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George Wendt

George Wendt

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George Robert Wendt III (born October 17, 1948) is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

An actor is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity...

, best known for the roles of Norm Peterson
Norm Peterson
Hillary Norman "Norm" Peterson is a character on the American television show Cheers, portrayed by George Wendt. Norm's real first name was revealed to be Hillary, named after his grandfather....

 and Tug Clarke on the television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 shows Cheers
Cheers is an American situation comedy television series that ran for 11 seasons from 1982 to 1993. It was produced by Charles/Burrows/Charles Productions, in association with Paramount Network Television for NBC, and was created by the team of James Burrows, Glen Charles, and Les Charles...

and Modern Men
Modern Men
Modern Men is an American situation comedy television series which premiered March 17, 2006, on The WB. The series stars Eric Lively, Josh Braaten, and Max Greenfield as three single men, and lifelong friends, who hire a life coach to help them with their love lives...


Early life

Wendt was born in the Beverly
Beverly, Chicago
Beverly is one of the 77 official community areas of Chicago, Illinois. It is located on the South Side on the southwestern edge of the city. Beverly Hills was built by English engineers as an exclusive streetcar suburb and the homes and large lots reflect this historic distinction...

 neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, the son of Loretta M. (née Howard) and George Robert Wendt, a navy officer and realtor. His maternal grandfather was photographer Tom Howard
Tom Howard (photographer)
Thomas James "Tom" Howard was an American photographer who worked at the Washington bureau of P. & A. Photographs during the 1920s...

. He is of German and Irish descent. He attended Campion High School
Campion High School
Campion Jesuit High School was a Jesuit-run boarding school for boys in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin named for the Jesuit martyr Edmund Campion. The school operated from its founding in 1880 until closing in 1975, and educated several notable figures during its existence. The former school's campus...

 in Prairie du Chien
Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin
Prairie du Chien is a city in and the county seat of Crawford County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 5,911 at the 2010 census. Its Zip Code is 53821....

, Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

. He was expelled from the University of Notre Dame
University of Notre Dame
The University of Notre Dame du Lac is a Catholic research university located in Notre Dame, an unincorporated community north of the city of South Bend, in St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States...

 after a semester with a 0.00 GPA
Grade (education)
Grades are standardized measurements of varying levels of comprehension within a subject area. Grades can be assigned in letters , as a range , as a number out of a possible total , as descriptors , in percentages, or, as is common in some post-secondary...

 and later attended the Jesuit Rockhurst College
Rockhurst University
Rockhurst University is a private, coeducational Jesuit university located in Kansas City, Missouri, founded in 1910 as Rockhurst College. The school adheres to the motto etched into the stone of the campus bell tower: "Learning, Leadership, and Service in the Jesuit Tradition." It is one of 28...

 in Kansas City
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

, where he graduated with a B.A.
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 in economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...



Wendt is a 1975 alumnus of The Second City
The Second City
The Second City is a improvisational comedy enterprise which originated in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood.The Second City Theatre opened on December 16, 1959 and has since expanded its presence to several other cities, including Toronto and Los Angeles...

, which he discovered shortly after college. A viewing had inspired him to join and on his first day of employment, he showed up promptly at 11:30AM as he was instructed. The woman working there handed him a broom and said "Welcome to the theater, kid"; thus, his first job in show business was sweeping the floors. Second City was also where he met his future wife, Bernadette Birkett, who played Cliff's Halloween date in the third season of Cheers and later in the series played the voice of Norm's never-seen
Unseen character
In fiction, an unseen character is a character that is never directly observed by the audience but is only described by other characters. They are a common device in drama and have been called "triumphs of theatrical invention". They are continuing characters — characters who are currently in...

 wife, Vera.

George Wendt appeared in the 1980 movie My Bodyguard
My Bodyguard
My Bodyguard is a 1980 comedy-drama film released by 20th Century Fox, directed by Tony Bill , and written by Alan Ormsby...

. He played a handyman working behind the check-in counter at the Ambassador East Hotel in Chicago (now the Omni Ambassador East).

