Where Everybody Knows Your Name: Cheers, Then and Now

Cheers may have had a rocky start in the ratings, but this classic American sitcom became one of the most popular shows on television. Viewers could always count on Cheers to help them relax after a long day. Have you ever wondered what went on behind the scenes, or what the actors are up to now? Read on for more.

Taking a Break from All Your Worries

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Cheers is that fantastic, iconic TV show that ran from 1982-1993. It is known as one of finest sitcoms to ever be televised. The show’s main theme centered on a bartender named Sam Malone and his friends, associates, and customers. How he and his group of employees and local bar-hounds interact with each other make up the show’s hilarious premise. Cheers premiered to abysmal TV ratings. It placed 77th out of 100. It’s a miracle they made it as far as they did.

How It All Began

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Ted Danson played the character of Sam Malone, a former baseball player for the Boston Red Sox. Sam lost out on his ball career due to an alcohol problem. So, ironically, Sam is now bartender of a local bar called Cheers. Sam actually was a former owner of the bar. The show almost didn’t make it through Season 1. Read on for the whole story.

Ted Danson When He Was Young

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Ted Danson played lead character Sam Malone on Cheers. His character was based on a down-on-his-luck alcoholic former baseball player. Sam Malone was the bartender of Cheers. Sam was also quite the womanizer, chasing after someone in almost every episode of Cheers. It seems as if he only really cared about one conquest: Diane Chambers (Shelley Long), the college educated, sophisticated cocktail waitress. Their on-again-off-again romance would help Cheers rule the comedy sitcom segment for at least 5 years.

What Ted Danson Is Doing Now

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Ted won two Emmys and two Golden Globes for his portrayal of Sam Malone on Cheers. As a matter of fact, Danson’s Malone character showed up on three different sitcoms: Cheers, The Simpsons, and Frasier. Danson has remained very active in television and films since the end of Cheers in 1993, working on everything from Frasier to portraying Director of Next Generation Cyber Forensics D.B. Russell on CSI: Cyber.

Shelley Long as Diane

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Shelly Long’s character Diane Chambers was the sometimes love interest of Sam Malone. Diane was a recent college graduate who began waiting tables at Cheers. Although she seemed confident in her abilities and faculties in front of others, Diane sometimes clearly had no idea of what her responsibilities were as far as working in a bar, leading to many comedic situations for her and her fellow workers. Diane worked at Cheers for 5 seasons before being written out, although the character returned from time to time.

Shelley Long After Cheers

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Shelley has stayed busy with both TV and film, working on everything from The Brady Bunch Movie (portraying Carol Brady) to TV’s Modern Family. A bit of trivia: Shelley always wore a wig on Cheers because she believed the hot set lights would damage her hair. She was also eight months pregnant when she completed filming her third season of Cheers.

Nicholas Colasanto as Beloved “Coach”

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Nicholas Colasanto played Ernie “Coach” Pantusso. Coach was Sam’s baseball manager who became one of Cheers’ bartenders after retiring from baseball. Coach was rather eccentric and forgetful but had a knack for one-liners. Colasanto really made a believable character out of Coach and became one of the show’s most beloved cast members.

R.I.P. Nicholas Colasanto

R.I.P. Nicholas Colasanto

Nicholas Colasanto played the character Coach for three seasons on Cheers from 1982-1985. He was diagnosed with heart disease in the 1970s and his health got progressively worse around 1984 to the point where he had to stop acting. He died of a heart attack at the age of 61 on February 12, 1985.

The Witty Rhea Perlman

The Witty Rhea Perlman

Rhea Perlman played the character Carla Tortelli, a waitress at Cheers. To say that Carla was one of the nicest human beings on earth would be a serious miscarriage of justice. Carla was one of the most mean-spirited characters on television at the time, much to the enjoyment of the television viewing audience. When Cheers started, Carla had four children. When the series ended, she had eight children by three different men. Carla was also very superstitious.

Rhea Perlman’s Still Got It!

Rhea Perlman’s Still Got It!

