CHEERS is 30 years old. Tonight there is a reunion party for those of us honored enough to be part of the show. Will let you know how it goes. I wonder if anyone besides me will not have aged in all that time. Anyway, you all know the stars. But what about the others who populated the bar? I thought today I'd recognize them so the next time you watch you will too.
ecause he got the line right. If you have the DVD check it out.
The older gentleman always referred to as Phil -- that’s Phil Perlman, Rhea’s dad (pictured left). Once we started giving him lines he listed himself in the credits as Philip Perlman.
Tom Babson wound up becoming a semi-regular. Cliff was always ragging on him for attending law school. Tom at various times was listed as “Tom”, “Tom Babson”, “Tom Ballard”, “Customer #1”, and “Barney”. But you may know him from KNOTS LANDING where he played “Man”.
In the later years, “Paul” also became a semi regular. He’s Paul Willson (pictured right), a gifted comic actor and one of the greatest improv artists I have EVER seen. I put him up there with Robin Williams. I feel bad for Paul because we finally built an episode around him but it was the second to the last one of the series. He pops up on a lot of shows. Always funny.
One of the great sports columnists of all-time, Alan Malamud, sat at the bar for eight or nine shows. Local LA sportscaster, Steve Bailey, had a drink from time to time, as well.
I show up in only one scene in one episode, the last Bar Wars.
All of the customers hoped that their parts would expand and become a series regulars as what happened with John Ratzenberger and George Wendt. It was never to be.
And then there’s the bar patron who was supposed to be a series regular and wound up as just an extra. In the pilot from time to time you see an old woman in the background. This was “Mrs. Littlefield”, a colorful politically opinionated spinster. She had a number of lines in the pilot. But the show was long, her character didn’t really score, and her part was cut. All that remains are a few shots of her here and there.
And finally, in a few episodes my father plays an extra. You’ll see him hitting on 25 year old women. My idea. You're welcome, Dad.