Saturday, January 19, 2008

Afternoon everybody. NORM!!!

These are "Normisms" from the first season of CHEERS. My partner and I wrote a bunch of them. It was a running bit that lasted all eleven seasons. However, if you don't know it's a running bit it's usually not as funny. We learned that the hard way on CHEERS. We filmed the first eight shows or so before the series premiered in September of 1982. The "Normisms" for those tapings, some of the best and the ones you'll laugh loudest at, were met originally with confused silence. Enjoy them again and you're welcome to guess which ones David and/or I came up with.


Max Clarke said...

The first that comes to mind is this:

How's the world treating you, Norm?

It's a dog-eat-dog world and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear.

So many great Normisms.

Shannon said...

My favorite Normism is:

What's shakin' Norm?

Four cheeks and two chins.

emily said...

Lest we forget...

Woody: "Can I draw you a beer Mr. P.?"
Norm: "I know what they look like, just give me one."

Woody: "What's goin' down Mr. P.?"
Norm: "My butt on that stool."

Norm: "I'm the ideal weight for someone 10 feet tall."

Coach: How about a beer, Norm?
Norm: Hey I'm high on life, Coach.... Of course, beer is my life.

Coach: How's a beer sound, Norm?
Norm: I dunno. I usually finish them before they get a word in.

Coach: Normie, Normie, could this be Vera?
Norm: With a lot of expensive surgery, maybe.

Coach: What would you say to a nice beer, Normie?
Norm: Going down?

Sam: What's new, Normie?
Norm: Terrorists, Sam. They've taken over my stomach. They're demanding beer.

Coach: What'll it be, Normie?
Norm: Just the usual Coach. I'll have a froth of beer and a snorkel.

Coach: What would you say to a beer, Normie?
Norm: Daddy wuvs you.

Sam: What'd you like, Normie?
Norm: A reason to live. Gimmie another beer.

Sam: What will you have, Norm?
Norm: Well, I'm in a gambling mood, Sammy. I'll take a glass of whatever comes out of that tap.
Sam: Oh, looks like beer, Norm.
Norm: Call me Mister Lucky.

Norm: [coming in from the rain] Evening, everybody.
All: Norm! (Norman!)
Sam: Still pouring, Norm?
Norm: That's funny, I was about to ask you the same thing.

Woody: What's your pleasure, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: Boxer shorts and loose shoes. But I'll settle for a beer.

Paul: Hey Norm, how's the world been treating you?
Norm: Like a baby treats a diaper.

Woody: Would you like a beer, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: No, I'd like a dead cat in a glass.

Woody: Can I pour you a draft, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: A little early, isn't it Woody?
Woody: For a beer?
Norm: No, for stupid questions.

Woody: What's the story, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: The Bobbsey twins go to the brewery.
Let's cut to the happy ending.

Woody: Hey, Mr. Peterson, there's a cold one waiting for you.
Norm: I know, and if she calls, I'm not here.

Woody: What's going on, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: A flashing sign in my gut that says, ``Insert beer here.''

Woody: Hey, Mr. Peterson, Jack Frost nipping at your nose?
Norm: Yep, now let's get Joe Beer nipping at my liver, huh?

"How's it going, Mr. Peterson?"
"I'm sorry to hear that."
"No, I mean pour."

"Women. Can't live with 'em, pass the beer nuts."

"Pour you a beer, Mr. Peterson?"
"Alright, but stop me at one.... make that one-thirty."

"What's the story, Norm?"
"Boy meets beer. Boy drinks beer. Boy meets another beer."

"What's going on, Mr. Peterson?"
"The question is what's going in Mr. Peterson? A beer please, Woody."

Anonymous said...

So come on then Ken, lets here some of the Normisms that weren't suitable for broadcast...

Diogo said...

I'm surprised that "All 4 cheeks and a couple of chins" made the cut. We ARE talking about the ever so PC 80's, where every family sitcom had a heartfelt message by episode's end.Cheers was an exception, perhaps because it was a "Work" sitcom

Brian said...

"What's going on, Mr. Peterson?"
"The question is what's going in Mr. Peterson? A beer please, Woody."

This was without a doubt my favorite ever. The first one I heard was the nipples one. A brother who worked for Channel 4 in DC told us on Thanksgiving that we had to watch this new show that had bad ratings but was hilarious.

Best advice he ever gave me.

a. buck short said...

It's even better getting gang-Normed. I think there was one that summed it all up when, I forget who asked Norm if he wanted a beer, and the reply was something like "Don't tell me I've gotten that predictable."

I apologize for the imposition, but hope somebody might enjoy this. I remembered the scene with Tip O’Neill several years ago when my friend, the former sportswriter and political humorist Dick Flavin emailed that he had written the one-man show, Tip, specifically for George Wendt to play the late Speaker. It was scheduled to premiere with Wendt in a performance space at Boston’s Park Plaza hotel, but the hotel took the room back and the thing had to be postponed. By the time they found a new space in Cambridge, Wendt was unavailable because he had committed to the Modern Men series on the WB, and the O’Neill role was performed by Ken Howard.

