My post on Thursday on why I really became a comedy writer prompted a number of readers to ask if I could share the acceptance speech I delivered at that TCA dinner. Kind blogger that I am, I used that request to blackmail you into buying more copies of my book. It worked. So thanks very much, and here is the speech. If you don't like it, please don't return the books.
There were also a couple of ad libs that got laughs, but I don't remember what they were. I know I made fun of some of the other acceptance speeches but don't recall the exact lines. (Maybe Alan Sepinwall or Maureen Ryan or one of the other critics there that night does?) All I know is Claire Danes laughed. Here's what I said.
On behalf of Glen & Les Charles and Jimmy Burrows and all the writers and crew, I want to thank you for this prestigious honor. I was fortunate enough to be with CHEERS since the beginning and trust me, it meant a lot to us that you embraced our show initially. Critics were very important, especially since critics were the only people who watched the show. That first year, not only were we getting trounced by SIMON & SIMON, but something on ABC called TUCKER’S WITCH was kicking our ass.
But thanks to your support, and the fact that NBC had nothing else – which is kind of like today -- they decided to stick with us. Truly, it was us or PINK LADY & JEFF. (That won the TCA Heritage Award in 2006, didn’t it?).
But it was a great run. Who knew it would last eleven years? Who knew Woody would be the cast member to become a movie star? Who knew our modest little theme song would one day be used to sell auto insurance?
It was an honor to be associated with CHEERS. Writers from today’s shows tell me all the time how much CHEERS influenced them and then won’t hire me. But knowing I’ve inspired others, and will still get royalties long after their shows have been cancelled is satisfaction enough. (That got applause) So again, on behalf of the Glen & Les Charles and Jim Burrows, thanks so much. CHEERS is a great example that quality can ultimately win out, and that critics do make a difference.