Most, if not all of the actors from the sitcom Cheers since the show, and Rhea is keeping up with all of them. She’s been in more than 20 films and numerous TV shows, the current one being a show called Mom. Rhea is married to the highly-talented actor Danny DeVito and has somehow found the time to author several highly successful children’s books (Otto Undercover).

George Wendt’s Expanding Role

George Wendt’s Expanding Role

George Wendt played Norm Peterson on Cheers. Norm started out on the show working as an accountant but had several job changes over the years. Although Norm was a fixture on the show, he wasn’t one of the original cast members — he was written in and his role was expanded. Norm loves beer, probably more than anything else, including his nagging wife Vera, who never actually appeared on the show during the entire run of Cheers. Upon walking into Cheers, he was always greeted with the entire bar shouting “Norm!” to him.

George Wendt: Still in Demand

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Wendt is still in demand, most recently playing a gay barber on the sitcom Clipped. His Cheers character Norm Peterson has been in seven different series, from Cheers to Wings to both The Simpsons and Family Guy. George is also a very adept theater actor, having played various roles in the productions of Hairspray and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

John Ratzenberger as Know-It-All Cliff

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The character of Clifford C. “Cliff” Clavin, Jr. was portrayed by actor John Ratzenberger. Cliff was a postal worker who liked to think that he knew everything, but he failed miserably at most trivia. He normally hung out at the Cheers bar with Norm Peterson. Interesting fact: Both John Ratzenberger and George Wendt tried out for the part of Norm,” with Wendt being picked for the character. John thought that the bar needed a Mr. Know-It-All character, and he was written in as Cliff.

John Ratzenberger’s Voice Career

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John has enjoyed a highly successful career after Cheers. He’s appeared in several TV shows throughout his career. His specialty for several years now has been voice-over, mostly for animated films. How successful? He’s voiced a character in EVERY single Pixar movie to date, with the last one being Finding Dory, where he voiced the character “Bill the Crab.”

Kelsey Grammer’s Popularity

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Kelsey Grammer brought his character Dr. Frasier Crane to life starting with the third season of Cheers. Frasier was the love interest of Diane Chambers in season three, and they were also engaged. Frasier is a psychiatrist and Harvard graduate. He was originally brought in to help Sam Malone deal with his recurring alcoholism. He also is quite “high-brow” and stuck-up about things, which makes for comedy perfection. Unfortunately, Diane apparently dumps Frasier at the altar at the end of the season. Note: The show’s producers were so impressed by Grammer they decided to write his Frasier character in as a regular. Frasier was only meant to be on “Cheers” for a few episodes originally.

Kelsey Grammer Gets a Spin-Off

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Grammer continued his Frasier character after the end of Cheers in 1993. The show, simply called Frasier, became one of the most successful spin-offs in history, lasting for 11 years. After the end of Frasier, Grammer continued to be in demand for both television and film. Grammer continues to have a varied and fantastic career, doing everything from voiceover work to portraying yet another doctor (Hank McCoy) in the X-Men movie franchise.

BeBe Neuwirth as Lilith

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The character of Lilith Sternin was played to uproarious effect by actress BeBe Neuwirth. Appearing as a potential love interest for Fraiser Crane, the two first met on a blind date, which was utterly disastrous. It was actually Diane Chambers who spurred Fraiser to try and date Lilith again. Lilith is the epitome of an “Ice Queen,” with a sense of humor as dry as moondust, but with the witty comebacks of a pro comedian. Lilith and Frasier do become involved and even marry and conceive a child throughout the run of Cheers, but, as often happens with married couples, communication breaks down. Lilith cheats on Frasier and eventually leaves him.

BeBe Neuwirth, the Broadway Star

BeBe Neuwirth, the Broadway Star

Bebe is a multi-talented multi-award winning actress whose main passion is acting in Broadway shows. Although she prefers Broadway, she also keeps her toes dipped in television as well as films and music. She’s won everything from Emmy to Tony awards. She’s also been in over 20 feature films and a slew of television shows. Currently, she portrays Nadine Tolliver in the hit series Madam Secretary.

