‘Frasier’ Producer Revealed Why He Wanted to Create a ‘Relatable’ Show for ‘Boomers’

by Joe Rutland

“Frasier” is one show which does its best to show many different facets of a son taking care of his father. Well, that was intentional.

Producer David Lee talked about the process of developing the sitcom’s storyline involving star Kelsey Grammer as Frasier Crane and the late John Mahoney as Martin Crane. The NBC sitcom debuted in 1993 and ended its initial run in 2004.

“About that time, my father had had a stroke,” Lee said in an interview for the Archive of American Television. “And I was coming into that realization that many people at my age, many boomers, at a certain point they were going to have to start taking care of their parents.

“And I was talking to [writer] Peter Casey one day and said, ‘I was thinking about this thing, it seems to be a common thing that people could relate to,'” Lee said. “Of somehow having an invalid parent or a parent who can’t take care of themselves anymore and you having to be responsible for them.”

‘Frasier’ Would Have Son, Father Butting Heads At Times During Original Series

In the original “Frasier” series, Frasier and Martin would often butt heads, especially if Frasier dares to move Martin’s beloved La-Z-Boy. Obviously, the series did relate to many people and received 37 Primetime Emmy Awards. Included in that number was winning “Outstanding Comedy Series” for five straight years.

Besides Grammer and Mahoney, other co-stars from “Frasier” included David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves, and Peri Gilpin. Yes, of course, there always was Eddie the dog bouncing around the Seattle condo, too.

Notice, though, we said the initial run earlier as “Frasier” is getting a reboot with the lone original cast member set to appear is Grammer.

Show’s Writers Use Real-Life Experiences To Create Funny Episode

Yet we cannot leave the original series alone because some of its writers have, well, quite the imagination.

Consider writer-producer Christopher Lloyd, known for his roles on TV’s “Taxi” and Doc in the “Back to the Future” movies.

“I was renting a beach house, and this half-rotting seal washes up on the shore,” Lloyd said. “A friend and I, with a wine-fortified lunch, got a kayak and paddled out to sea with a 200-pound seal. When I get back to the shore, I see the seal had been brought back by the tide.”

What did Lloyd do with the experience? Put it into a “Frasier” episode, of course.

“It became the launching point for Frasier and Niles hosting important people for a dinner party at Maris’s beach house when a dead seal washes up,” he said. Maris was Niles’s wife who remains out of sight, out of mind throughout the series.

Now who gets Niles’s attention? If you guessed Daphne, then consider yourself a “Frasier” fan for sure.