"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

If She Calls, I’m Not Here

Swell oral history on “Cheers” by Brian Raftery over at GQ. Anyone who ever loved that show, well, you’re in for a treat.


1 William Juliano   ~  Sep 28, 2012 8:08 am

In my humble opinion, Cheers was the best show ever made anywhere. I know it's a natural tendency to romanticize things from youth, but I just don't think anything since Cheers has measured up.

The oral history was very impressive, especially with regard to breadth of contributions and the honest answers that were included. However, I would nitpick with one point. The preamble describes Cheers as being anti-ironic, but I think what made Cheers so great was the irony. The unlikely relationship between Sam and Diane, adult naivete of Woody and Coach, a bar know-it-all who knew nothing, Carla, the waitress who had none of the attributes you'd expect from a barmaid, and so on. Of course, the most ironic thing about Cheers was its characters were all kind of pathetic. The setting, a bar, was a refuge for the lonely. Even the lighting used seemed tinge with melancholy. And yet, you wanted to be there, at least I did, sitting next to Norm every day, watching the world go by without getting up off your bar stool.

2 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Sep 28, 2012 8:20 am

[1] Agree William. Haven't seen an episode in years, I wonder how it holds up today? Always loved both Diane and the gorgeous young Kirstie Alley (who I believe is now 61 years old..)

3 William Juliano   ~  Sep 28, 2012 8:24 am

[2] I watch the episodes all the time, and I think they still hold up well, provided you have an attention span for dialogue because there is relatively little physical comedy.

4 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Sep 28, 2012 8:44 am

[3] You got the episodes on VHS tapes next to your old WPIX Yankee games? Or watching online? :)

5 Alex Belth   ~  Sep 28, 2012 8:51 am

The entire show streams on Netflix.

6 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 28, 2012 9:08 am

I was in high school for the first few years of the show, and loved it. I lost track during college, when I lost track of most things. Didn't have much interest in it post-college (very late 80s) because I couldn't get into Woody and Rebecca. I was a little turned off by them, and just didn't enjoy them as much as Diane and Coach.

Anyway, I still appreciate the show. It was wonderfully written, and perfectly cast. I think most shows "jump the shark" by their fifth or sixth season. "Cheers", as great as it was, ran about five years too long for me.

My all-time favorite show (though I haven't seen it in years, and I'm not sure how it holds up) is/was "Northern Exposure." I loved the characters, and setting of that show. I don't think I've ever liked as many characters on one show. It had a short, sweet run, and disappeared. I think that adds to my lasting appreciation.

While I'm rambling off-topic from Cheers, Ted Danson is terrific in CSI. Great actor, and his subdued energy is perfect on that intense show. Danson's mushrooms story in the GQ article is hilarious.
Thanks for sharing that, Alex.

7 Alex Belth   ~  Sep 28, 2012 9:11 am

What's impressive is how they lost Coach but came up with Woody. Diane left--how could the show continue?--and then Kirsty Alley came on and was different but great. Fraiser came on. Then Lilith. All great characters.

8 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 28, 2012 9:16 am

7)I thought Woody and Rebecca were good characters. I didn't buy the performances as much. Harrelson and Alley were too hammy for me. Long and the guy who played Coach were probably closer to their characters, and therefore more real. Maybe just better actors. I dunno.

Frasier was a great character, and perfectly cast, but I enjoyed him more on his own show than I did on Cheers. He was more dickish on Cheers.

Also, gotta give props to the Cheers finale. In my opinion, the Cheers, and MASH finales were the best I've seen. Most memorable.

9 William Juliano   ~  Sep 28, 2012 9:23 am

[4] Funny you should ask because, yes, I do have every episode of Cheers on VHS...as well as DVD...and now available digitally thanks to the magic of Netflix.

10 Alex Belth   ~  Sep 28, 2012 10:17 am

Coach was played by Nicholas Colasanto. He was good in "Fat City" and in a small role in "Raging Bull" too.

11 William Juliano   ~  Sep 28, 2012 11:16 am

[10] He also directed some of my favorite episodes of Culombo.

12 William Juliano   ~  Sep 28, 2012 11:17 am

[11] Make that Columbo.

13 OldYanksFan   ~  Sep 28, 2012 3:58 pm

[6] Gotta agree that "Northern Exposure" was so good, so unique, that it transcended TV comedy. For me, it was more like visiting Alaska then warching a show. Everything was so unique and quirky. The NY Jewish Doctor out in the wilds of Alaska was a great setup. The eclectic radio station was priceless.

Janine Turner as Maggie O'Connell was a dark stunner, but certainly not in the traditional TV leading lady way.

Even bit characters were great!, like Adam and Eve.
(From a fansite):
Adam and Eve are a strange couple. He is a gourmet chef, Vietnam vet and a pathological liar while she is the consummate hypocondriac. Adam has stated that he hates people which is more than a little ironic considering he is married to the most annoying woman in t.v history.

It was such a beautifully bizarre, interesting and funny show.

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver