It’s hard to imagine anyone else in this iconic role.
You already know about the bar where everyone knows your name. Now imagine someone else than Ted Danson pouring the drinks and serving the jokes.
John Larroquette tells Parade that in the early 1980s he auditioned for the role of baseball pitcher-turned-Boston bartender Sam Malone on the 1982-93 NBC sitcom. Greetings.
“I just went in and did a cold read with the other actors, who were 32 at the time,” he says. (Read the full interview this week Parade cover story of the e-edition.)
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At the time, the New Orleans native says he considered himself a master actor and looked for any gig to support his actress wife, Elizabeth, and their three young children. “I needed to earn money to help pay the rent, support my family and be a responsible member of society,” she says. He had also recently completed a stint in rehab after taking several years off for “binge drinking”.
“After I sobered up and realized that I’m not going to die, I thought: “What am I going to do?” he adds. “I was pretty big  the movie is called Layers With Bill Murray. And I read for the role of Ted Dunson Greetings“.
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Although Larroquette lost out to Danson, he soon auditioned for another NBC comedy. This one was called Night court. First, he read Dumb Judge Harry T. For Stone, which eventually went to Harry Anderson. Then the producers asked him to try out for the sensible lawyer Dan Fielding. “I said, sure,” he recalls. “Even if I hated the role, I would have taken it. Lucky for me, I really liked it. Then I got lucky again when NBC picked up the show as a midseason replacement.” It was broadcast in 1984-92.
The actor won four consecutive Emmys for his role as Fielding, and he is reprising the role in the new NBC. Night Court reboot (which premieres on January 17). As for Danson. The star won two Emmys for her work Greetings and has a total of 18 nominations.
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