Season 2 Episode 4

Homicidal Ham

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Oct 27, 1983 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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  • "Use a gun, go to cape cod."

    "Homicidal Ham" is not just a classic episode of Cheers, it's one of the best sitcom episodes ever. David Lloyd earned an Emmy nomination for his wonderful script, which brought Shakespeare to a sitcom and turned a psychopathic killer into a great comic foil.
    Andy Schroeder, superbly portrayed by Derek McGrath, is an unstable fellow last seen in "Diane's Perfect Date" in Season 1, when Sam sent Diane on a date with him not long after he killed a waitress in "one terrible moment of temporary insanity," in his words. He comes into Cheers intending to get himself sent back to jail, but ends up professing his dream of becoming an actor, and Diane takes up his cause. She arranges for Andy and herself to perform a scene from Othello at Cheers with a prominent theater teacher in attendance. The scene of a jealous Othello bent on killing his Desdemona threatens to become all too real.
    Lloyd's script adeptly brings a thrilling and realistic dramatic situation into a lighthearted world of setups for one-liners. The episode is packed with jokes and even while we are apprehensive for Diane's safety, we can laugh at Norm's "Woo!" when Diane mentions going to bed with Othello. Lloyd brings some authentic Shakespeare to an audience that perhaps is unfamiliar with it; especially powerful is Othello's soliloquy where he vows to "Put out that light!" Lloyd makes the Shakespeare accessible and weaves it perfectly with the modern material, yet doesn't hesitate to make fun of it at the same time; when Diane breaks character and screams "Help! This psycho's trying to kill me!", Coach exclaims: "That's the only line of Shakespeare I ever understood!"
    If I have one complaint it's that when Diane turns off the television during a boxing bout that everyone in the bar is watching, there isn't a riot or any attempt by anyone to turn it back on.
    I highly recommend this episode, but watch Andy's first appearance first as it gives the story more depth.
  • Remember Andy Andy from Diane's perfect date? Well, he's back and he has a gun, and despite sticking up the bar, Diane wants to help this lost soul. Ma, is she going to regret THAT in the morning!

    Ok, so Andy Andy comes into the bar, naturally scaring Diane (If you wanna do a background check, see Diane's perfect date, season 1) but Sam thinks she is overreacting, until he pulls out a gun and sticks up the bar. Carla manages to pin him down though while Sam grabs the gun. Sam calls the cops which is when Diane learns that he only wants to go back to jail because he can't make it on the outside but would really love to be an actor so she agrees to coach him. She does this decpite Sam's pleas and Andy falls in love with her. When he tells her this, she reciprocates these feelings of love for him as a friend. Andy sees her kissing Sam though and feels betrayed so when they are acting out the scene, he turns the Othello murder scene into a real one and starts strangling Diane. Diane manages to scream 'This psycho is trying to kill me' but the guys think it's part of the play. it's only when Andy screams 'I saw you kissing Sam' does Sam realise and pull him off her. Norm then sits on him whilst Sam checks Diane is okay.

    This wonderful episode is a complete classic with the brilliant Andy Andy, the play and the look of sheer terror in Shelley Long's eyes is so believeable, this episode really has the golden touch and is a season, no, show classic