Cheers - Boston tavern "where
everybody knows your name" on the situation comedy CHEERS/NBC/1982-93.
Cheers was located at 112 and 1/2 Beacon Street across from the
Boston Common, in a basement level below Melville's Fine Sea Food
restaurant. It was owned by Sam "May Day" Malone, (Ted Danson) a
former relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox.
His support staff regulars at the bar included:
- Ernie "Coach" Pantusso (Nicholas Colasanto), an
absent-minded former baseball manager who helped Sam at the bar
Diane Chambers (Shelley Long), a waitress Sam's love
interest (who left the series in 1987)
- Carla Tortelli (Rhea Perlman), a divorced, wisecracking
- Woody Boyd (Woody Harrelson), a naive, country boy from
Indiana replaced Coach as bartender
Norm Peterson (George Wendt), a portly accountant
- Cliff Clavin (John Ratzenberger), a verbose postal carrier
- Dr. Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer), a erudite psychologist
and Diane's former lover were the regulars at Cheers.
Cliff, Coach, Carla and Norm (front)
Sam and Diane
Originally called "Moms," Cheers was formerly owned by an aging
ex-fan dancer who ran it as a brothel providing room and board.
Carla Tortelli, the superstitious waitress, convinced Sam Malone
to change the founding date on the bar's sign from 1889 to 1895
because the combination of numbers in 1889 were bad Karma
according to her numerological charts.
When Sam Malone romance with Diane Chambers failed, he sold the
bar and planned to sail around the world until his ship sank.
Returning to Cheers, he accepted a position as bartender under the
supervision of the bar's new manager, Rebecca Howe (Kirstie
Alley), a frustrated business woman who never seemed to get ahead
in the corporation that now owned Cheers.
Woody Boyd and Rebecca Howe
Through a quirk of fate, Sam regained the bar for the price of
one dollar, when he helped its owners fight off a hostile take
over initiated by Robin Colcord (Roger Rees), a millionaire who
used Rebecca Howe to get vital information from her company's
computer. During the 1991 season, Sam and Rebecca become partners
Some trivia points about the bar:
- A sign behind the bar summed up Cheer's credo: "This is a
square house. Please report any unfairness to the proprietor."
- The moose head at Cheers was called Dave
- The wooden Indian that stood by the inside of the front
entrance was called Tecumseh
- Cheer's closing time is 2:00 A.M.
- The bar's legal capacity is 75
- Sam Malone and the patron's of Cheers had an intense rivalry
with a local bar called Gary's Old Town Tavern.
TRIVIA NOTE: The Cheers bar which
rested on stage No. 25 at Paramount Studios was actually a model
of the Boston pub known as the "Bull and Finch" located in the
basement level of the exclusive Hampshire House at 84 Beacon
Street in Boston, opposite the Boston Public Gardens.
The bar's name was a pun on colonial Boston's distinguished
architect, Charles Bullfinch who designed the State House located
a few block up Beacon Street from the bar.
The real bar (owned at the time by Tom Kershaw) became so
popular that its backroom was named "Cheers" in honor of the
The seafood restaurant called Melville's which was located
upstairs from Cheers on the TV series was inspired by the
Hampshire House/Library Grill upstairs from the Bull & Finch.
The TV stage set for Cheers was created by art director,
Richard Sybert and set director, George Garnes, who used photos
taken of the Bull & Finch by the program's producers Glen and Mary
Ann Charles, to duplicate the pub's great oak bar, red leather
stools, (26 stools fit around the bar) tile floor and brass
The photo seen in the program's opening credits is the actual
entrance of the Bull and Finch. The door of the real Pub swings
out (not in) as on the TV series.
After the final episode of CHEERS, a crowd of some ten thousand
people congregated outside the entrance of the Bull and Finch as
NBC's TONIGHT SHOW host Jay Leno broadcast live from the bar and
interviewed members of the show's cast.
In an interview in TV Guide magazine (11/17/90), James
Burrows, executive producer of CHEERS stated that the Bull & Finch
had become a tourist trap and all its intimacy was gone....and
that he had taken a lovely neighborhood bar and "ruined it."
In 1990, it was announced that a franchise of look-alike Cheers
taverns were to be built in airports and hotels from New York to
Los Angeles. The list included such locations as:
- Anchorage International Airport
- Christchurch International
Airport (New Zealand)
- Detroit International Airport; Kansas City
- Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport;
(the first franchise)
- St. Louis-Lambert International Airport
- Boston-Logan International Airport
- Las Vegas-McCarren
- Savannah International Airport
- Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport
Douglas International Airport
- Vancouver International Airport
(British Columbia, Canada)
- Memphis International Airport.
The National Enquirer (2/1/94) reported that Ted Danson
negotiated the right to keep the actual bar used on Cheers after
the series ended. The beer served on the series was a
non-alcoholic brand called Kingsbury. See also - "Norm
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