Title: Now Pitching, Sam Malone
Directed by: James Burrows
Written by: Ken Levine and David Isaacs
Air Date: January 6, 1983
Previous: The Spy Who Came in for a Cold One
Next: Let Me Count the Ways
Guest Starring: John Ratzenberger, Barbara Babcock
"Now Pitching, Sam Malone" is the thirteenth episode of the first season of Cheers.
Into the bar comes lunkheaded hockey player Tibor Svetkovic and his foxy business agent, Lana (Barbara Babcock). Lana specializes in getting commercial endorsements for her athlete clients, and she also specializes in having hot sex with all those young handsome athlete clients. Sam's no longer young, but he's still handsome, and he and Lana hit it off. She signs him as a client and gets him a beer commercial, while they simultaneously have an affair. Diane, out of both concern and obvious jealousy, warns Sam against mixing business and romance, and eventually Sam starts to have mixed feelings.
- The Cameo: The first of what would be many celebrity cameos on Cheers. Luis Tiant, Real Life pitcher for the Boston Red Sox (and an All-Star) appears with Sam in the beer commercial.
- Funny Foreigner: Tibor, with his thick Eastern European accent, who is learning English through commercials. His first words to Sam are "Your problem may be too much caffeine."
- I'll Take Two Beers Too: Norm recounts taking a prospective employer to a fancy restaurant. When the others ask what he ordered, Norm says "The rack of lamb for two. I don't remember what he had."
- Literal Ass-Kicking: Coach, frustrated because Sam and Diane are yacking about his romantic problems while there are a lot of customers at the bar, drops a rag on the floor and tells Sam to pick it up. When Sam does, Coach literally kicks him in the butt and tells him to go out there, dump Lana, and get back to work.
- Mrs. Robinson: When Diane is getting all judgmental after Lana dumps Sam as a client, Lana says straight-up that she likes sex with younger men. Then she gets wistful about how men used to make little schemes up to attract her, and now she has to make little schemes to attract them, and one day even that won't work.
- Studio Audience: This was the first time an episode of Cheers opened with the line "Cheers was filmed before a live studio audience" (this time by George Wendt). Most every episode for the rest of the run would be introduced this way.
- Title Drop: A relatively rare example of a title drop in an episode of Cheers. In Sam's beer commercial he's introduced with the words "Now pitching, Sam 'Mayday' Malone."
- Unusual Euphemism: Sam, embarrassed about talking about his sex life with Diane, says that he and Lana got "friendly", then says "I'm never against a wild night of friend-making."