The Good Place Cast on Their 8 Favorite Ted Danson Stories

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Photo: NBC/Colleen Hayes/NBC

Ted Danson is many things: A national treasure. A silver fox. One. Cool. Septuagenarian. So it’s completely unsurprising that his fellow Good Place cast members enjoy chatting about the guy while doing requisite rounds of press for the series, and their stories range from some delightfully silly tales of Danson’s humility to his smooth moves on the dance floor. Without further ado, here are their best stories.

Ted Danson, the therapist

When Jameela Jamil was going through a particularly bad breakup while filming the show, Danson refused to pander to her wobbly emotional state. Instead, he decided to break out some equally depressing tunes in her presence as a means of therapy. “He would randomly come up to me and start singing ‘sad girl. ’Saaaaaaad giiiiirl.’ Singing my worst fears to me to make me realize how overdramatic I was being,” she told Vulture recently. “Whenever he noticed me being over-the-top after a fight with my boyfriend, he knew what my internal monologue was and would sing until I would laugh and cheer up. And it would change my whole day.”

Ted Danson, the gross-out master

Few people could get away with random acts of wasting perfectly good candy — and scaring the hell out of people as a result of a third-act twist involving said candy — but Danson is a notable exception. As Manny Jacinto explained to us:

I remember there was one time he was eating Swedish Fish and all of the sudden he just paused. I don’t know if this was a party trick or if it just came to him on the spot, but he was able to eat the Swedish Fish through his mouth, take a piece of it, and then snort it through his nose like a booger. All of us freaked out. William Jackson Harper ran across the stage. I ran for my life. We just didn’t know what was going on. Witnessing that moment right there was like, “Oh my goodness, if anything, Ted Danson is Jason Mendoza. He’s just the biggest child out of all of us.” I just remember that, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget that moment, Ted Danson taking a booger out of his nose.

Ted Danson, the gentleman

Jamil also told Vulture about a “top-three moment” of her life, which involved herself, Danson, and a lovely Nat King Cole song while filming a Good Place scene in season two. “I’ve never danced with anyone before, ever, and so my first-ever dance was with Ted Danson,” she recounted. “It was essentially Ted Danson teaching me how to dance. I’m quite tall, and no one has ever tried to twirl me around. I’ve occasionally had men rub their genitals on me on a dance floor, because that’s what dancing has become in our generation. So to have someone in a gentlemanly way twirl me around on a dance floor as light as a feather was amazing.”

Jameela Jamil's behind-the-scenes video of dancing with Ted Danson.

Ted Danson, the teddy bear

Kristen Bell, who affectionately refers to Danson as her “teddy bear,” explained how one of her favorite things about him is his insistence on leaving random voice-mails instead of sending text messages. “The other day, less than a week ago, I get a voice-mail — who leaves voice-mails anymore? No one — just Ted saying, ‘Hey, baby doll. Just thinking about you and the girls and Dax, hoping you guys are well. That’s all.’ That was it!” she told E! News. “He just has this sort of old-world charm that is infectious.”

Ted Danson, the delightfully rude acting coach

The Good Place was Jamil’s very first acting role, and as she told GQ, she was lucky enough to have Kristen Bell and Danson as her on-set teachers to guide her through the experience. Danson utilized a particularly, um, unusual technique for making her feel at ease: “He kept pretending to fart on me, just to make me less nervous. And while that was perfectly disgusting, it was also incredibly effective, because how weird, when Ted Danson keeps making fart noises and pointing his bottom at you.”

Ted Danson, the ghost

Danson, unsurprisingly, is the most in-demand conversationalist at any and all Good Place events. But according to D’Arcy Carden, sometimes all he wants to do is give an Irish good-bye when the time comes. “Everybody wants to talk to Ted. He’s the best. He’s cool. He’s hanging. Whatever. He’s drinking his tequila. He does love tequila,” Carden told Nerdist about a recent wrap-party experience. “And then we’re standing next to each other and we’re watching the blooper reel. Everybody’s laughing and I look at him, like, Remember? That was fun! I look back and I’m watching and then I look back again and he’s gone. He just ghosted the party. Isn’t that badass? The rest of the cast is like, We’re so funny! And he’s like, I’m good.

Ted Danson, the comedy spirit guide

William Jackson Harper had sporadic comedy experience before joining The Good Place. As such, Danson was more than happy to teach him the art of the joke and what makes certain things funny. “He spreads out his hand, he points to different places on the palm and says, ‘That’s not funny, that’s not funny, but this is funny.’ He seems so loose, so relaxed, but he’s trying to figure out exactly what thing is funny,” Harper recounted to EW. “If you land near it, it just doesn’t have the same impact. So I’ve started to ask myself that question as I’m working on a scene, spreading out my hand: ‘Is it funny? Is it funny? Is it funny?’”

Ted Danson, the escape-room novice

Although Bell didn’t elaborate any further to Collider, just let this beautiful outing shared between her and Danson sink in for a moment: “I took him to his first escape room and he didn’t know what was going on.”

The Good Place Cast on Their Favorite Ted Danson Stories