Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cheers 1.13: Now Pitching, Sam Malone

Airdate: 1/6/83

A talent agent enters the bar and is interested in Sam almost immediately. She’d like to represent Sam for beer commercials, in return for… sex. At first excited, he gets uncomfortable with the arrangement, as is almost too proud to confess to Diane, who distrusted the “Dragon Lady” from the start. When Coach, quite literally, kicks him in the pants to break up with her, Sam does so, and confesses to Diane that he never cared much for morals until he met her.

Barbara Babcock is terrific as Lana, Sam’s vampy paramour, whose wits are even sharper than Diane’s. A veteran of countless TV shows and movies, she has a great final scene here, where she “thanks” the bar patrons like an Academy Award recipient. But by far the episode’s funniest character is Tibor Svetkovic, a Czech hockey player whose vocabulary consists solely of TV commercial catchphrases!

Cold open: Sam and Coach lock up the bar, telling each other their favorite exact time of the day (Coach: 1:37; Sam: 8:15), but Norm is left behind, to his eventual delight, singing “Quarter to Three!”
Norm’s opener: (Coach: Want a beer, Norm?) Nah, I’d probably just drink it.

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