You Can Buy the Bar Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Fans of the hit sitcom “Cheers” now have a chance to purchase the beloved set piece

Bar set piece from TV show "Cheers"
The bar from the TV sitcom "Cheers" Heritage Auctions,

The bar counter is the focal point of “Cheers,” the TV sitcom following the regulars who gather at the titular Boston watering hole. Soon, the beloved set piece will be sold as part of a broader auction of entertainment memorabilia.

The half-hour show ran on NBC from 1982 to 1993 for a total of 275 episodes. Over the course of its 11-season run, the sitcom was nominated for numerous awards, including 28 Emmys.

“You’ll find no IMDb credit for it, but this humble and traditional neighborhood bar was featured in all 275 episodes and was the singular artifact that all main cast members and guest stars alike gathered around during all 11 seasons of one of the greatest television comedies of all time,” writes Heritage Auctions

Whoever snags the set piece when bidding closes on June 4 will get the bar counter, which is divided into three large sections covered with faux wood grain, as well as the attached brass rail armrests and footrests. When fully assembled, the bar measures 125 inches long on each side and stands 44 inches tall.

The auction listing explains where at the bar various characters sat. For instance, “Section A” is carved with the word “Ratz”—short for John Ratzenberger, who played the character Cliff Clavin. 

Ratzenberger and Wendt, who played Norm Peterson, reunited in Dallas last weekend to say farewell to the bar ahead of the auction.

Have a beer with Norm and Cliff! Check out our interview with George Wendt and John Ratzenberger

Along with the counter, the winning bidder will also get six bar stools, a back-bar unit, thin wooden set walls and six brass light fixtures. Other miscellaneous props included in the package include a Boston telephone book, prop dinner menus from nearby restaurants and a black touchtone phone. A few items—like the bar cash register and the vintage upright piano—will be sold separately.

The auction house is also selling a variety of large set pieces from other well-known shows, including the Bunker family living room from “All in the Family,” the interview desk from “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” and the desk and New York City skyline backdrop from “The Late Show with David Letterman.”

Smaller items up for grabs include mid-century barware from “Mad Men,” costumes from “The Sopranos” and one of the signposts seen in “M*A*S*H” (another version of this sign is held by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History).

The Comisar Collection: The Cheers Bar

Fans of “Star Trek” may also want to snatch up the Grecian tunic that Captain Kirk (played by William Shatner) wore while kissing Lieutenant Nyota Uhura (portrayed by Nichelle Nichols) during one of the first interracial kisses in TV history.

All of these items come from the collection of James Comisar, who spent extensive time and money tracking down and acquiring an array of artifacts from television history. Comisar began the collection in 1989, when he snagged two simple, hand-painted title cards bearing the words “More to Come” that appeared on screen before commercial breaks during “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” Since then, he’s amassed more than 10,000 items from hit shows like “Breaking Bad,” “I Dream of Jeannie,” “I Love Lucy” and more.

For decades, he’d hoped to open a museum to showcase all of the artifacts, but those plans were never realized. As such, Comisar, now 58, decided to begin selling them. 

“I just decided these pieces should go back to the fans and let them enjoy them,” Comisar tells the Associated Press’ Jamie Stengle, “and then when that good day comes when a TV museum is effectuated, these pieces will be well cared for in the hands of passionate fans and collectors.”

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