Whatever Happened to George Wendt?

If someone told you that the first job that George Wendt had in show business was sweeping floors, would you believe them? Probably not in the case of some folks since George has been something of a comical mainstay in show business for a long time, and it’s not hard to see why since all one has to do is go back and watch so many different episodes of Cheers to figure it out. Norm was a drunk and a habitual one at that, but he was also one of the more interesting and engaging members of the cast since it was Norm, he was a regular, and it was common to see him on the show since he was one of the best characters there. From his slightly less than wise comments to his back and forth banter with some of the other characters he was without any doubt among the best of the cast members that the show had to offer. Can you believe the guy’s in his 70s now? He’s still around and still doing what he’s been doing for so long and still has the sense of humor that so many people came to appreciate him for. Whether it was Cheers, his appearances on SNL, or the movies he’s been in throughout the years, George has become a name in show business that many people at least know of and many possibly know at the first mention of his name.

Throughout his long career he’s worked on so many movies and appeared in so many TV shows that it’s hard to list them all really since George hasn’t really taken a lot of time off from his career. Unlike several of his peers he’s been married to the same woman this entire time, which is nearly unheard of in Hollywood really, and has helped to raise three kids throughout his years, so in a sense George is one of the good guys when it comes to how he’s managed to juggle his family life and his career at the same time. So that proves that it can be done and kind of makes a lot of people wonder why the idea hasn’t stuck with a lot of people in show business that tend to move from one partner to another as though they’re playing musical chairs. George isn’t perfect and doesn’t have a perfect past however, as he did manage to get expelled from Notre Dame in his junior year for achieving a flat 0.0 GPA (well hello Mr. Blutarsky) in the first semester of his junior year. Whatever reason he might have had or even given for this obviously wasn’t good enough as the college gave him the boot. He did go on to finish his education at another college before joining up with The Second City, where he would eventually learn the hard way how to break into the business. Since that time however his career has built and become a solid and enduring thing that has carried him this far and is still carrying him even if some have forgotten just who he is.

For those of us that grew up watching Norm and being entertained by him it’s easy to remember this guy since he gave us so many great moments that it might be kind of an insult to say that we don’t remember anything he did. In fact it might be kind of surprising to hear that he’s one of only a few actors from Cheers that was present for every single episode. People might actually want to fact check that, but it’s true, he was one of the few that managed to get on screen for every last appearance that Cheers made on the airwaves. He’s also one of the few actors that’s been able to take the same character from one show to another and remain exactly the same, creating a kind of inclusive universe that blended a lot of shows together in the eyes of the fans. Granted, he was a guest star on other shows and wasn’t meant to stick around for long, but it’s still amusing to think that Norm made his way around from show to show and remained the same guy that would plop his butt down on a seat and ask for a beer or would simply be Norm, for better or worse, no matter where he found himself. In a career that’s spanned well over four decades now it’s fair to say that George has become one of the most recognized faces and names in Hollywood, though it’s also fair to say that he’s been appreciated more by the fans than by anyone else, since more often than not one can hear people referencing George by using his many roles, not by counting how many awards he’s won.

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