Trivia / Frasier

  • Actor Allusion:
    • Niles mentions filling Frasier's floppy red shoes which could be a reference to his character Sideshow Bob. Guess who voices Bob's brother in several episodes? Yep — it's a mirrored Actor Allusion. This could also be an allusion to an episode of Cheers where Frasier suited up as a clown to entertain for a kid's birthday party Rebecca was in charge of putting together.
    • The first episode to feature "Sideshow" Cecil Terwilliger was aptly named "Brother From Another Series". In one bit, Bart has covered Cecil's eyes to surprise him, and pulls the standard "Guess who?" gag, to which Cecil replies, "Maris?" The Simpsons blandly lampshades this with a Frasier-esque title card reading "Frasier is a Hit Show on the NBC Network." Taken even further in "Funeral for a Fiend", which introduces Bob and Cecil's father Robert, played by...John Mahoney.
    • Dr. Nora's mother is played by Piper Laurie, aka Carrie's mother.
      Mrs. Mulherne: YOU LITTLE WHORE!
    • Season 7's "A Tsar Is Born" has some plot familiarity: it features a Romanov artifact stolen by the help.
  • Actor-Shared Background:
    • One episode Daphne mentioned that as a child she dreamed of being a ballerina. Jane Leeves pursed acting after an ankle injury ended her career as a ballerina.
    • Niles is a graduate of Yale University, as is his actor David Hyde Pierce.
    • Averted by Martin Crane actor John Mahoney. The character is an everyman who loves beer and sports, while Mahoney is a wine connoisseur who enjoys the opera (and introduced David Hyde Pierce — who previously had only a passing interest in either — to both).
    • It's also notably inverted by Bulldog's actor. The notorious womanizer is played by Dan Butler, who is openly gay.
  • Banned Episode: "Dr. Nora" was pulled from syndication packages after the real Dr. Laura Schlessinger complained. Ironically, it wasn't herself being parodied that Schlessinger took issue with - rather, it was the show taking on her mother, who she viewed as being off-limits due to not being a public figure. The episode has since reappeared on cable and on Netflix.
  • Casting Gag:
    • Notorious chauvinist "Bulldog" Briscoe played by real-life openly gay activist Dan Butler.
    • Daphne's family and its multitude of inconsistent British Accents. Particularly on the part of the Australian Anthony LaPaglia playing Simon, who loves Mel Gibson and who Frasier once refers to as a "boomerang."
    • In one episode Frasier and Niles try to help a former Shakespearian actor Jackson Hedley revive his theatrical career by producing him in a one man version of Hamlet, but they realize to their horror that he's actually a terrible actor, who does a laughably overwrought performance of the play... and might have been just as terrible even when they thought he was good. The gag is that Hedley is played by Derek Jacobi, an acclaimed Shakespearian actor, whose previous roles include Hamlet in The BBC's Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare series.
    • In the penultimate episode, "Crock Tales", Rosie Perez guest stars as Lizbeth. Perez was originally going to be Martin's physical therapist and housekeeper instead of Jane Leeves.
  • The Cast Showoff: David Hyde Pierce studied classical piano before switching to acting when he decided he didn't have the dedication for endless hours' practice every day. As such, whenever Niles is heard playing the piano, that really is Pierce we hear playing.note 
  • Directed by Cast Member: Kelsey Grammer and Dan Butler both directed episodes. Grammer in particular became one of the series' main directors, helming thirty-seven episodes, many of them consecutively. He began in Season 3 with the famous "Moon Dance" (which focused on Niles and Daphne more to give him more time behind the camera) and directed with increasing frequency over the course of the rest of the series.
  • Edited for Syndication: The Hallmark Channel routinely speeds up the end credits, resulting in the little skits looking like Charlie Chaplin shorts, with Kelsey Grammer lucky if he manages to get up to the line "Scrambled eggs all over my face" by the time the Grub Street logo appears. Additionally, they cut words like 'ass' abruptly, sometimes giving the effect of the audience laughing at a joke without the punchline. They also remove the episode centred around Martin's unwitting marijuana consumption from their rotation.
  • Executive Meddling: Roz became pregnant because NBC executives wanted her promiscuity to have consequences.
  • Fake American: John Mahoney was born and raised in Blackpool, Britain. He became a US citizen in 1959, but sometimes his old accent pops up.
  • Fake Brit:
    • Daphne's least favorite brother, Simon (played by Australian Anthony LaPaglia) has a terribly unconvincing accent. Mostly played for laughs, though. See also any guest actor (not-British) playing Daphne's random boyfriends in earlier seasons.
    • Jane Leeves is British but cannot do a Manchester accent for toffee. God help the woman if she ever needed directions to the Trafford Centre. Word of God is that they wanted Daphne's accent to be working class and understandable to Americans so Jane Leeves adopted that particular accent.
    • Gil Chesterton is played by an American-born English actor and displays many symptoms of I Am Very British. In one of the first episodes, Frasier comments on his "phony accent."
