Huffpost Entertainment

15 Little-Known Facts About 'Cheers'

Posted: Updated:

It's summertime, and if you're like us you've been spending your nights binge-watching every show on Netflix ... and hopefully "Cheers" has made that list.

So, in the words of Cliff Clavin, here are 15 little-known facts about "Cheers."

1. Now considered one of NBC's biggest hits, "Cheers" got off to a pretty rough start.
cheers premiere

When it premiered in 1982, "Cheers" placed 77th out of 100 shows.

2. When Kelsey Grammer showed up to play Frasier Crane, Shelley Long (Diane Chambers) wasn't thrilled.
frasier

“Shelley's efforts to get me off the show were relentless,” Grammer wrote in his 1996 autobiography, according to Yahoo. “I learned after read-throughs she would insist the writers took out every laugh I had.” Long later insisted that wasn't true, but who are we to believe?

3. Although we never get to meet Vera, she was voiced by Norm's (George Wendt) real wife, Bernadette Birkett.
norm

Birkett did show up once, however -- as a love interest for Cliff!

4. John Ratzenberger made up his own character.
tv show gifs

After coming in to audition for another part, Ratzenberger asked if they had a bar know-it-all.

"None of the creators was from New England. They were were all Hollywood-centered," Ratzenberger told Ability Magazine. "And I said, 'Well, every local bar in New England has got a know-it-all -- someone who pretends to have the knowledge of all mankind between his ears and is not shy about sharing it.'"

5. Ted Danson actually went to bartending school.
sam malone

Before taking on the role of the Sam Malone, Danson got into character by attending bartending school for two weeks in Burbank, California.

6. Jay Thomas killed off his own character.
eddie

Getting killed off a show is every actor's worst nightmare, but Jay Thomas -- who played Carla's (Rhea Perlman) husband Eddie -- arguably did it to himself.

"One day on Jay’s radio show a caller asked him what it was like to be on 'Cheers,'" writer Ken Levine recalled in his blog. "He said something to the effect of 'It’s brutal. I have to kiss Rhea Perlman.' Well, guess who happened to be listening."

7. Sam Malone was originally supposed to be a retired football player.
sam malone football

But according to Buzzfeed, it was changed to baseball because of Danson's body type.

8. Stop trying to make a "Cheers" reunion happen.
cheers reunion

“We never even considered doing any kind of reunion show," producer Glen Charles said, according to GQ. "Sam alone at the bar was the last image we wanted. That's where the show started and where it ended.”

9. John Lithgow was the first choice for Frasier.
john lithgow

But there weren't any hard feelings: Lithgow later had a cameo on "Frasier."

10. "Cheers" was originally set in Barstow, California.
cheers

11. Norm's real first name was Hillary.
norm hillary

Yep. Hillary Norman Peterson.

12. Long was pregnant during the third season of "Cheers," so she spent quite a bit of time behind the bar.
diane

13. Norm didn't get to drink real beer.
norm beer

What he drank was called "Near Beer," according to Mental Floss, which was a "weakened strain of ale" mixed with salt to keep the foam going.

14. Ted Danson wore a hair piece.
sam malone

Hey, big hair was in back in those days. And by 1990, Danson was losing his.

15. The joke's on everyone who didn't tune in to the premiere: "Cheers" had the second-most watched series finale of all time.
sam and diane

Related on HuffPost:

Close
"Friends"
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

24 Surprising Facts About "Cheers" You May Not Know - BuzzFeed

6 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets from Cheers | Mental Floss

Cheers Quotes, Facts & Trivia - TV.com

Cheers (TV Series 1982–1993) - Trivia - IMDb

Cheers - Fun Facts and Information - Fun Trivia

By Ken Levine: No one ever bought a drink at CHEERS

Cheers Trivia - Cheers | Where Everybody Knows Your Name

24 Surprising Facts About Cheers - Neatorama

Cliff Clavin's Little Known Facts - Welcome To Cheers - Tripod

It's A Little Known Fact... (Cheers Fact 20: The first time we see Sam ...

Joy and sorrow at murder verdict

Obado Is Migori Governor - Supreme Court

SULLIVAN AND SON: FUN FACTS ABOUT AHMED AHMED

Cheers, tears as Germany beats Argentina in World Cup final

PMQs: Miliband sends his MPs off for the summer, each with their own personal ...

'It's Like Jail Here'

10 surprising facts about America's new soccer hero, Tim Howard

Neshek is improbable All-Star

Voices from developing countries need better recognition

Photos of the day