This week marks the 25th anniversary of the final episode of Cheers. The 11-year run of the Boston Bar ensemble comedy is viewed as the platonic ideal of the sitcom form and has had a lasting influence on television. Cheers fans include Mike Schurr, the creative force behind The Office, Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn 99, who’s on the record as saying “to me it’s the best sitcom ever made.”
In honor of the anniversary, we ran the number on Cheers’ staff and regulars to assess their clout. Here are the results of this important scientific inquiry.
Cliff Clavin: Nobody took more Ls more regularly on TV than this sad sack mailman. Probably stealth Libertarian propaganda to make Americans TV viewers contemptuous of Federal employees.
Norm, Frasier, Diane: The professional class Cheers regulars/employees are either always at the receiving end of jokes or, in Norm’s case, a pathetic loser stewing at a bar to hide from a spouse he’s afraid of.
The Tortellis: Carla’s ex husband and his vapid blonde trophy wife were the first characters featured in an attempted Cheers spin-off but didn’t have the luck Frasier Crane later would. Ariana Grande’s signature ponytail was cleary stolen from Lorretta.
Woody: Such a great comedic performance you forget he’s a fairly hateful stereotype of flyover country dullards. If anyone but Harrelson played this guileless Indiana idiot, it would’ve been DOA.
Eddie LeBec: Another hilarious dullard who stole Carla’s heart and died offscreen, allegedly in retaliation for portrayer Jay Thomas’ remarks about American treasure Rhea Perlman.
Lilith Sternin: If she rejected Frasier’s advances, she’d be the deadpan power bitch she presented to the world. But by consenting to marry the mid Atlantic-accent loser shows she’s a fraud.
Coach: Coach by far the dumbest character to grace the bar. But in the early, darker seasons of Cheers, his flashes of morality gave him power over the craven barflies.
Rebecca Howe: She started as successful careerist and was dragged down by being around all the losers at the bar and her infatuation with corporate playboy Evan Drake.
Evan Drake and Robin Colcord: Cheers’ pair of corporate villains had swagger but were ultimately cannon fodder for scheming drunks.
Sam: His brief run in pro ball awes the barflies but he’s such a loser at heart that he gets pushed around sometimes.
Carla Tortelli: This working single mom who takes no shit from customers had a chance at the top spot if not for her tragic weakness for pathetic characters with five o’clock shadows.
Harry The Hat: A grimy little conman who runs elaborate hustles to steal bottles of beer. Absolute legend. 10/10. R.I.P. Harry Anderson.