Friday Questions sometimes spark much heated debate. Such is the case with our first Q. This was originally posted last Friday in the comments section (where you should file yours). Many responses followed. Join the fun.
Craig asked the lightening rod question.
How is Frasier so wealthy??
He seems to spend at will and is never wanting for anything. He is a semi successful radio guy, but radio does not pay well at all. Yes, he's single with no dependents to provide for, but I'm assuming he makes alimony and child support payments. It seems to me he is living FAR ABOVE his means. I've been wondering about this for years as Frasier is one of my favorite shows. Thanks!
Several reasons why I have no problem with it:
Certain radio performers do make very good money. Or at least they did back in ancient times. (BC means Before Clear Channel and Before Cumulus.) Frasier’s shift was afternoon drive in a major market so it’s conceivable he pulled in well over six figures.
Also, sitcoms take a certain license that’s just accepted. Mary Richards was a lowly Associate Producer for a low rated local newscast in Minneapolis and yet she wore exquisite clothes and never donned the same thing twice. If she sold drugs on the side and had a brothel she still couldn’t bring in enough to pay for that wardrobe.
The truth is, audiences don’t want to see people in dingy uninviting hovels. And if the show is shot before a live studio audience, the apartment set has to be big enough for four cameras to get in and shoot. For awhile, when shows starred young people with very limited means, producers hedged by putting them in "lofts". Lofts were funky. And lofts had room. Lofts have now become a cliche.
And finally, last weekend at the Veterans Writing Workshop I asked fellow mentor, Peter Casey (one of the creators of FRASIER) this question. He laughed and said Frasier made a killing when he sold his place in Boston. So there ya go.
Anonymous asks (and again, please leave your name):
Is it true "the writers often gave Kelsey Grammer deliberately bad lines as a game to see if he could make them funny"? (imdb trivia page)
I don’t need to consult Peter Casey or anyone on this one. I can answer with absolute assurance. That is FALSE. More than false. It’s ridiculous. We FRASIER writers always gave him the very best material we had. And he still made it better.
Would you ever consider trying the other Ken Levine's game out (even like, the first ten minutes or so), and sharing your reactions?
Michelle wrote in.
I wonder what you think of recording and archiving seasons of shows on a computer, or recording a show and automatically having the commercials edited out. This is separate from Hulu or Netflix which pay a fee to carry and stream the shows over the internet. This is one person with a catalog of shows recorded from cable or antenna in HD (1080 or 720).
Years ago I watched a couple of episodes of Lost without the commercials and it was so much more enjoyable, the show just flowed better. If I had the technical wherewithal to set up such a process, I probably would. It is really convenient.
You know you can rent or buy the DVD’s of any current show and they come without commercials. No real need to clog up your hard-drive with seasons of television you can easily access other ways. Unless you’re talking about some rare shows that you covet and can’t get elsewhere… like say ALMOST PERFECT. Then it makes perfect sense.
But if you do save shows you’ve recorded off the air – this will surprise you – I recommend you keep the commercials. Trust me, years from now when you revisit that show, you’re going to have more fun watching the commercials than the show itself.
When I used to record MASH and CHEERS off the air back in ancient times (BC means Before Cable) I saved the commercials, and it’s a hoot going back and seeing them again. You’d be surprised how many current big stars you spot hawking soap or soda. And how nostalgic you get for the old cheesy jingles you haven’t heard in years.
Looking back, there are a number of our old episodes where I wish I kept the commercials and edited out the show.
What’s your controversial or non-controversial question?