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Ted Danson: In Good Cheer

He used to serve them up for many years as Sam Malone in the long-running hit show Cheers.

Wednesday night he played host at the International Best Bartenders Competition, where bartenders mix it up to compete for the title of No. 1 bartender in the world. CBS News This Morning reports.


"I'm the world's worst bartender," says Danson.

"I went to bartender's school before Cheers. I learned how to mix drinks. But I learned very quickly the jokes play better from the waist up."

"They never watched me make my wonderful drinks so I gave up and peeled lemons," he adds.

Danson says he has a "soft spot in his heart for bartenders." But the main reason for his involvement is that the proceeds from his hosting stint will go toward the American Oceans Campaign, an organization he founded.

Bartenders from 18 countries participated. The winner was a woman from Japan.

Contestants competed in three categories: creation and innovation, free style and speed mixing.

"Free style was the funniest. They were blowing gin into flames and exploding things," he says.

But Danson was not allowed to get even close to the "real stuff," he says.

Nevertheless, Danson is not complaining. Careerwise, he is happy portraying Becker in the CBS sitcom.

"I'm very blessed with good writing, once again in my life, and a great group of actors to laugh with every day," he says.

In real life, he just took, along with his family, a unique summer vacation traveling up the Amazon River.

"It's amazing putting yourself in a situation that you have never been in," he says. "I will never look at South America the same again," he says.

A memorable part of the trip was when one of his wife's kids, spotting a soccer ball, wound up starting a game with the local kids, he says.

"It was really great how the two cultures got together and interacted in this soccer game," he adds.

He also visited Machu Picchu. "I don't care what your belief system is; you feel something when you are there."

"You feel the heat and electrical charge when you touch the stones. It's an amazing place. They didn't use mortar and you can't even get a dollar bill between the stones. They also made it earthquake proof," he notes.

He marveled at the piranhas that he got to catch and eat. They tasted like "mean, tough chicken with big teeth, kind of like a dry perch," he says.

Overall, the trip was a mind-altering experience, he says.

"To go there for a couple weeks and have people not give a rat's rear end who I am - it really kind of puts life back into a healthy prospective," he notes.

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