Thursday, January 5, 2012

On 8th Grade, Surrealism, Realism and Adam Sandler

When I was in eighth grade, I broke my leg in three spots by snowboarding in my front yard. It is an infamous story of which every person that went to Carman-Ainsworth Junior High School in 1998 is aware.

To make a long story short, it was kind of a rough several months. I was in a cast up to my thigh and spent several weeks in a wheel chair. This made me popular for a brief moment in time as students would fight over who would push me to my next class (getting dismissed 5 minutes early in the process). I then had a cast put on that went past me knee and used clutches to get around. Eventually a smaller cast was put on me and finally a walking boot. I went through months of physical rehab and eventually had to walk with a cane, which would sometimes get taken from me at lunch by obnoxious assholes who I assume now are all leading miserable existences. :-)

The reason I bring all of this up is because of the fact that I was out of school for two weeks. Again, this was 1998, otherwise known as the heyday of America Online and that magical, trailblazing thing known as the private group chat. From my family's dinning room (where my dad had placed our Compaq computer)I would eagerly sit awkwardly and wait for my friends to get home and get online.

Late at night, I would watch 90% of all Winter Olympics programming while during the day I watched the news (the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal was just developing). Additionally, I spent those two weeks doing something else -- I watched the movie Happy Gilmore in its entirety every single day.

(I also ate a pepperoni Hot Pocket every day, which is why I'm typing this in gym clothes as I struggle everyday to get my BMI to a respectable level, but that's neither here nor there...)

So it is within this context that I hope you can imagine my irrational excitement when Norm has a meeting with a potentinal client whose wife is Grandma Gilmore! As you can see, Grandma looks practically the same here in 1985 as does in 1996. As the episode progresses, we learn she's playing the wife of a diary farmer, leading to Norm trying in vain connect with the couple. Naturally, Cliff easily makes friends with them and the three leave the bar with Norm having not closed the deal.

Despite playing the wife of a diary farmer, Grandma Gilmore doesn't request a glass of warm milk as she did, so hilariously in 1996:

Back in the summer, as this blog began taking shape, I wrote about the guest appearance by Shooter McGavin, who played a former teammate's of Sam Malone. Thus, we have two principal actors from Happy Gilmore making appearances on Cheers.

Coincidentally, the connections don't stop there as another actor from a 1996 Adam Sandler film stops by Cheers:

This guy, who played Carl in Billy Madison, has an even more minor role than Grandma Gilmore both in the Sandler movies and in their respective cameos on Cheers.

And for those of you keeping score at home, both Grandma Gilmore and Carl had notable roles on Seinfeld . (First one to leave a comment on this post and name who they were on that show will win an imaginary prize!)

Leaving behind the surrealism of seeing people who played a significant role in my life in the mid to late 90's showing up in Cheers episodes that aired when I was 2, I want to lastly talk about realism for a minute.

For nearly four seasons, Cliff Clavin has been seen wearing his uniform at the bar in every non-Halloween inspired episode. Yet in an episode that occurs on a Sunday, Cliff is wearing a plaid shirt and a vest. He makes no mention of not working, but by now everyone realizes he's a mailman, and thus wouldn't be working on Sunday. It's a nice, subtle touch. I appreciate the nod to realism while at the same time, seeing Norm donning a suit on that same Sunday, I can't help but criticize the show's lack of consistency.

Then again, who the hell am I to talk? I just took you from 1998, and the days of AOL, the Lewinsky scandal, and Hot Pockets, to an in-depth discussion of no-name actors to an unrelated discussion of Cliff Clavin's wardrobe. Consistency ain't this blog's bag...