As of 2004, Kelsey Grammer will have been playing the character of Frasier Crane for 20 consecutive years. This is one of the longest periods that an actor has played the same character on American prime time (non-soap opera) television. Fellow record holders include James Arness of Gunsmoke (1955) who also played Marshall Dillon for 20 years straight.
David Hyde Pierce has said that, prior to this series, he had no strong interest in either wine or opera. Ironically, he was introduced to both by John Mahoney, whose Martin Crane character eschews anything cultured.
The deliveryman (Cleto Augusto) who drops off Martin Crane's easy chair in the first episode is the same deliveryman who took it away in the final episode. Aside from the regular cast, he is also the only person to appear in both episodes.
The two final choices for the role of Roz were Peri Gilpin and Lisa Kudrow. Kudrow was originally cast because her line readings were funnier. But during rehearsals, the show's creators felt that Kudrow lacked the forcefulness needed to play Roz and she was replaced with Gilpin.
The show's theme song, "Tossed Salad & Scrambled Eggs", composed by Darryl Phinnessee and Bruce Miller, was performed by star Kelsey Grammer. Phinnessee was not allowed to include direct references to psychiatry, radio or Frasier. He wrote the lyric "tossed salads and scrambled eggs" because they are "mixed up" like Frasier's patients. "The blues a-calling" refers to the people calling Frasier's radio show with their problems. Miller wanted Mel Tormé to sing the theme but the producers wanted Grammer. Grammer sang multiple versions which are rotated throughout the series.
It is said in Season 8 that Daphne (Jane Leeves) has lost 9 lbs 12 oz at the health spa. This is a reference/inside joke to the fact that Jane Leeves was away on maternity leave, and her daughter Isabella's birth weight was 9 lbs 12 oz. Therefore the amount of weight that Daphne lost while being away from the show was the same amount Jane Leeves lost while being away from the show as a result of giving birth.
Kelsey Grammer used an acting method that he called "requisite disrespect". He would rehearse each scene only once and he would not learn his lines until moments before each scene was shot. Grammer felt that his method brought energy and realism to his performance. The cast and crew got used to it but guest stars did not like his method.
In the pilot episode, Frasier and Martin have a fight over Frasier just wanting to hear "thank you" from Martin for allowing him to move in. Before John Mahoney (Martin) hugs Kelsey Grammer goodbye in the finale, his line is "Thank you, Frasier."
The season 4 episode "Head Game" only featured Frasier for the first few minutes, and the rest of the episode is entirely centered around Niles. This role should have been written for Frasier, but Kelsey Grammer wasn't available as he was being treated for his addiction problems, so it was re-written for Niles instead. This is also the reason why the plot involves Niles filling in for Frasier on his radio show, because the show is integral to the plot.
In the premiere episode of the sixth season, the show took over the time slot previously occupied by Seinfeld (1989). The episode opens with Frasier auditioning for a TV show after being fired from his radio show, and his opening speech is a reference to the acquisition of "Seinfeld"'s slot: "Before we begin, I'd like to say how honored I am to be taking over this slot. Obviously, I have some rather big shoes to fill - my predecessor here was much beloved. But I have never been one to shrink from a challenge and I'm sure we'll enjoy many happy years here together in my new home."
John Mahoney and Peri Gilpin had each appeared as unrelated characters on Cheers during that show's final season. In addition, Peri Gilpin had also appeared in an episode of Wings (1990), which is set in the Cheers/Frasier Universe.
Kelsey Grammer has said that "The Show Where Diane Comes Back" is one of his favorite episodes. On Cheers (1982), Shelley Long didn't like the Frasier character and lobbied hard to get Grammer removed from the show. The producers disagreed, noting that the audience liked him. When Long's character of "Diane Chambers" appeared on this show, Grammer said the episode was an opportunity for him and Long to make peace with each other.
In the 11th season (2004), guest star Laurie Metcalf, playing Frasier's first wife, Nanette, who a children's entertainer, asked Frasier, "Do you know what it's like to play the same character for twenty years?" Kelsey Grammer had been playing Frasier Crane since 1984.
According to Lisa Maxwell, she auditioned for the role of Daphne. But to a misunderstanding with her agent, she under the impression that she was already cast in the role and did not know it was an audition. She criticized the script and made suggestions on improving it which the show's writers did not like so she did not get the part.
Unlike many other series where characters' pregnancies were written in to accommodate the actress becoming pregnant in real life, this was not the case with Roz. Hers was purely a storyline invention - Peri Gilpin was not pregnant in real life.
In an episode of Cheers (1982), Frasier tells the gang that his father was a research scientist and has passed away. When Ted Danson guest-starred on the show in 1995 as Sam Malone, the continuity error was explained away by having Frasier admit that he made up the story because "We'd had a fight and I was mad at him."
The original premise for the series was to revolve around Frasier and his co-workers at the radio station. But the creators felt it was too similar to WKRP in Cincinnati (1978). While thinking of new ideas, co-creator David Lee was arranging for health care for his elderly father who had had a stroke and he came up with a premise based on that. Lee was also inspired by the vast personality differences between himself and his father.
The show's creators originally envisioned Daphne as a Latina similar to Rosie Perez. But NBC president Warren Littlefield suggested Jane Leeves and Daphne's ethnicity was changed to English. Grammer was originally disappointed because he felt that having an English housekeeper would make the show similar to Nanny and the Professor (1970). But he changed his mind after a meeting with Leeves.
David Hyde Pierce's Niles Crane is a stuffy milquetoast with a mad passion for his father's live-in therapist. In his previous series, The Powers That Be (1992), he played a stuffy milquetoast with a mad passion for the maid.
