May 7, 2004 11:34 AM   Subscribe

I was reading the article on the last Friend's episode and the last part about the "Cheers" live showing on The Tonight Show caught my attention. After reading some usenet articles, I found out that for some reason the entire Cheers' cast was at a bar getting smashed on the air. Jay Leno apparently hated it, and so did most commenters on usenet; except for a few that thought it was hilarious. So my question is thus, what happened on that show? Can anyone recall the antics? Kelsey Grammer drunk? I also heard that everyone except Sen. John Kerry was trashed. I have no idea what the atmosphere was but it would be neat to see Kerry at a bar interacting without everything being finely combed. Which leads me to question two, has anything like this happened before? The idea of celebrities/politicians being real and candid (albeit through alcohol, in vino veritas) is interesting, though it appears from the usenet post, being sloshed and "real" is taboo.
posted by geoff. to Media & Arts (17 answers total)
I remember the before and after special stuff where the case and other people were on the bar set (or at the real bar, I can't remember) and they were drinking and at least one of them was pretty buzzed. I also recall that it was supposedly a FCC no-no, supposedly, to be drinking on camera. That's not real helpful, I guess. Were they later on the TS (remotely), and were all drunk and stuff? I think I missed that.

But see the infamous home video of GWB at a wedding reception/barbeque where he's going around mugging for the camera and giving people noogies and telling the camera what a great guy this or that other guy is. I thought he was slightly obnoxious, more lovable, an easily recognizable type, and told me a lot about him.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:45 AM on May 7, 2004

Response by poster: Yes I remember that video too. He seemed more like a guy I'd want to help me get a fence up and less of what he is now. Of course you can't go around giving foreign dignataries noogies. Perhaps it is more indicative of how manufatured the image of the president is.
posted by geoff. at 11:51 AM on May 7, 2004

If you live near NYC or Los Angeles, the always fascinating Museum of Broadcasting may have this. Probably you could call them and ask them. (212) 621-6600 and (310) 786-1000.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:10 PM on May 7, 2004

Exactly what incident are you talking about? I read the CNN article but all it says is "unlike when the cast of "Cheers" was on "Tonight" 11 years ago, everyone from "Friends" appeared sober." I presume that for some kind of finale promo show, the cast of Cheers was on Tonight getting smashed... but what was John Kerry doing there? It's all very confusing.
posted by adrianhon at 1:11 PM on May 7, 2004

Thought the Cheers cast actually drank beer during filming of the last episode which would be a FCC rule violation. Unlike in the movies where it is ok drinking actual alcohol.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:18 PM on May 7, 2004

What is the FCC going to do, cancel the show.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:21 PM on May 7, 2004 [1 favorite]

The Museum of Broacast Communications in Chicago also may have that episode.

I thought the rule was that you couldn't show someone taking an actual drink. Is that for commercials only? Am I completely imagining it?
posted by answergrape at 1:31 PM on May 7, 2004

Yeah, they broadcast that live, huh, TCS? And they immediately showed people carousing.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:34 PM on May 7, 2004

I don't think it's that taboo, I remember Tom Green drinking shots and getting seriously drunk on the Tonight Show not too long ago.
posted by bobo123 at 1:42 PM on May 7, 2004

Dean Martin's celebrity roasts (which seem to play in their entirity on late night commericials) used to feature people getting visibly sloshed. Also, the Match Game, which plays on the Game Show Network, was notorious for guests being drunk. But this was all a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
posted by haqspan at 1:47 PM on May 7, 2004 [1 favorite]

The cast were live in Boston at the "real" Cheers. They weren't so much drinking on camera as they were already quite drunk from partying all evening and were largely incoherent, especially George Wendt. I don't recall John Kerry being there, but it's not beyond the imagination that various Massachusetts pols were on hand for the photo op.
posted by briank at 1:47 PM on May 7, 2004

Dave Attell seems to get drunk every week on his show.
posted by shotsy at 1:56 PM on May 7, 2004

David Letterman used to enjoy a cocktail from time to time. Windex and Nyquil martini, he would say.
posted by PrinceValium at 2:09 PM on May 7, 2004

I remember seeing the show. What was interesting was that, in theory, seeing the cast of Cheers hanging out getting hammered and needling each other had great appeal, but the reality was kind of cringe inducing.
A reminder that one's glittering bar conversation may not be quite so glittering to someone who is sober.

(I don't remember Kerry or any other pols being there, but what briank said.)
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:08 PM on May 7, 2004 [1 favorite]

Man I wish that Dean Martin informercial was still on! I want to watch that whole series and yes, I'd pay for the privilege. Have you seen "Robin and the 7 Hoods"? Dean was a helluva fun drunk.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 9:52 PM on May 7, 2004

They do body shots on elimidate.
posted by Recockulous at 10:14 PM on May 7, 2004

I watched it--Ted Kennedy was there. He wasn't drunk. There were some other Kennedys there, too, if I recall correctly. I don't remember John Kerry being there.

Today In Demented History Datebook-May 20th

In 1993, it was "Cheers" day and in honor of the 274th and final original telecast of the 11-year series, Jay Leno hosted a live broadcast on NBC at the Bull and Finch, the bar that served as the model for the series. Most of the cast was drunk as the final "Cheers" episode scored an audience of 80,400,000 viewers, 45.5 rating/64 share.

Q&A with the gang from 'Cheers'

Ted Danson said the cast went to a bar at 2 p.m. to watch the episode together. By the time they showed up for the 11:30 p.m. live broadcast, everyone except Kelsey Grammer was smashed, Danson said, leaving host Jay Leno to do the best he could with an awkward moment.

"It wasn't a great way to go out," Wendt said.

posted by y2karl at 7:58 PM on May 8, 2004 [1 favorite]

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