Flashback: Woody Sings 'The Kelly Song' on 'Cheers' - Rolling Stone
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Flashback: Woody Sings ‘The Kelly Song’ on ‘Cheers’

Long before ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘True Detective,’ Woody Harrelson played the dim-witted Woody Boyd on ‘Cheers’

Woody Harrelson is on a pretty hot streak right now. True Detective was one of the most acclaimed new television shows in years, he hosted Saturday Night Live this past week and the third chapter of The Hunger Games hits theaters this weekend. He’s also set to star in a sequel to Now You See Me that’s due in theaters in the summer of 2016.

None of this would be happening had Harrelson not landed the role of dimwitted bartender Woody Boyd on Cheers back in 1985, replacing the late Nicholas Colasanto. Woody quickly became an audience favorite and in 1989 he won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. In that season, Woody was dating Kelly Gaines, the equally dim daughter of a super wealthy businessman.

On the episode The Gift of the Woodi, Kelly is celebrating a birthday and Woody worries that he can’t afford a proper gift. Frasier suggests he give Kelly a gift from his heart, and so he decides to write her a song. Here’s a video of Woody performing “The Kelly Song,” even though she fails to understand it’s her present. They eventually married in the 10th season and they were expecting a child when the series ended. When Woody visited Frasier on his spinoff show in 1999 he mentioned they were still married and had two kids.

The brief performance of “The Kelly Song” stuck in the minds of many Cheers fans, and when Kelly Ripa guested on an early episode of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, the Roots played it as her walk-on song. “I think this is when I became cool in the eyes of the staff of the show,” Questlove told Rolling Stone in 2009. “Because most of the 30 and 40-year-olds remember that episode of Cheers when Woody had to make up a song on the spot to avoid the fact that he couldn’t afford an expensive birthday gift for his rich girlfriend.”

In This Article: Cheers, Woody Harrelson


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