Each season of the show can be distinguished by the color of "Frasier" in the opening title frame. In order: blue, pink, green, purple, yellow/white, brown, yellow/orange, bright/neon green, orange, silver, gold.
Bulldog was portrayed as a womanizer on the series, though Dan Butler who played Bulldog was openly gay. The character's name was likely inspired by that of New York City Sports Talk Radio Host Chris "Mad Dog" Russo.
In one episode, after a night at the opera watching "Rigoletto" by Verdi, Frasier remarks to his date that the finest soprano to sing the role of "Gilda" was "The great Mathilde Decagney". Matilda de Cagny is the animal trainer who owns Moose, the dog who plays Eddie.
When producers first mentioned about Martin and Niles to Kelsey Grammer during the show's development, Grammer pointed out that Frasier had no brother, and that his father was supposed to be dead. Producers responded how they hadn't thought of that, but added they could take creative license with it, and Grammer agreed.
In "The Harassed" (2003) Frasier and Julia Wilcox are having a heated argument, during which Frasier asks Julia "Are you as turned on as I am?" In the Cheers (1982) episode "Showdown - Part 2" Sam and Diane are having a similarly big argument. During this argument Sam asks the exact same question, to which Diane replies "More!" and they kiss. The episode aired in 1983, and as an in-joke Bulldog later criticizes Frasier's rather dated choice of line by saying that no one has used the term "turned on" for 20 years.
Niles' wife Maris is never seen (at least her face) or heard from in the entire series. The same thing is mentioned about Vera, the wife of Norm Petersen in Cheers (1982). We only hear of Maris from Niles about what is wrong about her. This method is used again when Martin meets the girl he has been watching from across the street via his telescope.
As the series progresses, we learn that Frasier and Niles were named after two lab rats their mom was using in an experiment (psychology?) when she was pregnant with Frasier. Frasier (the rat) had already died when Frasier (the human) was born.
All seasons, except for season four, contained 24 episodes. The 'missing' episode in season four was due to a production interruption after Kelsey Grammer had an automobile accident and subsequently checked himself into the Betty Ford clinic.
The show's creators originally planned for the show to take place in Denver, Colorado. But in late 1992, Colorado passed an amendment that repealed anti-gay discrimination laws. (It was later declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.) The creators did not agree with the amendment and decided to move the show's setting further west to Seattle. The creators did not want the show to take place in Boston, Massachusetts as "Cheers" had because they did not want NBC to ask for frequent guest appearances from that show's characters.
During season 8, Jane Leeves's pregnancy was disguised by a storyline involving a severe over-eating disorder, and later her pregnancy leave was accounted for by having Daphne go to a health spa to cope with her weight problem.
The series was originally going to actually cast an actress to portray Niles' wife Maris, but after the first couple seasons, the writers found they had too much fun writing her as an unseen character, and as the descriptions of her became more outlandish and contradictory, they felt finding the right actress would be close to impossible.
The show was originally written with Frasier as an only child (references had already been made to this in Cheers (1982), but one of the producers saw a headshot of David Hyde Pierce and commented that he looked exactly like Kelsey Grammer did when he first started to appear on Cheers (1982). Presumably as a nod to this, in Season's Two's "The Show Where Sam Shows Up", one of the first things Sam Malone says when he first meets Niles is how Niles looks exactly like Frasier did when he first knew him back in Boston.
When playing their younger selves in "Crock Tales", the cast had to use various hairpieces, hair dyes etc. to resemble their younger selves in flashback sequences. David Hyde Pierce also wore a hairpiece for the same reason in "The Return of Martin Crane".
In 1990, Paramount made a deal with Kelsey Grammer to star him in his own series after Cheers (1982) ended. The idea of Grammer continuing the role of Frasier in the new series didn't come up until later in the show's development.
Kirstie Alley was the only surviving regular cast member of Cheers not to appear on Frasier. Alley explained in an interview that appearing on a show which appeared to portray or endorse Psychiatry went against her beliefs as a practicing Scientologist.
Frasier and its parent series Cheers (1982) were set on opposite ends of Interstate Highway 90. Whereas Cheers was set in Boston on the east end of the highway, Frasier's setting of Seattle was on the west end of the highway.
During the late 1990's boom of TV characters created or being revealed as openly gay, some in the entertainment media identified recurring character Gil Chesterton as such. This was never the case, and in one episode Gil spoke lines refuting other characters' beliefs that he was gay, largely in reaction to the misidentification.
In the premiere episode of season 8, Niles takes a mobile phone call. After a pause, he says, "No, there is no Wendell Vaughn here." Wendell Vaughn is the real name of the Marvel Comics superhero Quasar.
Bob "Bulldog" Briscoe shares some qualities with Barney Stinson from "How I Met Your Mother" including sleeping with many women and treating women like objects. Dan Butler who plays Bulldog and Neil Patrick Harris who plays Barney are both openly gay.
Frasier was the last network-aired Paramount-produced show from the Paramount Communications era (1989-1994) to leave the air. The studio had been sold to Viacom in the middle of Frasier's first season. Series from the studio continued to use the Paramount Communications byline until February 1995 at which point the Viacom byline began use (though one special that aired in May 1995, The Laverne & Shirley Reunion (1995), used the Paramount Communications byline).
Jane Lynch, Timothy Omundson and Sarah Shahi all appear in various episodes in bit parts with only a few lines and very little time on screen. (Jane Lynch in "A Lilith Thanksgiving", Timothy Omundson in "Good Grief" and Sarah Shahi in "Door Jam"). As of 2011 all three appear in starring roles on popular shows (Glee (2009), Psych (2006) and Fairly Legal (2011) respectively).