‘Cheers’ Star Rhea Perlman Describes How Her Father Became an Extra on the Show

by Jacklyn Krol
Aaron Rapoport, Getty Images

Cheers star Rhea Perlman spoke about how her father became an extra on the series.

During the Cheers Reunion back in 2016, Perlman shared the story behind her father’s appearance.

“We felt like a family, we were a family,” she admitted. “I mean 11 years and we were all having kids and then we included another generation my father who was an extra on the show because he just loved show business.” Her father turned out to be a natural actor.

He ended up portraying a retired bar patron. He was considered a “bar fly” and even had a line.

“Then you saw those clips of throwing water. He got inducted into that club and I got to throw water in my father’s face,” she added.

In the scene, her character is seen speaking with Rebecca about her Elvis Presley admiration. Her father says, “Excuse me, can I have my drink?” Her response was to throw water in his face with a straight face. She did it flawlessly and her father was a bit damp. It was certainly memorable, after all, how many fathers and daughters can say they’ve done television together?

Watch the scene below.

Woody Harrelson on His ‘Cheers’ Belief

 Woody Harrelson fought for his Cheers character. At first, while on the show he struggled to land other jobs.

He admitted to Interview Magazine back in 2009 that he assumed his acting career would end when Cheers did.

“I was on Cheers for eight years, and I couldn’t get another job,” he shared. “And I thought, I’m going to be Woody Boyd forever, which is not bad, but I really thought I was capable of more.”

His first break outside of the hit sitcom was because of his basketball skills. Producers hired Keanu Reeves and Wesley Snipes in White Men Can’t Jump. However, Reeves was a terrible basketball player, which helped Harrelson land the gig.

“It was really White Men Can’t Jump,” Harrelson joked. “I guess I probably would’ve just been Woody Boyd but for the fact that Keanu Reeves didn’t play great basketball. That was the only thing that saved me.”

Back when Cheers aired in 1985, he didn’t care for his newfound fame. He believes that it changed him overall and made him into something he wasn’t before.

“Before, I’d been gregarious – someone who enjoyed the company of others,” Harrelson explained to The Guardian in 2018. “But during Cheers, the pressure of people that I didn’t know constantly wanting to talk to me made me recoil and become less outgoing.”

Harrelson believes that his wife, Laurie Louie, and daughters — Deni, Zoe, and Makani — keep him grounded and himself. “They kind of loved me into a better human being,” he concluded.