Cheers Cast 1.02: Sam’s Women

CHEERS Season 1, episode 2: “Sam’s Women”

Hosted by Ryan Daly with special guest John Trumbull from Atomic Junk Shop

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6 responses to “Cheers Cast 1.02: Sam’s Women

  1. Enjoyable sophomore episode. Your discussion of the foreshadowing in later verses of the theme song got me thinking. Do we know if all of those verses were written at the time the show first aired? If you only hear them during the 200th episode, could they have been written sometime later? In which case, some of those may be intentional references to events in the show.

    Regardless, I’m looking forward to the next episode.

    1. According to Gary Portnoy, and described at length on his website, all of the lyrics for the extended version of the song were written in 1982 when he was first crafting the theme song. The producers made him change the first verse, but otherwise, the version that appears in the opening credits is very similar to the demo Portnoy recorded with his writing partner.

      After the show premiered, even though the series struggled with ratings, the song was kind of a hit and Portnoy went almost immediately back into the studio to record the full-length version, even though it wouldn’t be released for a while.

      So it’s a total coincidence (or serendipity) that he wrote the lines about “shrink ran off to Europe” before Frasier Crane was even conceived in the writers’ minds.

  2. Fine show! I agree with John, I think Norm’s Tex Avery-style reaction to the woman in the bar is very much out of character, but they did away with that pretty quickly.

    IIRC the show would mention Sam’s failed marriage every so often, but just tossing the actual character into the show so off-handedly seems like something that, as Ken Levine has admitted, was not terribly thought out.

    Glad the theme got its due in this episode. As you mentioned it’s so classic and iconic, and in just thirty seconds gives you a whole sense of history. Cheers is one of the VERY FEW pieces of pop culture that I wouldn’t mind seeing a prequel to; the bar lends itself to having stories told about it during different eras.

    Second episodes are usually repeats of the pilot, for new viewers. And while Cheers does this a little, the fact that it develops the Sam and Diane storyline so quickly really makes it unique.

    Great show, and thanks for the repeated mentions of me–it kept me interested during the dull parts.

  3. I have memories of hearing the entire version of “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” on pop radio stations a year or so after Cheers started. They may be faulty, so take that for what it’s worth. Hearing it again on the 200th episode was a delight, of course.

    Figuring out the characters in the early episodes is part of the fun. They almost have more depth and variety, rather than fitting neatly into fixed roles in the story. Norm could be the lazy barfly *and* the hound bolting across the bar, because they hadn’t settled in yet. Who knew George Wendt could move so fast? And when he lights Brandee’s cigarette, I swear he burned his hand or came REAL close to it. Yow!

    My favorite line is still “On behalf of all intelligent women in the world, let me just say *wipe* WHEW!” Just a hilarious moment.

  4. Since the first episode of CHEERS CAST, my 12 year old daughter and I have started watching the series from the beginning. We’re now a little ways into the second season and have been loving the show all the way through! With that said, ever since I listened to this second episode, ALL I CAN SEE IS THE DRUNK GUY UNDER THE TABLE IN THE OPENING CREDITS!! Thanks, John!! :(

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