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April 08, 1993 - Image 16

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-04-08

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Page 6 -The Michigan Daily -Weekend etc. -April 8,1993

THE
UNIVERSITY
CLUB
COMMENCEMENT
BRUNCH 1993
Saturday, May 1
9am to 4pm
763-4648
Reservations taken
Mon. - Fri., 8:30am - 4:30pm
Muffins
Breakfast Pastries
Bagels with Lox
Fresh Fruit Platters
Herbed Scrambled Eggs
Potato Pancakes with
Applesauce
Spinach Swiss Cheese
Quiche
Caesar Salad
Broccoli Bacon Salad
Tomatoes & Feta with Orzo
Fresh Asparagus
Rice Pilaf
Stir-Fried Vegetables
Fettuccini Alfredo
Honey Mustard Chicken
Vegetable Strudel
Shrimp & Scallop Newberg
Carved Roast Beef Au jus
French Bread
Beverage
Delicious Dessert Buffet
Adults, $12.95
Children, $5.95
THE UNIVERSITY CLUB
in the Michigan Union
530 SOUTH STATE STREET

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George Wendt, who will forever be known as Norm, gets more than a little misty at the taping of the final episode of "Cheers," as his partner Cliff, John Ratzenberger, looks on.
A final farewell toast to 'Cheers'

by Sarah Weidman
"... You want to go where everybody
knows your name," goes the "Cheers"
theme song with which we've grown
up. The time has come. Eleven years
after first airing on NBC, our pals at the
bar are saying farewell. They'll form
"goodbye" in stones and head off in the
Korean dust for the last time. Sorry,
wrong show. "Cheers" is leaving us on
May 20th before it goes stale.
The cast might as well sit next to us
at our bars. We know Norm will throw
the door open ("Norm!"), trudge down
the steps and throw back countless cold
ones. Cliff will detail the history of the
United States Federal postal emblem
(or any such random irrelevant topic),
Woody will, well, be Woody. Carla will
rip the hell out of a hapless customer.
Sam will be the stud that he is.

In the week of its premiere, "Cheers"
finished dead last in the ratings. NBC
stuck with the show and had faith in the
humor within a small Boston bar. They
made a wise move because "Cheers"
has become part of American culture-
the set has already been promised to the
Smithsonian.
There are certain parts of the show
fans look forward to every week. When
Norm enters, there's always a witty
remark to be heard. Some memorable
ones - "What's going on, Mr.
Peterson?" "Let's talk about what's
going in Mr. Peterson.", "What are you
up to, Mr. Peterson?" "My ideal weight
if I were eleven feet tall.", "What's
going on Norm?" "A big flashing light
in my gut that says insert beer here." We
can count on Norm to get the ball roll-
ing every night.

Yet both bliss and sorrow have graced
the set. Many people will say that the
happiest episode was when Diane left,
but it's hard to remember a sad show.
Coach's death a few years ago left many
viewers misty. That may be the saddest,
but never seeing Norm's wife Vera is
prettyjoyless as well. We were close one
Thanksgiving episode, but a pie found
her face before we could.
Careers have been launched from
"Cheers." Kirstie Alley owes her suc-
cess to Shelley Long for leaving the
show. Before "Cheers," Alley appeared
in "Star Trek II" and claimed Hardy Boy
Parker Stevenson as her husband. Since
then, she has starred in a variety of fine
feature films such as "Summer School"
and "Look Who's Talking" (I and II).
Long went from her repugnant Diane
Chambers persona to the movies. Only
her move is a bit questionable consider-
ing the pieces she's put out include
'Troop Beverly Hills" and that "Outra-
geous Fortune" thing with Bette Midler.
Neither ever received much praise. Let's
just see how the new sitcom pans out.
In fact, most of the actors from
"Cheers" have had stints on the silver
screen. Ted Danson (who once had a
guest role as Laveme' s doomed fireman
fiancee on "Laverne and Shirley") has
starred in 'Three Men and a Baby (and
a Little Lady)," "Cousins" with
Madonna's pal Isabella Rossellini and
"Just Between Friends"withMary Tyler
Moore. AtleastDanson's films can boast
success next to Long's.
Woody Harrelson has proven he can

find success on the big screen in "White
Men Can't Jump" (and the current "In-
decent Proposal") and Bebe Neuwirth
(Dr. Lilith Sternin-Crane) isarenowned
Broadway actress, but she made her
film debut in "Green Card," with Gerard
Depardieu.
"Cheers" stars also have extended
themselves to other television endeav-
ors. George Wendt (Norm Peterson)
has (basically) become the permanent
guest host for "Saturday Night Live."
He's a native of Chicago and a Second
City alum, so his "Da Bears" schpiel is
expected and inbred. Rhea Perlman
(Carla Tortelli LeBec) was first known
on "Taxi" as Zena, the girlfriend of her
real-life husband Danny DeVito.
So now, 26 Emmy Awards later, all
of this talent is leaving the bar. Specula-
tion on how the show will end runs
rampant. Will there be a spin-off? Will
Sam realize he still loves Diane (please,
no) and want to get back together -
since she will be back for the finale?
Clinton's going to be on, too, so what's
he going to do? Some regular bar guys
in town were gracious enough to pro-
vide some insight as professional squat-
ters at O' Sullivan's Pub and Eatery into
how they see the show leaving.
Duane Whaley: "1. Carla decides
that Norm is hot. 2. Cliff decides that he
can no longer work for the post office
due to the ridicule, and he also thinks
that Norm is hot. 3. Fraser is coke-free."
Dave Boyd, bartender at O'
Sullivan's, and friends: "Sam gets de-
pressed and goes to throw himself into

Boston Harbor and finds his guardian
angel (Jimmy Stewart) splashing in the
water below. Thus, 'It's A Wonderful
Life' ending commences with Shelly
Long owning the bar and it being a tea
room with poetry reading."
James A. Moore: "Paulie remains a
feckless loser and is stuck with the last
night's bar tab."
Ed "The Philosophical" Driscoll:
"Theyrejuvenateanotherrun-down dive
and keep the basic chemistry going -
life goes on, but the basics basically stay
the same. An evolution of sorts, but
everyone gets a little older and wiser,
but keeps the same attitude. It's like Ed
O' Driscoll once said - 'One does
what one can, with what onehas to work
with."' A little toodeep for us, Ed.
Regardless of how it ends, "Cheers"
is vacating as funny as it was when it
started.For example, Woody Harrelson
successfully filled the spot when Coach
passed away. It was a tough role to
follow, but Woody's dumb-witted com-
ments resembled Coach's enough to
warrant acceptance by die-hard
"Cheers" fans.
And although we can't look forward
tonew shows, re-runs will be around for
generations. Not to mention the imita-
tion "Cheers" airportbars open to lonely
travelers looking for a familiar locale to
sip some suds and wallow. So make a
toast to "Cheers" and wish them well,
for they've drunk to the same problems
as we have, and have managed to find
humor in every situation. Life's not so
bad - you could be Cliff.

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Ted Danson and Kirstie Alley spar and spark as Sam and Rebecca.

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