber bruised.
You know how some people are born losers, this is Rebecca Howe. She is her own worst enemy seeming to self sabotage constantly. She seemed to have everything going for her. She craves love, success and acceptance and yet fails at every step. She came into the picture when Lillian Corporation sent her in to run Cheers and she seemed the perfect candidate for success, a confident and capable no-nonsense business woman eager to climb the corporate ladder, with Cheers being just a stepping stone. The facade soon fades and we start to see her insecurities and her neurotic ways. As you can imagine, she soon fits right in at Cheers.
She is so obsessed with finding a rich husband that she makes it impossible to find true love. Robin Colcord is a perfect example. He is emotionally unavailable, a commitment-phobe, he cheats on her, and he even uses her to get insider information on the Lillian Corporation. Everyone sees this and Sam even tries to intervene a few times, he even tells her when he sees Robin with another woman. He eventually turns Robin in to the police to protect her from prison when he discovers Robin is a spy and she is fired. Rebecca does not take this well but decides to stay on when Sam offers her a job. She eventually settled for a plumber, but that doesn't last when he invents something plumber related and strikes it rich...last I heard, she turned to a life of drinking with the regulars at Cheers
Norm is my favourite. Who couldn't love the adorable, lovable alcoholic who always sat at the end of the bar. It was rumoured that he had the biggest bar tab in the history of bar tabs. He and Cliff best friends and are inseparable. Although you would never know it, Norm is actually married to a woman named Vera. She never came into Cheers and once she even got a job at Melville's upstairs and Norm hated that, because she was so close. Regardless of the negative things he said about his wife, he always defended her and I think he really did love her.
What does Norm do for a living? Hard to say, he was an accountant, and house painter, an interior designer and he even got his dream job as a beer taster for awhile. Mostly he's in between jobs sitting at the bar. You can count on few things in life, the sunset, the sunrise and Norm at Cheers.
Cliff is someone you can only take in small doses. He is one of those know-it-all types that are full of useless information and if that wasn't bad enough, he has the uncontrollable urge to share it all the time. He can by annoying, especially to Carla, who loved to pick on him. A hopeless bachelor who lived with mother, in the house he grew up in by the way, until his 40's. He'd still be there if she hadn't sold it to move to Florida. He finally had to get his own apartment.
He works for the U.S. Postal Service and is dedicated to his work. I remember when he first met Maggie O'Keefe (the closest thing he has come to a real relationship with a woman other than his mother that I know of). They seemed perfect for each other but she used a postal truck to rendezvous with Cliff and claimed it was stolen to cover it up and she got caught and was then fired. Her love for the postal service forced her to move to Canada to work for the Canadian mail. He almost went with her too, but Cliff is an American and that is the only place for him (to bad for Carla). Maggie does come back for him and I hear they live happily ever after.
I loved his appearance on Jeopardy when the show comes to Boston. Finally Cliff was going to shine! He did really well, he almost won...but like the loser he was in the lead by a mile and he foolishly bet everything on Final Jeopardy and lost it all. The clue: Archibald Leach, Bernard Schwartz, Lucille LeSueur, the answer he gave: who are three people who've never been in my kitchen...the correct answer: The correct response: "What were the real names of Cary Grant, Tony Curtis and Joan Crawford?" Funny, yet tragic.
"Well you see, Norm, it's like this... A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo and when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Now, as we know, excessive drinking of alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. And that, Norm, is why you always feel smarter after a few beers."
Frasier Crane was the resident head doctor. He went to private school as a kid and moved on to Harvard. He is snobbish and an elitist who enjoys acting, literature and anything cultural. As you can imagine, we all thought he was a perfect match of Diane, but this wouldn't work out. Diane wasn't his first, he was married to Nanette for 9 months and that didn't work out either. He later married Lillith and they had a son, Frederick (whose first word was "NORM!" by the way) but like his track record so far, this wouldn't work either. When they split he tried to commit suicide to win her back and it was aired on telelvision for all to see and that ruined his practise and he ended up going to Seattle to live with his father. I heard he got a gig on a radio station and did quite well for himself.
Mr.S. went to a psychiatrist. "Doc" he said, "I've got trouble."
"Every time I get into bed, I think there's somebody under it."
I get under the bed, I think there's somebody on top of it. Top, under, top, under...you gotta help me, I'm going crazy!
"Just put yourself in my care for two years," said the doctor.
"Come to me three times a week, and I'll cure your fears."
"How much do you charge?" says Mr. S
"A hundred dollars per visit." says the phsychiatrist
"I'll sleep on it," said Mr.S.
Six months later the doctor met Mr.S. on the street. "Why didn't you ever come to see me again?" asked the psychiatrist.
"At a hundred buck's a visit? A bartender cured me for only ten dollars."
"He told me to cut the legs off the bed!"