Give Me a Ring Sometime is the first episode of the first season of Cheers, and thus the series premiere. It originally aired on NBC in the United States on September 30, 1982. This episode was written by show creators Glen Charles and Les Charles, and directed by James Burrows, who previously left Taxi after its fourth season on ABC, and then moved to NBC after that.
- Ted Danson as Sam Malone
- Shelley Long as Diane Chambers
- Nicholas Colasanto asErnie "Coach" Pantusso
- Rhea Perlman as Carla Tortelli
- George Wendt as Norm Peterson
- Michael McGuire as Prof. Sumner Sloan
- John P. Navin Jr. as Boy
- Erik Holland as Swedish Customer
- Ron Frazier as Ron
- John Ratzenberger as Cliff Clavin
The series premiere opens with Sam Malone walking from the pool room into the main room of the bar. Shortly after he walks to the bar, the first customer arrives. This is a young man with a fake military ID. Sam kicks him out, and the cold opening ends. The opening credits roll as Gary Portnoy's "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" is heard for the first time.
After the opening credits, Diane Chambers and her fiance Sumner Sloan enter the bar to celebrate their plans to get married tomorrow. Sumner insists on getting the ring from his ex-wife Barbara. Diane waits for him with their luggage as they plan to get married in Barbados. Ernie "Coach" Pantusso enters the bar ranting about the New England Patriots draft. He argues that the Patriots draft of a line backer was a bad pick. Sam then points out that he has seen a line backer turn the team around and take the Patriots to the Super Bowl. Coach immediately agrees and then points out that Carla Tortelli played is late again. As if on cue, Carla enters the bar ranting about why she is late. Explaining that one of her numerous kids was sick and that if Sam does not accept this explanation she quits. Sam and Coach watch her head towards the bathroom as if this is her normal reaction every day.
Carla then comes out of the bathroom ready to wait on tables. After addressing Coach and Sam, she notices Diane. She says something to Diane, before Sam tells Carla that Diane would like to be left alone. Norm Peterson, Cheers number one customer enters the bar. A Normism is heard for the first time, as he goes and sits in his favorite stool on the far side of the bar.
They all begin to discuss Sam's former life as a major league ball player. Diane is curious as to why he no longer plays baseball, he tells her that he drank himself out of baseball and then bought a bar in the process.
Diane then leaves for the bathroom, the rest of the guys in the bar begin to ask about her. Coach tries to cover for Sam, claiming that Diane is a hooker. Sam then explains the true story of why Diane is at the bar. As Diane comes back out, the patrons at the bar give Diane a round of applause for getting engaged, Diane is upset at Sam for giving up her story.
After the commercial break, Carla told Diane about her life story. She tells Diane about her husband Nick and how he left her to raise four children. Coach answers the phone and asks everyone at the bar if their is a Ernie Pantusso there, Sam yells back at him that he is Ernie Pantusso.
Norm, Cliff Clavin and the other bar flies begin to argue over the sweatiest movie ever made. Cliff gives his first "Here's a Little Known Fact" saying that woman have fewer sweat glands then men, but they are larger and more active, so consequently they sweat more. He then asks Diane about her perspiration patterns.
Sumner returns to the bar, much to the delight of Diane. Sumner says that his wife is extraordinary and he needs to think about some things. Diane then convinces him to still go to Barbados. The phone rings, it is Sumner's ex-wife calling to say that Diane can have the ring. Sumner then leaves Diane at the bar again.
Even later that night, Diane is still sitting at the bar. Coach claims that he is heading home to get back to his novel that he's been "going on for six years now". Diane, surprised, asks Coach if he is writing a novel, Coach says that he is reading one. Coach then leaves, helping Norm out with him.
A man name Ron also leaves, thanking Sam for listening to his problems. Diane attempts to figure out why people confide in bartenders, she says it doesn't make any sense. She then begins to tell Sam her story with Sumner. Sam begins to argue with Diane over just what kind of person Sumner is, Diane continues to deny that Sumner will not be coming back. Diane then calls to change the time of her flight, she then finds out that Sumner and his ex-wife took the trip to Barbados.
Diane, naturally upset, starts to make her way up the steps to get the door, claiming that Sumner was her whole life. Without Sumner, she has no where to go. Sam says that if she has no where to work, she could always just wait tables for Cheers. Diane laughs at Sam's idea, just then Carla gives an order of drinks to Sam. Diane continues to tell Sam that she is too intelligent to ever wait tables, just when she is about to leave Sam asks Carla what the order of drinks was again. Diane, putting her luggage down, tells Sam the exact order that Carla placed, realizing that she could become a waitress.
The pre-credits scene at the end has Diane sitting her first customers at a table. She begins to tell these people that she is a student, not just in an academic sense, but a student of life. She tells them that an intelligent person waiting tables is not so outlandish. The Swedish customer that she seated then says "where is police, we have lost luggage."
So ends day one at Cheers.
Trivia & Notes
- At the beginning of the episode, Sam walks out of the pool room into the bar. In the series finale, 'One for the Road', Sam walks from the bar back to the pool room.
- Sumner's proposal to Diane, "Come with me, and be my love / And we will some new pleasures prove," is from John Donne's poem, "The Bait".
- During the first audience run-through of the episode, Norm entered the bar and said, "Afternoon everybody," and Coach responded, "What do you know?" Norm answered, "Not enough," and to the crew's surprise, this simple, straight phrase got a huge laugh. "It was a great surprise that the audience laughed," wrote writer/director James Burrows, "and not so great because it made his entrances harder to write.
- The red paperback Diane is reading at the bar is The Selected Poems of William Butler Yeats.
- An elderly lady can be seen among the bar patrons. She was a character named "Mrs. Littlefield" who was an opinionated spinster. She originally was to be a recurring character, but her lines were deleted from the episode and the character was dropped.
- When everyone at the bar is discussing what was the "sweatiest movie of all time," Cliff suggests Body Heat. One of the supporting actors in that movie was Ted Danson, and just after the movie is mentioned, the camera focuses on Danson.
- Norm and Cliff were not original characters for the pilot script. George Wendt and John Ratzenberger auditioned for the minor role George (a customer) with just one line, "Beer!" In the original draft of the pilot episode, when Diane becomes a waitress, she tells the customer her long-winded story about her journey, annoying him. After being done hearing her story, he said "Beer!" when she asked him what he wants to order. After Wendt was hired for the minor role, the producers changed the script, developed Wendt's role into Norm Peterson, and included Norm as part of the series. Meanwhile, Ratzenberger is given another role, Cliff Clavin, during script rewrite(s).
- This marks the first appearance of 270 for Sam Malone.
- This marks the first appearance of 123 for Diane Chambers.
- This marks the first appearance of 70 for Ernie "Coach" Pantusso.
- This marks the first appearance of 270 for Carla Tortelli.
- This marks the first appearance of 270 for Norm Peterson.
- This marks the first appearance of 268 for Cliff Clavin.
- This marks the first appearance of 3 for Sumner Sloan.
- In this episode, Diane helps Sam ward off a phone call from a woman named Vicki via in an impromptu game of charades. Years later on Frasier, it is Frasier Crane helping Sam ward off a phone call from a woman named Sheila in much the same way. The only slight difference is the excuse used as to why Sam can't come to the phone: in this episode, Diane tells Vicki that Sam had to go to mime class while Frasier tells Sheila that Sam already left.
- Crew or equipment visible: When Sumner goes to the back to make a phone call, we can see a crew member sitting on a wooden chair with a camera beside him and a few more people in the distance.