Brews You Can Use

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My favorite TV show of all time: Cheers. Seinfeld also contends for the top spot, but I think I give the nod to Cheers (I thought The Office would give both of them a run, but it has quickly grown old and politically-correct).

Cheers, of course, was set in a bar, so I’m kinda shocked I’ve never mentioned it in a BYCU post. Today, I remedy that desideratum.

We’ll start with some great Cliff Clavin quotes, an assortment of which can be found here. This site, though, probably has the biggest selection, though I don’t care for the organization.

– It’s a little known fact that cows were domesticated in Mesopotamia and were also used in China as guard animals for the forbidden city.

– It’s a little known fact that smartest animal is a pig. Scientists say if pigs had thumbs and a language, they could be trained to do simple manual labor. They give you 20-30 years of loyal service and then at their retirement dinner you can eat them.

– I wonder if you know that the harp is a predecessor of the modern day guitar. Early minstrels were much larger people. In fact, they had hands the size of small dogs.

– Everyone is the Swiss Army owns a Swiss Army Knife. That’s why no one messes with Switzerland.

– If you were to go back in history and take every president, you’ll find that the numerical value of each letter in their name was equally divisible into the year in which they were elected. By my calculations, our next president has to be named Yellnick McWawa.

– If memory serves, the umbilical chord is 90% postassium.

– They did a study between postal workers and chimpanzees. They proved chimps were 32% slower. Of course, they were better with public relations.

– There’s no rule against postal workers not dating women. It just works out that way.

– It’s a little known fact that the tan became popular in what is known as the Bronze Age.

Norm wasn’t as garrulous as Cliff, but he had some great ones. IMDB has a good selection.

Sam: What’ll you have Normie?
Norm: Well, I’m in a gambling mood Sammy. I’ll take a glass of whatever comes out of that tap.
Sam: Looks like beer, Norm.
Norm: Call me Mister Lucky.

Woody: Pour you a beer, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: Alright, but stop me at one. Make that one-thirty

Norm: It’s a dog eat dog world, and I’m wearing Milkbone underwear.

Woody: What’s up?
Norm: The warranty on my liver.

Cliff: The Hindus believe that what you come back as depends upon your behavior in your this life. If you led a good life, you come back in an elevated state.
Coach: Like Colorado?
Cliff: No, Coach. Uh, more like a king or a prince. Conversely, if you’ve not led a good life, you come back in a more lowly condition.
Norm: Last time out, I must have made a real ass out of myself.

Cliff: If I wasn’t wearing this uniform, I’d ask you to step outside.
Norm: If you weren’t wearing that uniform, we’d all step outside.

Cheers IIWhile searching for interesting blog material, I ran across this neat item by Ken Levine, one of the writers for Cheers: The lost episode. The gist: Cheers ratings were horrible during its first season (1982-1983). To get more exposure for the show, they produced a special scene, to be played during that year’s Superbowl Pregame Show. Eighty million people saw it . . . and then it disappeared forever. No one even knows if the video is available anywhere, not even in the vaults of NBC.

So what have those bar flies been doing since Cheers? Beats me. I see them occasionally, and I assume they’re doing well for themselves, but George Wendt (Norm) intrigues me the most. I’ve seen his voice and likeness the least, but I’ve learned that he has written a new book: Drinking with George: A Barstool Professional’s Guide To Beer I first heard about it here:

The new book touches on Wendt’s Cheers years, but the focus is his lifelong love affair with beer. “It’s not an autobiography or a proper memoir,” he says. “It’s a couple of dozen beer-related anecdotes regarding my relationship with beer.”

His earliest memory of the fizzy beverage, for example, involves fetching cans of Bud for his grandfather. He would have been six or seven years of age, he says, old enough to manage the can opener. “I’d have to run to the kitchen and open the can and my reward was a sip,” he recalls.

The book also covers brewski-fuelled adventures later in his life, including tailgate parties at Notre Dame university, the free Strohs at Second City theatre, where Wendt began his career, and an impromptu performance in Hawaii featuring Woody Harrelson and the U.S. women’s synchronized swimming team.

This Wendt quote from the same article seems like an apt closing to this tribute:

Wendt admits he misses the camaraderie of Cheers, which aired from 1982 to 1993. In fact, he says he still dreams about the show. “That’s how you know you really miss something,” he says. “Ever go on a diet and have dreams about pizza? That’s how I am with Cheers.”

Good for you, Norm.

And I’m glad to see you made it to age 60. I’m not sure you had long odds in your favor.

P.S. You can find Cheers re-runs on WGN from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. (EDT).


  1. Hibernus