Norm’s Astronomical Tab

Norm’s Astronomical Tab

Patron Norm Peterson drank beer – lots and lots of it. During the last episode of Cheers, Sam Malone pulled out an absolutely massive binder. What was in said binder? Norm’s bar tab. Actually, the ENTIRE binder was Norm’s bar tab! The final tally was not known, but it was known to be astronomical. Even on the last episode of the show Norm didn’t pay the tab. Instead, he bought Sam Malone a boat.

Bar History

Bar History

The sign for the Cheers bar states that it was established in 1895. When Rebecca Howe decided to promote the fact that the bar was turning 100 years old, she made preparations to hold a huge celebration. That is until Sam Malone told her the truth – that the bar’s age wasn’t quite accurate. You see, Sam made up the date when he purchased the bar.

Cheers and Tragedy

Cheers and Tragedy

An episode called “Relief Bartender” (Season Four, Episode 23) featured a child actress named Judith Barsi, who by the age of 10 had nearly 25 television and film credits to her name. Two years after filming the “Cheers” episode, Judith was killed by her abusive alcoholic father in a double murder-suicide.

Character Deaths

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Actor Jay Thomas, who played Carla’s husband Eddie, committed television series suicide by mocking one of his co-stars. One day Jay, who was a radio DJ, took some questions about Cheers. He answered a fan’s question about what it was like to be on Cheers. Jay reportedly replied, “It’s brutal. I have to kiss Rhea Perlman.” Unfortunately for Jay, Rhea just happened to listen to his show that day. Within a few episodes, the character “Eddie” was never heard from again, and his character was killed by a Zamboni.

Cheers, the Live Show

Cheers, the Live Show

Cheers is still so popular that in September 2016 it’s becoming a live stage show. The show, called Cheers Live on Stage,is based entirely on the first season of the sitcom. The two-hour live play was written and adapted for the theater by Erik Forrest Jackson. Although none of the original members of the Cheers cast is slated to star in the show, one should never say never.

Sam’s Little Red Corvette

Sam’s Little Red Corvette

Sam Malone owned a Corvette that he had to sell twice. The first time was to purchase Cheers. Sam made a big traumatic event of the situation and eventually sold the car to Lilith but Frasier asked her to return it later. The second time Sam had to sell the car in order to pay for the remodeling of the bar after the fire at Cheers.

Ted Danson’s Hair

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Ted Danson wore a hairpiece throughout the entire series of Cheers to conceal his baldness as he portrayed Sam Malone. There was only one time in the history of the show where Sam revealed his baldness. In the episode called “It’s Lonely on the Top,” Sam revealed his head to Carla.

Cheers in Fallout 4

Cheers in Fallout 4

In the game Fallout 4, there’s a really great Easter egg featuring the Cheers bar and some main characters. Once inside the bar, you’ll notice a couple of skeletons perched at the bar who will remind you of Cliff & Norm. You’ll even see Cliff’s postal hat, maybe a Carla skeleton or even Sam & Diane’s skeletons on the floor of the bar.

Praise and Awards for Cheers

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Cheers received one hundred and eleven Emmy nominations and won twenty-eight. The show also received thirty-one Golden Globe nominations with six wins. 84 million watched the show’s finale. The TV Land Channel awarded the show and cast with its “Legends Award,” its highest honor, in 2006. The 2013 GQ magazine competition to find out the best comedy also named Cheers “The Best Comedy Show of All Time.” All this, from a show that was dead last in the ratings when it debuted.

The Bull & Finch Pub Eventually Changed Its Name to Cheers

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A lot of viewers never realized that the Cheers bar wasn’t actually called Cheers. Instead, it was known as the Bull & Finch Pub. As the show’s popularity continued to increase, fans of the show found the “real” Cheers in Boston and soon the Beacon Hill location decided to change its name. Visit downtown Boston and you’ll see many people stopping to take pictures and visit the location.

Sam Malone Was Originally a Professional Football Player

Sam Malone

In the very early versions of the Cheers script, the character of Sam Malone was meant to be played by a professional football player. A top choice to play Sam at the time was Fred Dryer — a former NFL defensive end. When the show’s producers realized the chemistry between Ted Danson and Shelley Long they changed his career to a more believable baseball player.

