A Stage Version of Cheers Is in the Works
John Ratzenberger tells PEOPLE CBS is eyeing an event based on the '80s sitcom
Here’s something to raise a glass to: Cheers is bound for the stage.
For fans missing their weekly trip to the bar “where everybody knows your name,” one of the legendary sitcom’s stars has exciting news.
“You know,” John Ratzenberger, who played postal worker Cliff Clavin on the sitcom, told PEOPLE at the Los Angeles premiere of Inside Out, “I just got an email yesterday that CBS is planning a stage show of Cheers.'”
More than 20 years after the Boston-based sitcom ended its run in 1993, Ratzenberger mused to PEOPLE that a theatrical production “could be good. It could be horrible. If it was a musical, that would be kind of fun, sure. If it’s a drama like Tennessee Williams, that would be kind of depressing.”
Rolling Stone reports that Cheers Live on Stage will arrive in 2016 and that CBS is also planning stage productions of two other family-favorite series: The Brady Bunch and Corduroy. This information follows a recent trend of rebooting ’80s and ’90s classics, including Boy Meets World (which has been given new life as Girl Meets World on the Disney Channel) and Full House (whose cast will reunite for Fuller House on Netflix in 2016).
Ratzenberger, 68, who divulged lots of Cheers trivia via Reddit in 2013, would not mind taking a trip back to Bean Town – though he would like a bit of a professional upgrade: “I would like to direct it,” he said, though reprising his role as Cliff might not be in the cards all these years later. “Taking part [in] it – I don’t know,” he said.
Ratzenberger – who competed on Dancing with the Stars in 2007 – walked the red carpet on Monday night at the El Capitan Theatre to support his other career highlight: his stint as a voice actor for Pixar films. In addition to his role as Fritz in Inside Out, the many animated characters to whom he has lent his pipes include Hamm the Piggy Bank in the Toy Story movies, the Abominable Snowman in the Monsters, Inc. films, Mack in the Cars pictures and John in WALL-E.
“The thing I enjoy doing the most is sometimes I’ll call people’s children as Hammy the Pig,” Ratzenberger shares. “I bumped into a couple at the airport who said how much their kids love Toy Story. I told [the parents] to get [their kids] on the phone. I told them to go to bed.”
• Reporting by MATT WEISS