In 1981 George appeared on an episode of the TV series Taxi
Taxi (TV series)
Taxi was an American sitcom that originally aired from 1978 to 1982 on ABC and from 1982 to 1983 on NBC. The series, which won 18 Emmy Awards, including three for "Outstanding Comedy Series", focuses on the everyday lives of a handful of New York City taxi drivers and their abusive dispatcher...

as an exterminator.

Wendt starred as Private Mosconi in a 1982 episode of M*A*S*H, where he suffered from having a pool ball stuck in his mouth for much of the episode.

George Wendt first appeared on the NBC sketch show Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live is a live American late-night television sketch comedy and variety show developed by Lorne Michaels and Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title of NBC's Saturday Night.The show's sketches often parody contemporary American culture...

in a Season 11 (1985–1986) episode where he shared hosting duties with director Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. He is widely acclaimed as one of Hollywood's most innovative and influential film directors...

. In 1988 he played the part of "Witten" in the New Zealand-made movie, "Never Say Die". In the early 1990s, Wendt made cameo appearance
Cameo appearance
A cameo role or cameo appearance is a brief appearance of a known person in a work of the performing arts, such as plays, films, video games and television...

s on several episodes of SNL as Bob Swerski, one of the Chicago Superfans
Bill Swerski's Superfans
Bill Swerski's Superfans was a recurring sketch about Chicago sports fans on the American sketch comedy program Saturday Night Live. It was a prominent feature from 1991–1992, and its characters have made various other appearances since its inception....

 (along with castmembers Chris Farley
Chris Farley
Christopher Crosby "Chris" Farley was an American comedian and actor. Farley was a member of Chicago's Second City Theatre and cast member of the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live from 1990 to 1995....

, Mike Myers
Mike Myers (actor)
Michael John "Mike" Myers is a Canadian actor, comedian, screenwriter, and film producer of British parentage...

, Robert Smigel
Robert Smigel
Robert Smigel is an American actor, humorist, comedian and writer known for his Saturday Night Live "TV Funhouse" cartoon shorts and as the puppeteer and voice behind Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog.-Early life:...

, and one-time host, Joe Mantegna
Joe Mantegna
Joseph Anthony "Joe" Mantegna, Jr. is an American actor, producer, writer,director, and voice actor. He is best known for his roles in box office hits such as Three Amigos , The Godfather Part III , Forget Paris , and Up Close & Personal...

). Also, Wendt is the uncle of current SNL writer and cast member Jason Sudeikis
Jason Sudeikis
Daniel Jason Sudeikis is an American actor and comedian currently starring as a cast member on Saturday Night Live.-Early life:Sudeikis was born Daniel Jason Sudeikis in Fairfax, Virginia, the son of Kathryn , a travel agent who was president of the American Society of Travel Agents, and Dan...


In 1989, Wendt appeared as the eponymous protagonist in a BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 TV dramatization of Ivan Goncharov
Ivan Goncharov
Ivan Alexandrovich Goncharov was a Russian novelist best known as the author of Oblomov .- Biography :Ivan Goncharov was born in Simbirsk ; his father was a wealthy grain merchant and respected official who was elected mayor of Simbirsk several times...

's novel Oblomov
Oblomov is the best known novel by Russian writer Ivan Goncharov, first published in 1859. Oblomov is also the central character of the novel, often seen as the ultimate incarnation of the superfluous man, a symbolic character in 19th-century Russian literature...

. He has also appeared twice on the original British edition of Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Whose Line Is It Anyway? is a short-form improvisational comedy TV show. Originally a British radio programme, it moved to television in 1988 as a series made for the UK's Channel 4, for a 10 series run...


In 1991, Wendt played the father in Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
Michael Joseph Jackson was an American recording artist, entertainer, and businessman. Referred to as the King of Pop, or by his initials MJ, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records...

's music video, Black or White. In 1994 he appeared in the movie Man Of The House
Man of the House (1995 film)
Man of the House is a 1995 comedy film starring Chevy Chase, Farrah Fawcett and Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Marking Thomas' motion picture debut, this Disney comedy is about a boy who must come to terms with his potential stepfather , a well-meaning lawyer who is unknowingly the subject of a manhunt...

as Chet Bronski, the stepfather of Norman (Zachary Browne
Zachary Browne
Zachary Browne is an American television and film actor.Browne has had guest roles on ER, 7th Heaven, and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, among other shows. He was also on 7th Heaven as Stan in 1997. He auditioned for the role of Marty Preston in Shiloh and the director was very impressed with Zachary...

