A Former ‘Cheers’ Writer Explains What Would Be Happening at the Bar Today
Dr. Frasier Crane may, once again, be building a life for himself in Boston, but he’ll likely never return to a place where everybody knows his name.
In the Cheers finale, fittingly titled “One for the Road,” the barkeep Sam Malone decides against abandoning Cheers to be with his on-again-off-again love interest Diane in Los Angeles, choosing to remain with his “one true love” even as his other beloved barflies scatter into the TV ether. That was over 30 years ago, and in the decades since, certain Cheers patrons have gone on to accomplish a great many goals in spin-offs Frasier and Wings, but, as one Cheers writer revealed, both Sam Malone and Cheers itself stayed right where they always were.
During a recent episode of his podcast Hollywood & Levine, longtime Cheers writer and Emmy-winner Ken Levine revealed what he believes to be the epilogue of the Boston bar that served as a home away from home for so many of television’s most beloved characters. Levine said that, in the semi-official canon, “Sam’s still there, and Norm is still there, and Cliff, maybe Woody.” All that’s missing are the cameras.
A puzzled Levine also questioned Kelsey Grammer’s decision that Frasier Crane wouldn’t return to his former hang-out in the Frasier reboot, saying of the new show, “Frasier makes a couple of off-handed comments about Cheers, but you’re going, Cheers was so much a part of his life, how can he not be returning there? Did he hate it? Apparently not.” In the Paramount+ revival, the radio psychiatrist spends his off hours at Mahoney’s a pub named for the late, great John Mahoney, whom Grammer claims has given his stamp of approval to the reboot from beyond the grave.
Of course, in real life, Ted Danson is 75 years old, and, though the actor is still every bit as active as he was in his younger years, his on-camera performances seem a little less physically taxing than the manual labor required of Sam Malone in his beloved bar. It almost feels a bit ghoulish for Levine to daydream about a bar staffed and patronized by geriatrics who haven’t been allowed to move on with their lives for the past three decades.
Then again, as Grammer demonstrates, some geriatrics don’t need to stay in the same spot when they refuse to move on.