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What happens when the cast of one Emmy-sweeping sitcom pays tribute to another comedy legend?
The stars of Modern Family dressed up as the classic characters in Cheers for The Hollywood Reporter, with Ty Burrell as Sam Malone (Ted Danson), Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Cliff Clavin (John Ratzenberger), Julie Bowen as Diane Chambers (Shelley Long), Ariel Winter as Carla Tortelli (Rhea Perlman), Rico Rodriguez as Norm Peterson (George Wendt) and Nolan Gould as Woody Boyd (Woody Harrelson).
The wildly successful NBC show, which was nominated for an Emmy during each of the 11 years it was on the air and took home the comedy series trophy four times, has one less win under its belt than the current ABC series, which has nabbed five consecutive awards, tying with Cheers spinoff Fraiser for the most Emmy wins ever for a comedy series.
“I don’t feel I really deserve to be wearing this,” said Ty Burrell in costume as Malone. “Ted was so effortless at what he did and I feel like I’m constantly pushing a rock up the hill.”
Burrell also drew comparisons between the ‘80s hit and his ABC series, currently in production on its seventh season. “As a kid, Cheers represented my comfort food — it was super-dependable,” he said. “Now, looking back on it, it’s amazing how much of a balance there was between incredible writing but also a warmth and a kind of big heart, which is so hard to do. And I think our writers, some of whom wrote on Cheers at one point or another, they do sort of the same thing.”
For their part, the Modern kids expressed how fun it is to re-create a show as iconic as Cheers — though none of them was alive during the show’s run, which ended in 1993.
“It’s fun to relive some of those moments,” said Rodriguez, who plays the outgoing Manny in the ABC show. “I wonder if in, like, 20 years that someone will re-create us,” pondered Gould.
The photo was taken exclusively for THR‘s list of Hollywood’s 100 Favorite TV Shows, with the Modern Family cast re-creating six shows that made the ranking. Other series the actors posed for were Breaking Bad, I Dream of Jeannie, Married … With Children, Frasier and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
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