Get to know the fun facts about Cheers (1982-1993) one of the most beloved sitcoms in American television history.
Like many other successful TV series, Cheers was off to a not-so-good start. It premiered on September 30, 1982 and suffered rock-bottom ratings. Thankfully, NBC exec Brandon Tartikoff saved it from being axed off the air.
The exterior shots of the bar setting of Cheers come from a real-life venue, the Bull & Finch Pub which is located across the Boston Public Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Now it is called as Cheers Beacon Hill or simply Cheers.
Cheers’ leading character Sam Malone was originally written as a retired football player. But because of actor Ted Danson’s physique that was more ideal to a baseball player’s, Sam was re-written as a pro baseball player instead.
To really get into the role as the bartender of the Cheers pub, Danson enrolled in a two-week bartending class in Burbank, California.
Of course! Kelsey Grammer, who played as the psychiatrist and regular bar customer Frasier Crane, would have his own spin-off show Frasier which ran successfully for eleven seasons (1993-2004). John Lithgow was originally chosen to play Frasier, but the he turned it down.
When Ted Danson chose to move forward in 1993, the writers offered the role of Sam Malone to Woody Harrelson. But Harrelson didn’t want to continue the show without Danson.
As a temporary solution to some of the relationship tensions between Sam and Diane, the character of Frasier Crane was added to Cheers during the show’s third season as a psychiatrist. The character marked a notable impression on the viewers thanks to an excellent script and a memorable performance from Kelsey Grammer. It led to a spin-off show with Frasier as the title. Here are other interesting facts about the show.
1. Daphne was supposed to be played by Rose Perez
Rosie Perez came close to playing the role of in-home mental health worker Daphne Moon. The producers had Jane Reeves in mind, but Grammer pushed for the character to be Latina. Grammer’s main objection to England’s Reeves was that the show could resemble too many nannies and professors. When he did, he approved Reeves as his choice. Jane Reeves, who played the insane Daphne Moon, was the highest-paid British actress in a US-produced series during the show’s 11th season. Kelsey Grammer was also the highest-paid actor on US television, earning $1.6 million per episode of Frasier. However, Ray Romano took over his position.
2. Kelsey Grammer sang the show’s theme song
Composer Bruce Miller was challenged to write the series theme song, which made no specific reference to psychiatry, radio, or the name “Frasier.” The lyrics writing was assigned to Darryl Phinnesse invented the cryptic phrase “tossed salad and scrambled eggs” as a metaphor for the “disorganized” patient. Miller originally envisioned another voice to the theme over the credits, but the producers preferred Grammer’s voice.
3. Frasier was already on the table, while the Cheers show was on the air
During Cheers’ eighth season, Kelsey Grammer signed producers Peter Casey and David Lee, and David Lee to a deal to create a new series together after Cheers ended. They began developing a new show during the second to the last season of Cheers. This season, Grammer expressed no interest in playing Frasier Crane again. David Angell, Peter Casey, and David Lee have begun work on Grammer’s new character—this time, the paralyzed entrepreneur is doing business from home. The characters end up living with a nurse with whom they regularly clash. Undecided, Grammer liked the new concept, but Paramount Television did not and suggested a spin-off show starring Frasier as the character was the best way to go.
4. Lisa Kudrow almost made it to Frasier
Famous Phoebe Friends star Lisa Kudrow originally landed the role from Frasier producer Roz Doyle. But on the show’s third day of rehearsals before shooting the pilot, the producers believed that while Kudrow was certainly funny enough, she wasn’t the match for Grammer’s character. They needed a stronger counterpart to play the role, so Kudrow was out, and Peri Gilpin became the second choice.
Jay Thomas, a radio talk show host who also played the recurring role of an ice hockey player named Eddie LeBec, answered a caller who asked what it was like working on Cheers. Thomas then went on to make unsavory remarks about his co-star Rhea Perlman, who also happened to listen to his show that morning without his knowledge.
Although Thomas later denied that his comments referred to Perlman and that they were really meant for her character Carla, they cost him his Cheers stint anyway. It resulted into Eddie’s demise in the show (by an ice resurfacer).
Ted Danson wore a hairpiece to fit to his character Sam Malone, who was also known as hair-obsessed. When Danson accepted his Emmy trophy in 1990, he surprised the audience with the literally (almost) bald truth — his hair was thinning.
However, the truth is that there was no laugh track. In 1983, a disclaimer was put forward on the show that Cheers was taped in front of a live audience — a direct response to the viewers who were complaining about the volume of the “laugh track.”
It is probably because the role of a psychiatrist seemed to be in conflict with Alley’s Scientology beliefs. Cheers colleague and Frasier star Kelsey Grammer himself attested that Alley won’t do a show about a psychiatrist.