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Ted Danson has starred in a number of series over his long career, showing off his comedic and dramatic acting chops. Despite all his many jobs, he was best known in pop culture for his role as Sam the bartender on Cheers for a very long time. Danson currently stars as Michael on The Good Place, and the show stuck him back behind a bar in the Season 2 finale. Despite Danson's extensive experience as a TV bartender, he wasn't super excited to go back to bartending on the small screen. He had this to say:
It was horrifying for me. For some reason I just started to... It took me so long to get used to being the bartender on Cheers and being cool and all that stuff that it just horrified me to go back and I felt all thumbs. It turned out great, but it was horrifying.
Sam may have been bartending in primetime for 11 years, but Ted Danson was never a professional bartender, and he went more than 20 years without needing to perform as a bartender on a sitcom. Apparently, working as a fake bartender on television isn't just like riding a bike! Throwing a towel over his shoulder was one thing; handling the booze and having an important conversation at the same time was something else entirely, and according to his comments at The Good Place's panel at San Diego Comic-Con (via EW), the prospect was horrifying.
The good news for everybody is that Ted Danson's return to tending bar went well. He managed to get back into the Sam headspace enough to turn in a believable bartending performance as Michael in the Good Place Season 2 finale. Of course, he probably could have botched the job without upsetting anybody, given the craziness of the finale twist. If you doubted that The Good Place could ever pull off a cliffhanger that even rivals its Season 1 cliffhanger, the reveal that Eleanor was back on Earth at the end of Season 2 probably proved you wrong. Michael knew what was up, but Eleanor is still in the dark. Does this mean we could get more of Michael the bartender in Season 3?
We'll have to wait and see. The Good Place returns for Season 2 on NBC in the fall, with new episodes airing on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET between episodes of Superstore and Will & Grace. Season 3 should be a big departure from the seasons that came before, and it will undoubtedly be interesting to see how the relationships between the characters return (or do not return) to form after the memory wipes when Eleanor and Co. returned to Earth.