Was it really 25 years ago America said cheers to 'Cheers?' Catch up on what cast has been up to
One of most popular TV shows of all time has been off air for 25 years
Has it really been 25 years since we had to say goodbye to Norm, Cliff and Woody?
Has it been 25 years since Sam Malone closed down the Cheers bar for the final time and one of the most popular TV shows of all time went to rerun heaven?
Believe it or not, yes.
May 20 marked the 25th anniversary of the final episode of “Cheers,” arguably the most popular sitcom of the 1980s and a show ranked No. 18 on TV Guide’s list of Greatest TV Shows of All-Time.
The final show brought in 93.5 million viewers and was the most-watched single episode of any television series on U.S. television in the 1990s.
Despite ending a quarter-century ago, the show is still syndicated and is also on Netflix, giving fans a chance to go back into the world of that bar where “everybody knows your name.”
So what are the cast members up to these days?
Let’s check in and find out.
Character: Sam Malone. The owner of the bar (for all but three seasons), a bartender despite being a recovering alcoholic and a former Major League pitcher for the Boston Red Sox who was famous for being a ladies man. The lead star of the show and an original cast member, it was Danson’s announcement that the 1992-93 season would be his last on the show that led to it ending for good. The rest of the cast wanted to continue on and the public still loved the show, but Danson simply wanted to move on to something different and producers felt the show couldn't go on without him.
After Cheers/present: Danson continued to be a prominent actor, starring in shows such as “Becker,” “Damages” and “Crime Scene Investigation” among others. Now 70, Danson currently stars in the NBC television series “The Good Place.”
Character: Norm Peterson. Was an obese, beer-guzzling patron who sat on a corner stool, had a high bar tab, was always on the lookout for a job and constantly tried to avoid his wife, who never made an appearance on the show.
After Cheers/present: Now 69, Wendt played minor roles in a variety of TV shows and acted on stage in the past 25 years, but obviously could never duplicate the niche he found playing Norm Peterson.
Character: Carla Tortelli. The sassy waitress was always one to rip on others with jokes, talk about her sex drive and bemoan about what troublemakers her kids were. But she was always loyal to the bar and to Sam as a boss.
After Cheers/present: Now 70, Perlman, who was married to Danny DeVito for 35 years before separating last year, is like Wendt in that she has played minor roles in various television shows and films. But just like Wendt, it was nearly impossible to top her role as Carla on "Cheers," which saw her win four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress.
Character: Diane Chambers. Was an intellectual college student who took a job at Cheers after her fiancé dumped her there while they hung out at the bar before they flew to Barbados for the wedding. (The fiancé went back to his ex-wife). Chambers was an “I am woman hear me roar” type who somehow connected with womanizer Sam Malone despite their obvious personality differences. Their on-again, off-again relationship was supposed to end in marriage until Diane left Sam to pursue a writing career. Diane also left Frasier Crane at the altar when the two were supposed to wed in Europe.
After Cheers/present: An original cast member who won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her role on the show, one of the most talked about subjects surrounding "Cheers" is whether the now 68-year-old Long made the right career move when she decided to leave the show after five seasons. She cited a desire to spend more time with family and pursue a film career, but she had modest success while "Cheers" became legendary.
Character: Cliff Clavin. Was a geeky postal worker who seemingly knew everything about every subject in life, Clavin was both hysterical and annoying with his knowledge about the most minute of things. While appearing on an episode of “Jeopardy,” Clavin won $22,000 before losing it all in Final Jeopardy after blowing a question and foolishly betting all his money.
After Cheers/present: Cliff Clavin is a character that will never be duplicated, so the 71-year-old Ratzenberger will always be known for that. But he has enjoyed success as a voiceover in movies such as “Monsters University” “Finding Dory” and “Cars 3.”
Character: Rebecca Howe. Was a gold-digging woman who longed to marry someone rich, but ultimately married a plumber when the show ended. Howe ran the bar after Sam Malone sold it to a corporation. After Malone bought it back for 85 cents by snitching on Howe’s rich fiance, Robin Colcord, who was using Howe to get insider secrets on the company that owned the bar, Howe stayed on as a bar manager working for Malone.
After Cheers/present: Alley initially found success after "Cheers," receiving Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her role as Veronica Chase on the sitcom “Veronica’s Closet.”
In 2011, Alley (who is now 67) was a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars,” but she hasn’t been seen much in the acting world since.
Character: Frasier Crane. Was the articulate, well-educated psychiatrist who showed that even the most sophisticated of people need to sometimes unwind with a drink or two, and he blended in well with the less-educated characters at the bar such as Norm and Cliff.
After Cheers/present: Frasier Crane stayed in the American television spotlight for 12 more years after "Cheers" ended, since the character was the focal point of the "Cheers" spinoff “Frasier.” This time though, Crane was a radio talk show host in Seattle who moved from Boston and hung out with his brother and father instead of the folks at Cheers. After Frasier ended in 2004, the now 63-year-old Grammer shifted into producing various TV shows, including “Boss” and “Partners.”
Character: Woody Boyd. Joined the cast following the real-life death of original cast member Nicholas Colasanto, who played bartender Coach, Boyd was hired as the new bartender. He was a gullible and off-center figure who often failed to understand the most basic situations and jokes. But he was sweet and polite to the bone, calling everyone at the bar “Mr.” or “Ms.”
After Cheers/present: In the later years of "Cheers," Harrelson became quite a movie star, gaining fame for roles in “White Men Can’t Jump,” “Indecent Proposal,” “Kingpin,” and “The Hunger Games,” among many others. The 56-year-old also plays a role in the upcoming movie “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”
All images courtesy of Getty Images
Graham Media Group 2018