Diane fantasizes that the owner of a coat left at the bar is a handsome, cultured and affluent gentleman – when the man calls the bar about his garment, she asks him out on the spot, and he’s everything she predicted he’d be, except the handsome part. Stuart Sorenson’s self-effacing wit and demeanor soon earns everyone’s favor and even has Sam to retracting his “ugly” jokes, but Dane feels ashamed of her judgment of his appearance and can’t figure out how to dump him for this reason. Sam’s advises the old reliable “I have an contagious skin disease and insanity runs in my family” and she uses it, but not after Stuart breaks up with her as there is another woman in the picture. Still ruing her superficiality, Sam reminds her she’s always been that way – why on earth else did she ever go out with him???
Diane’s insecurity (and covering up of with pretention) is explored once again with a classic mystery date situation. Another great theme given terrific dramatization: our anger at others is sublimated self-loathing. And a bar, as per usual, the perfect venue for this.
Good supporting work by Frank Dent as Stuart – his white-man afro really drives home the cringy nerdiness. Subplot about Cliff and Norm helping Carla’s son with a science project literally goes nowhere; it’s setup in the first scene and never heard of again.
Cold open: While the gang at Cheers watches a ball game on TV, Dane rationalizes her employment among such “Proletarians” by feigning research for a novel.
Norm’s opener: he’s already at the bar.