Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cheers 2.16: “Cliff’s Rocky Moment”

Airdate: 1/26/84

Cliff’s know-it-all swagger gets the best of one of the bar patrons, a formidable presence named Victor. When he insults Cliff witheringly, Carla eggs him on to stand up for himself, but when he asks the bully to step outside, he secretly hits the egress a la Melville’s. For a return bout Victor returns, and even Cliff’s professed knowledge of karate doesn’t deter him: he orders the meek mailman out of the bar, not to return, to acknowledge the coward that he is. Cliff, after a pregnant pause, leaves, and Victor also departs, but when Cliff returns with a 2x4 and concrete block, he demonstrates to all that he does indeed know karate by breaking both with his head and foot, respectively. All at Cheers now realize how heroic he was in not fighting. In an aside to Diane, he begs her to take him to the hospital as he’s “never had a karate lesson” in his life.

Hilarious variation on the old school bully routine, artfully penned by reliable David Lloyd. Fun to see such an abberative character (besides Carla) at the bar, and the ending is surprising, true to character, and hilarious (3 Cheers trademarks). Subplot involving Diane’s sports-illiterate but proficient knack for predicting winning football games is clever, but knows to take a back seat.

Cold open: Coach dusts off his lemon wedges to make his famous “Kon-Tiki-Tiki” drink. It looks like a disaster, especially when Carla reminds him to blend it together.

Norm’s opener: Norm’s already at the bar.

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