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Cheers: The Tortelli Tort

Carla loses her temper after a Yankees fan begins to insult Sam, and she attacks him. Now the fan plans to sue Sam and take the bar away unless Carla can learn to control her temper.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 1x3
Production Number: 004
Airdate: Thursday October 14th, 1982

Director: James Burrows
Writer: Tom Reeder

Guest Stars
John RatzenbergerJohn Ratzenberger
As Cliff Clavin
Jack Knight (1)Jack Knight (1)
As Jack
Paul VaughnPaul Vaughn
As Customer #3
Thomas BabsonThomas Babson
As Customer #1
Stephen MillsStephen Mills
As Dr. Graham
Aaron HamiltonAaron Hamilton
As Anthony
Ron KarabatsosRon Karabatsos
As Ed Kellner
Rex RyonRex Ryon
As Bruin ("Rough Looking Guy")
Richard McGonagleRichard McGonagle
As Customer #2
Main Cast
Ted DansonTed Danson
As Sam Malone
Shelley LongShelley Long
As Diane Chambers
Nicholas ColasantoNicholas Colasanto
As Ernie "Coach" Pantusso
Rhea PerlmanRhea Perlman
As Carla Lozupone Tortelli LeBec
George WendtGeorge Wendt
As Norm Peterson
Episode Notes
Cliff is a regular "background" feature in this episode, though none of his lines are anything but throwaway bits and pieces.

John Fiedler is a very well known character actor with a wide array of credits to his name from the late 1950s through the early 1990s (he continued doing voice work as Piglet in animated Pooh stories until he passed away in 2005). Despite the appearance that he would be a recurring character, this was his only appearance on Cheers.

Coach indicates that, when playing for the Browns, his specialty was getting struck by pitches in order to get on base. The subtle implication is that he got beaned on the head a few too many times which is why he's so addled.

Episode Quotes
Ernie: How ya doing, Norm?
Norm: Cut the small talk and gimme a beer!

(hearing everyone cheering for Fred)
Diane: What's going on?
Sam: Well, ahh, Fred, here, ahh, is the youngest of twelve brothers and sisters of a very wealthy family...
Fred: And I never cared for any of them!
Sam: Every time one of them dies he inherits all their money
Diane: I think that's ghoulish.
Norm: Yeah, so did we the first six or seven times.

(A boorish Yankees fan comes into the bar and taunts them over the Red Sox's loss to the Yankees)
Ed: I can't see why you people are such bad losers. You've had so much experience!

Ernie: Another round for everybody?
Fred: No, Louise didn't have that much money. But I'll be back. My 90 year old brother is hooked up to so many wires you can get the Superstation on him!

Ed: Ayyy, ayyyy, uhhh, I know you! What's your name?
Sam: Sam Malone.
Ed: Yeah, that's it!
Sam: Yeah, I usually get it right.

Sam: How did you know that?
Diane: Well I picked it up in pre-law.
Sam: I thought you were an English major.
Diane: Well that was after art and before psychology.
Sam: Is there anything you weren't in college?
Carla: Blonde!
Diane: (offended) Check the yearbook, Carla!

Carla: Sam, you can't fire me! Think of my kids.If I didn't have this job, I'd have to stay home with them!

Sam: She's trying to become the kind of waitress that you'd enjoy being waited on by.
Diane: (whispering) You just ended that sentence with two prepositions...
Sam: Don't you have customers to deal with?
Diane: That ended witha preposition, too...
Sam: Don't you have customers to deal with, mullet head?

(attempting to set off Carla)
Ed: Sam Malone was a terrible pitcher! Ted Williams was over rated!

(after attempting to set off Carla by calling the Boston Bruins hockey team "a bunch of ugly, stupid, sissies")
Bruin customer: Hey, ah, I wish you hadn't've said that about the Bruins.
Ed: Why, are you a Bruins fan?
Bruin: No. I'm a Bruin. (stands up, he's big and in much, much better shape than Ed)
Bruin: (smiling maliciously, in a strong Boston accent) Let me walk you to your caaahhh. I want to show you some of those sissy things I got suspended for!

Cultural References
Fred:. My 90 year old brother is hooked up to so many wires you can get the Superstation on him!

The local station WTBS out of Atlanta was owned by Ted Turner, who made a deal in the 1970s to get it carried far and wide across the USA via the burgeoning cable TV companies' effort to offer more to their customers than broadcast by having many many more channels. It was one of the first stations to do so (WGN out of Chicago is one of the others). The advertising promos for WTBS referred to it as a "Superstation", since it wasn't just carried locally, and it became known as this for many years.

Carla: You homesick for the Bronx?
Ed: Yeah.
Carla: Pbbbbblllltttt!!

The sound Carla makes is often called a "raspberry", but another common name for it is a "Bronx Cheer" or a "Bronx Razz" by association with the NY borough/county called The Bronx, one of the five major boroughs which make up New York City..

Ed: Ted Williams was over rated!

Ted Williams was a left fielder who spent 21 years playing for the Boston Red Sox. He is generally regarded as one of the greatest hitters ever as a two-time AL MVP. He won the batting Triple Crown twice, and led the AL in batting 6 times. His career batting average was .344, and at the end of his career he finished with 521 home runs, and, in 1940 was the last player to bat .400 for a single season.

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