Cheers: Part 3, The Characters Live On

TV series FrasierAs I’m sure you know, Kelsey Grammer’s character Frasier Crane was given his own show on NBC the following season. It also ran for 11 seasons with 264 episodes of its own, just five shy of tying Cheers. Most of the main characters from Cheers showed up on Frasier and gave us just a few more sips of the Cheers humor and characters.

Sam Malone was the first to visit Frasier in Seattle. He had doubts about his upcoming nuptials to a woman who it turns out, Frasier had once had a relationship with. Along the way, Sam tells Frasier what the old gang have been up to. Don the Plumber got rich, dumped Rebecca and now she’s back working at the bar. Dimwitted Woody and his wife Kelly had a highly-intelligent baby boy. Cliff read an article about flesh-eating bacteria and hasn’t left his mother’s house since. And Norm, well Norm is still at the bar, right where he should be.

This episode also cleared up a continuity error from Cheers. On Cheers, Frasier had said that his father was dead and that he’d been a research scientist. When Sam meets Frasier’s dad Martin, a very alive former cop, it’s revealed that Frasier and Martin had had a big argument over the phone just before Frasier told Sam about his home life, prompting Frasier to lie. When Martin asks why Frasier said that he was a scientist, Frasier replies, “What difference does it make? You were dead!”

Diane Chambers was the next to visit Frasier and popped up a few times during the show’s run. In the first visit, we find that she’s still a writer and is in town for the debut of a play she’d written. Frasier agrees to finance the play and finds out that the play is centered around a fictional bar and Cheers-like characters who have an obsession with waitress “Mary Anne.”

Woody Boyd made a visit in 1999 and reminisced with Frasier about the good times at Cheers. Over time, Frasier realizes they don’t have anything else in common and Woody won’t leave.

Frasier & Cheers reunionIn April of 2002, Frasier and family return to Boston so that Frasier can give a speech at a conference. Along the way he runs into Cliff Clavin who assumes he’s there to attend Cliff’s retirement party. Fraiser feels obligated to attend and drags the rest with him. At the party, Martin bonds with Norm Peterson, Daphne is fascinated with Cliff’s stories and Frasier is enjoying telling everyone what it’s like to be famous. Brother Niles isn’t having a good time until Carla tells him some embarrassing stories about Frasier, which Niles uses in his later conference introduction of Frasier. Other Cheers recurring barflys, Paul and Phil are also on hand to add humor to the party.

The most consistent Cheers character to visit Frasier would be Bebe Nieuwirth playing ex-wife “Dr. Lilith Sternin-Crane” with great pinache and style on 12 different episodes over the 11 seasons. Frasier’s and Lilith’s relationship was unlike none others.

Animated barbuddiesWith all of the Frasier visits, the closest thing to a full Cheers reunion would come a couple years after Cheers’ final episode in an episode of the animated The Simpsons. In the episode “Fear Of Flying,” Homer is banned from his regular haunt, Moe’s Tavern, and goes from bar to bar searching for a new place to imbibe. Homer eventually stumbles into a bar much like Cheers. The bar is populated by Cheers characters Sam, Woody, Frasier, Carla, Cliff and Norm. All but Frasier speak and are voiced by the appropriate Cheers actors.

A lot of reunions and treats for fans of Cheers over the years. So, what have the actors who played your favorite barflys been up to? Tune in tomorrow. TV Series Finale home page

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