The Quick 10: 10 Things You Need to Know About Norm
You know, Norm Peterson, as in, “NORM!” from that bar where everybody knows your name. George Wendt's birthday is this weekend, so what better way to celebrate than with a few facts about everyone's favorite barfly from Cheers?
1. Norm’s full name is Hillary Norman Peterson, which his wife Vera let slip to Rebecca once. Norm explains that he was named after his grandpa, who once killed a man for mocking his feminine name. When Cliff asks if that’s true, Norm confesses that it was really more of a botched surgery by his doctor grandfather than a bar brawl.
2. We never see Vera’s face. She’s heard off camera several times, we see her legs once, and the one time her entire body is revealed, her face is obscured by smashed pie. Go figure. She was played by George Wendt’s real-life wife and Broadway actress Bernadette Birkett, though – that’s her in the picture. So now you (sort of) know what Vera might have looked like.
3. Norm’s bar tab is unknown, but it’s enormous – Sam Malone says he has to have it tabulated by NASA at the end of the series.
4. Frasier and Lilith’s baby’s first word was “Norm!” Little Frederick blurted out the greeting just as everyone did when Norm entered the bar, but Lilith thinks he said “mom.” Frasier wisely keeps his mouth shut.
5. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fans may already know this, but it was news to me: the character of Morn was based on Norm – even his name is an anagram. Morn was almost always seen sipping some suds at Quark’s bar.
6. In the early 1990s, a series of airport bars modeled after Cheers may have crossed the line when it came to paying homage - they created "Hank" and "Bob" robots suspiciously resembling Norm and Cliff. They thought they could get away with it because Paramount Pictures, which owned Cheers, also owned the company that created the airport bars. George Wendt and John Ratzenberger sued, and after eight years, settled out of court.
7. Norm Peterson appeared in every single episode of Cheers - the only bar patron to do so.
8. Norm was a "regular" at a bar other than Cheers, sort of. Everyone at Gary's Old Town Tavern knows Norm when he walks in the room, and that's because he has been visiting Gary's every Christmas for years when Cheers is closed.
9. Norm appeared in all of the Cheers universe shows at least once: Frasier, Wings and The Tortellis, which lasted a mere 13 episodes in 1987.
10. OK, this isn't technically a fact, but it's great nonetheless: