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Cheers: Sam's Women

After Diane mocks Sam's many female conquests for their lack of intellect, Sam sets out to prove he can attract intelligent women, too. Meanwhile, a long-past patron of the bar comes looking for advice from one of the former owners. Since that owner is long-since passed away, it falls to Coach Ernie to render advice.


Episode Info


Episode number: 1x2
Production Number: 002
Airdate: Thursday October 07th, 1982

Director: James Burrows
Writer: Earl Pomerantz


  • Currently 9/10
9/10 (1 Vote cast)
Guest Stars
John Ratzenberger
As Cliff Clavin
Recurring
Jack Knight (1)
As Jack
Recurring
Donnelly Rhodes
As Leo Metz
Angela Aames
As Brandee
Main Cast
Ted Danson
As Sam Malone
Shelley Long
As Diane Chambers
Nicholas Colasanto
As Ernie "Coach" Pantusso
Rhea Perlman
As Carla Lozupone Tortelli LeBec
George Wendt
As Norm Peterson
Episode Notes
This is the only episode we actually see Sam's wife, Debra.

Coach indicates that he played for the St. Louis Browns (who coincidentally usually finished last in the American League). He also says he managed in the minors, and coached in the majors (in the previous ep he noted that he'd been one of Sam's pitching coaches).

Keenen Ivory Wayans is better known as the host/creator of In Living Color, and a less visible member of the Wayans Brothers (of whom Shawn and Damon are generally more visible, since Keenen prefers directing and production to acting). This is one of his earliest credits.



Episode Quotes
Coach: Beer, Norm?
Norm: I remember that stuff. Better give me a tall one in case I like it.
Sam: Another day, another dollar, huh, Norm?
Norm: Fifty cents after taxes.

Norm: Hey girl, how's the kids?
Carla: Two of 'em are ugly. One's obnoxious and one's just stupid. He's my favorite.

Norm: (looking out through the windows at a woman walking past the bar at street level) Look at those legs! If those legs are attached to ANYTHING, even a TRUCK, I'm gonna marry it!

Carla: (speaking to the gorgeous blonde that just walked in the bar, whose long, shapely legs Norm already noted) Excuse me, miss? The gentleman at the end of the bar would like to buy you an automobile.

Sam: I think you're gonna like this, it's an amusing little wine. You like to laugh?
Brandee: (giggles, flirting) I love to laugh, how did you know?
Sam: Call it a hunch.
Norm: (watching Sam in action, to Diane, both at the other end of the bar) The great ones make it look so easy.
Sam: Do you think there's a chance you and I could go someplace and 'laugh' together?
Brandee: My mother told me to watch out for guys in bars...
Sam: Well, then, let's get out of this bar so you don't have to worry.
Brandee: I do feel like a movie tonight...
Sam: You know, I've been in the mood for a movie all day long...
Brandee: Mmmmm, what kind of movie shall we see?
Sam: Something short.
(Diane groans loudly at the cheesy quality of their flirting repartee. Sam turns and glares at her)
Brandee: Could you be a little more specific?
Sam: (loudly, to the bar) Ahhh, does anybody know any good movies?
Norm: Yeah, what's the name of that new Australian film that's supposed to be so good?
Brandee: No, no Australian films. I hate subtitles.
Diane: (laughing, then, when Sam glares again, with a straight face...) This one is no problem -- it's dubbed.

Sam: What's your name?
Brandee: Brandee -- with two e's.
(Diane giggles derisively as she heads to the back room. Sam follows to chew her out for laughing)
Ernie: (looking at a bottle) Brandee with two e's? (she nods in affirmation. Coach looks at the bottle) Big company like this they spelled it wrong.

(in the back pool room, where Sam has followed Diane intending to chew her out)
Sam: Okay. What was that all about?
Diane: What was what all about?
Sam: All that laughing and stuff...?
Diane: (mockingly imitating Brandee) I love to laugh.
Sam: Yeah...
Cliff: Diane, can we have a couple beers here?
Diane: Ahhh, coming right up. (starts to leave)
Sam: Not right now.
Cliff: But Sammy, we're thirsty.
Sam: Drink chalk.
Diane: Saaam! I didn't mean anything by it. I laughed. Life is funny.
Sam: Correct me if I'm wrong but I get the impression that you don't approve of Brandee.
Diane: (snarkily) Ahhhh, is that brandy, with a 'y', or or two e's?
Sam: You know, I may just be the dim ex-baseball player and you're the post-graduate, but I'm the boss and I didn't hire you as a critic I hired you as a waitress.
Cliff: Hey, ahhh, you'd never know it by me...
Jack: (holding up a bottle in request) Beer. With two e's.