), and played on this stage with Chevy Chase
Chevy Chase
Cornelius Crane "Chevy" Chase is an American comedian, writer, and television and film actor, born into a prominent entertainment industry family. Chase worked a plethora of odd jobs before moving into comedy acting with National Lampoon...

, Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Jonathan Taylor Thomas is an American actor, voice actor, former child star, and teen idol...

 and Farrah Fawcett
Farrah Fawcett
Farrah Fawcett was an American actress and artist. A multiple Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee, Fawcett rose to international fame when she first appeared as private investigator Jill Munroe in the first season of the television series Charlie's Angels, in 1976...

. He also played the role of "Old Man Dunphy's" closeted homosexual friend Joey in the 1999 film, Outside Providence
Outside Providence (film)
Outside Providence is a 1999 American film adaptation of Peter Farrelly's 1988 novel of the same name. Like the book, the film is a fictionalized account of Farrelly's own experiences at Kent School, a prep school in Kent, Connecticut.-Plot:...


Following his success on Cheers, Wendt starred in the short-lived The George Wendt Show
The George Wendt Show
The George Wendt Show is an American television sitcom that aired on on CBS from March 8, to April 12, 1995. Based on the radio show Car Talk, the series was a star vehicle for George Wendt after co-starring in the NBC sitcom Cheers throughout its run...

, which featured him as a garage mechanic with a radio show, based on the NPR radio show Car Talk
Car Talk
Car Talk is a radio talk show broadcast weekly on National Public Radio stations throughout the United States and elsewhere. Its subjects are automobiles and repair, and it often takes humorous turns...

. The George Wendt Show aired from March through April, 1995.

Wendt has since appeared as himself on Seinfeld
Seinfeld is an American television sitcom that originally aired on NBC from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998, lasting nine seasons, and is now in syndication. It was created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the latter starring as a fictionalized version of himself...

and has reprised the character Norm Peterson on the The Simpsons
The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

episode "Fear of Flying", two episodes of Family Guy
Family Guy
Family Guy is an American animated television series created by Seth MacFarlane for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series centers on the Griffins, a dysfunctional family consisting of parents Peter and Lois; their children Meg, Chris, and Stewie; and their anthropomorphic pet dog Brian...

"Road to Rupert" and "Three Kings" as well as the Frasier
Frasier is an American sitcom that was broadcast on NBC for eleven seasons, from September 16, 1993, to May 13, 2004. The program was created and produced by David Angell, Peter Casey, and David Lee in association with Grammnet and Paramount Network Television.A spin-off of Cheers, Frasier stars...

episode "Cheerful Goodbyes". In 2003, Wendt appeared as a celebrity fisherman in the music video for Corba Verde
Cobra Verde (band)
Cobra Verde is a Cleveland, Ohio-based rock band best known for:* Being Robert Pollard's backing band for Guided by Voices from 1996 to late 1997.* Appearing in The OC as a Foreigner cover band in 2006....

's "Riot Industry" along with Rudy Ray Moore
Rudy Ray Moore
Rudy Ray Moore was an American comedian, musician, singer, film actor, and film producer. He was perhaps best known as Dolemite , the uniquely articulate pimp from the 1975 film Dolemite, and its sequel, The Human Tornado...

 (of "Dolemite" fame) and The Minutemen
Minutemen (band)
Minutemen were an American hardcore punk band formed in San Pedro, California in 1980. Composed of guitarist D. Boon, bassist Mike Watt and drummer George Hurley, Minutemen recorded four albums and eight EPs before Boon's death in an automobile accident in December 1985...

's Mike Watt
Mike Watt
Michael David Watt is an American bassist, singer and songwriter.He is best known for co-founding the rock bands Minutemen, dos, and Firehose; , he is also the bassist for the reunited Stooges and a member of the art rock/jazz/punk/improv group Banyan as well as many other post-Minutemen...

