The Ghost of John Mahoney Loves the ‘Frasier’ Reboot
Following beloved actor John Mahoney’s passing away in 2018, Kelsey Grammer paid homage to his on-screen father by putting his name on the bar-that’s-not-Cheers in which much of the Frasier reboot is set. Now Grammer’s telling us that Mahoney’s Taproom is haunted.
We’ve come to realize that Grammer himself doesn’t quite have the temperament or sensibilities of the astoundingly sensible if not tragically horny radio psychiatrist whom he is best known for playing. Frasier Crane’s clinically practical approach to his personal and professional life is at odds with Grammer’s own “holistic” methods – like when he said that the goal of his TV career has been to “elevate the human experience” as guided by his deeply held religious convictions. Those beliefs, apparently, include a trust in psychics and mediums who, Grammer claims, have conjured an unusual positive review to bolster the Frasier reboot’s lackluster Rotten Tomatoes score.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Grammer claimed that the Frasier reboot he helmed with little help from the rest of the original creative team is supported by the spirit of Mahoney – quite literally. Grammer says that he has “airy fairy friends” who have communed with Mahoney from beyond the grave and say that the late Martin Crane has been enjoying the new series thus far. I guess Paramount+ hasn’t yet cracked down on post-mortem password sharing.
“He's a little mellower,” Grammer said of the current iteration of Frasier Crane, whose many character changes have been noted by displeased Frasier fundamentalists. “He's a little less goofy about some things. He has certain knowledge now. He's now his dad. He's put on the role of his father and that's new to him, but I think he's ready for it.”
Grammer segued this comment to discuss his late co-star, saying, “As an homage to John Mahoney and to the role of Martin, we wanted to really include the fact that Frasier was now an orphan. That's what it comes down to. And now he's the guy that needs to live up to the role his dad showed him.” Grammer added, “It's a nice vibration, and it's lovely to have John kind of around in our subtext all the time.”
That subtext, says Grammer, has sometimes turned supernaturally explicit. Grammer continued, “I have a lot of pretty airy fairy friends, and a lot of them are mediums or spiritualists or whatever. And I was talking to one of them who said, ‘Oh, by the way, John is very happy about this show.’ I said, ‘Well, I'm glad to hear that.’”
Grammer's unusual claim that his deceased colleague supports his criticized decision to revive their shared work without the help of many of the other artists who made Frasier a hit in the first place may seem ghoulish and a little exploitative, but, given Grammer's distinctly spiritual proclivities, I don't doubt that, if a necromancer really did tell Grammer that Mahoney's watching his show with joy in his soul, it was a true comfort to the comedy giant. Let's just hope we don't hear anything from an undertaker claiming to hear a rolling sound from Mahoney's resting place.