Monday, September 2, 2013

Cheers 8.6: “The Stork Brings a Crane”

Airdate: 11/2/89

To celebrate Cheers 100th anniversary, Rebecca pulls out all the stops: inviting the mayor and TV news crew, hiring a barbershop quartet, and tracking down a 106-year old man who remembers when the bar first opened. Things go south pretty fast: the centenarian turns out to be a lecher, Cliff gets arrested when the mayor recognizes him as the writer of threatening and potentially seditious letters, and Lilith goes into labor. That’s right – Frasier’s better half is rushed to the hospital, where an accompanying Sam and Frasier wind up giving Lamaze breathing lessons to the pregnant woman in the next bed. Lilith goes home after being notified of her false labor, but when her husband returns, he discovers she had given birth… in a taxicab, no less. The stork did indeed deliver a crane – but is the newborn ready for a world of crazies, the likes of which made a catastrophe of what should have been Cheers’ finest hour?

Milestone episode has much going on – but of course the highlight is the birth of Frasier’s son (in keeping with classic sitcom births amidst some other chaotic event). There’s much to enjoy about this one – particularly if you’re a barbershop quartet-hater. The mayor of Boston, Raymond Flynn, plays himself, and we learn some tidbits of Cheers trivia.
  1. Cheers was established in 1889, not 1995, as the sign outside reads (and reminds us at the top of each episode). Sam made up the year so as to gibe with Carla’s belief in numerology.
  2. The address of Cheers is 112 ½ Beacon Street.
  3. The bar was originally called “Mom’s” and began, to Rebecca’s utter dismay, as a house of ill repute. 

Remember this next time you need a TV wedge when playing Trivial Pursuit.

Cold open: Cliff is testing out the new model railroad on the bar, and sends a beer over Carla’s way to prove its effectiveness at bartending, but Norm switches tracks and sends it his way.

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