Cheers: Season 7, Episode 7

How to Win Friends and Electrocute People (15 Dec. 1988)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 75 users  
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The Cranes are going on a driving vacation, and Lilith admits to Sam that she doesn't know how to drive and would like him to teach her. He soon regrets saying yes as she becomes an ... See full summary »

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Title: How to Win Friends and Electrocute People (15 Dec 1988)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Robert Benedetti ...
Dave
Steve Bean ...
Reporter
Hugh Maguire ...
Al Rosen ...
Al
Ed Wright ...
Mr. McManus (as Edward A. Wright)
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Nurse
Andrew Lowery ...
Delivery Boy
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Storyline

The Cranes are going on a driving vacation, and Lilith admits to Sam that she doesn't know how to drive and would like him to teach her. He soon regrets saying yes as she becomes an aggressive, maniacal driving machine, with Sam taking the brunt of other drivers' wrath against her. Meanwhile, Rebecca gets her photo taken for a newspaper article. However her photo gets printed in the wrong and unfortunate section of the newspaper. And Cliff is going into the hospital for an appendectomy. He's making a big deal about the life and death nature of the surgery. While in the hospital, he gets no visitors as everyone at the bar assumed that someone else had gone to visit him. Frasier volunteers only since he has to make rounds at the hospital anyway. When he arrives at Cliff's room, he finds out that Cliff has already been discharged. Frasier makes some disparaging remarks about Cliff which Cliff overhears. Cliff is hurt that no one came to visit, Frasier leveling with him that perhaps it is... Written by Huggo

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Comedy | Drama

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15 December 1988 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Cliff has an appendectomy, but right after he is released from the hospital he wrestles a man to the floor to get the button to the shock apparatus. That couldn't happen without pulling his stitches. See more »

Quotes

Al: Dance, mailman!
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Connections

References The Addams Family (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Electric Mailman
30 April 2011 | by (New York, NY USA) – See all my reviews

Any episode of Cheers that features an extended scene between Frasier and Cliff is just fine by me. I have a theory that every TV show starts with its main characters and- if successful- develops a character along the way that is completely original to the show, and becomes a symbol of said show's sensibility and humor. For example, if you're a "Taxi" fan, you know that the character of Reverend Jim wasn't part of the original cast, but when he appeared as a guest star the writers loved him so much they brought him back as a lead, and he became the fan favorite. When "The Simpsons" started Bart was the star of the show and Homer a fairly flat supporting character. As time went on Homer developed into the lead and the face of the franchise. "Seinfeld" was started to give Jerry his own sitcom, and while Kramer was always hilarious it was George Costanza that became the one-of-a-kind character that embodied the show's personality.

It was the same on "Cheers," except the show was so successful and so well-written there were actually TWO characters to emerge as originals: Frasier and Cliff. Their scenes together are some of the best in the series, and when they meet in the hospital after Cliff's surgery there is a reality in the sad conversation: Cliff isn't liked. He attempts electro-shock therapy to cure him of his personality defects, and while the resulting sight gags of Cliff being shocked are a little goofy, this is a very good episode all around. The subplots this week are funny, as Rebecca's obituary is printed accidentally and Sam teaches Lilith how to drive. (I said they were funny, not realistic.)

There is a sadness to the Cliff character: on some level he is aware of the way people perceive him and yet he is helpless to change... even though he tries. It's somewhere around this point in the series' run that Carla's insults toward him get downright cruel and not funny in the least. Suggesting someone kill themselves is not my idea of witty repartee.

GRADE: B+


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