Dick claims he pretty much wrote the whole play to provide a forum for a single Tip anecdote that he first related to me almost 30 years ago. It was like the antimatter version of a Norm moment.

During the McGovern-Shriver presidential campaign, Dick was in tow when O’Neill brought Sarge on a campaign swing over to the Erie Pub – the working men’s bar on Gallivan Blvd. in Dorchester. (Same bar Maggie Heckler dragged Reagan to, a couple of weeks before he canned her from HHS with a “promotion” to ambassador to Ireland.)

Shriver was an exceptionally buttoned down, OK stiff, kind of guy, and the late afternoon crowd at the bar didn’t exactly warm to him. O’Neill advised, “You want to win these guys over? Why don’t you buy everybody a beer.”

Shriver announces, “Bartender, how about a beer for everybody in the house.” A cheer goes up, after which the VP candidate adds, “and I’ll have a Courvoisier.”

Anonymous said...

I loved the way that once the joke was established, you could show that Norm was a regular at any other location just by having a shout of NORM! when he walked in. I don't remember the specifics, but I think it was used several times.

Arjewtino said...

So many great ones, Ken. My best friend and I still use our favorite Norm line while lamenting chicks over a beer: "Women. Can't live with them...pass the beer nuts."

I have always wondered, though: did Ted Danson and George Wendt practice that beer-mug-slide-down-the-bar trick?

Jim said...

How's the world treatin' ya, Norm?

Like a bird treats yesterday's newspaper.

Bitter Animator said...

I do love the 'boy meets beer' one. But the thing that really hits home with these is how much I miss Coach. He really was genius. There's one episode where he gts angry at someone on the phone for oweing him money and I pretty much missed the rest of the episode laughing at that.

Nicholas Colasanto was just fantastic.

LouOCNY said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LouOCNY said...

I have always wondered, though: did Ted Danson and George Wendt practice that beer-mug-slide-down-the-bar trick?

more like how many TIMES did they practice it....

the Milk Bone underwear one is the one that will live through the ages...

And to take this OT, everyone PLEASE note that Sony finally got their heads out of their butts, and is FINALLY releasing Season Two of BARNEY MILLER on Tuesday. BARNEY's second season is where it really got going - there are some real funny shows there! Hopefully....HOPEFULLY, we will get to see Season Three in less than four freaking years! I consider Barney's third season to be as consistently funny as any one season any sitcom has had....

OK...rant over....


RIP Suzanne Pleshette - a lot of class has left this world...

Good Night, Emily....

Anonymous said...

Ken, I searched all of your back posts but didn't see the answer to this: are you and your partner got the writing job on MASH, what were the circumstances which led you to take over as showrunners?

blogward said...

"Joe Beer nipping at my liver" is my fave.

Vermonter 17032 said...

Cheers -- the best sitcom ever. Does anyone know why they haven't released seasons nine, ten and eleven on DVD yet? Is it some sort of copyright issue?

Diogo said...

Season 9 of cheers is slated to be released sometime in April. It has already been announced, as well as Season 1 of Becker.

Jim said...

I loved the way that once the joke was established, you could show that Norm was a regular at any other location just by having a shout of NORM!

Heh. At the bowling alley.

Sam: How did he do that?
Cliff: He's got a life you know.

The Normism, about "some poor slob sat here next to me for eleven hours!", is one of my favorite lines from my favorite sitcom.

Ken Levine said...

My post tomorrow will be a tribute to Suzanne Pleshette.

charity said...

suzie pleshette is one of my all time favorites.

rest in peace, suzanne and tom.


Will said...

Funny. I was just reading your post about trimming that fat out of a script. So true. The only one of those Normisms that isn't funny is the long convoluted one about the boss using his but for an ash tray.

Paul Duca said...

Okay....I am willing to venture you and David wrote the "fame, fortune and fast women", as well as "like (Life) caught me in bed with his wife", as those are subjects with which the two of you have copious amounts of non-experience.

Big K said...

We had our own Norm in grad school -- whenever he walked into the lecture hall, everyone shouted "Norm!"

He did resemble Norm....

"Four cheeks and two chins" is my absolute favorite.

Michael Jones said...

To get all Trek geeky on ya, I appreciate that the barfly alien "Morn" on Deep Space Nine is but an anagram for "Norm".

John Hudgens said...

Back about ten years ago, when the station I work for had Cheers in syndication, I did a series of promos using Normisms - we actually got positive viewer mail over those... :)

Joseph said...

Woody: Can I pour you a draft, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: A little early, isn't it Woody?
Woody: For a beer?
Norm: No, for stupid questions.

All time best Normism, and the one my friend Paul used on me every time we were in a situation where beer was available.