Happy May Day. Here’s are a couple of Friday questions that loosely relate to Sam “May Day” Malone.
From blog regular A. Buck Short:
In one of those wonderful Gary’s Olde Towne Tavern episodes you and David wrote, did somebody actually have to calculate how many sheep were needed to fill the Cheers backroom office? Or did you know you could get away with whatever would be sufficient for the camera angle?
As we were writing the first “Bar Wars” episode we just thought, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to see Rebecca enter her office and it was filled with sheep?” So we put it in. And voila, on filming day there they all were.
But yes, someone had to determine just how many sheep would be used. Before every episode there is a production meeting. Led by the First Assistant Director, all the department heads, show runners, producers, and the director sit around a table and go through the script carefully. There are a thousand questions to be answered with every show. Does the episode take place in the winter? Wardrobe needs to know. Should the actor have a coat or sweater? When an actor comes home with groceries, how many groceries? And what specifically are they? How many extras will be used in a scene? Will the phone ring live on stage or laid over in post production? So I’m sure in the “Bar Wars” production meeting there were discussions of how many sheep would be used, how would they be transported, how many shepherds would be required, and were any of the sheep minors that would require classroom time with the studio tutor?
Meanwhile it took us half a minute to dream up the bit and put it in the script.
And was Wade Boggs flown out specially to be in that, or was the taping scheduled for a time he had to be out there anyway to play Anaheim or somebody?
This was the last episode to be filmed that season. It was mid March. We were looking for a local very recognizable Boston sports figure for the bit. Unfortunately, the Red Sox were already in spring training in Winter Haven, Florida. Wade Boggs was our first choice and we asked our casting director to check and see if there was any possible way he might agree to do it. We figured it was a real Hail Mary, but what the hell? A half hour later we got the good news that Boggs was in. The Red Sox manager gave him a few days off. All we had to do was provide airfare and accommodations (in addition to his fee). David and I felt incredibly powerful. We just say “Wade Boggs” and poof, we make him appear!
It was only a couple of years later when his mistress Margot Adams wrote a big expose in PLAYBOY magazine detailing their affair. In her article she mentions how thrilled they were when this CHEERS gig came up because it meant a free trip to a three day tryst. He’d have guested on AGRICULTURE THIS WEEK if they popped for a first class plane ticket.
In the article, Margot also maintains that Boggs asked her for a pair of panties because he had promised the guys on the team that he could come back with Kirstie Alley’s panties. I was on the stage when Kirstie read this. Her expression was priceless. Kirstie was very cool about stuff like that. From then on I would occasionally say to her, “Listen, Kirstie, I’m going to my high school reunion and at graduation I promised the guys that I would bring a pair of your panties to the reunion so if you wouldn’t mind…?” She always laughed and told me to go fuck myself.
What’s your question? Just leave it in the comments section. Thanks. And again, may this be your best May Day EVER.