Ted Danson Went to Bartending School

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Ted Danson took his role very seriously. He actually went to Burbank, California for two weeks to learn the art of tending bar. It was at bartending school that he learned what was needed to play Sam’s character. We don’t know if anyone else went to school for bartending but at least there was some authenticity in the cast and their bartending experience.

Norm Peterson Is Based off a Real Guy

Norm Peterson

The character of Norm Peterson was based off a guy that co-creator Les Charles actually knew. In an interview in 2012, Charles explained that he bartended after college and a regular would come into the bar every night and claim he was having “just one beer.” When the man’s wife would call every night he would always respond, “tell her I’m not here.” Talk about a simple way to create a hit character for your hit TV show.

John Ratzenberger Improvised Many of Cliff’s Fun Facts

John Ratzenberger

Cliff Clavin had a bunch of fun facts to share with the patrons at Cheers. It turns out that actor John Ratzenberger ad-libbed many of those facts. “After a couple of years on the show they realized they could trust me not to mess it up,” Ratzenberger said in 1993. He admits that the key was knowing when to shut up so other people could talk. It obviously worked and his random facts became a favorite part of the show for many viewers.

Dialogue Sometimes Came from Real Bar Conversations

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The show’s creators would regularly visit bars in Los Angeles and eavesdrop on real conversations. When they would hear a really funny or interesting conversation they would take note and include it in the show. In fact, the series premiere has a conversation about the “sweatiest movie ever made” and that conversation came from a real world conversation. It made writing some scripts easier but also added an authentic feel to the show.

An HIV Scare for Sam Was Canceled Because of a Strike

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In 1988, Cheers season six was going to end with Sam learning that a former girlfriend is HIV positive. It would have been one of the craziest cliffhangers in TV history. That episode never ended up being written because the Writers Guild of America went on strike. Several other episodes for the series were also ditched because they didn’t have the writers needed to continue with those storylines.

There Was a Cheers Mini-Episode That Never Aired

Uncle Sam Malone

During season one of the show, a special mini-episode was created specifically for the U.S. Treasury Department. The episode was created specifically to promote U.S. savings bonds. The episode was titled “Uncle Sam Malone” and it never aired on TV and it wasn’t featured in the Cheers DVDs. It was specifically created to promote bonds for promotional purposes.

Viewers Complained About a Laugh Track That Didn’t Exist

Cheers Laugh Track

There was never a laugh track used on Cheers but a lot of fans complained about how loud it was anyways. Starting in 1983 the following message started appearing before every episode: “Cheers was filmed before a live studio audience.” When something is really funny and a large group of people is watching it being produced, they are ultimately going to laugh — deal with it and enjoy the ride.

The Role of Frasier Was Written for John Lithgow

John Lithgow

John Lithgow was on a roll when Cheers was being created. He had just appeared in All That Jazz, Blow Out, and The World According to Garp. He was also nominated for two consecutive Academy Awards. With his success on the big screen, Lithgow wasn’t interested in appearing as a main character on a TV series. Lithgow has said since that time that it was the furthest thing on his mind and he has never really given it a second thought.

Kirstie Alley Is the Only Main Character to Not Appear on Frasier

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Frasier was on air for 11 seasons and during that time every single main character from Cheers appeared on the show except for Kirstie Alley. The actress is a big supporter of Scientology and she had once said she would never appear on a show about a psychiatrist. Her religion doesn’t believe psychiatry should be allowed and Frasier is perhaps the most famous character in that profession.

Frasier’s Dad Was Resurrected and Changed Professions for the Spinoff

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Frasier talked about his dad on the Cheers series. He even acknowledged that his father passed away and that he was a well-respected psychiatrist. When Frasier debuted, the doctor’s father was alive and he was a retired police officer. Funnily enough, John Mahoney actually appeared in one episode of Cheers as a jingle writer named Sy Flembeck. We couldn’t possibly imagine Frasier without him.

Norm’s First Name Was Hillary

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Ever wonder why Norm drinks so much? Maybe it’s because his parents have him the first name “Hillary.” His full name is Hillary Norman Peterson. It’s one thing to be a guy named Hillary, it’s something else to also want to shorten your middle name of “Norman” as well. His parents either didn’t care or were not very good at choosing names for their kids. Maybe he drinks so much because he knows his parents wanted a daughter.

