Why Kirstie Alley Was Gifted A Shotgun As A Welcome Gift On The Set Of ‘Cheers’


The late Kirstie Alley got an unconventional gift when she joined the popular TV series sitcom Cheers in 1987, where she played Rebecca Howe. During a panel session at the recently concluded Cheers reunion, which was held at the ATX TV Festival in Austin, Texas, Cheers co-star George Wendt, who played the role of Norm Peterson in the beloved series, shared the amusing story surrounding the present.

Wendt reminisced about the time when he and some other cast members tasked themselves with finding the perfect welcome gift for Alley, who joined the show during its sixth season. “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…” the 75-year-old admitted. “So, [Ted Danson] says, ‘I can’t, I got a thing I got to do.’ And [Rhea Perlman], no.”‘


George Wendt says he and co-star John Ratzenberger got Kirstie Alley a shotgun


The 75-year-old revealed that he and John Ratzenberger, who played the role of Cliff Calvin in Cheers, tasked themselves with the responsibility of finding a gift, and thus they embarked on a journey through the trendy neighborhood of Melrose in Hollywood.


RELATED: Ted Danson Played Harsh Prank On Co-Star Woody Harrelson On Set Of ‘Cheers’

“[G]oing past all these places and we go past Big 5 Sporting Goods, and John goes, ‘You wanna buy her a shotgun?'” Wendt recalled. “And, like you, I laughed for about five minutes and then immediately pulled into the parking lot, and we bought her a freakin’ shotgun.… John and I were never tasked with the gifts again.”

“I think you even wrote on the card,” Ratzenberger added. ‘”You’re gonna have to shoot your way out.'”


Ted Danson pays tribute to Kirstie Alley at the ‘Cheers’ reunion

The late actress achieved great recognition for her depiction of Howe, earning both an Emmy and a Golden Globe, and she remained a part of the show until its conclusion in season 11. Sadly, Alley passed away at the age of 71 in December 2022 following a courageous battle with colon cancer.

LOOK WHO’S TALKING NOW, Kirstie Alley, 1993. © TriStar / courtesy Everett Collection

While reminiscing about her absence, Cheers co-star Ted Danson, who was also in attendance at the event, became emotional. “She’s not here. It’s very strange,” the 75-year-old said. “She came in like a ball of fire… She was making her entrance into the table read, and she put on a Shelley Long blonde wig. We’re like, ‘OK, you’ll do great.'”

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