Cheers is an iconic American sitcom that aired from 1982 to 1993. Set in a Boston bar, the show was a cultural phenomenon that became a defining moment in television history. Here are 30 Cheers facts that will change everything you thought you knew about the show.
- The original concept for the show was a comedy about a radio station. However, the writers felt that a bar would be a more relatable setting.
- The iconic Cheers theme song “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” was written by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo. It became a hit in its own right and earned an Emmy nomination.
- The role of Sam Malone was originally offered to Fred Dryer, but he turned it down.
- Kirstie Alley joined the cast in the show’s sixth season, replacing Shelley Long as Rebecca Howe. Alley won an Emmy for her performance in 1991.
- Kelsey Grammer’s character, Dr. Frasier Crane, was so popular that he later got his own spin-off show, Frasier, which ran for 11 seasons.
- The show’s creators, Glen and Les Charles, named the character of Diane Chambers after a real-life woman they knew who was an actress.
- The exterior shots of the bar were filmed at a real bar called the Bull and Finch Pub in Boston. It has since been renamed Cheers Beacon Hill and has become a popular tourist attraction.
- Ted Danson, who played Sam Malone, was originally only contracted for six episodes. However, his chemistry with the rest of the cast and his popularity with audiences led to him becoming a series regular.
- Shelley Long, who played Diane Chambers, left the show in 1987 to pursue a film career. She later returned for the series finale.
- The show’s famous “Norm!” catchphrase was inspired by a real-life regular at a bar in Los Angeles.
- The show’s final episode, which aired in 1993, was watched by over 80 million people, making it one of the most-watched television episodes in history.
- George Wendt, who played Norm Peterson, was originally only hired to appear in the pilot episode. However, his performance was so popular with test audiences that the writers decided to keep him on as a regular.
- The character of Cliff Clavin was originally supposed to be a one-time guest appearance. However, John Ratzenberger’s performance was so popular that he was kept on as a regular cast member.
- Cheers was one of the first shows to feature an openly gay character. In the show’s fifth season, Tom Babson played a character named Andy who comes out to his family.
- The show was originally titled “The Bull and Finch” but was changed to Cheers after the writers decided that the bar’s name should reflect the show’s theme of a place where everyone knows your name.
- Woody Harrelson joined the cast in the show’s fourth season, replacing Nicholas Colasanto as Coach. Colasanto had passed away during the show’s third season.
- The character of Carla Tortelli was originally supposed to be played by Rosie Perez, but she turned down the role.
- The Cheers cast and crew were known for their practical jokes. Ted Danson was once wrapped head-to-toe in cellophane, while Kelsey Grammer was once duct-taped to a chair and wheeled onto the stage during a live performance.
- The show’s writing staff included future Hollywood heavyweights like Ken Levine, David Isaacs, and Larry Charles.
- The Cheers set was modeled after a real bar in Boston called the Bull and Finch Pub.
- Rhea Perlman, who played Carla Tortelli, is married to Danny DeVito, whom she met while studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.
- The character of Sam Malone was originally supposed to be a retired football player, but the idea was scrapped in favor of making him a former relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox.
- The show was a critical darling from the start, earning 111 Emmy nominations over its 11-year run and winning 28 of them.
- Cheers was one of the first shows to use a live audience during filming. The laughter and applause from the audience helped create the show’s signature rhythm and pacing.
- The show’s creators, Glen and Les Charles, also created the hit show Taxi.
- Ted Danson’s salary reportedly increased from $25,000 per episode to $450,000 per episode over the course of the show’s run.
- The show’s famous “Sam and Diane” romance was partially inspired by the real-life relationship between the show’s creators, Glen and Les Charles.
- The Cheers cast and crew were notoriously tight-knit, with many of them remaining close friends long after the show ended.
- Cheers has been credited with paving the way for other successful sitcoms like Seinfeld and Friends.
- The show’s iconic theme song was almost replaced in the show’s sixth season with a new song called “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Want to Rock ‘n’ Roll)” by AC/DC, but the decision was ultimately reversed.
Despite its massive popularity and critical acclaim, Cheers never ranked higher than #5 in the Nielsen ratings. The show’s finale, which aired on May 20, 1993, featured a cameo from former President of the United States, George H.W. Bush.
In conclusion, Cheers is a beloved sitcom that has left an indelible mark on American television history. Its relatable characters, iconic setting, and witty writing continue to entertain audiences to this day. These 30 facts offer a glimpse into the show’s creation, development, and enduring legacy.
Leave a Reply