15 Little-Known Facts About 'Cheers'

It's summertime, and if you're like us you've been spending your nights binge-watching every show on Netflix ... and hopefully "Cheers" has made that list.

So, in the words of Cliff Clavin, here are 15 little-known facts about "Cheers."

1. Now considered one of NBC's biggest hits, "Cheers" got off to a pretty rough start.
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When it premiered in 1982, "Cheers" placed 77th out of 100 shows.

2. When Kelsey Grammer showed up to play Frasier Crane, Shelley Long (Diane Chambers) wasn't thrilled.

“Shelley's efforts to get me off the show were relentless,” Grammer wrote in his 1996 autobiography, according to Yahoo. “I learned after read-throughs she would insist the writers took out every laugh I had.” Long later insisted that wasn't true, but who are we to believe?

3. Although we never get to meet Vera, she was voiced by Norm's (George Wendt) real wife, Bernadette Birkett.

Birkett did show up once, however -- as a love interest for Cliff!

4. John Ratzenberger made up his own character.
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After coming in to audition for another part, Ratzenberger asked if they had a bar know-it-all.

"None of the creators was from New England. They were were all Hollywood-centered," Ratzenberger told Ability Magazine. "And I said, 'Well, every local bar in New England has got a know-it-all -- someone who pretends to have the knowledge of all mankind between his ears and is not shy about sharing it.'"

5. Ted Danson actually went to bartending school.
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Before taking on the role of the Sam Malone, Danson got into character by attending bartending school for two weeks in Burbank, California.

6. Jay Thomas killed off his own character.

Getting killed off a show is every actor's worst nightmare, but Jay Thomas -- who played Carla's (Rhea Perlman) husband Eddie -- arguably did it to himself.

"One day on Jay’s radio show a caller asked him what it was like to be on 'Cheers,'" writer Ken Levine recalled in his blog. "He said something to the effect of 'It’s brutal. I have to kiss Rhea Perlman.' Well, guess who happened to be listening."

7. Sam Malone was originally supposed to be a retired football player.
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But according to Buzzfeed, it was changed to baseball because of Danson's body type.

8. Stop trying to make a "Cheers" reunion happen.
cheers reunion

“We never even considered doing any kind of reunion show," producer Glen Charles said, according to GQ. "Sam alone at the bar was the last image we wanted. That's where the show started and where it ended.”

But there weren't any hard feelings: Lithgow later had a cameo on "Frasier."

10. "Cheers" was originally set in Barstow, California.

11. Norm's real first name was Hillary.
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12. Long was pregnant during the third season of "Cheers," so she spent quite a bit of time behind the bar.

13. Norm didn't get to drink real beer.
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What he drank was called "Near Beer," according to Mental Floss, which was a "weakened strain of ale" mixed with salt to keep the foam going.

14. Ted Danson wore a hair piece.
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Hey, big hair was in back in those days. And by 1990, Danson was losing his.

15. The joke's on everyone who didn't tune in to the premiere: "Cheers" had the second-most watched series finale of all time.
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