Cheers Cast 1.03: The Tortelli Tort

CHEERS Season 1, episode 3: “The Tortelli Tort”

Hosted by Ryan Daly. Special guest Omar Uddin.

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10 responses to “Cheers Cast 1.03: The Tortelli Tort

  1. –Always happy to hear Omar on any of our shows!

    –The whole run about Coach getting hit by a pitch is so great, but it feels like the writers came up with it and then just figured out what show was 2 min short with the main plot, and then they slotted it in. I agree not seeing Coach get hit makes it funnier, and then his cheerful “I’m on my way to first!” response is what puts it over the top.

    –Guest star John Fiedler had many, many credits, including Juror #2 in 12 ANGRY MEN. I wish maybe that had found a way to bring him back, or at least mention, whether he ever got the inheritance. The visual of two of his siblings driving off a cliff is ghoulishly funny.

    –Thanks to Ryan for pointing out another guest star Cheers and MASH have in common. I looked the actor up, and he’s in a SSN 7 show. “BJ Papa San”, which guest starred Dick O’Neill…who later guested on Cheers playing Cliff’s Dad. (BTW, this episode’s writer, Tom Reeder, wrote a few MASH episodes, including one of their better late period ones.

    –You guys touched upon the idea that while this episode is pretty good, it’s not up there among the show’s best, or even best of the season. Part of the reason for that IMO is that the actor playing Eddie did his job too well. Eddie is so loathsome and off-putting that spending ANY time with him is so unpleasant you just want to skip to the next episode. Sure, he gets his comeuppance, but for a lot of the episode he’s strutting around, dominating the characters we’ve already come to love, and it’s just awful. We all know/have known guys like this, if Eddie was around today he’d be on Twitter harassing the Parkland kids and buying Alex Jones vitamin supplements.

    Terrific episode fellas!

    1. That’s a really good point how the episode might be off-putting because Eddie thoroughly dominates the characters we want to root for. In later seasons, there are a few episodes with John Allen Hill that have a similar effect on me. I love Curtis’ performance, and most of the time his character is used wonderfully, but there are a few episodes when he lays Sam so low that it becomes hard to enjoy.

    1. Yes, I am ashamed that I neglected to mention John Fiedler’s appearance in the STAR TREK episode “Wolf in the Fold”, doubly so because it’s one of my favorite episodes of the show.

          1. I think it has a lot to do with what you were exposed to as a kid. We never watched much by way of Winnie the Pooh, but Star Trek was on quite a bit, so my default for that voice is Redjac, not Piglet.

  2. Thanks for doing this podcast- I am a big Cheers fan and am enjoying this podcast. In Tortelli Tort, Carla briefly mentions an important bit of personal information. She says that she is from Federal Hill, which according to Wikipedia is a neighborhood in Providence that “is best known for its Italian American community and abundance of Italian restaurants” where “One in four children has been exposed to unsafe levels of lead.” Cheers never fully explored this angle, and I’m no expert on lead poising, but perhaps Carla was exposed to unsafe levels of lead as a child, which might partly explain her violent attack on Big Eddie. Just throwing this mostly unsubstantiated theory out there…

    1. Thanks for listening to the show.

      Very interesting theory about Carla’s hostility possibly being the result of lead poisoning. I think it boils down to something Woody says in season 8… “She’s just mean.”

  3. Agree this is not the best episode, which is like saying “not the best chocolate cake.” It’s still damn good cuz chocolate!

    Carla’s character is still being fleshed out, but it’s an unfair comparison when the show is in its infancy to expect all characters to stay completely unchanged. Carla does take longer to settle in than most, but honestly, her characterization isn’t “bad” either. When I try to recall watching this for the first time, I would have taken this as her having a mercurial, hot-blooded Italian nature, where emotions can swing wildly. They could have continued in that direction and settled into an unpredictable Carla, which might have made a very different show. But in the end, “our” Carla was the better result.

    The best hint of “our” Carla: “Was there anything you weren’t in college?” “Blonde.” LOL every time!

    Ironic that in a few seasons, another “Eddie” will become very important to Carla. And he’s a member of the … WHOOPS! SPOILERS!

    Another great episode, Ryan!

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