March 19, 2013, 7:55 pm
John Ratzenberger spent 11 years entertaining America as the know-it-all mail carrier, Cliff Clavin on the TV show Cheers and since then he has had many recurring roles in Disney and Pixar films, most notably as the talking piggy bank Ham in the Toy Story series and Mack the Mack Truck in the Cars series. He joined Chad on Flight 750 Tuesday to talk about his acting career and his new website where viewers submit their ideas for the next big reality show.
“I never really dreamed about it. That’s the last thing I thought I’d be: an actor…I enjoyed it a little bit in college and had fun with it. But I still never thought I’d do it for a living. I was actually making a living as a house framer/carpenter and I made it over to England – I was only going to go visit for a couple of weeks, but I ended up staying for 10 years and that’s pretty much where it started.”
Ratzenberger also says that when he was originally auditioning for Cheers, he tried out for Norm and it was only because of his great improv skills that he got the part of Cliff Claven.
“I never went to acting school, so I never had the skills of auditioning. In Cheers, believe it or not, even after working in the industry for 10 years and doing a lot of movies and everything else, it was actually one of the first auditions I had ever done. And I just stunk up the room.
He goes on to say, “As I was leaving I really just wanted to get my dignity back and so I said “Do you have a bar know-it-all?” And one of the Producers was like, “What are you talking about?” And so I just launched into this character and made them laugh enough so I could recapture my dignity and low and behold, they called two days later and said we’d like to try that character out and see how it works. And I was there for 11 years.”
Ratzenberger also talked about how he felt about being type-cast as such a popular character and whether he regretted being known as Cliff Clavin by the public, as opposed to being known as John Ratzenberger.
“As long as my kids recognize who I am as I walk in the door, I don’t care…I get kind of a kick out of it. I enjoy it. I just enjoy meeting people anyway. I’m just very blessed to be able to make a living in this business.”
Take a listen to the interview and if you have any great ideas for the next big reality show, be sure to submit them to Ratzenberger at RealityTVStar.com starting next week. The website will not be launched until then.