For over a decade, Cheers captivated viewers all over the country. People tuned in to watch the popular show that boasted big names like Ted Danson, Shelley Long, and Rhea Perlman each week. Although Cheers spent a good portion of the ‘80s in the limelight, many things went on behind the scenes that you may not know (or remember). From nearly being canceled during its first season to having this famous 1950s actress almost come on to play Diane’s mother, read ahead for some surprising Cheers facts.
It was almost canceled during its first season
It’s hard to imagine a world without Cheers, but in 1982 this was almost a reality. After getting very low ratings, the then-unpopular show almost got the boot during its first season.
Christopher Lloyd guest starred in an episode
Before actor Christopher Lloyd became hugely popular from starring in Back to the Future, he had a guest starring role on Cheers. During the last two episodes of the second season, he played Philip Semenko, an eccentric artist who wants to paint a portrait of Diane.
The Cheers bar is real
If you want to visit the Cheers bar in real life, you’re in luck. The bar that inspired the hit NBC series is located in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood and has been serving the community there since the 1960s.
Frasier is a Cheers spin-off
Another hit television show, Frasier, is actually a spinoff of the earlier ‘80s sitcom. It centers around Kelsey Grammer’s character, psychiatrist Frasier Crane, and his cross-country move to Seattle.
Its theme song was voted the best television theme song of all time
Written in part and performed by American musician Gary Portnoy, the Cheers theme song made it on the Billboard charts when it was first released. Years later, it still makes an impact—in 2011, it was voted the best theme song ever created by a readers poll in Rolling Stone magazine.
This Hollywood legend wanted to be on the show
Believe it or not, Lucille Ball (yes, the same Lucille Ball of I Love Lucy) enjoyed the show so much that she wanted to have a role on it. “Lucille Ball had seen the show the first season and got in touch with us indirectly that she liked it and would consider coming on,” Les Charles told The Hollywood Reporter in 2018. She ultimately decided not to.
The cast and crew also wanted this ‘90s icon to do a teaser
The show’s cast and crew also tried to get John F. Kennedy Jr. on board to do a promo for the show. Unfortunately, it didn’t pan out.
They didn’t use real food during that Thanksgiving scene
If you can recall, the Cheers cast got into a giant food fight during the show’s Thanksgiving episode. However, the food used in the scene wasn’t real. “Real food wouldn’t have stuck on things,” Glen Charles told The Hollywood Reporter in 2018. “The combination of things we used caused the worst smell,” he added. “When I run into anyone in the cast, they still comment on the smell.”
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