Monday, June 21, 2010

For the first time in 27 years: Watch the Lost CHEERS

Flew home on the redeye with the Dodgers after the Sunday night ESPN game in Boston. So as you read this I’ll be asleep (even if you don’t get to it until Thursday).

For several years I've been talking about the "Lost" CHEERS scene. David and I wrote it for the 1983 Super Bowl Pre-game show to promote our fledgling series. They ran it just before game time and it was seen by 80,000,000 people. Nothing we've ever written before or since has been seen by that many eyeballs at one time. But the scene was never repeated. It never appeared on any DVD's. It just disappeared.

Until now.

Sportswriter supreme, Joe Resnick has taped every Super Bowl including that one. And since the scene aired so close to the game it was on the tape. Thanks to friend of the blog, Howard Hoffman, he was able to digitize it and post it on YouTube.

So here it is. The Super Bowl is next. And here's the text of the script.





22 comments:

Dudleys Mom said...

Now I can finally say I've seen every episode of Cheers (I'm pretty sure — like 100% — that I didn't watch that Superbowl).

I really miss 'Cheers' and a few other shows like it that I could rely to make me laugh. And lately I could use some laughter. Thanks for all the laughs over the years. Your blog will have to tide me over, I guess.

A. Buck Short said...

...........................VI/XXI/MMX
(IOUXX)
And re-seen by one additional eyeball thanks to the miracle of modern surgery. I owe you a sawbuck. Thanks to a patented contrarian Diane Chambers sports wagering system, I had Lawrence Taylor to literally pick Theismann apart two years later.
In addition to having wonderful dramatic structure, your spot also showed a healthy perspective on the part of a certain sports-afflicted comedy writer.

It also reminded me that the TV station I had been working for in Boston had already gone through Dick Stockton and Len Berman, ending up with ESPN’s future Roger Twibell by the time I got there. Myopically having believed I had reached the pinnacle of television broadcasting, it never occurred to me that the former two had not been foolishly dismissed by management, rather than simply going on to better gigs. Again, perspective. Or as the French like to say, “perspect-TEEF.”

West Coast Grrlie Blather said...

"I always find true peace in racetracks and saloons." Great line.

Glenn said...

This is great! Thanks for this.

Any chance you can shed some light on the unaired "Uncle Sam Malone" Cheers minisode that was done for the U.S. Treasury about savings bonds?

Nat G said...

I recall hearing somewhere long ago about Cheers material created to be shown to those standing in line at the post office. Am I misremembering?

Matt said...

Here's a link to the script post from earlier this year:

http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/2010/02/my-super-bowl-tradition-lost-cheers.html

Bob Claster said...

Wait... there may be one more! Didn't the CHEERS people also make one of those Savings Bond films for the Treasury Dept.? I have a bunch of them on a VHS lying around here somewhere, and could probably be persuaded to check if anyone is interested.

Max Clarke said...

Thsnks, first time seeing it.

Funniest line, "As the French say, Superbowl 17." Cliff Clavin reminded me of Coach.

There was the opening to a Cheers episode when Coach caught a ride home with Carla. He wanted to play his French lessons in the car. Carla objected, said they never worked. Coach said something with a French accent. When Carla told told him to knock it off, Coach replied with a French accent, "Knock it off."

Paul Duca said...

Glenn==the Treasury Department has been making those non-broadcast films of TV series episodes for decades. I own a tape that has features the stars of these series promoting the purchase of Savings Bonds:

THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN
LEAVET IT TO BEAVER
MISTER ED
THE ODD COUPLE
ALICE
TAXI
WKRP IN CINCINNATI
BENSON

Plus, from this very blogsite, someone tracked me down and sent me a YouTube link to one from FATHER KNOWS BEST that is considered the most provocative one ever produced. Called "24 Hours in Tyrantland" it has Jim Anderson making his family live for one day as if they were under totalitarian (Communist) rule, to illustrate the importance of protecting freedom through the purchase of Savings Bonds.


Plus, it's great to have the TV show that aired before this Super Bowl, because we certainly know about the one that aired AFTER it....the debut of THE A-TEAM

John said...

Why isn't Coach in there?

Anonymous said...

Max... that same joke was done on Taxi said by Alex in the Vienna episode

foobella said...

very cool.

Anonymous said...

Huh... when I read this post, I could've sworn you'd already posted this video, until I watched it.

Just goes to show you how the script jumped off the (Web) page.

Good job.

bevo said...

I miss Pete Axthelm. I read his stuff in the original Inside Sports and Newsweek as a kid. When I grew up, I wanted to write like him, minus the whole gambling issue.

John said...

As it turned out, Diane was a better tout on Super Bowl XVII than Pete was. Wonder if she went on to say Marino would never get back to another Super Bowl?

Paul Duca said...

Then she would have been wrong...the Dolphins went to Super Bowl XIX, where they lost to the 49ers.

(which, incidentally, was the first time ABC aired the game--and was not able to use the post game slot to turn its husband and wife cop drama MACGRUDER & LOUD into a hit).

Dana Gabbard said...

Paul Duca's comment makes me wonder what the hit and miss average is for the network's use of the post game slot to launch new series. I seem to remember Call to Glory was one of the series that was given a big promotional push during the game and the coveted post Super Bowl launch. Sometimes established shows have special episodes designed to be post Super Bowl, like Friends.

Paul Duca said...

Dana...THE A-TEAM and THE WONDER YEARS were the only real successes to come from a post-Super Bowl launch (AIRWOLF might also be included). The high failure ratio clearly is the reason the networks decided to turn the space over to event episodes of series already airing.


And if I may correct you....CALL TO GLORY got its promo push from the 1984 Summer Olympics.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure I've already seen this on a youtube video linked here. this is the one where diane goes "You call this guy a prophet?!" right?

selection7 said...

I love reading the script lines, asking myself how the actors might deliver it, then watching how they actually do.

Anonymous said...

Redskins won that super bowl...hail to the 'Skins!!

Jeremy Tucker said...

I'm catching Cheers on Netflix for the first time. I was too young when the show first aired, not to mention I lived in Brazil my whole life and only the first four seasons of the show would only appear here in 1999 on cable for a couple of years. Regarding this lost scene, I also noticed Diane has the same blouse she wore to the Miss Boston Barmaid contest, and Carla has the same shirt she wore in that episode. I guess this lost scene was filmed on the same day as the 1x18 "No Contest" episode, right? And also, did the 80,000,000 people watching this help with any sort of ratings bump for the show back then?