|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||James Burrows|
|Written by||Ken Estin|
|Original air date||October 28, 1982Continental U.S.)
November 11, 1982 (Alaska)
|Running time||24:54 (DVD)|
"Coach's Daughter" is the fifth episode of the American television sitcom, Cheers, written by Ken Estin and directed by James Burrows. It first aired on NBC on October 28, 1982. This episode serves as the only appearance of Lisa Pantusso, portrayed by Allyce Beasley. In this episode, Coach's daughter Lisa arrives with her fiancé Roy, who is boorish and obnoxious and rude to her, causing Coach to resent him.
When it first aired, this episode scored very low Nielsen ratings; however, network reruns of this episode improved. Although it did not earn award nominations, it has been praised as a favorite by critics and cast alike, including the late Nicholas Colasanto.
Coach's (Nicholas Colasanto) daughter, Lisa, (Allyce Beasley) arrives with her fiancé, Roy (Philip Charles MacKenzie), a door-to-door salesman who turns out to be abrasive and insensitive.[note 1] Repulsed by Roy's obnoxious, boorish personality and insults toward people, including Lisa, Coach finds Roy not good enough for her. However, Coach is too reluctant to tell her about Roy because she appears to like him and wants her father's blessings. To make matters worse, at Melville's restaurant, Roy forces her to pay for dinner herself, which makes Coach angrier. Therefore, witnessing Roy's treatment on her, Coach's friends convince him to tell Lisa about Roy before it is too late.
No longer able to keep his silence, Coach escorts Lisa into an office, admits to Lisa that she is too good for someone who treats her badly, like Roy, and openly refuses to let her marry him. Lisa reluctantly admits that she knows everything about Roy, that her relationship with Roy is a sham, and that Roy is the first and only man in her life, as she had no other. Coach is shocked with disbelief and tells her that she's "beautiful", but Lisa objects and begs him for one moment to analyze her physical appearance, which she is insecure about. Coach then realizes that Lisa resembles her mother,[note 2] and says so. Lisa agrees and tries to continue on that her mother was not beautiful either, but finds herself unable to say it. Coach tells Lisa that she is more beautiful every day, regardless of her appearance, just as her mother was more beautiful every day. Finally, Lisa feels self-confident and thanks her father for his comments.
After the talk in the office, Lisa confesses to Roy that she hates him, that she finds him "obnoxious", and that everything about him repulses her. Roy swears that the relationship is over, vows that he will never return if he leaves her forever, and exits the bar. Lisa prepares to celebrate her freedom from Roy with Coach, as they leave the bar. Meanwhile, Diane (Shelley Long) draws sketches of people, but her efforts show no resemblance to their subjects.
Ken Levine remarked that the whole audience laughed during the filming of an office scene between Coach and his daughter at the end of the episode. It was reshot but the audience still laughed. Glen and Les Charles decided to lift the laughter from the office scene, so it is not heard in the final cut. Before portraying Tim—a minor insignificant character—in multiple episodes, Tim Cunningham portrays Chuck, who works at the lab that mutates viruses. Jacqueline Cassel and Teddy Bergeron are credited as a couple, to whom Diane shows her botched artwork.
This episode first aired on NBC on October 28, 1982, at 9:00pm Eastern/Pacific (8:00pm Central/Mountain), competing against CBS's Simon & Simon and ABC's Too Close for Comfort,[lat 1] and landed on No. 66 out of 75 nationally broadcast prime time programs with an 11.0 Nielsen rating.[lat 2] In Alaska, it aired on November 11, 1982, at 8:00pm AKT.
This episode subsequently aired on NBC on March 10, 1983, at 9:30pm ET/PT (8:30pm CT/MT), competing against Simon & Simon and It Takes Two,[lat 3] and landed on No. 42 out of 72 nationally broadcast programs with the 14.8 rating.[lat 4] It aired again on NBC on July 7, 1983, at 9:30pm ET/PT (8:30pm CT/MT), competing against a rerun of Simon & Simon and ABC's two-hour television movie, The Last Ninja, and landed on No. 21 out of 66 nationally broadcast programs with a 12.9 rating and 23 share.
Reviews have been positive. It is considered one of the favorites of cast and crew who were involved with this episode, including Allyce Beasley[lat 5] and especially the late Nicholas Colasanto. George Wendt and John Ratzenberger, who portrayed Norm and Cliff respectively, considered it one of their personal favorites, mainly because of the office scene between Coach and his daughter. R.D. Heldenfels from The Sunday Gazette called the office scene "poignant." Robert Bianco of The Pittsburgh Press praised this episode as one of his favorites and called its office scene between Coach and his daughter "tender".
