Brian McGovern's top five Cheers teasers!

DRUGSEX Incorporated is a monthly sketch show at the Public House Theatre, a recently opened written comedy oasis. Each month’s show tackles an insanely high concept in the goofiest way possible; tomorrow night’s show, The Cheers Show, consists entirely of original scenes written in the style of the classic cold open scenes that kick off every episode of Cheers. Brian McGovern, the producer of DRUGSEX, is here with a list of classic Cheers cold opens to prime you for tomorrow night’s show. The Cheers Show is at 11pm tomorrow night (Saturday, May 11th) at the Public House Theatre.

Guys! Let’s be real about this – Cheers is the best sitcom of all time. It stretched out over a decade and adapted and was tweaked and was changed while always staying relevant and funny. It balanced some of the most grounded, amazing emotion ever seen on a television comedy with a bizarre collection of straight up cartoon and slapstick scenarios.

I think that’s why this generation is as enamored with the television show as much as the people who were old enough to understand the subtext and innuendo when it first aired. I can’t think of a better example of broad comedy and art mixing together in such a beautiful way.

That’s why I wanted to do the Cheers show. I wanted a generation, who were mostly kids or babies when it first aired, to have an opportunity to show how much the show means to them. On Saturday May 11, at 11 pm, at the Public House Theatre, a cast will perform over twenty scenes written by over a dozen peers all within the Cheersiverse.

Each scene is the first scene of an imagined episode. Commonly known as a cold open, it is what precedes the iconic theme song that declares we are all going to a place where “everybody knows your name.” At the time the show aired, and in the writing room, it was known as “the teaser.” In honor of the show being hot as hell, and also as a promotional tool, I’m breaking down my five favorite teasers from the show.

A CAVEAT! It’s pretty heavy on early seasons. I think that’s because so much of what I enjoyed was about the construction of the world the show existed in. I love Frasier straight slaying a room all the way till the end, but the first time it happens is where the real magic is. So here it is, 5 of my favorite teasers (also see the show on Saturday! If people don’t go I’ll DIE!).

5. We Will Rock You
I’m going to defer to Ken Levine (one of the producers of Cheers) for this first one on the list. This is his favorite teaser according to his blog. I love when the folks at Cheers act as a collective unit, and this is one of the best examples. The bar is a character as much as Sam or Carla or Cliff, and here the bar decides to sing “We Will Rock You.” Cheers has a wonderful tendency to slip into the anti-town hall scene. It’s a room full of people AGREEING with each other in a positive way. No one is mad that there’s trouble in River City (RIGHT HERE! WITH A CAPITAL ‘T’!). They are just enjoying this moment of collective consciousness. AND… it’s funny!

4. Cliff’s Sunglasses
Episode 4 of Season 9 has Cliff walking into the bar with the DUMBEST sunglasses ever. He thinks this makes him a chick magnet…AND GUESSES WHAT!?!… he is incorrect. I love this scene so much, and almost especially because John Reynolds wrote a companion for Saturday’s show that cracks me up. It captures the dumb shit element of the show that makes it very endearing even when it fails. NOT THAT JOHN’S SCENE FAILS!!! I think it just embraces the absurdity that is a cornerstone of what is mostly a very realistic sitcom. I don’t have a great gauge of humor from over twenty years ago, but whenever it touches with what feels relevant now, it’s always a surprise and a delight.

Get onto Netflix, watch episode 21 in season 4. KELSEY GRAMMER ONLY CRUSHES. HE IS THE FUCKING BEST. THAT IS ALL.

2. Coach’s Blind Friend
This show (happening on SATURDAY at THE PUBLIC HOUSE THEATRE) is truly absurd and irreverent and only terrible things happen during it, but what always drew me in most to the TV show is the sentimental, borderline profound moments of Cheers. Episode 25 of season 3 features the last appearance of Coach. An old friend from his baseball days shows up to the bar. Coach makes the mistake that he was blind. Carla comes up to him…

Carla: Coach, I think he can see as well as we can.
Coach: Carla, in some ways he can see more.

Then there is no laughter and no music. For a moment we get to see Coach looking out into the world with a profoundness and purpose that has always eluded him. The character and the actor who portrayed him (Nicholas Colasanto) then passed away.

1. An Irish Lullaby
This is a bookend to the “We Will Rock You” teaser. It’s a collection of alcoholics and probably terrible people coming together to create something beautiful. I really think it’s one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen in a half hour comedy. I will punch you in the face if you think Sam jumping towards the receiver to jump in on this lullaby isn’t a sparkling example of why humans are naturally good. Everyone on this show is a ball of terrible problems. BUT they’ve all come together to put Carla’s baby to sleep. It’s honestly touching. The button is what makes it though. Cheers is smart enough to always have a joke, and without any words, I think this is one of the funniest. GOOD JOB CHEERS!!!!


- Brian McGovern