  • Follow the Leader: The show takes many of its visual cues and dialog from Hannah and Her Sisters.
  • Functional Addict: Kelsey Grammer's personal problems became such a problem that the cast and crew staged multiple interventions and even wrote Day in the Limelight scripts for other characters so that he could get treatment. Despite it all, behind-the-scenes reports say that while Grammer would spent most of the time in a haze, he'd snap into character and perform with full energy before shutting down once the cameras cut.
  • Harpo Does Something Funny: Kelsey Grammer didn't memorize his lines or rehearse with the cast, coming in on filming days and ad-libbing his lines to fit the gist of the storyline. He said that after playing Frasier for so long, he knew how the character would act and react better than anyone else.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Frederick Crane was played by two different child actors on this show (not counting the twins who took turns playing him on Cheers.
    • Frasier's first wife, Nanny G, was played by Laurie Metcalf in an episode of this show after having been played by Emma Thompson in a Cheers episode. Also, Frasier's hallucination of a younger Nanny G was played by Dina Waters in "Don Juan in Hell."
    • Moose (the dog who played Eddie) was replaced in the final four seasons by his son Enzo, who first appeared as his stunt double. Yes, the dog had a stunt double. This resulted in a Flashback with the Other Darrin in "Crock Tales".
  • Playing Gertrude: John Mahoney is only 14 years older than Kelsey Grammer.
  • Real-Life Relative: Kelsey Grammer's then-wife Camille (whom Kelsey divorced in February 2011) makes a cameo as a partygoer dressed as Eve in "Halloween". Frasier hits on her, but she leaves with another man... dressed as Satan no less.
  • Reality Subtext:
    • Kelsey Grammer has said that his favourite episode was "The Show Where Diane Comes Back" (the plot of which was Diane Chambers of Cheers and Frasier Crane's eventual reconciliation), because it gave him the opportunity to finally reconcile with Shelley Long, the actress who portrayed Diane.
    • Frasier runs into his first wife, Nanny G, in an episode from 2004. Note that Kelsey Grammer's first appearance as Frasier Crane was in the third series premiere of Cheers from 1984:
      Frasier: You have a wonderful career.
      Nanny G: But nothing ever changes! Do you have any idea what it's like to play the same character for twenty years?
    • Humor heightened by the fact that Nanny G had appeared three times, once on Cheers, twice on this show, each time played by a different actress.
    • The episode with Sir Derek Jacobi, who essentially plays Patrick Stewart playing Data doing William Shakespeare. Frasier is upset over the man he idolized being a Classically Trained Extra (which Jacobi actually is, and he won a Guest Actor Emmy for the episode), but it turns out he really is a terrible actor. And to top that off, take into account Kelsey Grammar's guest stint on TNG. And now that Jacobi himself has played The Master... let's just say this episode lives on Reality Subtext.
    • Niles and Daphne have a son named David in the series finale, named after producer David Angell who died in the 9/11 attacks.
    • Diane Chambers twice in dream sequences, once in a season 3 makeup episode. Shelley Long and Kelsey Grammer had an on-set rivalry on Cheers, but they made up in the course of filming the episode.
    • In "Head Game", Niles becomes the shrink to a famous basketball player. This was interesting as the plot was meant for Frasier, but as Kelsey Grammer was being treated for his alcoholism he was unable to fulfill the role.
    • Jane Leeves became pregnant during the show's run, and while they were able to write around it for a while by giving Daphne an eating disorder, it came time to where she was going to have to take leave to have the child. At that point, she was temporarily written out of the show by having her go to a weight-loss clinic. During this period, at one point Roz asks Niles how Daphne's doing, to which he replies that she's making progress — she'd lost 9 lb, 12 oz — the weight of Leeves' real life newborn baby. (By the by, the child's godmother is Peri Gilpin, who played Roz on the show.)
  • Reclusive Artist: One episode centres around Martin befriending an acclaimed One-Book Author, and his sons trying vainly to get on the man's good side (and of course, making him hate them more with every attempt). When he and Martin go to Duke's, Frasier remarks, "They'll probably bump into J. D. Salinger and Salman Rushdie and go out for margaritas!" Ultimately, they unintentionally convince him his new book is derivative and he destroys it.
  • Recycled Set: Using Frasier's apartment to represent the apartment of his new boss Todd Peterson (Alan Tudyk), whom he Mentors in the matters of style and sophistication during "The Great Crane Robbery". Lampshaded, as Frasier is irritated that the guy just copied his own decor down to the last detail.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Many early one-off cast actors went on to bigger roles. Lisa Edelstein (Dr. Lisa Cuddy in House) plays a love interest of the week in Season 5. Erika Christensen appears as a teen in the cafe in Season 6. Other examples include John C. McGinley who appeared as a plumber that turned out to be a former bully, and Alan Tudyk as one of Frasier's neighbors. A very young Zooey Deschanel plays Roz' cousin in Season 10.
