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Recap / Cheers S 1 E 4

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Episode: Season 1, Episode 4
Title:"The Tortelli Tort"
Directed by: James Burrows
Written by: Glen Charles and Les Charles
Air Date: October 21, 1982
Previous: The Tortelli Tort
Next: The Coach's Daughter
Guest Starring: Fred Dryer, Harry Anderson

"Sam at Eleven" is the fourth episode of the first season of Cheers.

Dave Richards (Fred Dryer), a former teammate of Sam Malone's and current sports anchor for a local Boston TV station, stops by the bar. Dave needs an interviewee for the 11 o'clock news, so he asks Sam to give an interview and talk about his Red Sox glory days. Everybody at the bar is very excited about this, and Sam is thrilled at the attention. Only Diane sounds a note of skepticism, worrying about how the subjects of "where are they now" segments always seem pathetic.

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In the B-plot, genial con artist Harry the Hat (Harry Anderson) scams various customers of the bar.

First appearance of Harry the Hat, who would be a recurring character in the early years until Harry Anderson got hired to play the lead in Night Court. Despite his being featured in the end credits, this is the only episode of Cheers where John Ratzenberger does not appear (Cliff was a background character in the first season). Fred Dryer had been a finalist for the character of Sam Malone; a couple of years later he'd be the star of cop drama Hunter.


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Tropes:

  • As You Know: Dave is greeted by Coach saying "Oh! The famous sportscaster!"
  • Coat Full of Contraband: As Sam is chucking Harry out of the bar he demands his watch back. Harry apologizes, then offers Sam an upgrade, opening his coat to reveal a wide selection of watches.
  • The Ditz: Dave is your typical dumb jock. When Sam cracks a joke about how he'll use his interview to solve the problems in the Middle East, Dave says "The Mets got that by 3 1/2 games, don't they?"
  • Epic Tracking Shot: Ends with a tracking shot that starts with Sam and Diane in the pool room and goes out past the bathrooms all the way to the front of the bar. The show never featured a shot like that again.
  • Funny Background Event: As Harry's going through the door he dangles some keys and says "Whoever owns the Honda, thanks for the lift." As the camera focuses back on the bar we can see a man tearing out through the bar door in pursuit of Harry.
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  • Get Out!: Diane is trying to get Sam to vent his feelings, but Sam only wants Diane to leave him alone.
    Diane: You need to release your emotions. Let out a scream!
    Sam: GET OUT!
    Diane: Wonderful!
  • Quick Change: Harry the Hat pays for a $1 beer with a $10 and has bamboozled Coach into giving him back a $20 by the time Sam comes out of the office and catches him.
  • White-Dwarf Starlet: Sam Malone, who fiercely misses his glory days as a Major League Baseball player.
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