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'Cheers' star John Ratzenberger returns to Sacred Heart University to play Scrooge

The historic Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts at Sacred Heart University is welcoming back a famous alum this week.

Mark Sudol

Dec 14, 2022, 12:58 AM

Updated 552 days ago

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The historic Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts at Sacred Heart University is welcoming back a famous alum this week.
"I started my career right on this stage," said actor John Ratzenberger.
Ratzenberger, known for his roles on "Cheers" and in so many Disney Pixar movies, is playing Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens' classic "A Christmas Carol."
"I've been grumpy before, so that's close enough for me. Yeah he's grumpy so I can do that," said Ratzenberger.
Ratzenberger grew up in Blackrock and went to school at Saint Ann's. He graduated Sacred Heart in 1969 when the campus was much smaller than it is now.
Ratzenberger says he never planned to be an actor like some of the students he's working with on this production at Sacred Heart.
He was a travelling carpenter. After spending time in Europe doing theater, he got a call in the early 1980s about a new show called "Cheers."
"My agent at the time back in Los Angeles said go ahead and take it because it's not going to last. Nobody's going to go for a sitcom based in a bar," said Ratzenberger.
The show lasted for 11 seasons, and Ratzenberger created know-it-all mailman Cliff Clavin from a guy his dad knew.
"I came up with it as I was walking out the door of the audition," said Ratzenberger.
Now his recognizable voice seems like it's just about everywhere.
"I like to play around a little bit. I go to a supermarket and a kid in a shopping cart or walking with the mom ... 'hey, how you doing?" said Ratzenberger.
He offered some advice for the very talented students he's working with.
"Get a skill that no one can take from you," said Ratzenberger.
The production of "A Christmas Carol" will benefit SHU's nationally recognized and award-winning collegiate theater program with 100% of all proceeds going toward the program.
There are still tickets available for this weekend's performances.


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