Thursday, September 18, 2008

Questions about FRASIER

Some FRASIER related Friday questions this week. Ask your questions in the comments section. I'll try to get to them all. Thanks.
From te:

Some -- well, many -- of the references on Frasier are pretty arcane. Was the writing staff really all that familiar with the hoity-toity world; did you just grab from The New Yorker, or was one of the grips on call for the more obscure wine & cheese jokes?

Some on the staff were more cultured than others. They knew wine, art, and I think two of them were so sophisticated they even spoke French. I knew that wine sold in bottles rather than cans was better. So when faced with hoity-toity references I would consult with upscale magazines or liquor stores. On the other hand, my degree from UCLA is in Psychology. So I was able to compose most of the psycho-babble without any consultation, which is why it’s probably all wrong.

Duffy asks:

Who was the funniest actor you worked with?

David Hyde Pierce. The man is a comic God.

Daws wants to know:

Do you think there's a chance that there will ever be a "Frasier" reunion show?


I'm sure a lot of fans would like to see "where" the characters are five, six, ten years down the line.

No they wouldn’t. Not really. Those things are always so depressing. All you see is how much older everyone has gotten. Or how much weight they’ve gained. Better they should live on in reruns, young and vital, and with hair.

And finally, from Bitter Animator:

Moose (the original Eddie) was clearly a top-notch actor but I couldn't help noticing on reruns that, when Moose retired and his replacement stepped in, Eddie's role diminished greatly. I was really surprised he played such a little part (if he was even in it) in the finale. This had me wondering - was it because Moose's replacement didn't have the range? Or simply that the Eddie character had run his course?

I love the notion that fetching on command could be considered “range”. All of the dogs on FRASIER had a fabulous and loving trainer, Mathilde DeCagny. We tried not to do anything too ambitious, and we always checked with Mathilde first to see if the stunt we had in mind was something Moose could easily learn. And perform in front of a live audience. Moose was pretty remarkable.

And again, Mithilde used nothing but treats and positive reinforcement to train her animals.

Were you guys writing for specific dogs?

Yes, but not on FRASIER.


Tallulah Morehead said...

David Hyde Pierce. The man is a comic God."

Truer words have never been blogged.

As for Eddie, I admit that, when tying up all the loose ends as FRASIER concluded, I was disappointed that they never found the right bitch for Eddie to settle down with. (Yes, I know he was fixed. Who could forget Frasier, Niles and Marty all crossing their legs in unison?)

More recently, I really enjoyed seeing Hal Holbrook's one-man show "Moose Tonight". He really brought him alive, despite being somewhat larger physically. Who knew Moose's fleas had stand-in fleas for the camera blocking sessions?

It's probably just as well that Moose is gone now. Sarah Palin, on hearing his real name, would probably shoot him from a helicopter. Of course it would be Kelsey "Republican" Grammar's fault, for bringing her to the set in the first place.

Premise idea for the reunion show they'll never do: Alice & Fredrick's wedding. Alice dumps Freddie at the alter and runs off in a Winnebago with Sam Malone.

Anonymous said...

Why wasn't there ever a sexual encounter between Roz and Daphne? You people never give the viewers what they want.

Tallulah Morehead said...

Oh Bobby, did you miss that episode? It was hot. And Eddie joined in, humping Roz's leg, for a wild, beastial three-way.
I'm getting the vapors just remembering it.

Dave said...

I was watching an episode the other night and started wondering if Frasier was filmed or taped, and if the latter, whether any of the lighting problems with the taped episode of Cheers popped up, or was the technology just better by the 90s

Anonymous said...

Were there any ideas on Frasier that you wish happened but never did come to fruition?

Anonymous said...

Just touching on a pet peeve of yours (and mine) -- How hard did the producers have to fight NBC to keep Frazier as the last show on network TV that had a closing theme song? (The show was lucky it started in 1993, one year before NBC decided nobody should hear those useless songs or see those production credits anymore, when there were important new episodes of "Law & Order: Subway Turnstile Jumpers Unit" to promote.)

Anonymous said...

When I was watching Cheers as it aired in the 1980s, it always seemed to me that once Shelley Long was making noises about leaving the show, in the fourth and fifth seasons the writers began deliberately making the Diane character less sympathetic, more irritating -- perhaps to make her departure easier on the viewer.

