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TBT: Where Everybody Knows Your Name

We all have one of those familiar places we love to visit. A place to relax with friends—a place "where everybody knows your name." It can be anything ranging from a library to a café, a friend’s house or even a bar.

The acclaimed TV show Cheers debuted in 1982, and at the time, few realized they were witnessing the birth of one of the quintessential ensemble sitcoms. This show, which ran for 11 years on NBC, centered on the lives of a group of Boston friends that consisted of barflies, drunks, and sad cases.

Cheers won numerous Primetime Emmy awards for its witty writing, endearing characters, and humble presentation. Except for the occasional extra set, most of the series took place at the eponymous bar, bringing a sense of cozy familiarity—in other words, a home away from home.

The characters consisted of:

Sam Malone (Ted Danson), the promiscuous, former alcoholic bartender at Cheers who used to be a respected baseball player;

Diane Chambers (Shelley Long), a young, ambitious writer who found herself working as a bartender at Cheers after being dumped;

Carla Tortelli (Rhea Perlman), a grouchy, overworking mother of multiple children;

Cynical accountant Norm Peterson (George Wendt), a regular customer with a liver apparently made of steel;

Dim bulb bartender Woody Boyd (Woody Harrelson), simple-minded but with a good heart;

Pretentious and pompous Frazier Crane (Kelsey Grammar), Sam’s psychiatrist and, later, Diane's boyfriend;

and Cliff Clavin (John Ratzenberger), a smarty-pants mailman who seems like the kind of guy who would win a jackpot on Jeopardy! and then bet all of it away for a silly question—which is exactly what he did in Season 8, Episode 14 (see below).

In many ways, Cheers was ahead of its time as it broached topics that most other family TV shows of its time wouldn’t touch, including same-sex relationships, alcoholism, and gambling.

If you’re looking for a feel-good show with a slow, comfortable pace, then Cheers is just for you.

Rating – 8/10



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