Making a good episode of TV is no small feat — particularly in the age of network TV schedules when shows had 20 or more episodes per season. And these Norm gags were just one small piece of the puzzle every week. It’s particularly interesting given that Norm wasn’t originally intended to be a series regular character. But once he was there, and once these gags were in place, the writers had to craft these jokes week in, week out. Writer/producer Rob Long shared a plot device they wanted to use at one point, only to realize it would result in Norm entering the bar a handful of times in the same episode.
“Ken and Dave wrote a B-story once where Norm’s furious with the city for installing a parking meter in front of the bar where he used to park for free. They discovered as they were writing that Norm had to leave and come back four or five times.”
“And it was our idea. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot,” writer/producer Ken Levine added regarding that particular gag. Eventually, living up to the task of pulling off these Norm gags caught up with the team. “If you look at later scripts, it would say, ‘Woody’s behind the bar and Norm’s there,'” writer Rob Long explained. “He’s already come in. You missed it.”
“Cheers” is currently streaming on Hulu and Paramount+.