Waiting around for the dishwasher to cycle out last evening, ol’ Robbo stumbled upon a Cheers marathon being run on one of those cable networks of which I’d never heard before.  Apparently, this was in honor of the 30th anniversary of the series.

Thirtieth?  Yeeks.

Robbo doesn’t often care to admit it when popular culchah has an influence on him, but Cheers was a staple of his life in the mid-to-late 80’s, along with the rest of NBC’s awesome Thursday night lineup in that era (including Cosby, Family Ties, Night Court, Hill Street Blues and Viewer Mail Night on Letterman).  Indeed, I was in college at the very height of this run and the whole hall would gather together in somebody or other’s room for the evening viewing, with much vino and pizza on hand.  Good times.

I haven’t watched the show in reruns very much since then, but every time I do I’m reminded of the ol’ school daze in Connecticut, during which I spent a healthy amount of time knocking around Bahston as well.   I got the same feeling of nostalgia again last evening.

Actually, I came in very late in the marathon, tuning in just as Diane reappeared after her extended absence which, if memory serves, was very close to the very last episode.  I didn’t bother to watch the finale, in part because the dishes were done and in part because I remember being quite disappointed with it when it originally aired, especially after all the hype building up to it.  Eh.

One thing seeing the show again reminded me of was an insane debate that riled the home of my misspent yoot.  You see, the Old Gentleman was absolutely convinced that the Olde Timey photos of drinking establishments that accompanied the opening credits had been doctored so that the heads of various cast members of the show were featured in them.  He used to get extremely irritated when it was suggested he was just imagining these things.   Why, I’ll never know.

Another thing I was reminded of was the fact that I had for a time dated a real-life Diane in college.  This was the one who, when I was downstate in Darien having Thanksgiving dinner at a friend’s house, left me a message that evening that she needed me to come over and see her absolutely at once when I got back.   It happened to be pouring rain that night, and after a white-knuckled ride home up I-95 and I-91 I was feeling especially jangled when I got the message.  When I went over to her digs in less than sympathetic frame of mind, I discovered that she was upset by the Death of Cordelia, of which she had been reading.

Now, like every other guy in my dorm I had a real thing for Shelly Long’s Diane (or “Doy-anne” as Carla would say).  But it’s one thing to view such a character from the comfort and safety of the teevee screen, another to deal with it in actuality.

But thirty years?  It occurred to me that if one of the gels was to walk into the room and I yelled “Noooooorm!!”, she wouldn’t have the faintest idea what I was talking about.