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Norm Peterson
Norm&Cliff
Portrayer George Wendt
First seen Give Me A Ring Sometime - Cheers
Last seen Cheerful Goodbyes - Frasier
Duration 1982-2002
Profile
Date of birth  ?
Occupation Accountant
Family Vera (wife)
Hillary Norman "Norm" Peterson is a character on the American television show Cheers, portrayed by George Wendt. Norm's real first name was revealed to be Hillary, named after his grandfather.[2]

Norm appeared in all 275 episodes of Cheers between 1982-1993 (the only patron to do so), and was initially the only customer featured in the main cast (to be later joined by Cliff Clavin, Frasier Crane, and Lilith Sternin).

Norm also made one guest appearance each in the three other sitcoms known to be set in the Cheers universe: the Frasier episode "Cheerful Goodbyes" and the Wings episode "The Story of Joe". He also appeared on the spinoff The Tortellis.

Fictional biographyEdit

Prior to the show, Norm was born in Chicago, and moved to Boston to become an accountant,[3] although he is a lifelong Boston Celtics fan who went to Boston Garden as a child.[4] Norm previously served in the United States Coast Guard. He loses his accounting job by defending Diane from his boss,[5] and becomes a housepainter. Norm was revealed to be an accomplished interior decorator and beer taster, capable of spotting a bad vat in a factory by drinking a single bottle.

Ironically, even when unemployed, Norm is the bar's best customer. A running gag throughout the series are the numerous jokes made about the enormousness of Norm's tab at Cheers (e.g., several large binders are shown as being just a portion of it - in the episode "Home Malone", when Woody's rich, naive girlfriend Kelly waitresses at Cheers to gain "real-life experience", Norm convinces her that the tab is a record of the beers for which he has already paid, and for each new beer a mark should be erased - and in the finale Sam has to have his total tab for the series calculated by NASA). In the few instances when Norm drinks at another bar, he is immediately kicked out because the bartenders demand an immediate cash payment instead of a tab.

Norm's best friend is postman and fellow barfly Cliff Clavin, who calls him "Normy".

In the Cheers episode "It's a Wonderful Wife" Vera tells Rebecca off camera that Norm's real first name is Hillary. He explains that he was named after his grandfather who "once killed a man for laughing at him". Cliff asks if his grandfather really killed a man for laughing at his first name and Norm replies, "Not exactly. He was a surgeon and he sort of botched an operation."

Norm has a wife named Vera who is often mentioned but her face is never seen. When she is finally shown, her face is covered in a thrown pie. The only other time she is seen, viewers can see only her legs. Vera is the brunt of many of Norm's jokes, but on many occasions, Norm has professed secretly an undying love for his wife, or defended her honor. Norm and Vera separated during the second season of Cheers but reconciled in the last episode of the season, ironically contrasting the romance between Sam and Diane, who enjoyed a romance then bitterly broke up in that last episode. When Vera got a job at Melville's however, he was deeply disturbed by her proximity to him during his bar time. Vera was played by George Wendt's real-life wife, Bernadette Birkett.

When not sipping beer at Cheers, Norm satisfies his hunger at an eatery called The Hungry Heifer, whose emblem is a young cow smacking her chops. The customers there greet him just the same as the Cheers patrons do. He knows the waitresses by name, and usually orders a meal called a Feeding Frenzy, a monstrous supply of corn and beef. He denigrated the eatery when he first visited it in season 2, but when the place was being shut down in season 9, he insinuates it was an important place to him throughout his life and knew the owner since at latest his college years. Corrine (played by Doris Grau), who worked at Cheers occasionally as a temp waitress, was a server at The Hungry Heifer, and said the waitstaff knew Norm as "the guy who comes back".

Norm is also greeted by everyone at Gary's Olde Town Tavern (Cheers' rival bar) with his custom "Norm!" shout during the "Bar Wars VI" episode. When Sam asks why the people at Gary's know him by name, Norm replies that he goes there on Christmas when Cheers is closed.

"Norm" is actually the first word of Frederick Sternin Crane (son of Frasier and Lilith). (This occurs as Lilith expresses concern over the effect of bringing baby Frederick to the bar, which Frasier disputes. When Norm enters and greets the bar, everyone is surprised to hear a little voice call out, "Norm!" Lilith, distraught that Frederick was not yet talking, joyously believes he said "Mom!" - a beaming Frasier knows the truth but chooses not to rain on his wife's parade.)

[edit] Norm in other seriesEdit

George Wendt guest starred as Norm Peterson on St. Elsewhere, Cheers’ first spinoff The Tortellis, Wings, and The Simpsons episode "Fear of Flying", which also guest starred Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, Woody Harrelson, and John Ratzenberger as their respective characters. Years after Cheers ended, Wendt played Norm in a 2002 episode of its spinoff Frasier, where he got along famously with Martin Crane. (Martin: "Wow, that's some mug callus you've got there." Norm: "Judging from your grip, I'd say you were a can man.")[6] Also, in the first part of a two part episode on Frasier titled "Three Dates and a Breakup," Frasier calls Norm to brag that he has three dates for the weekend. Frasier specifically says "Norm Peterson," though Norm is not actually seen or heard. Norm was most recently seen in animated form, voiced by Wendt, on Family Guy in the 2009 episode "Three Kings".

[edit] Norm's entrancesEdit

Norm's entrance into the bar is a running gag on Cheers, typically beginning with a welcome by the bar crowd followed by a joke from Norm. A typical entrance went:

Norm enters
Norm: Afternoon, everybody!
Customers: NORM!
Diane: Norman...
Coach: How's life treating you Norm?
Norm: Like he caught me in bed with his wife.
Coach: Can I draw you a beer, Norm?
Norm: No, I know what they look like. Just pour me one.
Coach: How about a beer, Norm?
Norm: Hey I'm high on life, Coach. Of course, beer is my life.
Sam: What do you know Norm?
Norm: Not enough!
Sam: What's going down, Norm?
Norm: My blood alcohol level.
Sam: What's up, Norm?
Norm: My nipples, it's freezing out there!
Woody: Hey, Mr. Peterson, what do you say to a cold one?
Norm: "See you later, Vera, I'll be at Cheers."
Woody: What's going on, Mr. Peterson?
Norm: "Let's talk about what's going in Mr. Peterson."

[edit] HomagesEdit

[edit] The SimpsonsEdit

Norm's typical entrance is referenced in The Simpsons episode "Flaming Moe's" where Barney Gumble walks into the newly successful and popular Moe's Tavern to be greeted with the friendly cry of "Barney!".[7][8] When a bartender similar to Woody Boyd asks him how he's doing, Barney burps in response. Also in the Episode "22 Short Stories About Springfield," Moe refers to Barney's bar tab having been sent off to and now returned from NASA as Sam had sent Norm's bar tab to NASA in Cheers' final episode.

[edit] Star Trek: Deep Space NineEdit

The character of Morn was patterned after Norm, and "Morn" is an anagram of "Norm." A similar character is seen briefly between Kirk and Uhura in the beginning of the bar scene in Star Trek (2009), directed by J.J.Abrams.

[edit] ScrubsEdit

Bob Kelso is asked why he repeatedly returns to Sacred Heart even though he has retired. He reponds by saying he's the Norm of the hospital.They are similar in the fact that they both go to a location and get something. Norm gets beer and Kelso gets muffins.

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