A selection of Ted Danson mentions on Inverse, 2015-2020

Danson has never shied away from offbeat roles, a trait that has made the TV icon's career long and storied.

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Ted Danson is just terrific.

He has been terrific on TV since the early 80s. Even his fictional character, Sam Malone, has been referenced by other fictional characters. Below is a list of selected mentions of Ted Danson stories published by Inverse over the last several years, in conjunction with our 2020 Ultimate Binge Guide. You may only know him from Cheers. You may only know him from The Good Place (though that's less likely). But did you know he has connections to animated sci-fi and the baddest villain in the universe?


We at Inverse hope you're holding up OK, and wanted to give your brain and heart a little Ted. Here goes:

Ted Danson: Rick and Morty

The amusing Ted Danson reference on Rick and Morty in November 2019 may mean there's a crossover with The Good Place in the works. It may also just mean the writers of Rick and Morty love Ted Danson. And who can blame them? Not us.

Ted Danson: What if Cheers is the Good Place?

In January 2019, when the third season of The Good Place was wrapping up, we wondered if the '80s sitcom Cheers was actually the Good Place. When you think about it, the theory doesn't not make sense. Read all about it here.

Ted Danson: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

In May 2017, we lovingly cataloged the '80s references in GotG Vol. 2, most of them made by Peter Quill, aka "Star-Lord." Of course, he likened himself to Ted Danson's Sam Malone in Cheers.

Ted Danson inspired Thanos (really!)

Sam Malone. What a legend. But it only works if he is paired with Diane Chambers (played by the equally great Shelley Long). With apologies to Kirstie Alley (who played Rebecca Howe and arrived after Long left for a movie career), the Sam-and-Diane dynamic is literally iconic (a word that is overused to comic effect it really does apply here.) So how does Thanos come into the picture? Our April 2019 interview with Thanos creator Jim Starlin pulls back the curtain:

Starlin didn’t intend Thanos to be in love with her or anyone. In fact, in an issue of Silver Surfer that was ramping up toward Starlin’s 1991 crossover miniseries The Infinity Gauntlet — the comic that inspired the movies — Starlin had Thanos ramble about overpopulation in the universe. That was his mission from the start, but “I realized going down that avenue, I was going to put myself into a corner.”
In trying to find a smooth pivot for Thanos, he found inspiration from Ted Danson and Shelly Long’s bickering lovers from the popular NBC sitcom Cheers.
“I wanted to give him a Sam and Diane relationship that was completely dysfunctional,” he says. “Somebody like Thanos, that would be the only kind of relationship he would have. And you can’t get more unattainable than death.” And so Starlin’s mystery hooded woman became Lady Death.

Looking for more entertainment? Consult the Inverse 2020 Ultimate Binge Guide.

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