‘Cheers’ Star Ted Danson Said He ‘Never Went to Bars’ Before Playing Sam Malone

by Anna Dunn
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Cheers star Ted Danson took on a pretty big role when he agreed to play Sam Malone. In fact, the actor felt way out of his element. Part of that reason is Danson wasn’t really the type to go out to bars before playing Sam Malone.

Danson talked about his lack of bar experience on Late Night With Seth Meyers after Meyers asked him about a special moment in Danson’s most recent hit show The Good Place. The moment in The Good Place finds Danson’s character behind the bar again in a clear homage to his time on Cheers.

“Did you feel immediately natural being behind a bar again?” Meyers asked.

“No,” Danson said instantly. “It took me a year and a half of playing Cheers… Sam Malone, my voice changed just now. I’m starting to quaver. I’m getting nervous. Sick. I never went to bars. I was the guy who- I never picked up women.”

Danson played the part of Sam Malone so well that it really is hard to believe.

“Playing Sam Malone was an anathema to me for the longest time,” he finished.

Cheers has retained bits of its relevance over the years. In fact, the show was recently ranked #2 on Rolling Stone’s “100 Best Sitcoms of all Time” list.

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Cheers aired from 1982 to 1993, and some younger fans really take it up a notch when they meet Danson.

“I get a lot of people coming up and saying, ‘My grandmother loved watching you on Cheers,’” he said. “And I’ll say, ‘Hold on, let me turn on my hearing aids. OK, say again?’” he joked to The Today Show.

The actor has, however, attracted a very generationally diverse amount of fans. His time on Cheers put him on the radar for a lot of young people in the 80s and 90s, and his time on The Good Place put him back on the radar for younger people in the late 2010s.

He has joked that a lot of time has passed since Cheers ended, too much to do anything like a re-boot. In the same Seth Meyers interview where he talked about his lack of bar experience, he joked about what a Cheers reunion would even look like.

“It’d be a bunch of people in their 70s in a bar going, ‘What? What? A horse walked into a what? Maybe Cheers, The Old Age Home.”

Regardless of how long ago cheers came out, it’s still an incredible watch. People who were born after cheers ended are discovering it for the first time. Those who watched it weekly as it was coming out keep coming back. There’s something about the charm of Cheers that makes it timeless.

Outsider.com