Cheers Cast 1.01: Give Me a Ring Sometime (Pilot)

CHEERS Season 1, episode 1: "Give Me a Ring Sometime (Pilot)"

Ryan Daly kicks off his coverage of Cheers, the NBC sitcom that ran from 1982-1993. Helping him cover the hilarious first episode is a powerhouse trifecta of guests including Rob Kelly (Fire and Water Network), Mike Gillis (Radio vs. the Martians), and Omar Uddin (resident law stylist). Grab a seat at the bar and tell Coach to put your drink on Norm's tab!

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24 responses to “Cheers Cast 1.01: Give Me a Ring Sometime (Pilot)

  1. Excellent first episode. Looking forward to more.

    To cut to the chase, Ryan, IMDB says Cliff is in every episode, just like Norm, Carla and Sam. But I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a mistake, so keep your eyes open just in case.

  2. Great first episode…just like Cheers! I’m not as big a devotee of Cheers as you guys, but I watched it off and on during its initial run, and in re-runs of course. I was more of a Night Court guy, but I enjoyed it’s lead-in.

    I haven’t gotten to Michael McGuire’s tenure on Dark Shadows in my deep-dive binge-watching, but I should soon. I guess I will have to sneak in a couple of Cheers and MASH episodes around DS, now that they are both streaming again!


  3. Great first show, fellas and Ryan! I never watched religiously, but if it was on, I’d catch it. I’m not much of a sitcom guy, but this always struck me as one of the smarter ones out there.

    I may not have gone to the Joe Kubert School – the Sorbonne of the West – but I did take some film/TV classes at a state school. One of the things the production classes drove home was how impressive a lighting set-up the show had. I can’t really put it into words, but it’d be a pain in the ass to get the lighting right from the “outside world,” as well as keep it looking sharp indoors.

    Can’t wait for a series devoted to Mr Belvedere. I have a great story for you guys.

  4. Really good show. The last thing I needed was a new podcast in my feed….but then I had to walk into your bar. I grew up on this show, and have fond memories of it. I remember recording the 200th episode special on vhs and re-watching it constantly. The jokes…..the jokes….and the characters. Fantastic. Keep up the great work.

  5. Great first episode, gentlemen. I was only a casual watcher of Cheers, but I’m always open to learning something new. So, I’m ready to have my horizons expanded, my mind blown, and my worldview shaken to its very foundations. Of course, I’m also happy just to be entertained.

  6. This was enormous fun to record. And even though we spoke for 90 min about a 23 minute show, we had to force ourselves to stop. CHEERS generates that kind of discussion. And even though I was there at the time, I still LOLed all over again at Mike Gillis referring to the kid as “workshopping” his fake ID act for Sam.

    I really can’t wait for future installments, and the inevitable crossover episodes with Ryan when CHEERS and MASH overlapped.


  7. Excellent first episode! Loved the insight and you really opened my eyes to the brilliance of the show. I was a casual fan of CHEERS, probably starting around the third season. Watched it for a few years, but it never really made an impression on me. Frasier on the other hand was a show I followed regularly.

    Hearing your discussion about the actors really piqued my curiosity, so I sat down with my daughter tonight and we watched the first four episodes together. We both really enjoyed it!! Laughed quite a bit!! And you are correct about the timelessness of the show. Very few jokes were dependent upon the era, so my daughter got most of the humor!

    In particular, Shelley Long’s character of Diane never did anything for me. After hearing your discussion, I watched her closely tonight. Dang, she really is a great actress with wonderful comedic timing and hilarious expressions! Love her now!

    Thanks for such a great premier episode! I look forward to further episodes!

  8. Cheers, Ryan on a great first episode.

    My first memories of watching Cheers is with my parents. Both first-run on NBC, and in syndication on WSBK TV 38. (Which also aired reruns of M*A*S*H… Another M*A*S*H/Cheers connection for Rob)

    Having grown up in Massachusetts, I’ve been to Boston countless times, and occasionally, I would go past the actual Cheers bar.

    When I was in elementary school, there was a brief period where I believed the show WAS actually taped inside the famous Beacon Hill location. I genuinely thought I could go there, and watch an episode get filmed with a live audience… I later found out that the show was taped in Hollywood, and the interior of the *real* Cheers bar bore no resemblance to the TV Version.

    Despite the fact I already listen to WAY too many Podcasts as it is, and I was a little hesitant about starting another, with very little effort, you’ve successfully won me over with Cheers Cast. I’ll be listening to the next episode, when it drops.

  9. Had a thought for a segment each episode… “Postal Tracking”. You could fact-check Cliff’s “little known facts”. Cause honestly I don’t know when he’s right or when he’s wrong! 🙂

  10. Great first episode, guys! I always considered myself a casual Cheers viewer, but after listening to the show and giving it a little thought, I realized that I never missed an episode. What a wonderful show, full of great acting and comedic timing, and the enthusiasm you all bring to discussing it makes me want to revisit it all over again.

    I do want to bring up one thing: At one point, you all are talking about the characterization of Sam, particularly his patience and general kindness, and I think you kind of overlooked the fact that he’s a recovering alcoholic. I think Ryan mentioned that Sam wants to be help others, but I think it goes deeper than that. I do think he wants to be a good person, but I also think a lot of that is borne out of guilt (something most recovering addicts have to wrestle with). It’s hinted at in later episodes, but I think most of the people in the bar knew Sam when he was drinking, and Coach and Carla often had to take care of him when he was at his worst. Sam wants to be good, but it comes from a place of wanting to be better than he was — he wants to atone, and he doesn’t want to be that guy again.

