Buzzy’s is the barbershop where everybody knows your name.
If you picked up on the reference to Cheers and its unforgettable theme song, then Clipped is a sitcom that’s going to feel mighty familiar to you.
This TBS workplace comedy, premiering at 9 p.m. Tuesday, borrows liberally from the Cheers playbook.
Not only does Clipped have the same old-school, multicamera, studio-audience format, but it’s also set in Boston. (Instead of a bar called Cheers, it’s a barbershop called Buzzy’s.)
As for the wisecracking misfits in Clipped, the gang includes a couple of co-workers who are crazy about one another but in denial about it, just like Sam and Diane in first season of Cheers.
The guy even happens to be a washed-up baseball player.
And standing off to the side, dishing out zingers on demand, the same way he did in the 1982-1993 classic, is none other than the great George “Norm!” Wendt.
Why would Wendt open himself up to repeating himself in this way?
“Because there’s a lot to like about this show,” he says. “Our producers, Max Mutchnick and David Kohan (the duo that created Will & Grace), and our director, James Widdoes (Two and a Half Men), are proven pros and hilarious human beings.
“The scripts are always great. And our cast of mostly fresh faces is amazing and fun to work with.”
Leading lady Ashley Tisdale of High School Musical fame is the only regular cast member, aside from Wendt, who has any name recognition. She plays an alluring hairstylist named Danni.
Tisdale’s leading man is Mike Castle as A.J., a baseball phenom who blew out his arm before he could make it to the big leagues. Now he’s cutting hair and pining after Danni. (They slept together years ago, on prom night, but he hasn’t worked up the nerve to make a move since.)
Wendt’s character is Buzzy himself, the barbershop’s former owner. He sold the place to pay off a gambling debt, but he stayed on as an employee. Buzzy loves being a barber almost as much as he loves his longtime boyfriend (played by Reginald VelJohnson of Family Matters fame).
The way the two men bicker — and then kiss and make up — is a fun new wrinkle for Wendt to play. “I was thrilled,” he says. “What can I say? It’s a fantastic job.”
At age 66, Wendt is having the time of his life working with his much-younger co-stars.
“It’s really invigorating,” he says. “They’re all so talented. They’re from great comedy groups like Second City and Improv Olympic and Upright Citizens Brigade and the Groundlings. They know their stuff. They’re so sharp and so fast. I’m in awe, honestly.
“It’s sounds cliché to say that they keep me young. But they really do keep my on my toes, which is great because I never want to become some blowhard old guy who’s only just talking about the good old days.”
As for the surface-level similarities to Cheers, Wendt promises that Clipped will begin to follow its own path soon enough.
“We’re really still in our infancy,” he says. “All of us — the cast and the writers and the director — we sort of find relationships and themes and character arcs together over time.
“It’s always a process of discovery.”
▪ 9 p.m. Tuesday