Shelley Long 'never would have dreamed' that 'Cheers' would still be making people laugh today

Will Lerner
Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

Any list of the best sitcoms in television history would certainly have to include Cheers. The Boston bar comedy might have spent the bulk of its impressive run in the ’80s, but its writing and performances are just as funny now as they were over 30 years ago. At the heart of its first few seasons was the crackling dynamic between its two leads, Ted Danson and Shelley Long. Long told Yahoo Entertainment that they had chemistry from the beginning.

“There were three candidates each — three men and three women,” Long recalled of the casting of Sam and Diane. “And we worked with each one of the candidates. Ted was one, and I was one of the women. And then they asked us separately, ‘Which do you think you worked best with?’ And I said Ted, and unbeknownst to me, he said me. Right off the bat there was something special between us.”

John Ratzenberger, George Wendt, Rhea Perlman, Nicholas Colasanto, Shelley Long, and Ted Danson of ‘Cheers’ (Photo: Herb Ball/NBCU Photo Bank)

“We were all enjoying doing Cheers, from the beginning,” Long continued. “From the pilot and when you have such great material, it was great. I never would have dreamed, however, that it would have entertained people all these years.”

We brought up an interesting note from GQ‘s 2012 oral history of Cheers  that there was a small chance the iconic Lucille Ball might have played Long’s television mother (a role that would eventually go to Glynis Johns).

“Really?” Long exclaimed. “No! I wasn’t aware of that. I would have fought for that had I known.”

Check out our full Role Recall with Shelley Long:

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