It’s Boston: Another “Cheers” Option

  Sun. Sept. 30

Is this a tip for tourists only? Maybe. If you’re a local, you may just want to move on because you’ve been inundated with "Cheers" stuff – tours of the prototype Bull ‘n’ Finch club, franchise restaurants, cast shoots in town – for years. (Then again, some of you aren’t even old enough to remember the fanciful place where everybody knew your name and nobody seemed to ever get into a drunken bar fight.) But if you’re the Cheers restaurant in Faneuil Hall, you are going to keep pumping the memorabilia machine and you’re going to start reminding people that "Cheers" began airing (Sept. 30) in 1982, a full-quarter century ago. They’ll be running that first episode, "Give Me a Ring Sometime," today Sunday Sept. 30, the last day of a week-long promotion.  Younger folks are going to think, "Gosh, that Ted Danson wasn’t the meanie he is now on ‘Damages’." And older folks are may shed a tear for a time that never really was, but for a TV sitcom that was really well-written. Wit, romance, pathos, petty jealousies, the intrusion of mysterious strangers. And, yes, it seems to come from a much more innocent TV age, before reality TV and TMZ and 450 channels of specialized garbage. So, indulge your nostalgic self, suck up the kitsch factor and check in to experience a "Cheers Trivia Wheel," a "Norm" burger eating contest, caricature sketches and half-prize appetizers. True fact: Not long after "Cheers" wrapped one of those on-site locations shoots in Boston I was hanging with George Wendt (Norm) upstairs at Avalon at some concert. We were talking, laughing. I noticed our beers were gone. And, so, I said, "Not to sound like every other person you’ve met in the past decade, but George, may I buy you a beer?" He acknowledged the common greeting he got and that he more often than not accepted the offer, as he did here. I couldn’t have felt more proud.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Southwest Cafe, 800-962-3333 www.cheersboston.com

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