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September 30, 2006


Mike Barer

I remember that the Coach passed away shortly after one of the Hill Street Blues characters died and then Night Court lost Selma Diamond. It was one tragedy after another for the Peacock Network.


Hey, Ken. I'm one of your new readers, coming over from LM a few days ago. Very much enjoy reading you. I was a huge Cheers fan. I remember the first episode (surprised that I actually laughed out loud at a sitcom) and the last. And so many in between. First time I've ever been able to say to anyone involved in that show - thanks for the memories!


Fun, fascinating post. Thanks for the inside look. Though I could have done without that "Seedier parts of Hollywood" remark. During the first two years CHEERS was on the air, I was living less than 100 yards from stage 25 at Paramount. I saw the CHEERS sign over the audience entrance every day. And I found the neighborhood quite pleasant, and full of friendly families. I enjoyed living there, and on pleasant Sunday afternoons, I used to enjoy strolling through Hollywood Memorial Cemetary across the fence from Paramount, often sitting on Tyrone Power (His Memorial is a marble bench.) to have a cigarette. I don't live in Hollywood anymore, and I haven't had a cigarette in 16 years, but I remember those days fondly, and am glad that CHEERS is still around in reruns to take me back. More CHEERS stories always welcome.

Ken Levine

When I consulted on WINGS our writing room was on the second floor of a building on Gower. At night we would see an ice cream truck pull up and watch drug deals go down. We used to call the ice cream man Cracky the Clown.

C. T. Clown

Hey! It's like old home week! I was that guy selling the drugs!!Ha ha! Small world, eh?

Tom Quigley

Ken,Great info. Have already told my experience of my few moments on the CHEERS set in one of your previous posts, but I wonder if you noticed the pile of scripts that had been tossed away next to the bleachers after filming the last show. When Rudy Hornish was taking me on a tour of the nearly completed FRASIER set on Stage 25, we noticed this small mountain of paper as we got to the staircase. "You want a CHEERS script?" Rudy laughed as we passed by it. Never one to pass up freebies, I picked one up off the top and can now claim to be the proud owner of a copy of "Woody Gets an Election", an episode from the final season (and an episode in which, I believe, Peri Gilpin appears as a newspaper reporter).


I think it's a testament to the audience's identification with the show that the set continues to stand (most of it, anyway) at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum on Hollywood Blvd. The only part of that tour that's worth the measly admission price.

Great Big Radio Guy

I always marvelled at the reality of the Cheers bar with two glaring exceptions: Nobody smoked and nobody paid.An 80s dream bar if there ever was one.

Tod Hunter

Any idea what happened to the "This is a SQUARE HOUSE/Please report any un-fairness to the Proprietor" sign? I used to love that. Oddly, I knew Dick Sylbert peripherally near the end of his life. I should have asked HIM...-t


Practicality is everything in set design. Bob Schiller once told me that the set used for Ricky and Lucy's house in Connecticut on the last episodes of "I Love Lucy" was gorgeous, and everyone initially loved it because it was huge compared to the small apartment sets they'd had, but it quickly became a pain. That big flight of stairs made quick entrances and exits on the things impossible. Likewise, the front door was so far from where the action was staged that it took forever for someone to enter or leave the house by it, so another door was added in the dining room area, and it actually got used more than the front door. Not to mention that all the furniture required to fill the set up tended to get in the way of staging action scenes. They learned to appreciate that little apartment set much more than they had.


I served behind the Cheers bar at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum back in my bartending days. A group of doctors from out of town where given a private tour of the museum and spent an hour drinking at the exhibit. It was an awesome experience, except for the 'Norm' shouts every three seconds.


Well, WINGS was after I'd moved away. Too bad. That truck would have been so convenient.

Barking Up Trees

back in '83-84, i worked as concierge at the boston park plaza, located on the opposite end of the public garden from the bull & finch... everybody new to the city had plenty of options to see any number of sites: the harbor, fanueil hall/quincy market; fenway pahk; the esplinade; the hancock observatory; hahvahd squaah...and yet, everbody... EVERYbody asked about where could they find "the cheers bar"... none knew it was called the bull & finch pub... and half sought me out after seeing it to complain it didn't look anything like the t.v. bar...i went back in '99 to find they were redesigning the bull & finch to look more like "cheers"...don't know if they succeeded...guess i'll have to check it out at some point... no expectations... i love beantown as it is...


The house filmed for the exterior of the Sugarbaker Design Firm on Designing Women is here in the town where I live. As part of our city's historic district, it was open for tours for many years, and after the series premiered, it was not uncommon for visitors to complain that they were disappointed that the interior bore not the least resemblance to the set seen on Women. Some actually believed the show was filmed there and expected to see the cast at work!

Paul Duca

Allan...you forgot to mention that while DESIGNING WOMEN is set in Atlanta, the "Sugarbaker house" is in Little Rock.

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    Ken Levine is an Emmy winning writer/director/producer/major league baseball announcer. In a career that has spanned over 30 years Ken has worked on MASH, CHEERS, FRASIER, THE SIMPSONS, WINGS, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, BECKER, DHARMA & GREG, and has co-created his own series including ALMOST PERFECT starring Nancy Travis. He and his partner wrote the feature VOLUNTEERS. Ken has also been the radio/TV play-by-play voice of the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres.
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