Friday, February 19, 2010

CHEERS -- Jumping Jerks

After the two recent comedy tests I'm kind of hesitant to show one of our shows. But it's the flip side of those tests. In both cases the scenes were considered classic but were met with some indifference. When he wrote this CHEERS episode we thought it was okay; one of those episodes to fill out the season. But the reaction was surprisingly positive. People loved it.

Believe me, I'm not complaining. And it does have one of my favorite act breaks. See what you think.

It's called Jumping Jerks and the premise is the guys go skydiving. No, we did not try these stunts ourselves to see if they worked.





18 comments:

Damon Rutherford said...

A solid episode with an interesting story line, but I only chuckled/laughed a couple of times in response to something Woody said or did. He carried this episode.

Mike Thomas said...

I remember this one after not seeing it for what 20 some years. Brilliant writing, direction and acting. Why this will always be one of the greatest sitcoms ever.

SuperBK said...

A classic cheers. Cheers is one of my all time favorite shows.

Scott said...

I still remember how hard I laughed at Woody's comment @ 6:30 in the last segment when this first aired. Oh, that was good stuff!

-Scott from Marina Del Rey via Dodger Talk

A_Homer said...

Well, first of all, you put a whole show which isn't the same as comparing a scene with Nils or Jackie Gleason. Hedging your bet?

It reminds us how much Cheers was talk talk rejoinder, talk... which works in an ensemble bar setting to some degree. I got bored pretty quickly as I want to watch the scene in question and I have to go through a whole set-up of a show to get to it.

Isn't there a rule that you shouldn't take main characters out of the familiarity of the main set, and then on top of that, take them out of their recognizable uniform?
That goes double for the secondary ones? You are asking them to be more than part of an ensemble, that we should start looing at them differently - oh I didn't notice in this angle he is so fat, and kind of odd looking and so on ... and as worthy of longer parts, as actors, rather than part of a standard weekly situation ensemble, providing their relief-position to the central players.

That demands alot more than just having them deliver in the well-honed frame of the main set piece. I don't see the pay-off despite the writing could work. I just think that their strengths were as a tag-team on the main ring and not a center proposition. As soon as you start writing for that it changes the amount of time we want to enjoy those characters really, and takes them out of the mix that made them first of all, interesting.

On Frasier that philosophy worked better, but it wasn't really an ensemble as much as several actors playing well together with Frasier in the center - I wouldn't want to see a whole program devoted to Daphne or Roz and no Frasier or Nils either.

l.a.guy said...

Great episode-- easy to relate to, wasn't contrived and made me laugh.

I think this show has a future.

Sebastian said...

I think if you put an ad for it right after the Superbowl this show might actually gain some traction...

Anonymous said...

Never been one of my favorites. I don't hate it, but don't love it either.

How about the end of "Truce or Consequences" where Diane, Carla and Sam are all laughing at and ugly picture. You wrote that one right? That was hilarious.

Stephen said...

I saw this episode for the first time several months ago (just like every other Cheers episode) and I liked it. It doesn't stand out as a classic in my mind, but I enjoy re-watching it. Out of 270+ episodes, there was never one where I didn't laugh out loud once.

blogward said...

The simplest of storylines, and you rang some good changes out of it. John Ratzenberger and Rhea Perlman were (as ever) particularly terrific in this. If I'm being picky, what's slightly not-quite-classic about it is the repeated returns to the airplane; while you ramped up the stakes each time with the Rebecca-sex and Sam-pitch-story shtick, these elements came in late and so seem ever so slightly tacked on. But I love the Cheerses where it's a full ensemble thing.

A. Buck Short said...

I agree with blogward that this was so much more than it otherwise could have been. Plus the plane started right up again. This is why I try to never, ever miss a David Scharf production.

I thought the talk-rejoinder in this was particularly terrific, especially but not limited to Norm’s “making an impact” – and I don’t care if the rejoinders came first and it was just a matter of how to get there. It’s not exactly sausage. And I liked how some of the bits had a second funny when the first was already pretty good. Also how the rationalizations for finally jumping pretty much matched each character --particularly Norm’s. Not that this was atypical for the series.

But my God, how long did Sammy have to tread air out there waiting for him to drop by and grab the other side of the banner? I think the reason Norm jumped is because he knew how the camera can take 30-40 lbs. off a guy free floating thousands of feet above the earth. What, no overweight sky divers? Or padding? You think you’d want all you could get in a situation like that. Would 4 stunt guys holding each corner of a larger banner have just “defied credibility?” Or budget? And I don’t for one moment belief Norm would ever go on a plane where you didn’t at least get bar nuts.

Kevin B said...

I remember being a wee lad of 13 when I saw this episode back in 1988, and it immediately became one of my favorite episodes. Thanks for posting it.

Jim, Cheers Fan said...

Not my favorite episode, but fun to watch. The exchange between Carla and Woody is classic, especially when she helps him down like he's five, great detail. Those two were the best parts of this for me. That and Norm's "Then I can sit on that bar stool for the rest of my life!" The noise of the plane engine making everyone shout their lines was kind of annoying.

I had a memory that what got Cliff out of the plane was the instructor putting his hand on Cliff's knee and saying, at least now we're alone, or something like that. I wonder which sitcom had that version of the skydiving chickens

WV: Vinotio, the tale of a lonely Italian wine merchant who makes himself a son

mhass30 said...

Loved IT

Anonymous said...

I'm 35 and I grew up watching Cheers. I didn't find the Honeymooners clip very funny, but I loved this. I laughed a lot, even though you could see some of the jokes coming. Probably great casting and writing.

Jim, Cheers Fan said...

And it does have one of my favorite act breaks.

Which one? I like "Damn, I thought Clavin was up on the roof", but I'm a sucker for Carla

kyle said...

come on... sam's heartfelt speech about regrets, then his need to redeem himself by jumping... only to get to "2" and then "Okay, so here's our story..." - there's your diamond...

tb said...

I watched all three clips, which I rarely do, but I wanted to see what happens next. To me, this is the key to any show. It happened recently on "Two and a Half Men', I didn't plan on watching the whole thing, but, it had me wanting to see what happens next. I thought this was an excellent Cheers episode.