Here's a tell-and-show Friday question.
Who wrote Coach's "Albania" song? Everything I know about the country comes from that song, so I'd like to thank whoever wrote it.
That was from the third season of CHEERS. My memory is a little hazy on that episode so I contacted two writers who were involved.
From Tom Reeder:
Hi, Ken -- As it turns out, I was the writer of that script. It was called "Teacher's Pet", and the storyline had to do with Sam going to night school to get the high school diploma he'd never achieved. Inspired by Sam, Coach also went back to finish up -- he was a couple of years short. Coach proved to be a more diligent student than Sam, because he developed his own unique mnemonic devices. One of them was a song (to the tune of "When The Saints Go Marching In") that contained facts about Albania for an upcoming Geography test: "You border on the Adriatic"... "your land is mostly mountainous"... "and your chief export is chrome".
In fairness, I think Sam Simon may have supplied some of the words for the song, and I may not have the lyrics exactly right, but I'm pretty certain "your chief export is chrome" was the last line. Nick Colasanto really sold it. It was pretty funny.
It's not unusual for the staff to tinker with scripts. Lord knows they improved all of mine. Sam Simon was a producer of CHEERS that year and talks about polishing the Albania bit.
It was room written by Glen and Les Charles, Heide Perlman, David Angel, Ken Estin and myself in about 90 seconds. I went to the Bornstein Memory School when I was a kid, and I suggested the song as a mnemonic device. This was before the internet, so we got out an almanac for the facts, which were true. I think the tune is “When the Saints Go Marching In”. I guess it shows how effective transposing song lyrics are as a mnemonic device, because, more than twenty years later, I know Albania borders on the Adriatic and their chief export is chrome. This may have been the last episode Nick filmed, I’m not sure. They aired out of order. He was extremely frail that night.
Thanks to Tom and Sam, and now, here is the actual scene. What's your question? If I don't know the answer I try to find the people who do.