‘Frasier’: How the Show Contradicted ‘Cheers’

by Jennifer Shea

Frasier the character (Kelsey Grammer) lasted for over two decades, from his introduction on Cheers to his turn in the spotlight on Frasier. So perhaps it’s not surprising that some inconsistencies emerged over that time span.

While the character remained more or less an effete snob through both shows, his likes and dislikes changed from Cheers to Frasier to suit the writers’ needs. So did the people in his life and even some biographical details about him.

Some say that he got fussier as he moved from Boston to Seattle and from Cheers to Frasier. But then again, that could also be his brother Niles’s (David Hyde Pierce) influence. The two brothers together can be downright insufferable sometimes, while on Cheers, by contrast, Frasier was surrounded by blue-collar characters in the bar.

The Inconsistencies Between Cheers and Frasier

Frasier’s backstory is one thing that changed from Cheers to Frasier. In Cheers, Frasier says his father is a deceased scientist, per Screen Rant. In Frasier, his dad Martin, a retired cop – played by the late, great John Mahoney – is very much alive and mostly well. Another element of the character’s backstory that changed is his mother. In Cheers, she is conniving and domineering. In Frasier, she is a gentler, more caring figure portrayed by Rita Wilson.

Frasier’s appreciation for beer and sports also shifted between the two shows. In Cheers, he downs beer with the rest of them and evinces some pro sports fandom. In Frasier, he’s more of a wine connoisseur who sneers at Bulldog, the sports aficionado at the radio station.

The character also gets more uptight about animals as he goes from Boston to Seattle. In Boston, he has a pet dog, Pavlov, who he actually surrenders because Diane (Shelley Long) is allergic to dogs. In Seattle, however, one running joke is Frasier’s antipathy toward his dad’s dog Eddie, who stays on despite Frasier’s hostility toward him.

Lastly, Frasier’s views on politics changed between the two shows. In Cheers, he doesn’t express any strong political leanings, and seems basically indifferent to politics. In Frasier, the character becomes desperately trendy and follows the latest fads of Seattle, including its liberal political leanings, with zeal.

Kelsey Grammer Earned a Record Salary on the Cheers Spinoff

On Frasier, Grammer made a record-breaking salary for the time. And he retains his place in the top ten list with the fifth-highest per-episode salary ever paid to an actor, according to the Express.

Frasier lasted from 1993 to 2004. But Grammer is now looking to reprise the role yet again in a reboot of the Cheers spinoff, which won 37 Emmys over the course of its run.

Grammer has yet to get any of his former co-stars to sign on to the reboot. So whether it comes to fruition remains to be seen. But for Frasier fans, hope springs eternal.