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Rhea Perlman salutes ‘Cheers’ on its 40th anniversary: “It’s incomprehensible”

Written by on September 30, 2022

Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Rhea Perlman refuses to believe Cheers is officially 40.

The actress told ABC Audio she heard Cheers is turning the big 4-0 — “But, I don’t believe it.”

“Maybe the 20th? Maybe the 27th? But the 40th?” she quipped. “It’s incomprehensible.”  

Perlman played wisecracking waitress Carla Tortelli and appeared in all 271 episodes of the long-running sitcom. She joked that she’s been playing “a grandmother since before I was 40” because Carla begrudgingly became one in season six.

Perlman found it impossible to narrow down a favorite memory from Cheers, but said her “favorite thing” was “the people I worked with.”  

“It was like going to camp — a good one — not one you wanted to call home every day. It just was a very comfortable, fun place to be,” she recalled. “We had great writers, we had a great cast and and we had fun.”

Perlman saluted series co-creator James Burrows and compared his directing to that of “a maestro.” She said he was so in sync with the cast, he ensured their jokes stuck the landing and got the “real laughs” every time.

“Jimmy had that thing where, you’d be starting on some run and he could see you were slipping into the wrong, so before you blew it in front of an audience, he’d go, ‘A-buh-buh-buh-buh! Let’s take that again,'” she revealed. “The first time is the big laugh.”

Perlman also said there are no plans for a Cheers reboot. “There were years that a few of us lobbied for a revival of Cheers, but it was never to be,” she sighed. 

Cheers premiered September 30, 1982, on NBC and ran for 11 seasons. It won a total of 28 Emmys, including four for Outstanding Comedy Series.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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