The Designated Driver Was Really Important on Cheers

Hillary Norman Peterson

When the producers of Cheers were writing the show they wanted to make sure their bartenders, wait staff, and bar owner were very responsible with patrons. Pay attention and you’ll realize that they are constantly calling for rides and taxis for drunk customers. The show’s producers worked with The Harvard Project to spread a responsible drinking message.

The Cast Was Plastered for Their Finale Sendoff

Cheers Cast Final Episode

NBC decided to hold a series finale screening at Boston’s Bull & Finch Pub. Thousands of fans gathered outside of the pub and watched the final show on two Jumbotrons. The cast started drinking — and drinking — and drinking. When the final show ended at 11 pm they had to head downstairs for a special taping of The Tonight Show. They were so drunk that designated walkers were needed to help them to the show. Kirstie Alley graced us all with a special song. Here are the lyrics to Alley’s final Cheers song: “d*** d*** d***,” — the end.

Kelsey Grammer Claims Shelley Long Tried to Get Him Fired… Repeatedly

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“Shelley’s efforts to get me off the show were relentless,” Grammer revealed in his 1996 autobiography. He also claimed that she would read through every script and demand that Frasier’s funny lines be removed. Long denied that accusation when she learned of Grammer’s claims. The best part about Frasier, in his defense, was that he could make anything funny.

Vera Was Voiced by Norm’s (George Wendt’s) Real Wife

Norms Wife

Bernadette Birkett, the real-life wife of George Wendt, played his wife Vera’s voice on Cheers. She also appeared on the show, but instead of playing his wife, she played a love interest for Cliff. That means when Norm was telling everyone he wasn’t at the bar when his wife called, he was directing those claims at Bernadette.

John Ratzenberger Made up His Own Character

John Ratzenberger as Cliff Clavin

Ratzenberger wasn’t initially given a role on the popular TV series. But he really wanted a part so he created his own character. None of the show’s creators were from New England and he knew that the area was famous for its “know it all” bar flies. He created Cliff and then demanded that he be given a role on the series. The rest is TV history at its finest.

The Show Was Originally Set in Barstow, California in a Hotel

Barstow California

The show’s producers thought that the show would be interesting if it was placed in Barstow, California and if it took place in a hotel instead of a bar. The show may have ended up looking more like M*A*S*H if it ended up in the middle of a desert town or a little city. Producers eventually settled on the Boston area and the show became one of the most watched TV series in history.

When Ted Danson Chose To Leave In 1993, the Writers Offered the Main Role to Woody Harrelson

Woody Harrelson Cheers

Harrelson and Danson became good friends during the show’s run and Harrelson didn’t think it would be right to replace Danson. The show would have been vastly different as well without its leading man. Instead, Cheers has lived on in syndication and ended with the second most watch TV finale of all-time.

The Geronimo Photo Had a TON of Significance to the Cast

Geronimo Cheers

If you watch from the end of season three right through to the finale episode of the show you’ll notice a picture of Geronimo hanging on the bar’s back wall. That photo was originally hanging in Nicholas Colasanto’s dressing room. When the actor passed away, they moved the picture to the set. After Sam says his final line on the show, he adjusts the picture as a final farewell to Nick.

The Writers Often Gave Kelsey Grammer Bad Lines on Purpose

Kelsey Grammer Bad Lines on Cheers On Purpose

Kelsey Grammer has an unnatural ability to make just about anything sound funny. The show’s writers knew about his talent and would give him horribly unfunny lines on purpose — just to see how he would twist and turn those lines and make them highlights of many shows. Grammer truly is a genius of high brow and subtle comedy.

Cheers Was Nominated for a Crazy Number of Awards

Cheers Was Nominated for a Crazy Number of Awards

Cheers was on the air for 11 seasons and during that time it claimed ownership of 77 major awards. The show was nominated for a mind-boggling 117 Emmy nominations and was given a nod for Outstanding Comedy Series for every one of its seasons. The series blew away its competitors in every season that it aired and it continues to be one of the most awarded and celebrates TV series of all-time. We talked earlier about its accolades but the true scope is simply breathtaking.