Many reviewers at The A.V. Club agreed that the scene between Coach and his daughter at the office is the most redeeming part of the episode, but they have mixed feelings about the rest of the episode. Ryan McGee found this episode too draggy and found Coach's daughter—Lisa—underdeveloped. Meredith Blake found this episode "underwhelming". Others praised this episode overall, including moments outside the story of Coach's daughter. Erik Adams observed that Coach can immediately sense a bad aspect about Roy, even when he is a "simpleton".
Glen and Les Charles wanted this episode Emmy-nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, but Ken Estin, writer of this episode, declined. (Estin was working simultaneously on Taxi, and as he was permitted only to submit one episode to the nominating committee for consideration, he submitted a Taxi script instead.)
Before appearing as a receptionist for a fictional detective agency in the television show, Moonlighting, Allyce Beasley had not found other roles for one year after this episode, according to Beasley herself.
This episode is referenced in a novel written by Neil Gaiman, entitled American Gods. In the novel, the main character is revealed to have watched this episode, particularly the office scene between Coach and his daughter. Later, gods contact him by controlling Carla, Cliff, and Diane via broadcast of this episode.
- From this episode
- Lisa personally characterizes Roy during her conversation with Coach in the office.
- Coach's wife died before the show premiered in 1982.
- October 28, 1982. "Television Schedule", Calendar section (Pt. VI), p. 10.
- November 4, 1982. "Television Ratings", Calendar section (Part VI), page 12. A rating is based on 83.3 million households with at least one television set.
- March 10, 1983. "Television Schedule", Calendar section (Pt. VI), p. 8.
- March 17, 1983. "Television Ratings", Calendar section (Pt. VI). A rating is based on 83.3 million households with at least one television set.
- King, Susan. "With An Eye On...: The Beast In Beasley Finally Emerges In 'The Tommyknockers'." May 9, 1993. Web. June 8, 2012.
- Other sources
- Bjorklund, Dennis A. "Season One: 1982-83." Cheers TV Show: A Comprehensive Reference. Praetorian Publishing, 1993. 285. Google Books. Web. June 8, 2012.
- Levine, Ken. "The biggest laugh you never saw on CHEERS". ...by Ken Levine April 24, 2011. Web. June 8, 2012. Archived from the original.
- "Television (Thursday)". Anchorage Daily News. November 11, 1982. p. D-12. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
- "Television Schedule". Spokane Chronicle July 7, 1983: 16. Google News. Web. June 8, 2012.
- "NBC Wins Nielsen Race". Miami Herald July 13, 1983: 12A. NewsBank. Web. June 8, 2012. Document no. 8302240139. (registration required). Article at MiamiHerald.com: (subscription required). A rating is based on 83.3 million households with at least one television set, and a share is a percentage of viewership within a specific period.
- Jefferson, Graham. "As Cliff and Carla wrap up on `Cheers' // Ratzenberger: From bar to barbershop." USA Today May 5, 1993: D3. ProQuest. Web. June 8, 2012. (registration required). Article at USAToday.com: (subscription required).
- Snauffer, Douglas. "Cheers." The Show Must Go On: How the Deaths of Lead Actors Have Affected the Television Series. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2008. 54. Google Books. Web. June 8, 2012.
- Harris, Mark. "Cover Story: Cheers!" Entertainment Weekly October 26, 1990. Web. June 8, 2012.
- Heldenfels, R.D. "`Human comedy' made `Cheers' endearing." TV Plus at The Sunday Gazette [Schenectady, New York] May 16, 1993: 3. Google News. Web. June 8, 2012.
- Bianco, Robert, from The Pittsburgh Press (November 7, 1990). "A toast to 'Cheers' as it celebrates its 200th episode". Scripps Howard News Service. Entertainment and culture. Record no. at NewsBank: 9001080362 (registration required).
- Reviews of "Coach's Daughter". The A.V. Club December 1, 2011. Web. June 8, 2012.
- Carter, Alan. "Future's Bright for Allyce Beasley." Evening Independent [St. Petersburg, Florida] June 10, 1986: 5B. Google News. Web. June 8, 2012.
- Gaiman, Neil. American Gods (Paperback ed.). HarperCollins. pp. 405–409. ISBN 0-380-97365-0.