By: Scott RossPublished: December 29, 2022

Edward Bridge Danson III

Happy birthday to Edward Bridge Danson III, aka "Ted", who was born December 29, 1947, in San Diego, California. Who could've imagined back in the seventies, when he was starring own soaps and hawking Aramis cologne, that he would one day be Lord of the Sitcoms.

In 1982 Danson got his first lead role as Sam "May Day" Malone, a roundheeled recovering alcoholic and former relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox who ran the eponymous bar Cheers. The show lasted 275 episodes spanning eleven seasons, during which it was the gold standard for workplace comedy and earned Danson an Emmy nod every year, and which he won twice.

The next five years were spent on a so-so film career and numerous other TV appearances before the launch of Becker, in which he starred for 129 episodes as an irascible doctor. Midway through Becker's run, he began popping up on Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm. He's thus far appeared on on 30 episodes.

He played a hilarious goof on Graydon Carter in Bored to Death, as he helped Jason Schwartzman solve crimes for 24 episodes.

In 2016 he starred opposite Kristen Bell for 52 episodes in The Good Place, playing a demon who starts out torturing humans before being convinced of their inherent goodness and determines to help save their souls.

That's more than 500 episode of sitcom television, some of it average, most of it very good, much of it transcendent. And that's just the comedic work. He had a starring role of Damages, for which he was thrice nominated for an Emmy, he's done more than 100 CSI's. The man is a goddamn TV legend.


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