June 05, 2023

Film & TV

Cheers Cast Surprised Kirstie Alley with Shotgun

Kirstie Alley joined the sitcom for season six and was welcomed with a unique gift

By George Johnson June 05, 2023
Kirstie Alley joins The Cheers for season six.
Kirstie Alley joins 'The Cheers' for season six.

During the Cheers reunion at the ATX TV Festival in Austin, Texas, George Wendt, aged 74, entertained the audience with a humorous anecdote about the welcoming gift the cast presented to Kirstie Alley, who sadly passed away in December after battling cancer. 

Wendt, along with his fellow cast member John Ratzenberger, aged 76, reminisced about their roles as Norm Peterson and Cliff Clavin, respectively, on the beloved and long-running sitcom.

Wendt shared that when Alley joined the show in season six, he and Ratzenberger were tasked with finding a gift for the new cast member. 

As they gathered for dinner before the show, the realization struck them that they had forgotten to procure a gift. 

Wendt recalled, "We were having dinner right before the show, and we said, Oh jeez, we should have got her something, right? And Yeah, like some flowers or something… So, [Ted Danson] says, I can't, I got a thing I got to do.

And [Rhea Perlman], no."

As Wendt and Ratzenberger brainstormed gift ideas, they found themselves driving through the trendy Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.

 It was during this drive that an amusing suggestion arose. 

Wendt recalled, "'Going past all these places and we go past Big 5 Sporting Goods and John goes, 'you wanna buy her a shotgun?''"

Although initially erupting in laughter, Wendt's amusement soon transformed into action. 

He promptly pulled into the parking lot, and together, they purchased a shotgun as Alley's welcoming gift. 

Reflecting on the experience, Wendt added, "John and I were never tasked with the gifts again."