. He appeared in several episodes of The WB's Sabrina, The Teenage Witch
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (TV series)
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch is an American sitcom based on the Archie comic book series of the same name.The show stars Melissa Joan Hart as Sabrina Spellman, a teenager with magical powers, who lives with her aunts Hilda and Zelda , and their magical talking cat Salem...

in 2001 as the title character's boss. He also was the host of the A&E
A&E Network
The A&E Network is a United States-based cable and satellite television network with headquarters in New York City and offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, London, Los Angeles and Stamford. A&E also airs in Canada and Latin America. Initially named the Arts & Entertainment Network, A&E launched...

 reality show
Reality television
Reality television is a genre of television programming that presents purportedly unscripted dramatic or humorous situations, documents actual events, and usually features ordinary people instead of professional actors, sometimes in a contest or other situation where a prize is awarded...

, House of Dreams in 2004. In January 2006, Wendt was seen again on television screens as part of the cast of Modern Men
Modern Men
Modern Men is an American situation comedy television series which premiered March 17, 2006, on The WB. The series stars Eric Lively, Josh Braaten, and Max Greenfield as three single men, and lifelong friends, who hire a life coach to help them with their love lives...


He has also appeared on The Larry Sanders Show
The Larry Sanders Show
The Larry Sanders Show is a satirical television sitcom that aired from August 1992 to May 1998 on the HBO cable television network in the United States. It starred stand-up comedian Garry Shandling as vain, neurotic talk show host Larry Sanders, and centered on the running of his TV show, and the...

as a guest on the show. In May 2006, Wendt was seen yet again on television. He made several appearances on Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Late Night with Conan O'Brien is an American late-night talk show hosted by Conan O'Brien that aired 2,725 episodes on NBC between 1993 and 2009. The show featured varied comedic material, celebrity interviews, and musical and comedy performances. Late Night aired weeknights at 12:37 am...

where he performed short skits. His appearance on Late Night was in all likelihood because the show was having a week long event in his home town of Chicago. He starred in a 2006 episode of Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror is an informal social group of international film writers and directors specializing in horror movies and an American television series created by director Mick Garris for the Showtime cable network.- Origin :...

entitled "Family
Family (Masters of Horror episode)
Family is the second episode of the second season of Masters of Horror. It originally aired in North America on November 3, 2006. The DVD was released on April 17, 2007...

", directed by John Landis
John Landis
John David Landis is an American film director, screenwriter, actor, and producer. He is known for his comedies, his horror films, and his music videos with singer Michael Jackson.-Early life and career:...

 and played Santa Claus in the ABC Family original movie Santa Baby
Santa Baby (film)
Santa Baby is an ABC Family Original Movie. It premiered on December 10, 2006 on ABC Family as part of their annual 25 Days of Christmas event. The film stars Jenny McCarthy, Ivan Sergei, and George Wendt and was filmed in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It was directed by Ron Underwood.-Synopsis:Mary is...

. Wendt performed alongside Richard Thomas
Richard Thomas (actor)
Richard Earl Thomas is an American actor, best known for his role as budding author John-Boy Walton in the CBS drama The Waltons.- Early life :Thomas was born Richard Earl Thomas in New York,...

 in Twelve Angry Men
12 Angry Men (play)
Twelve Angry Men is a play by Reginald Rose adapted from his 1954 teleplay of the same title for the CBS Studio One anthology television series...

in October 2006 in the Eisenhower Theatre in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

. After the show opened, Wendt was interviewed by local movie critic
Film criticism
Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of films, individually and collectively. In general, this can be divided into journalistic criticism that appears regularly in newspapers, and other popular, mass-media outlets and academic criticism by film scholars that is informed by film theory and...

 Arch Campbell for a piece on the NBC Washington affiliate WRC
WRC-TV, channel 4, is an owned and operated television station of the NBC television network, located in the American capital city of Washington, D.C...