The Cheers Bar Design Cost $1

Cheers Bar Design

The designs for the Cheers bar were purchased for just $1. Glen Charles wanted to base his bar on the real Bull & Finch Pub so he asked Tom Kershaw if he could take photos of the bar. Kershaw had no problem with his request — but only if he agree to pay $1 for the right. He gladly paid the $1 and then took reference photos of the exterior and interior of the bar. The real-life bar has since undergone a makeover, now looks exactly like the show’s bar, and has a new exterior that also matches the bar in the popular series.

Cheers Was One of the First Sitcoms to Feature Serialized Storytelling

Cheers Serialized Story Telling

Serialized storytelling is the standard for today’s TV shows but it wasn’t around the time Cheers debuted. While there was the occasional two-part episode, the series attempted to focus on long story arcs, season-long plots, and plenty of cliffhangers. The format helped keep fans of the series interested along with some amazing and hilarious plots.

Nicholas Colasanta Scribbled His Lines into the Actual Set

Nicholas Colasanta Lines Carved Into Set

“Coach” was known for scribbling all of his lines around the bar. In the episode “Coach Buries a Grudge,” he wrote the line “It’s as if he’s still with us now” on the wood to the right of the front door. After he passed away in real life it became a ritual for the show’s actors to ritually slap the spot where he wrote those words as they entered the set.

The Theme Song Originally Began With a Line about the Red Sox

Cheers Theme Song

Songwriter Gary Portnoy created one of the greatest theme songs of all time. Most people know the opening line, “Making your way in the world today takes everything you got.” The original opening line was almost. “Singing the blues when the Red Sox lose, it’s a crisis in your life.” The theme song that was actually used didn’t pay homage to any one sports team which was probably a smart move as to not alienate any sports fans.

Cheers Didn’t Shy Away from Taboo or Risky Topics for the Times

Cheers TV Show Subjects Talked About

The producers and writers on Cheers were not afraid to take on topics that were largely ignored or seen as taboo during the period. “The Boys in the Bar” aired on January 27th, 1983, and that episode focused on Sam learning that one of his old friends is gay. They also tackled such topics as alcohol addiction, gambling addiction, and drug abuse. They would have focused on HIV epidemic if not for the Writers Guild strike near the season six finale.

Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn Helped form Two of the Show’s Characters

Spencer Tracy And Katharine Hepburn

Sam and Diane were created with inspiration the show’s creators gained from watching Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Cheerswriter-director James Burrows told The New York Times that he worked with Glen and Les Charles to create a romantic relationship that had the same type of class conflict and sizzling chemistry of the iconic screen couple. It worked perfectly.

Prince Once Visited the Set Just Because He Wanted To

Prince Set of Cheers

Kirstie Alley was good friends with Prince and when he asked to show up on the show’s set she couldn’t turn him down. “One time, I brought Prince to the set. He’s a friend of mine, and he asked to come,” Alley said. When The Purple One asked for something he was very rarely denied whatever he wanted. It might have been the only time when the Cheers cast was more starstruck than the person appearing on their set.

Lucy Loved Cheers

Lucy Loved Cheers

Legendary comedian Lucille Ball was a really huge fan of Cheers. Such a huge a fan, in fact, that she actually considered playing a character on the show. A part had been written specifically for her so that she could appear on Cheers as Diane Chambers’ mother. Ultimately she decided against it, feeling that her fans might not accept her for not portraying one of her I Love Lucy characters.

Kelsey Grammer Was the First…

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Kelsey Grammer was the first actor to have been nominated for multiple Emmy awards for playing the same character (Frasier) in three different television (Cheers, Wings, and Frasier) series. Not bad for a character that originally was suppose to be in only about six episode of Cheers.

Woody Harrelson as Woody Boyd

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Woody Boyd, characterized by actor Woody Harrelson, was the replacement for the deceased Coach, formerly played by the late Nicholas Colasantos. Woody’s character appeared at the start of the fourth season of Cheers. Woody Boyd was perhaps one of the most dim-witted characters ever created for television, with Harrelson performing an outstanding job of portraying a feeble-minded bar employee. Strangely, Woody was voted the smartest kid in his school back in Indiana. Woody ended up marrying into a rich family, much to his in-laws’ consternation.

