‘Cheers’: Kelsey Grammer Makes First Appearance as Dr. Frasier Crane on This Day in 1984

by Jennifer Shea
Steve Granitz/WireImage

It was 37 years ago today that “Cheers” star Kelsey Grammer made his first appearance on the show as Dr. Frasier Crane. And his character has since gone down in television history, with the popular spinoff “Frasier” lasting for over a decade and now its reboot is about to hit Paramount+.

On “Cheers,” Grammer’s Crane was a pedantic snob and the boyfriend to Shelley Long’s neurotic Diane. In real life, Grammer and Long reportedly did not get along. But Frasier outlasted Diane – Long left the show after its fifth season – and Grammer went on to play Frasier for well over two decades.

‘Cheers’ Star Didn’t Think He Got the Role at First

While it’s difficult for “Cheers” and “Frasier” fans to imagine anyone else in the role now, Grammer had to prove his mettle in order to play Frasier. And he was just one of multiple actors who auditioned for the role.

Still, when he first read the part of Frasier on “Cheers,” Grammer instinctually knew the role was a good fit for him.

“I thought to myself, ‘I can play this guy,’” Grammer told Steve Allen in a 2019 interview. “You know, and it was kind of an instant thing before I’d actually put it in front of anybody.”

The show’s creators flew Grammer out to California, where he auditioned before about 10 people, including Ted Danson and Long. But he didn’t get the impression it went very well.

“I thought, ‘Yeah, this could work,’” Grammer recounted. “Then, of course, at the end of it, I didn’t get a single laugh. So I thought, ‘Well, that’s weird.’” Grammer told them, “You know what, I’m gonna go out on the street out there and see if I can get some laughs there. Take care.”

And he left. Convinced he didn’t get the role, Grammer spent the weekend in San Diego. Then he returned to the hotel, where he discovered a pile of urgent messages for him. Weird, Grammer thought, I didn’t get the role.

But when he went up to his room, waiting for him there was a bottle of Dom Perignon on the table with a note. He opened it, and it read: “Welcome to ‘Cheers.’”   

Watch the interview here:

‘Frasier’ Reboot Sends Frasier to a New City

The Paramount+ reboot of “Frasier” will be produced by CBS Studios in association with Grammnet Productions, per Deadline. Writers Chris Harris and Joe Cristalli will executive produce along with Grammer.

Grammer had been spearheading the push to revive “Frasier,” which ran from 1993 to 2004 on NBC. The revival reportedly puts Frasier, who had moved from Boston to Seattle as Grammer went from “Cheers” to “Frasier,” in a new locale yet again.

So far, none of Grammer’s former co-stars have agreed to join the cast of the reboot. But Grammer recently told Deadline that he’s reached out to all of them.

As for what happens in the reboot, Grammer is playing it close to the vest. But he did drop a few hints.

“He thinks he’s gonna go off and do one thing, and sure enough, his life takes him in another direction,” Grammer said. “And he ends up rich beyond his dreams.”