Lots of things seem to make me feel old these days, but hearing that maybe the greatest sitcom of all time began 30 years ago this week? That made me feel great.
It’s hard to explain to young people how fantastic “Cheers” was; if you’re like me and remember how brilliant and hilarious it was for 11 years in the 80’s and 90s, and used to look forward to it coming on NBC every Thursday night at 9, then I think you’ll appreciate this story. GQ Magazine’s Brian Raftery interviewed just about every key actor, writer and director from “Cheers” for a terrific oral history of the show. No less eclectic of a pairing than Amy Poehler and Kurt Vonnegut both say it was the best sitcom ever on TV.
“Cheers” was so smart, and so witty, and just so well-acted that there really were no bad episodes; oh, some weren’t as funny as others, but if I pass by a rerun these days, I’ll stop and see if maybe it’s the famous Thanksgiving food-fight episode, or a Gary’s Old Towne Tavern prank war episode, or my personal favorite, when Cliff comes into the bar with a doctor who gives him electro-shock therapy every time he’s obnoxious.
Among the fascinating tidbits I learned from this story:
— Kirstie Alley showed up for work on her first day on the set dressed like Shelley Long, who of course was the woman she was famously replacing.
— The idea for the character of “Norm” came from a real guy Coach (Nick Colasanto) used to know.
— Cliff Clavin was born when John Ratzenberger (who played him) blew his audition for another part and said “hey, do you guys have a bar know it all?”
“Cheers” was fantastic, and this oral history brought back a lot of warm memories. It’s long, but worth your time.
**Well this site totally brightened my day when it was shown to me: It’s called dog-shaming.com, and there are pages of imaginary “apology” signs written by dogs for their destructive behavior.
The one above is my favorite, but really, most of them are fantastic. How could you look at some of those faces and not immediately forgive?
**Finally, I run hot and cold on Sarah Silverman; sometimes I think she’s hilarious, other times, meh. But around presidential election season, she is, as those movie reviews always say, “comic gold!”
You might remember back in 2008 she urged Jewish kids to go to Florida and encourage their grandparents to vote for the Democrats; she called it “The Great Schlep.”
Well, now Sarah’s got a new and equally brilliant ad, about the ridiculousness of voter ID laws.
This one is definitely filled with not safe for work language, so put headphones on if there are other, easily offended, people near you. It’s pretty funny and sadly accurate.