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30 Things You Might Not Know About Cheers

The sitcom Cheers ran from 1982 to 1993, and there are few who were around at the time who didn’t watch it at least occasionally. But as well as we know Sam, Coach, Woody, Diane, Rebecca, Frazier, and the rest, there are plenty of things you don’t know about the series.

3. SAM MALONE WAS A PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYER.

At least he was in the script’s earliest incarnations, which made sense considering that Fred Dryer—the former NFL defensive end who would go on to star in Hunter—was a top choice to play the role of Sam (opposite Julia Duffy as Diane; William Devane was also a strong contender). Ultimately, it was the chemistry between Ted Danson and Shelley Long that led to them getting the gigs. Once the casting was finalized, the creators swapped out football for baseball, based on Danson’s body type.

13. JAY THOMAS MURDERED EDDIE LEBEC

When character actor Jay Thomas wasn’t portraying Carla’s Bruin-turned-ice-show-performer husband Eddie LeBec, he was the host of a popular morning radio show in Los Angeles. Which is exactly what led to his character being killed off rather prematurely by way of Zamboni. “A few episodes of recurring bliss and then one day on Jay’s radio show, a caller asked him what it was like to be on Cheers,” recounts writer Ken Levine. “He said something to the effect of, ‘It’s brutal. I have to kiss Rhea Perlman.’ Well, guess who happened to be listening ... Jay Thomas was never seen on Cheers again.”

But those two tidbits are just a small taste of 30 Things You Might Not Know About Cheers at mental_floss.


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