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting: The character of Niles was created after producers noticed David Hyde Pierce's striking resemblance to a younger Kelsey Grammer.
  • Star-Making Role: Kelsey Grammer from Cheers...and he has his own show!
  • Stunt Casting: Parodied. The people who call in to Frasier's radio show are usually famous celebrities, but you'd never know unless you tune in to the closing credits.
  • Technology Marches On:
    • In the early seasons, there are frequent references to pagers, and Niles is the only one of the cast wealthy (and pretentious) enough to have a cellular phone (his first one isn't quite a brick, but you can watch cell phone technology change with his upgrades). One episode even highlights how relatively rare the devices were when Frasier notes that a recently-arrived professional juggler must have been contacted on her "car phone", prompting Niles' near slack-jawed shock that "Street performers have car phones?!" Of course, most of the various "Fawlty Towers" Plot styled antics wouldn't have worked quite the same if the characters could just call each other at any time.
    • A seventh season episode has Roz enthused by the fact that Cafe Nervosa has put in a phone line to allow people with (rather clunky) laptops to go online.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The show generally averts this, but it does come up every once in a while, as noted in Technology Marches On above. Other ways include the Crane boys' celebration of the Millennium New Year, and a reference to Pearl Jam back in the first season. note  Other examples include Frasier objecting to Roz's pot brownie because it's illegal (it isn't anymore in the state of Washington) and any reference Martin makes to the Seattle SuperSonics or Kingdome baseball stadium (neither of which exist anymore). The most unintentionally anachronistic aspect to the show for a modern (American) viewer is probably the very notion of a major, commercial, over-the-air radio station.note 
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Kirstie Alley is the onlynote  regular from Cheers to not reprise her role on Frasier, reportedly because Scientology does not believe in psychiatry, and Frasier is a psychiatrist. In the later episodes of Cheers, around the time Lilith and Frasier were going through their separation, Frasier and Rebecca nearly ended up in bed together. Wasting a perfectly good UST plot...
      • She claimed in one interview that her being a Scientologist had nothing to do with her never appearing on Frasier, and at least one of the show's writers (Ken Levine) said in a radio interview that they never considered having Kirstie Alley on, mainly because they weren't sure how to write her in, as Rebecca and Frasier hardly interacted on Cheers. Alley also said once she auditioned to play one of Frasier's girlfriends of the week, but was turned down, because the producers thought that would be kind of weird.
      • It's also widely rumored that Kelsey Grammer and Kirstie Alley didn't get along very well...
    • Lisa Kudrow was originally cast as Roz, however after the first few days of filming the producers decided that her quirky humor didn't fit the part and they hired Peri Gilpin instead (according to Kudrow, Gilpin was their first choice, but switched her for Kudrow for some reason, then simply restored order by bringing Gilpin back). Plus, imagine how this would have affected Friends if Kudrow had remained on Frasier.
    • Frasier's brother Niles wasn't in the original concept and hadn't been mentioned on Cheers. The inspiration for the character came after the producers saw a headshot of David Hyde Pierce and noted his brotherly resemblance to Kelsey Grammer.
    • Jane Leeves was cast as Holly in the Red Dwarf USA pilot. That never had a chance of getting picked up, but if it had, someone else probably would have been cast as Daphne.
    • Maris was supposed to make a physical appearance on the show, but this never happened because so many odd descriptions of her appearance were given that it was believed that no human alive could play the role.
    • In the Season 11 episode "Caught in the Act", Frasier has his first encounter in over a decade with his first wife, Nanette Guzman alias Nanny Gee. In her appearance in the Season 10 Cheers episode "One Hugs, the Other Doesn't", she was played by Emma Thompson, and the producers reportedly tried to bring Thompson back for "Caught in the Act", but she was unavailable, citing, aptly enough, "nanny trouble". Nanny Gee was instead played by Laurie Metcalf.
    • The show wasn't originally a Cheers spin-off. Grammer was going to play a a wealthy paraplegic publisher, and Daphne was going to be a "street smart" Hispanic live-in nurse.
  • Written-In Infirmity: Daphne's compulsive eating in season 8 (and her later departure to a 'spa for fat people') accommodated Jane Leeves' real-life pregnancy. Interestingly, Roz's pregnancy does not fall under this — it existed only for the storyline. Peri Gilpin was not pregnant at the time and in fact had such difficulty becoming pregnant in real life, her twin daughters were born via a surrogate mother.
  • You Look Familiar: Piper Laurie guested twice as different characters, though her first appearance was voice-only, as a caller to KACL, precluding her from 'looking' familiar to the audience. Interestingly, both characters she plays are domineering mothers (probable Typecasting or Actor Allusion after her career-defining performance in Carrie), and could conceivably be one and the same character (having a 22-year-old daughter in 1994 and a (different) late-40s daughter in 1999 is not outside the realms of possibility), though this is not suggested during her latter-day appearance.
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