    I also think that’s where some of his womanizing comes from. It’s just part of his nature, for sure, but I think he’s also afraid of hurting someone he cares about again. And you can’t really hurt someone if you never commit to them, right?

    One last thing! It says a lot about Sam’s character that he’s a recovering alcoholic who spends every day in a bar — and as far as I can remember, he never slips. Also, isn’t the bar and the boat he lives on the only things he has left after destroying his career?

  11. I was an avid Cheers fan, and it was one of the many movies and TV shows that I devoured when I began my 9 year stay in the U.S. The show wasn’t one that triggered a fandom like Star Trek or Star Wars or comics, but rather one that I regularly visited as a location (new show or re-runs) to visit old friends. Something about it was magical, and I dearly miss it.

  12. Great job Ryan, and company! When this aired, I was in college, and not watching very much television regularly. (except for several months when my roommate and I would go to the Common room to watch “Soap” re-runs at 5:00!) I watched many episodes over the ensuing years, but not with weekly regularity. Nevertheless, I recognized what a great show it was! In fact, I know that at some point along the way I watched this episode, because that “Cool Hand Luke” joke has stayed with me ever since. However, in my memory it was Sam who delivered the capper. The joke was the thing, not the exact recall. The acting talent in this show is just phenomenal. You went on a lot about Norm, but I think you did not give George Wendt enough credit. He created a character that transcended the script. As an example, I point to the “trailer” you made for the podcast. Ryan nailed the rhythm of the writing and the timing of the punch lines, but the ephemeral qualities that Wendt brought, the simultaneous warmth, despair, desperation, confidence, etc., are much harder to simulate.
    I appreciated the note that “Cheers” was written by folks who had not grown up exclusively on television comedies. The great radio show writers, (especially Milt Josefsberg, John Tackaberry, George Balzar, Sam Perrin) could develop a trail of small gags all in the service of leading up to a great payoff. And then do a callback to the gag 6 or 7 minutes later. Cheers learned from the best!
    I’ll be listening, Ryan, because of that warmth and coziness that you spoke of that Cheers evoked. I’ve seen Star Trek and Star Wars and I really enjoy your podcasts, but I have little interest in “Give Me Those etc.” So, I’ll be listening!
    One more thing; “Cheers” was, in part, based on an original Boston television show, “Park Street Under.” One the the local stations, WCVB, produced a show about a fictional bar one flight down, near Boston Common!

  13. Awesome first episode. Cheers was my favorite show for years but it has been a while since I have watched. I listened to yourc first episode on the way home from work and it inspired me to watch the pilot. Laughed out loud at “Cool Hand Luke”! The only problem is that I want to watch a whole bunch of episodes now but want to wait until your next episode drops….

  14. I am really starting to hate this network. First, I found myself being sucked into rewatching MASH whenever I could find it on rerun, and now I find myself being sucked into rewatching Cheers on Netflix. I have a job and family and I dont have time for this!! But you guys make it so appealing…listening to you all just makes those feelings of nostalgia come back and I can’t help but get roped it. Frankly, its really annoying. But its like a drug. I can’t resist.

  15. Being 14 when it premiered, I watched Cheers from the very beginning, hardly ever missing an episode. There were times when I had to record it on the VCR. There were golden years when new episodes were airing, and a local station was showing 2 reruns per night at the same time. So no surprise, it’s one of my all-time favorite TV shows.

    Ryan and company certainly are doing justice for the show. Another Sumner Sloane quote came to mind listening to this podcast. “Your depth … frightens me!” Well done.

    Some minor comments to add. Ratzenberger’s Cliff always struck a chord for me as he was the closest to being a nerd on the show, albeit a caricature of one. He wasn’t into comics or superheroes or the like. But knowing lots of esoteric facts? Living with his mother? Shy around women? Sounds pretty familiar. I can picture Cliff having his own podcasts today. “It’s a little-known fact-cast.” “Florida, podcast of paradise.” “The US Podcast Service.”

    Nick Colasanto. His Coach was so beloved, it’s hard not to talk about him and the tragedy of him leaving us during the show. The picture Sam straightens in the series finale of Geronimo? That was taken from Nick’s dressing room and hung on the set right after his death. He was still watching over the bar/set/cast all the way to the end.

    In response to Max Romero, 30 year old spoilers, there’s one (and I think only one) time when Sam falls off the wagon. It’s season 3 or 4, so it took a while. But in season 1, there’s a fantastic episode where he *almost* does, but doesn’t. And it’s beautiful.

    And yes, I really don’t have time for another podcast, but like Cheers, I’m not missing this one. Thanks(?) Ryan.

  16. Ryan and Company, I really enjoyed listening to you talk about the pilot episode of Cheers. There were a lot of great quality takes on this one. I really look forward to following Cheers Cast.

  17. Just discovered this podcast and had a blast listening to the first episode! You guys did a great job breaking down and analyzing the pilot, as well as giving a nice overview of the series as a whole. I’m looking forward to catching up with the rest of the podcast.

    Someone brought up the issue of Diane dating a professor (I don’t think the episode ever made it explicit that it was “her” professor), and whether or not that trope is outdated. In my opinion it is not. While a teacher dating a students may be ethically questionable (more so now than back then), it is something happens. It’s not very common, but it happens. So I don’t think merely the existence of that romance as a plot element is problematic, even by 2019 standards. The episode did not imply in any way that Sumner used his power and authority to coerce Diane into dating him. By all indications, Diane as an older graduate student was operating under her own free will.

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