Is there any truth to that, or was I just imagining it?


Daws said...

Ok, FINE -- just tell me whether or not Frasier and Charlotte got married! And don't cop out and give me that "Well, since it was never written, you can just imagine whatever you want to have happened. I get enough of that from my wife during our regular weekly discussion about "Whatever Happened to Frasier Crane?"

Seriously...does he live in Chicago or SF now?

I meant it. TELL ME!

Anonymous said...

Frasier is in Chicago. Among his current patients is Dr. Bob Hartley, who is getting over the recent death of his friend Cliff Murdock (aka the Peeper) and his beloved wife Emily.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever tried to answer those "Know Your Frasier" questions on KDOC? I've watched every episode of Cheers and Frasier more times than... well Law & Order and I'm still stumped by them. "What's Frasier's middle name?" "Where did Niles go to college?" etc. They make me feel like a civilian.

Tallulah Morehead said...

You know, I feel like a civilian myself. Send one over.

Frasier is in Washington DC now, fraudulently certififying Republican Fundie loons like Sarah Palin to be sane, to fool American voters. Becoming a radio shrink was trhe begining of his abandoning his ethics; this is the end of that road. And he's only doing it in hopes that Palin will leave her husband and will begin dating him. After all, his romantic relationships NEVER work out. Charlotte got tired of how full of himself he is the equivilent of two episodes later.

And Dave, Frasier is on film. Harvard graduates do NOT do "tape".


Anonymous said...

Ken - great blog. Half the reason why I read your posts is because you were so involved with Frasier, which, in my humble opinion, is one of the classics of the genre.

Question: were you satisfied with the way the series ended? (I forget but I'm assuming you had little to do with it by the end of the run.)

Cap'n Bob said...

Why did the theme song change from "Good night, Seattle, we love you. to "Good night, everybody..."

Dave Mackey said...

DANA GABBARD: Not to mention those hallucinations that Dr. Hartley had about running that inn up in Vermont.

Anonymous said...

Why, oh why, did Frasier and Roz not end up together? I was so sure they would...

Cap'n Bob said...

I thought they did have a dalliance one night. Or was it just a close call?

Anonymous said...

I have a question, Ken, but not about FRASIER. About my all-time favorite show, M*A*S*H. Or rather, about the climate in this country when you were working on it. Do you think that show would be at all possible to make now? A war comedy set in the middle east while we are at war elsewhere in the middle east, as opposed to set in east Asia while we are at war elsewhere in east Asia? Did people at the time accuse you folks making M*A*S*H of being "unpatriotic" or other buzzwords as I imagine would be flung at such a TV show now, even if (especially if?) it used the brilliant M*A*S*H scripts again practically word-for-word.

And what do you think of GENERATION KILL?

Anonymous said...

PS. Hi, Dana! Fancy running into you here! (:D

Anonymous said...

When my son was in the very excellent jazz band at Hamilton High School here in LA, he and the group improvised quite a bit. During one performance, he (the drummer) and another fellow stepped up to the microphone and, with the full backup of the other instrumentalists, sang an impromptu rendition of the Frasier Theme, wailing "Chopped Salad and Scrambled Ee-ee-eggs." Truly an inspired moment of teenage bonding. It turns out, this was a song all the kids knew and could play by ear. "Frasier has left the building!"

Anonymous said...

tallulah: I don't think Palin would have shot Moose. She'd have been more likely to name one of her kids after him.

Tallulah Morehead said...

She shoots moose. (Mooses? Meese? Moosum?) From helicopters. Also wolves. Like many right-to-lifers, she's kills for fun.

She's not too bright.

Tell her "That's Moose." and she'll shoot first, and notice species afterwards.

And Kelsey gives money to the Republicans to help put her one 75-year-old-and-counting-man's heartbeat away from being President of the United States.

I love Frasier, but Kelsey can rot in hell.


Anonymous said...

Hey tallulah, shouldn't you be chaining yourself to a tree or at a riot somewhere? Quit infecting this blog with your wacko liberal rants.

Tallulah Morehead said...

Aiden darling,

Should't you be banning books somewhere? Or teaching teenagers abstinence? Or driving the last nails into the coffin of the Bush economy? Or mounting the heads of moose (Meese?) and abortion doctors on poles at a "Right To Life" rally?

