Cheers Cast 1.04: Sam at Eleven

CHEERS Season 1, episode 4: “Sam at Eleven”

Hosted by Ryan Daly with special guest Paul Spataro from Two True Freaks.

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4 responses to “Cheers Cast 1.04: Sam at Eleven

  1. Great episode!

    I think it says something about Diane’s magnetic pull at the bar that she can openly make fun of Dave and get away with it. You get the sense that pre-Diane, Dave was a hero at the Cheers bar, but she pokes holes in his facade about thirty seconds into their first meeting.

    While I agree, Fred Dryer is very funny here (a chance he basically never got again in any other project), I still say if he had played Sam the show would not have worked. Dryer’s face just does not convey deep introspection, while Ted Danson has a sense of mystery about him that I think makes the audience lean in and want to know more.

    And Harry the Hat! My all time fav of the Cheers recurring guest stars, it gives the whole show an out-of-time feel, something not quite of the moment. With his fedora and low-level, sort of good-natured grifts, HTH feels like he stepped out of GUYS AND DOLLS and I loved every appearance he had on the show. He never would have worked as a regular, though I do wish we had seen him a little more than we did.

  2. Always a pleasure to hear more of Paul (and Ryan, of course). I always thought of Hunter as “Dirty Harry on TV” so I totally get that.

    I don’t have Cheers committed to memory by any means, but I do recall Diane flipping Sam over the table. I also agree that I never took Sam’s advances as predatory, but I don’t think a TV show nowadays could get away with making him NOT seem like a scuzzball with his actions here. Or, they’d have to work REALLY hard at it anyway.


  3. Great to have Paul on the show. I also am a fan of “Taxi”, and enjoyed the similarities between these shows. Good stuff.

    That Dianne-flip-Sam clip was on the syndication ads, so it got a lot of play even if you never saw this episode. One of the rare physical comedy moments in Cheers, so it works well for those fast-paced ads.

    Fred Dryer saying “Gee, whiz” is just hilarious! I don’t believe for a second a former athlete would use such a tame phrase, except that this is for television, and maybe his character being a public figure he’s learned to watch his language.

    I’ll go on a limb and say outright, Fred is very funny and a talented actor (“McEnroe!”), but without Ted as Sam, Cheers wouldn’t have been as big of a success. No slight to the writers on the show, because they are phenomenal, but it took the Danson-Long chemistry to sell it. This episode shows it off, too. Before and after the interview, we’re seeing a real relationship building. Not romantic yet despite the impulsive kiss. Hints of things to come.

    Oh, Harry the Hat. Excellent recurring character. I also was all in for Must See TV including Night Court, and Judge Harry was a delight, incredible contrast to scheming Harry the Hat. It still bothers me we’ve lost him. That very night, I had to live tweet rewatching “Pick a Con… Any Con.” That’s in my top 5 Cheers episodes.

    Not to get all sportsbally, but I just returned to Wrigley Field this month. It’s been over 30 years since I was last there when my family moved to Virginia. As a lifelong Cubs fan, I completely agree with how city’s embrace their sports teams, as seen with Sam and Dave. Just another angle on why I enjoy this show.

    Nice job, guys. Have one on me.

  4. I discovered this podcast last week. It lead me to a much needed and put off for too long rewatch of the whole season I’ve watched the first two seasons in an embarrassingly short amount of time, yet the show remains so fresh and good that it invites almost compulsive viewing I don’t know with what frequency you’re thinking about putting out new episodes, but the discussions are much appreciated and very thoughtful. Keep up the great work.

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