George Wendt talks Cheers, Second City

George Wendt. Courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

George Wendt spoke to Solzy at the Movies about Cheers and the most meaningful advice he learned during his time at Second City.

Wendt, an alumnus of The Second City theater in Chicago, is one of many celebrities on hand during Wizard World in Rosemont. The Chicago native has been spending this weekend signing for fans and posing for photos. In addition, he spoke during various panels.  You’ll also be able to find Wendt appearing in The Climb, coming soon to theaters. The film will be holding its North American premiere during the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival.

How often do people shout Norm when they see you?

George Wendt: Not very often these days. My little brother actually looks a lot more like Norm than I do. I sort of aged out of it.

Do you have a favorite episode of Cheers?

George Wendt: It’s pretty random but yes. I’m not sure if it holds up because I haven’t seen it in ages but I remember like it when we shot it and it was called “Jumping Jerks.” It was a [Ken] Levine and [David] Isaacs script. It was where when the boys all went skydiving.

You come from The Second City family. What was the most meaningful advice you learned at Second City?

George Wendt: Have fun. It was actually a note from Josephine Forsberg, who yelled up in the middle of a sketch during a workshop: “When you’re having fun, we’re having fun!”

Reboots are all the craze these days. If given the opportunity, would you like to revisit Cheers?

George Wendt: Oh, G-d, yes. Yeah. That would be hilarious! I mean I don’t know how it would be for the audience but it would be great fun for us.

The first season had low ratings. Was anyone ever concerned at the time that you all might not come back for Season 2?

George Wendt: Yeah, we were concerned we weren’t going to get picked up for the second half of the first season. The back nine as they used to call it. They ordered 13 and the back nine would complete your season. We were sweating bullets to get a back nine order and we were sweating bullets to get it renewed.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be on a sitcom?

George Wendt: Have fun. It’s the same advice. Look, it’s brutal out there. If you’re not having fun, it’s not worth it.

Wizard World Chicago runs August 22-25, 2019 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.