During the ATX TV Festival, which took place in Austin, Texas on June 2, some of the cast and crew of the beloved sitcom Cheers reunited on stage.
Ted Danson, George Wendt and John Ratzenberger, who played Sam Malone, Norm Peterson and Cliff Clavin respectively, were in attendance as were the co-creators of Cheers, James Burrows, Les Charles and Glen Charles.
While there, the former colleagues all reminisced about filming the Emmy award-winning show and had nothing but kind words for one another and other cast members who sadly were not present.
For instance, James spoke about casting Ted and Shelley Long, who played Sam’s love interest Diane Chambers for the first five seasons, and said, “Teddy and Shelley auditioned together and they had chemistry that only makes writing better.”
Ted then further praised Shelley: “I don’t think we’d seen a character like that since Lucille Ball. I do believe I was on Cheers because of Shelley, because Shelley was a knockout,” he said.
The actor, who went on to star in Becker, The Good Place and 3 Men and a Baby after Cheers, also paid tribute to the late Kirstie Alley.
“She’s not here. It’s very strange,” Ted emotionally said about Kirstie, who died in December 2022 of cancer.
“She came in like a ball of fire… She was making her entrance into the table read and she put on a Shelley Long, blonde wig. We’re like, ‘Okay, you’ll do great.'”
Kirstie played Rebecca Howe from seasons 6 to 11 after Shelley departed the show.
George and John recalled that when Kirstie joined the cast, they felt they should get her a present for being the new woman on set. Ultimately, they bought her a shotgun.
“We wrote on the card, ‘You’re gonna have to shoot your way out,'” John explained.
Cheers ran from 1982 to 1993 and won 28 Primetime Emmy’s and 5 Golden Globes. Of course, all good things must come to an end but Ted revealed during the reunion that he was the reason for the show ending.
“My life was a hot mess. I think I needed time to get my life together,” Ted said. “If I had kept going, I wouldn’t have met my wife Mary Steenburgen.”