Why ‘Cheers’ Favorite John Ratzenberger Makes Rare TV Appearance In ‘Poker Face’

Natasha Lyonne and John Ratzenberger in the second episode of poker face. (Photo: Evans Vestal Ward/Peacock)

It’s been 30 years since Boston’s friendliest bar closed its doors, but everyone still knows the name John Ratzenberger. the cheers star-heart-Magic Pixar Good luck It makes live-action appearances on screen increasingly rare in the United States poker faceNew “Case of the Week” crime series from Rian Johnson and Natasha Lyonne. In the tradition of classic detective shows like Colombo And She wrote the murderEach episode features guest appearances by famous faces from past and present movies and TV shows, and the now 75-year-old Ratzenberger takes center stage in the second hour of the show, currently airing on Peacock.

“He’s an absolute legend,” says Johnson. cheersResident Random Trivia Master – And famous Risk! flop. “He came to Albuquerque, and he was so happy to be there. Ratzenberger loved to keep the cast and crew laughing during his guest-star stint with a very special comedic style,” Leone assures Leone. “John would say something weird where you think he’s not listening, and then launch into it.” Small talk,” she recalls. “He’s a funny, funny guy.”

Johnson adds that Ratzenberger’s presence in the second episode sums up the show’s overall approach to deep seat guest stars who will appear over the course of the first season, including Judith Light, Tim Meadows, and Ron Perlman. “It’s about the people on screen who will give you joy,” he notes, adding one more thing. cheers A planned cameo for the next episode. Rhea Perlman has a role later, too, so we’re repackaging cheers ejaculate.”

Watch our interview with iconic stars poker face on YouTube

In addition to paving the way for future Giving Joy films, the Ratzenberger episode also sets the tone and exemplary structure poker face The issue after the Johnson-helmed series premiere does all the heavy world building. The super-sized premiere depicts how Leon’s card-player Charlie Cale is forced to flee Las Vegas after falling out with a casino magnate and his head of hard-nosed security, played by Benjamin Bratt – the only other regular on the series besides Leon. .

On his sophomore outing, Charlie enters a small town that’s not in the middle of nowhere…and immediately stumbles upon a murder investigation. ego poker face is that viewers know the killer’s identity right away, but Charlie has to piece together what happened using it Incredible HulkLike a superpower: the ability to catch anyone in a lie. In this particular case, Ratzenberg plays local mechanic Abe, who has a personal connection to the killer.

Abby also represents the kind of character Johnson is focused on bringing out poker face: working-class and middle-country Americans who don’t usually appear on network crime shows or big-screen detective leads like Principal’s Take out the knives franchise. “That was a big part of the show, the idea of ​​Charlie going to places you don’t see on a lot of TV shows,” Johnson confirms. “It won’t be high-rises where you’re dropping CEOs off. It’ll be regional dining halls and auto races. Being able to do some deep diving into those corners of America is exciting.”

“Our joke is that this show doesn’t take place at the Four Seasons,” adds Lila Zuckerman, who works in the role. poker faceShowrunner alongside her sister, Nora Zuckerman. happen in Four Seasons Total Landscape. “

poker face He also shows that those corners of America now boast a more diverse population than is often expected. This is part of recent shows like the Apple TV+ anthology series, Little America – Under the direction of Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon – which similarly seeks to dispel some of the age-old myths of what is now called “the real America”. “There are small cultures all over our country,” Zuckerman notes. “Our show is really a celebration of that.”

Johnson says so poker faceThe diversity on screen was also reflected in the writer’s room. “We’ve tried to put some effort into getting into those little worlds that we’re delving into,” he explains. “We tried to get as close to reality as possible. It’s clearly not a Frederick Wiseman documentary – it’s still a detective show. But we wanted to put together a writer’s room that had a degree of diversity in terms of backgrounds and also where people came from in the country.”

poker face Currently streaming on Peacock

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