. Wendt was asked, "What should people do when they see you around town?" After hesitating for a moment, Wendt held his thumbs up and replied, "If their impulse is to buy me a beer, then by all means, follow that impulse." In Spring 2007, Wendt performed in 12 Angry Men in Los Angeles. Wendt appeared as an American GI in the 2007 Christmas Special episode of British sitcom The Green Green Grass
The Green Green Grass
The Green Green Grass is a British sitcom, created and initially written by John Sullivan, produced by Shazam Productions for the BBC. It is a spin-off of the long running sitcom Only Fools and Horses and stars John Challis, Sue Holderness and Jack Doolan...


George starred in the Broadway play Hairspray
Hairspray (musical)
Hairspray is a musical with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman and a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, based on the 1988 John Waters film Hairspray. The songs include 1960s-style dance music and "downtown" rhythm and blues...

as the character of Edna Turnblad until November 2008. He appeared with his former Cheers
Cheers is an American situation comedy television series that ran for 11 seasons from 1982 to 1993. It was produced by Charles/Burrows/Charles Productions, in association with Paramount Network Television for NBC, and was created by the team of James Burrows, Glen Charles, and Les Charles...

co-star John Ratzenberger
John Ratzenberger
John Deszo Ratzenberger is an American actor, voice actor, and entrepreneur. He is best known for his role as Cliff Clavin in Cheers.-Early life:...

as a talent scout on Last Comic Standing
Last Comic Standing
Last Comic Standing is an American reality television talent show that has aired from 2003 through 2010.The goal of the program is to select a comedian from a group, who will receive a development contract with the NBC network, and a television special first to air on the cable-TV network Comedy...

during Season 6. He briefly appeared as Santa Claus
Santa Claus
Santa Claus is a folklore figure in various cultures who distributes gifts to children, normally on Christmas Eve. Each name is a variation of Saint Nicholas, but refers to Santa Claus...

 in A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!
A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!
A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! is a Grammy Award-winning Christmas special that debuted on Comedy Central on November 23, 2008....

. He also appeared in the 2008 horror film
Horror film
Horror films seek to elicit a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audience's most primal fears. They often feature scenes that startle the viewer through the means of macabre and the supernatural, thus frequently overlapping with the fantasy and science fiction genres...

 Bryan Loves You
Bryan Loves You
Bryan Loves You is a 2008 horror film directed by Seth Landau, and revolves around the true story of the Cult of the Bryans who took over a small Arizona town in 1993. It had an estimated budget of $1,000,000.00.-Plot:...

directed by Seth Landau
Seth Landau
Seth Landau is an actor/writer/director and former newspaper reporter for The Arizona Republic and New Times. Landau is known for two independent films, Take Out and "A.P.U.: Art, Pot and Underwear". The latter was termed by Film Threat as "a look at Hollywood you're not likely to find anywhere...


On October 1, 2009, Wendt appeared on the The Colbert Report the day before the IOC announced which city will host the 2016 Summer Olympics
2016 Summer Olympics
The 2016 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, are a major international multi-sport event to be celebrated in the tradition of the Olympic Games, as governed by the International Olympic Committee...

. In their way of supporting Chicago's bid for the games, Wendt and Stephen Colbert
Stephen Colbert
Stephen Tyrone Colbert is an American political satirist, writer, comedian, television host, and actor. He is the host of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, a satirical news show in which Colbert portrays a caricatured version of conservative political pundits.Colbert originally studied to be an...

 humorously insulted the three other bidding cities, Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

, Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, and Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

, all while drinking Chicago's favorite Old Style beer.

In 2009, Wendt starred as Santa Claus in Santa Buddies and also had a small roll in the film Opposite Day.

Wendt appeared in a production of Hairspray
Hairspray (musical)
Hairspray is a musical with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman and a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, based on the 1988 John Waters film Hairspray. The songs include 1960s-style dance music and "downtown" rhythm and blues...

as Edna Turnblad at the Charlottetown Festival
Charlottetown Festival
The Charlottetown Festival is a seasonal Canadian musical theatre festival which runs from late May to mid-October every year since 1965.Named after its host city, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, since its inception the festival has showcased Canada's most popular and longest-running musical,...

 in Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province consisting of an island of the same name, as well as other islands. The maritime province is the smallest in the nation in both land area and population...

, Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, which took place between September 8 and October 9, 2010.

George played Santa in Elf the Musical
Elf the Musical
Elf the Musical is a musical with a score by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin. The book is adapted by Bob Martin and Thomas Meehan from the 2003 Jon Favreau-directed film Elf.-Synopsis:...

on Broadway. The show opened November 14, 2010 and ran through January 2, 2011.

Wendt will star once again in a production of Hairspray
Hairspray (musical)
Hairspray is a musical with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman and a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, based on the 1988 John Waters film Hairspray. The songs include 1960s-style dance music and "downtown" rhythm and blues...

as Edna Turnbladt at Rainbow Stage
Rainbow Stage
Rainbow Stage is Canada's longest-surviving outdoor theatre, located in the natural setting of Kildonan Park in north Winnipeg, Manitoba.-History:It opened 7 July 1954 presenting operettas and musicals using local performers...

 in Winnipeg
Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada, and is the primary municipality of the Winnipeg Capital Region, with more than half of Manitoba's population. It is located near the longitudinal centre of North America, at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers .The name...

, Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 from August 2, 2011 to August 21, 2011.

Wendt also guest starred in the TV series Hot In Cleveland
Hot in Cleveland
Hot in Cleveland is an American sitcom on TV Land starring Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White. The series, which is TV Land's first original scripted series, premiered on June 16, 2010, and was TV Land's highest rated telecast in the cable network's 14-year history. The...

as Yoder, based on his character Norm in Cheers. His first of two scenes took place in an Amish bar, where everyone in the bar yelled "Yoder!," referencing what the cast of Cheers would yell whenever he walked in.

Wendt is among the thespians who participated in a poster campaign touting live theatre in Chicago. Other celebrities included John Mahoney
John Mahoney
John Mahoney is a British born American actor, known for playing Martin "Marty" Crane, the retired police officer, father of Kelsey Grammer's Dr...

, John Malkovich
John Malkovich
John Gavin Malkovich is an American actor, producer, director and fashion designer with his label Technobohemian. Over the last 25 years of his career, Malkovich has appeared in more than 70 motion pictures. For his roles in Places in the Heart and In the Line of Fire, he received Academy Award...

, Terry Kinney
Terry Kinney
Terry Kinney is an American actor and theatre director, and is a founding member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, with Gary Sinise and Jeff Perry.-Early life:...

 and Martha Plimpton
Martha Plimpton
Martha Campbell Plimpton is an American actress and singer and former model. Plimpton is a screen, stage and television actress. She first appeared as Jonsy in the feature film River Rats before rising to prominence in the Richard Donner film The Goonies portraying the character Stef...


Pop culture references

Wendt is mentioned in an episode
An episode is a part of a dramatic work such as a serial television or radio program. An episode is a part of a sequence of a body of work, akin to a chapter of a book. The term sometimes applies to works based on other forms of mass media as well, as in Star Wars...

 of the animated television series Animaniacs
Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs, usually referred to as simply Animaniacs, is an American animated series, distributed by Warner Bros. Television and produced by Amblin Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. The cartoon was the second animated series produced by the collaboration of Steven...

by survey
A questionnaire is a research instrument consisting of a series of questions and other prompts for the purpose of gathering information from respondents. Although they are often designed for statistical analysis of the responses, this is not always the case...

 takers who are bothering the Warner siblings Yakko, Wakko, and Dot
Yakko, Wakko, and Dot
Yakko, Wakko and Dot Warner, also known as "The Warner Brothers " or "The Warner Siblings", or just simply "The Warners", are the three titular cartoon characters featured on the animated series Animaniacs. The trio of red-nosed Warner siblings were considered to be the stars of the ensemble of...

 while they are in a shopping mall
Shopping mall
A shopping mall, shopping centre, shopping arcade, shopping precinct or simply mall is one or more buildings forming a complex of shops representing merchandisers, with interconnecting walkways enabling visitors to easily walk from unit to unit, along with a parking area — a modern, indoor version...

. The survey takers go through just about every variation of a question concerning Wendt, beans and movies before the Warners are able to get rid of them.

External links