Today of course, the pitch would be all about the “reality” of a Boston walk-down bar. A vehicle designed to allow viewers to follow along as real-life customers chew on the Red Sox, the Patriots, the Bruins and billionaire Frank McCourt.
But 30 years ago, the sitcom still ruled the prime time TV airwaves. And as the October issue of GQ wonderfully celebrates, there was no better example of the artform than the show launched on September 30, 1982. There is so much great stuff in the mag’s Cheers oral history. Here are just a couple of bar-nut size teases:
James Burrows: When I got the first draft of the pilot from Les and Glen [Charles], I said to my wife, “Oh, my God, these guys have brought radio back to television.” They had written this smart, intellectual story. I’d never seen anything like that on TV before—just guys sitting around, talking.
Woody Harrelson: I was very excited by this newfound ability to hang out with gals who probably wouldn’t have hung out with me before. I became a party animal. You couldn’t do what I did now because of all the tweeting and Facebooking. All the sh*t I did back then, I’d be hung from the rafters.
[Photo of Cheers exterior in Boston: Sam Pavone Phone/Shutterstock.com]