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Cliff-isms - On the situation comedy CHEERS/NBC/1982-93, the verbose know-it-all postal worker Cliff Claven (John Ratzenberger) hung out at Cheers tavern in Boston where he often spouted awkward bits of knowledge to his fellow drinkers.

John Ratzenberger as Cliff Claven - CHEERS

Some examples of Cliff's veritable cornucopia of wisdom:

  • They did a study comparing postal workers to chimpanzees. They proved chimps were 32% slower. Of course, they were better with public relations.
  • There's no rule against postal worker dating women; it just works out that way.
  • It's a little-known fact that the smartest animal is the pig. Scientists say if pigs had thumbs and a language, they could be trained to do simple manual labor. They give you 20 to 30 years of loyal service, and at their retirement dinner, you can eat them.
  •  Due to the shape of the North American elk's esophagus, even if it could speak, it could not pronounce the word lasagna.
  • Basketball was invented by the Celtics. Interestingly enough, so was the parquet floor.
  • It's a little known fact that cows were domesticated in Mesopotamia and were also used in China as guard animals for the Forbidden City.
  • A Freudian slip is saying one thing and meaning a mother.
  • I wonder if you know that the harp is a predecessor of the modern day guitar. Early minstrels were much larger people. In fact, they had hands the size of small dogs.
  • Everyone is the Swiss Army owns a Swiss Army Knife. That's why no one messes with Switzerland.
  • If you were to go back in history and take every president, you'll find that the numerical value of each letter in their name was equally divisible into the year in which they were elected. By my calculations, our next president has to be named Yellnick McWawa.
  • If memory serves, the umbilical chord is 90% potassium.
  • It's a little known fact that the tan became popular in what is known as the Bronze Age.

Cliff's Buffalo Theory

"Well, you see, Norm, it’s like this. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it’s the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members.

In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Now, as we know, excessive intake of alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine.

And that, Norm, is why you always feel smarter after a few beers.”


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