Rhea Perlman salutes 'Cheers' for sitcom's 40th anniversary: 'It's incomprehensible'

Perlman also weighed in on the potential for a "Cheers" reboot.

September 30, 2022, 1:03 PM

Rhea Perlman can't believe "Cheers" is officially 40, calling the milestone "incomprehensible."

The legendary actress, who played wisecracking waitress Carla Tortelli and was a main character for the iconic sitcom's 11-season run, joked that she's been playing "a grandmother since before I was 40," as Carla begrudgingly became one in season 6.

Perlman found it impossible to narrow down a favorite memory from "Cheers," but said her "favorite thing" was "the people I worked with."

"It was like going to camp -- a good one, not one you wanted to call home every day. It just was a very comfortable, fun place to be," she recalled. "We had great writers, we had a great cast and and we had fun."

Perlman also saluted series co-creator James Burrows and compared his directing to that of "a maestro." She said he was completely in sync with the cast and ensured their jokes stuck the landing, getting the "real laughs" every time.

"Jimmy had that thing where, you'd be starting on some run and he could see you were slipping into the wrong, so before you blew it in front of an audience, he'd go, 'A-buh-buh-buh-buh! Let's take that again,'" she revealed. "The first time is the big laugh."

Perlman said there are no plans for a reboot. "There were years that a few of us lobbied for a revival of 'Cheers,' but it was never to be," she said.

"Cheers," which premiered Sept. 30, 1982, also starred Ted Danson, Shelley Long, Nicholas Colasanto, George Wendt, John Ratzenberger, Kelsey Grammer, Woody Harrelson, Bebe Neuwirth and Kirstie Alley. The show ran for 11 seasons on NBC.