I'd rather be a "wacko liberal" than an evil Republican swine.

Cheers darling.

rob! said...

there's an awful, dishonest quote from Kelsey Grammer in this week's EW (#1013) regarding why he's Conservative.

now i have to watch Frasier in spite of Grammer, instead of because of him.

i'd trust Moose to run the country ahead of McCain/Palin.

Anonymous said...

Describing his new desecration-of-Charles-Dickens movie in Entertainment Weekly this week, Kelsey Grammar says, "When George Washington takes [David Alan Grier, who should know better than to be in this abomination] to the World Trade Center, it makes me cry. A lot of people don't want to admit that a threat to this country exists. We're willing to admit it."

Oh the courage of Kelsey; He is willing to admit there's a threat to America.

Show me ONE American who doesn't admit a threat to America exists! ONE! What a fatuous, self-serving statement!

We ALL know and freely admit that a lot of very real, very dangerous threats to America exist.

And many of us list George Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, John McCain, Sarah Palin, and dolts like Kelsey who give them money, high among those threats.

I took a lot of flack right here a year ago when I stated my intention to refuse to watch BACK TO YOU because Grammar and Patricia Heaton were just too many Republicans in one series for me to stomach or support. I do not mourn its cancellation.

I'm sorry Ken. Truely. I know this was meant to be a fun, playful topic (and the topic IS), and that Kelsey is a riend of yours, but while as an actor he is talented, and as a singer he is skilled, sadly, as a human, he's a tool.

Anonymous said...

That should read "and that Kelsey is a friend of yours"

I guess I just got the "F" out of there.

Anonymous said...


I must correct a euphemism you Northerners get wrong all the time. When we sweet young things say we need air because we're getting the vapors, we are not faint. Literally, we have vapors, we have GAS. Don't want everyone else to faint, now do we dear?

Anonymous said...

David Hyde Pierce is the funniest! He was on a show before Frasier called The Powers That Be. I'll never forget a small, genious moment of his where his somewhat suicidal character eyed the cord to the drapes, tried it on for size as a noose, and disappointedly let it drop. Hysterical!

Cap'n Bob said...

Where does it say Palin shoots moose from helicopters? Not only is that illegal, it's illegal to shoot an animal on the same day you spot it from the air.

Oh, the scandal! It makes me totally forget the Resko loan thing.

Tallulah Morehead said...

When has something being illegal ever stopped a Republican?

Using the power of your office to take petty revenge on an ex-brother-in-law isn't really legal either, nor is charging the state for travel expenses when you're livng in your own house. She's a textbook example of a loose cannon.

But hey, you can see a tiny bit of Russia from the extreme westernmost point of Alaska, so we need her in Washington.

It's late. I'm crank.

Tallulah Morehead said...

It's so late, I wrote "I'm crank" when I meant "I'm cranky." Where's the vodka?

Oh, here it is.


Anonymous said...

I logged onto this to read about Frasier, and was shocked to see political rants forming.

I'm a democrat, but I'm getting tired of seeing other democrats put people down simply because they believe something different. Says quite a bit about someone when they judge another for simple political beliefs.

Sad. So sad. So please stop ruining these blogs with your hatred and your rants.

David Hyde Pierce is absolutely amazing. Does anyone know if he's doing anything on Broadway at the moment?

Johnny Walker said...

I was about to ask a bunch of Frasier related questions, but then I did a search and found them here... Hurrah!

I'm quite surprised that external sources weren't referred to for the cultural references. I just watched an episode where Niles says he's looking for a chair that's has the "presence of a Mies van der Rohe and the playful insouciance of an early Le Corbusier". Which sounds wonderful, and Google reveals two architects/designers who are right up the Crane brother's alley. Pretty impressive!

(It's odd, but something about the scene reminds me of the Sitcom Weekend -- are your fingerprints on it?)

And yet, last week's episode had Frasier exclaim that he was about to open a bottle of "French Champagne", which is about one step above buying wine in a can. Yikes!

Still, an amazing show. Loving every minute!

Shug said...

I have been unable to locate any information on the large abstract piece behind the piano in Frasier's apartment. I do not mean the reddish-orange and blue vase piece, but the over-sized neutral abstract with browns, creams, black, etc. Do you know the artist and the name of the piece? Thanks in advance.