Sam: Now come on, why don't you just be honest with me, you think Brandee's dumb.
Diane: I never said that.
Sam: Yeah, but you think she's dumb.
Diane: I don't know that I think that.
Sam: Diane, she's a tree stump. Come on.
Diane: (smiling) Well, I guess she'll have to do until dumb comes along...

Leo: Hey, Coach. Any word from Gus, yet?
Ernie: Yeah, Leo. Uh, he can't drop by tonight. He's dead.
Leo: Oh, no...
Ernie: Leo, it happens.
Leo: I can't believe it. Gus is gone? Nobody can replace Gus. Gus had all the answers.
Carla: All but one.

Diane: Yessss... unlimited sex. The adult male's version of owning a candy store. Now tell me. Once you've consumed as much sex for as long as you wanted, what would you do then?
Norm: I'd help the poor.

Diane: I'm going to go back there (to the rear pool room) and talk with him.
Carla: (moving her hands as though imagining the marquee headline) Blond chick dies in billiard accident. (laughs maniacally)

Diane: Why are you so upset?
Sam: You know, this week I have gone out with all the women I know. All the women I've really enjoyed. And all of a sudden all I can think about is how stupid they are. My life isn't fun any more. It's because of you.
Diane: Because of me?
Sam: Yeah. You're a snob.
Diane: (annoyed) A snob?
Sam: Yeah, that's right.
Diane: Well, you're a... rapidly aging adolescent!
Sam: Well I would rather be that than a snob.
Diane: And I would rather be a snob!
Sam: Well, good, because you are!
Diane: Sam, do yourself a favor. Go back to your tootsies and your [hot dog] rat parts. I'd hate to see the bowling alleys close on my account.
Sam: Hey wait a minute! Wait a minute! Are you saying that I'm too dumb to date smart women?
Diane: I'm saying that it would be very difficult for you. A really intelligent woman would see your line of BS a mile away.
Sam: You think so, huh?
Diane: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.
Sam: Yeah, well, uh, you know, I've never met an intelligent woman that I'd want to date.
Diane: On behalf of the intelligent women around the world, may I just say, (pantomiming an emphatic wipe of sweat off her brow) "Phew!"

(after they've both apologized to each other for the less than friendly exchange earlier)
Sam: Well I'll be darned.
Diane: What?
Sam: Nothing I just noticed something.
Diane: What?
Sam: Well I guess I've never, uh, never looked into your eyes.
Diane: Something wrong with them?
Sam: No, I, ah... I just don't think I've seen eyes that color before. As a matter of fact, I don't think I've ever seen that color before. (stops, shakes head) Yes I have, yes I have...
Diane: Where...?
Sam: I was, ah, I was on a ski weekend, up at Stowe. I was coming in late one day, last person off the slope. The sun had just gone down... And the sky became this incredible color. I, I usually don't notice things like that. (Diane is listening intently, watching him describe it) I found myself kind of walking around in the cold, hoping it wouldn't change. Wishing that I had somebody there to share it with. Afterwards I tried to convince myself that I'd imagined that color, that I hadn't really seen it. Nothing on this earth could be that beautiful... Now I see I was wrong...
(Diane is looking at him intensely, wordlessly, completely still)
Sam: (reaches down, sips drink) Wouldn't work, huh?
Diane: What?
Sam: An intelligent woman would see... right through that.
Diane: Uh... (suddenly realizes she's just been totally played) Oh, feh! In a minute!



Cultural References
Sam: I was, ah, I was on a ski weekend, up at Stowe.

Stowe, Vermont is one of the most well known ski resort areas in New England.



Analysis
Diane: Yessss... unlimited sex. The adult male's version of owning a candy store. Now tell me. Once you've consumed as much sex for as long as you wanted, what would you do then?

The inherent sexism of this is subtle but strong... we've just been trained to not see it. It denigrates male desires, wants, and aspirations as shallow, unsatisfying, and inevitably inadequate and insufficient, with a subtle underlying position that what a female would think desirable is clearly preferable. Outside of the context of the humor of the show it fails, and should be considered offensive. For that matter, if one promoted a comedy routine which denigrated female desires in the same manner it is likely that one would be pilloried for expressing such "neanderthal" opinions.

As author and former president of the NY state chapter of NOW, Dr. Warren Farrell put it in The Myth of Male Power:

---- Essentially, women's liberation and men's mid-life crises were the same
search for personal fulfillment, common values, mutual respect, and love. But
while women's liberation was thought of as promoting identity, men's mid-life
crises were thought of as identity crises.
---- Women's liberation was called insight, self-discovery, and self-improvement,
akin to maturity. Men's mid-life crises were discounted as irresponsibility,
self-gratification, and selfishness, akin to immaturity. Women's crises got
sympathy, men's crises got a bad rap.



Warning: Cheers season 1 episode 2 guide may contain spoilers
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