It was 30 years ago that a television series about a neighborhood bar called Cheers premiered and soon audiences everywhere wanted to go “where everybody knows your name.”
John Ratzenberger told the Hollywood Reporter about his memories of playing bar regular Cliff Clavin, a mail carrier and know-it-all. He did more than play the part of Cliff Clavin — he came up with the idea for the character.
He tried out for the role of beer-slugging bar regular Norm, and after getting turned down — in favor of Wendt — he pitched a whole new character. Though he had spent the previous decade touring around Europe with his improv comedy group, the Connecticut native knew that back home in New England, every bar had a know-it-all, and suggested that the show’s Boston-based pub best have one, too.
He got the greenlight and a seat at the bar, and Cliff Clavin, the blowhard mailman who was a constant stream of false facts and half-true boasts, would become one of four characters to appear in all 271 episodes of the series.