Are you a fan of Cheers? Recently, casting director Jeff Greenberg spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the NBC series finale.
Created by James Burrows, Glen Charles, and Les Charles, the long-running sitcom starred Ted Danson, Shelley Long, Nicholas Colasanto, Rhea Perlman, George Wendt, John Ratzenberger, and Kelsey Grammer. The show ran for 11 seasons before ending in 1993.
Speaking to EW, Greenberg revealed Joe Mantegna was set to guest star in the last episode of Cheers but the scene was cut.
They had written a surprise guest star role for Danny DeVito to come and be a tire salesman from New Jersey who whisked Carla Tortelli [played by DeVito’s wife, Rhea Perlman] away out of the bar to a new life,” he says. “On the day we were going to shoot the show, I got word that Danny wasn’t going to do it. They never told me why, and I went, ‘Oh, well, I guess they’ll cut that scene.’ But [series creators] Glen Charles, Les Charles and Jimmy Burrows said, ‘Actually, we prefer for you to find another name actor to do it.’ I found this out at about noon, and we were shooting the show starting at 6 p.m., and while everybody is wandering around, kissing, crying, and drinking champagne, I went into crisis mode.”
“We were faxing pages all over town to people who were interested and available … and I ended up getting Joe Mantegna — who was working on a movie across town — to agree to do it. He read it and was a fan of the show. In fact, years before, he had auditioned for the role of Nick Tortelli that Dan [Hedaya] had ended up getting. I arranged for a car to pick him up, and he was going to shoot the show. I went to tell Jimmy, ‘It’s all in place! Joe Mantegna’s going to do it!’ and I knew Jimmy was a fan of his. He said, ‘There’s too much going on. I think we should cut the scene now.’”
What do you think? Did you watch Cheers? Did you like the series finale?