Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Good Place's D'Arcy Carden will take silver fox Ted Danson over Sam Malone, thanks

Conan O’Brien, D’Arcy Carden
Conan O’Brien, D’Arcy Carden
Screenshot: Conan

On Wednesday’s video chat Conan, D’Arcy Carden noted that her appearance on Conan O’Brien’s computer screen was the first time she’s brushed her hair or put on any makeup since going into socially responsible pandemic lockdown. And while she does, indeed, clean up nicely for sort-of TV, The Good Place star did share that, like so, so many of us, she’s coping with the isolation in some decidedly unglamorous ways. Including blacking out the windows in her living room so the inevitable and prodigious binge-watching she and her husband are doing won’t be interrupted by any glare from that big yellow thing up in the sky. You know the one—hot, occasionally disrupts cell service? Sun! The sun, that’s it. And while Conan pronounced that decision “truly shameful,” no doubt he was taking notes along with the rest of us tired of having to remotely shift position on the couch in order to optimize the visuals of our totally necessary Psych marathons.

Carden told O’Brien that her bingeing choices have been the usual mix of shows you heard are good and always meant to watch (Succession, Unorthodox), addictive trash (“Tiger King and all that stuff,” hand-waved Carden, a little embarrassedly), and a special, once-per-night dinnertime showing of a single episode of Cheers. Now, anyone who’s dealt with being shut away from the world (now or previously, for whatever reason) knows that an 11-season Cheers marathon is one of the world’s best cures for cabin fever, depression, or maybe even the common cold. (Not medically proven, but it doesn’t hurt.) But for Carden, naturally, the experience of watching her avuncular Good Place costar Ted Danson in his “other incarnation” as former Red Sox star turned wise-cracking bartender and inveterate womanizer Sam “Mayday” Malone is different from ours. In that it completely grosses her out.

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While conceding that “Everybody knows Ted Danson’s hot as hell,” which checks out for all demographics at this point (although Conan pretended not to notice), Carden admitted that watching the “silver-haired, genteel” Michael of The Good Place getting hot and heavy with Shelley Long is . . . an adjustment. Likening the experience to “seeing you parents make out,” Carden immediately channeled the younger her, squealing, “Ugh, Ted, stop! Gross!” Now while the 1980s vintage Ted Danson might have been a bit beefier (and, to be honest, more prone to French kiss on screen) than Carden’s been used to on The Good Place, you still have to take a step back when she describes the Cheers gang as “a bunch of sexy adults.” Sammy aside for a moment, who are we talking about here? Cliff? Okay, the young Frasier could get it, sure, and don’t even get started on Lilith. Admittedly, Normie could fill out that corduroy blazer. Anyway, Carden could always go back and rewatch that Good Place episode where—as a treat to viewers of all ages—the present-day Danson channeled his old barkeep guise to offer the troubled Eleanor Shellstrop some Sammy-like sage wisdom. That’s the stuff.

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.

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