Woody Harrelson’s Prolific Career

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There’s not too much that Harrelson hasn’t done. He’s one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood film history. He’s played in more than 70 feature films, including monster box office hits like Natural Born Killers and The Hunger Games trilogy, and with several more lined up for 2017, he doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Kirstie Alley as Rebecca

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Rebecca Howe, played by the infinitely humorous Kirstie Alley, was hired to be the manager of Cheers. Rebecca appeared during season six after Diane Chambers (Shelley Long) departed the series. Although she is extremely business-like at most times, over time Rebecca is revealed to be, well, essentially a gold-digger, falling for any rich man within a 10-mile radius of Boston. Sam Malone tries his best to have a relationship with Howe, but it never seems to work out. Toward the end of Cheers, Rebecca marries a plumber.

Kirstie Alley Uses Weight Gain for Fame

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Alley’s personal life has been the topic of mainstream gossip columns for eons now. Especially when she began to gain a very significant amount of weight starting around 2003. In 2005 Kirstie decided to do another sitcom called, interestingly enough, Fat Actress. Alley starred as herself, addressing the ironic humor and message of the show about overweight celebrities.

Kirstie Alley’s Yo-Yo Diets

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Kirstie seemed like she was really off her rocker for a while about her weight. She would lose a hundred pounds and then pack it right back on soon after, and then the cycle would continue. She was a yo-yo dieter for some time until she decided to keep the weight off with the help of weight loss specialist company Jenny Craig. She’s managed to keep the weight off and under control for the last few years and is reportedly quite happy about it.

Cheers Was Not an Instant Hit

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During its first season (1982), Cheers debuted as one of the television season’s worst-rated series. It rated 74 out of the 77 top shows. In time the show just kept getting better and better, the characters were constantly developed, and the overall show was fleshed out. When the show finally ended 11 years later, 84 million people watched the last episode of Cheers.

Who Knows the Theme Song?

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“Making your way in the world today/Takes everything you’ve got / Taking a break from all your worries / Sure would help a lot. / Wouldn’t you like to get away? All those nights when you’ve got no lights, / The check is in the mail; / And your little angel / Hung the cat up by its tail; / And your third fiance didn’t show; / Sometimes you want to go / Where everybody knows your name, / And they’re always glad you came.” For many viewers at home, the iconic theme song signaled the start of their weekly escape into the world of the show.

How the Show Dealt with Pregnancies

How the Show Dealt with Pregnancies

Although Shelley Long, Kirstie Alley, and Rhea Perlman were pregnant at different times during the Cheers run, only Perlman’s character (Carla) had her pregnancy written into the show. During the third season, Shelley Long’s pregnancy was hidden from view by having Diane behind the bar or only showing her from the head up. Kirstie Alley, sadly, suffered a miscarriage during her pregnancy.

Cheers Bar Contests

Cheers Bar Contests

Bar contests were a big deal to Cheers patrons and staff. Some contests included the largest spit bubble, digital exhibitionism (Lilith actually won that contest by being able to stick her entire fist in her mouth), whose breath smelled the most like tuna, who would be the first to get a kiss from Rebecca, etc.

This Episode Goes Postal

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Cliff Clavin, the postal worker regular on Cheers, was always seen coming into the bar with his post office keys — a big no-no in the mail carrier profession. The real postal workers of America constantly wrote to the show’s producers and John Ratzenberger complaining about this for a very long time. Years, in fact. When real-life Postmaster General Anthony Franks actually made a guest appearance on Cheers all the complaints went away.

Cheers,3.2%

Cheers,3.2%

3.2% — what does that mean to anyone? That was the type of beer that George Wendt actually drank during the filming of Cheers. You’d think that sort of beer would look pretty drab on television, but with a little bit of rock salt to keep the head foamy, the realistic appearance of the beer was never questioned, and Wendt never became intoxicated, due to the low alcohol content.