Ted Danson says “Cheers” cast kept trying to kick Woody Harrelson's ass

Harrelson, who played Woody on the beloved sitcom, was younger than his costars when he joined in the fourth season.

Woody Harrelson is so inextricably linked to Cheers, four decades after the sitcom premiered, that it's easy to forget that his character didn't make his first appearance until the fourth season.

His costar Ted Danson, who played barkeep Sam Malone, explains on the upcoming episode of SiriusXM's Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend that Harrelson's first week on the set was a physical challenge for the veterans of the series. Many of them were in their 30s, while Harrelson was just 24, which triggered a strange reaction.

"Thirty-seven is when you realize you're no longer 25 or 24," Danson says in the preview clip below, which contains strong language. "So it was more not like hazing him, we just wanted to kick his ass in anything we could find. We started with basketball and as you later found out in life, he's a really good basketball player, so he kicked our asses there."

Related: Ted Danson says he'd grab himself 'periodically in the nuts' to make his Cheers character seem like an athlete

Harrelson, who showed off his basketball skills in 1992's White Men Can't Jump, could more than hold his own in that department.

"Next," Danson says to O'Brien and Harrelson, who's also part of the interview, "I have a vision of Johnny Ratzenberger, who played Cliff, out on the lawn by the stage doing, you know, the leg wrestling where you're both on your back, and you try to flip the other guy with just your leg."

Harrelson agreed: "Johnny's strong."

But not strong enough at that moment, as Danson points out.

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"John's strong and got some thighs on him," Danson says. "Woody kicked his ass. I literally have a bad elbow to this day 'cause I wouldn't give up arm wrestling. I did finally give up, because he was kicking my butt. So then we moved to chess."

It didn't go any better.

<p> Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty </p> Ted Danson and Woody Harrelson star in "Cheers."

Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty

Ted Danson and Woody Harrelson star in "Cheers."

Related: Cheers stars Ted Danson and Woody Harrelson to reunite to share tales from sitcom, interview celebs

"F--- this, sorry, to heck with this physical stuff, we're gonna beat him mentally," Danson says the cast thought, but they soon realized they were wrong. "Killed us at chess. So this is all in the first week really. So from then on it was like, if you had some awful mean prank to pull, you would not waste it on anyone else except Woody. And he is, to this day, that's Woody Harrelson."

Related: Cheers stars Ted Danson and George Wendt once puked with Woody Harrelson on set 'out of solidarity'

Cheers ended in May 1993, but Danson and Harrelson appeared together to promote their new podcast, Where Everybody Knows Your Name, in which they're reconnecting after all these years. New episodes drop every Wednesday wherever podcasts are available.

The pair's full interview with O'Brien will be available on the Monday, June 17, episode of Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.