Cheers (1982–1993)
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The Boys in the Bar 

When Sam publicly supports an old teammate who has come out of the closet, Norm and the gang are afraid that "Cheers" will become a "gay bar."


James Burrows


Glen Charles (created by), Les Charles (created by) | 3 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ted Danson ... Sam Malone
Shelley Long ... Diane Chambers
Nicholas Colasanto ... Ernie 'Coach' Pantusso
Rhea Perlman ... Carla Tortelli
George Wendt ... Norm Peterson
Alan Autry ... Tom Kenderson
John Furey ... Larry
Michael Kearns Michael Kearns ... Richard
Kenneth Tigar ... Fred
Lee Ryan Lee Ryan ... Bob
Jack Knight ... Jack
Thomas Babson ... Barney (as Tom Babson)
Wesley Thompson ... Photographer
Shannon Sullivan Shannon Sullivan ... Reporter #1
John Bluto John Bluto ... Reporter #2


Tom Kenderson, Sam's old roommate from his Red Sox days, has just written his autobiography and is launching the book at Cheers since Sam is mentioned in it. Despite Tom asking Sam to read it before the book launch, Sam fails to do so. As the book is launched in front of a few reporters, Sam wishes that he had read it since Tom used the book as his way of coming out, which shocks Sam if only because Tom was a bigger womanizer than even him back then. Sam wants to be supportive of his old friend, but he is also deathly afraid of being construed as being gay himself. His support for Tom eventually wins out, which angers the regulars of the bar, who are afraid that Cheers will turn into a gay bar. Those regulars' concerns extend to being surrounded by what they assume will be stereotypically effeminate accoutrement around the establishment. They are also certain that they could spot a gay man a mile away, and as such they vow to scare off anyone who fits that mold. Sam has to decide ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama



Did You Know?


Carla says, "Say it ain't so, Tom." This is a reference from Shoe-less Joe Jackson when a little boy asked Joe," Say it ain't so, Joe." See more »


The calendar in the pool room reads 1982, and this episode aired in January 27, 1983. See more »


Norm Peterson: One night, Vito let's a gay group hold a meeting in the back room, right? Gay's for the... metric system. Story got in the newspaper, gets a lot of attention, and next thing you know, Vito's Pub turns into...
Norm Peterson: [in an effeminate voice] ... Vito's Pub.
Norm Peterson: All the regulars left, Sammy. Out went the oars and the moose heads, in came the plants and ferns. Ferns - eww. I just don't want that to happen to Cheers, that's all.
Sam Malone: I don't believe that stuff. Bars don't turn gay overnight.
Norm Peterson: You don't have to believe ...
See more »


Spoofs The Boys in the Band (1970) See more »

User Reviews

Facing a Unique Issue for 1983
6 August 2019 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

A friend of Sam's whom he spent lots of time with has written a book. There is a press conference. Since Sam didn't read the book, he didn't realize that this guy was coming out. The rest of the episode involves all the males acting like idiots. Three men come into the bar and it is assumed that now that Sam has accepted his friend, these guys are gay. It must have been pretty touchy at that time. Good for them.

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English | French

Release Date:

27 January 1983 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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