Friday, September 6, 2013

Cheers 8.14: “What Is… Cliff Clavin”

Airdate: 1/18/90

Cliff passes the test – to be on Jeopardy! He cleans up in the first two rounds, but blows it all in the final, leaving another contestant to win by only $400. A forlorn Cliff retreats to the bar, where Alex Trebeck himself stops by, and he helps the defeated mailman feel better by considering leaving the show for Tibet when he concedes there could be more than one answer for certain questions. Alas – it was all a ruse; Trebeck just made up the story because “he scares me!”

And on the Sammy front, the man himself discovers his lil’ black book’s gone missing. Whoever’s got it, he discovers, is calling his women, alphabetically, and asking them to wear sexy clothes at a meeting place (in this case, a roller rink!) – where no one will meet them. Up until now, all his “G” women have been targeted, so Rebecca Howe will serve as a decoy. The culprit finally shows – a teenage boy – and Sam admonishes the boy for his chicanery, but later winds up turning him around.

Fun episode involves another huge hit at the time (and still is), Jeopardy! It’s fun to see Trebeck playing himself, although the actual game could e funnier (we don’t get Cliff answering any questions, except the last one). Selection of categories, all pertaining to Cliff’s lifestyle, is pretty funny, though. Subplot functions well as clever joke and whodunit.

Cold open: An older man comes back to Cheers after 20 years and notices all the changes – but still recognizes Norm!

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