15 Trivia Tidbits About ‘Frasier’
TV comedies don’t get much better than Frasier, the acclaimed Cheers spin-off that found Dr. Frasier Crane moving to Seattle, bonding with his cantankerous father, squabbling with his overly-fussy brother and drinking enough sherry to drown a small army. To celebrate this great show (before it potentially gets completely ruined via a reboot), we’ve rounded up some tossed facts and scrambled trivia for your enjoyment, starting with how…
It Was Nearly About a Paralyzed Media Mogul
Kelsey Grammer’s first post-Cheers project was initially pitched as a story about a Malcolm Forbes-like “rich guy” who gets paralyzed in a motorcycle accident but eventually forms a bond with his live-in physical therapist (a Rosie Perez type). Paramount reportedly “hated” the idea and convinced Grammer to just make a Cheers spin-off instead.
Lisa Kudrow Played Roz for Just Three Days
Frasier’s producer Roz was originally played by a pre-Friends Kudrow, who was fired three days into filming the pilot because she wasn’t director James Burrows’ “cup of tea.” The role instead went to Peri Gilpin.
The Setting Was Shifted to Seattle in Protest of Colorado’s Anti-LGBTQ Laws
Frasier was originally going to be set in Denver until Colorado voters approved an anti-LGBTQ amendment that earned them the nickname the “Hate State.” In response, the show’s creators changed the setting to Seattle instead.
None of the Creators Noticed a Major Plot Hole
While developing the show, which focused mainly on Frasier’s relationship with his estranged cop dad, somehow nobody remembered that he had once mentioned on Cheers that his father was dead. So the writers tried to square this canonical circle in the second season when Ted Danson guest-starred as Sam Malone.
Grammer Genuinely Resented the Dog
Frasier’s antipathy toward Eddie the dog wasn’t totally an act; Grammer devoted a chunk of his autobiography to letting everyone know that Moose, the Jack Russell terrier who played Eddie, simply did tricks and was not a proper actor like him. After all, could Moose have so skillfully portrayed Darius Grouch the Third in Money Plane?
Cast Members Appeared as Different Characters in ‘Cheers’
Before taking the role of Roz, Gilpin was in the final season of Cheers, as was John Mahoney — and Frasier never bothered to explain why exactly Martin Crane had a piano-playing doppelganger in Boston.
Frasier’s Apartment Is ‘Scientifically Impossible’
The view from Frasier’s Condo is “north of downtown Seattle looking south,” but there aren’t any high-rises north of the Space Needle, “just one very massive hill.” Designer Roy Christopher admitted that they created the set’s backdrop by sending a camera crew up a “craggy cliff.”
Café Nervosa’s Name Is a Joke
Niles and Frasier’s favorite peddler of caffeine, Café Nervosa, is so named because “Nervosa” is an “Italian and Latin adjective, meaning ‘nervous.’”
There’s an Official ‘Frasier’ Cookbook
In 1996, Frasier-mania extended to the creation of Cafe Nervosa: The Connoisseur’s Cookbook, featuring recipes such as Frasier’s Baked Fudge and Bulldog’s Big BLT Croissants.
‘Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs’ Is Supposed to Be a Reference to Frasier’s Patients
The theme song’s lyrics about “tossed salad and scrambled eggs” are confusing. According to composer Bruce Miller, it’s because these ingredients are “mixed up… like Frasier Crane’s patients.”
The Theme Song Was Originally Written for Mel Torme
Miller wrote the song with Torme in mind, who “would have been perfect.” But the producers insisted on letting Grammer sing it.
The Cast Staged an Intervention for Grammer
After he totaled his car while under the influence of drugs, in 1996, the Frasier cast went over to Grammer’s house and staged an intervention, convincing him to go to rehab. “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” said Mahoney.
We Were Going to See Maris, But She Became ‘Uncastable’
We famously never see Niles’ wife, Maris, throughout the run of the series, but that wasn’t always the plan. Originally, Maris’ absence was a meta-nod to Norm’s unseen wife on Cheers. But when it came time to actually introduce Maris, she had been the subject of so many peculiar descriptives that, according to co-creator David Lee, “she was uncastable.”
Niles and Daphne’s Son Is Named After Producer David Angell, Who Died on 9/11
In the show’s finale, “Goodnight, Seattle,” Daphne gives birth to her baby with Niles, whom they name David. This was done as a tribute to producer and co-creator David Angell, who died on 9/11.
Niles Became a Slapstick Character Thanks to a 7-Year-Old
Some of Niles’ best moments on the series showcase David Hyde Pierce’s knack for slapstick comedy. This only came about because co-creator Peter Casey’s 7-year-old son “suggested during the first season that it would be funny to see Niles bang his head on something.” So the writers (who were apparently cool taking their cues from a first-grader) wrote a scene in which Niles hits his head on the stove hood. Pierce did such a great job; the writers kept giving him more physical comedy to perform.
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