I read Ken Behnken's Dec. 19 Saturday Letter and agree that it would be appropriate for "Cheers" --a program that influences the behavior of millions of lemming-like viewers--to end its final season by having Sam and Carla test HIV-positive to promote awareness of AIDS. But why stop there?
"Cheers" hasn't often dealt with responsible drinking, so let's have Frasier--still despondent over Lilith's departure--get into a head-on collision while driving drunk and kill a family of five. He goes to jail on a second-degree murder charge.
Millions of Americans can be discouraged from drinking and overeating by having Norm die of a massive heart attack on his bar stool, and the issue of gun control can be addressed by having a deranged Cliff rampage through the bar with an Uzi. "If only there'd been a 15-day waiting period," a mortally wounded Rebecca can lament.
Meanwhile, Woody, on a visit home, becomes contaminated by toxic waste illegally buried under Hanover and turns into an uncontrollable cannibalistic mutant.
I hope "Cheers' " producers consider my ideas. After all, a sitcom without a message is like "60 Minutes" without a laugh track.