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The 'Cheers' Cast Tried to Haze Woody Harrelson, Got Their Asses Kicked Instead

By Andrew Sanford | TV | June 18, 2024 |

By Andrew Sanford | TV | June 18, 2024 |


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It’s nice to learn that the cast of a TV show got along. It isn’t always the case. It can go either way when you’re stuck around the same people for a long time, doing the same thing repeatedly. You can either make friends that last a lifetime or be thrilled never to see the people you’re with ever again. As far as Cheers is concerned, the cast has been thick as thieves.

Two Cheers stars, Ted Danson and Woody Harrelson, have started a podcast to discuss their time on the show. It’s a lovely friendship. The two actors enjoy ribbing each other while maintaining love and respect. The show is part of Team Coco Productions, Conan O’Brien’s network, so they stopped by Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend to promote it. This leads to Danson reflecting on Woody joining the show in season 4.

Woody was the youngest person on the cast by at least ten years. So, naturally, the cast wanted to prove how much stronger and smarter they were. “Thirty-seven is when you realize you’re no longer 25 or 24,” Danson explained. “So it was more not like hazing him; we just wanted to kick his ass in anything we could find. We started with basketball and as you later found out in life, he’s a really good basketball player, so he kicked our asses there.”

Basketball didn’t work, but the crew didn’t stop there. Next came leg … wrestling. “I have a vision of Johnny Ratzenberger, who played Cliff, out on the lawn by the stage doing, you know, the leg wrestling where you’re both on your back, and you try to flip the other guy with just your leg.” I’ll be honest; I’ve never heard of this. Regardless, Woody still held his own. “John’s strong and got some thighs on him,” Ted said. “Woody kicked his ass. I literally have a bad elbow to this day ‘cause I wouldn’t give up arm wrestling. I did finally give up because he was kicking my butt. So then we moved to chess.”

Do you want to guess how chess went? If you’re sensing a pattern, you’re on the right track. “F—- this, sorry, to heck with this physical stuff, we’re gonna beat him mentally,” Danson exclaimed. “Killed us at chess. So this is all in the first week, really. So from then on it was like, if you had some awful mean prank to pull, you would not waste it on anyone else except Woody. And he is, to this day, that’s Woody Harrelson.”

According to Danson and Harrelson, the Cheers cast are all still great friends. Despite the hazing and the razing, they all accepted Woody as one of their own. That acceptance lasts to this day. Now, these two can monetize that friendship by talking into a few mics. That’s the dream.