Frasier star Kelsey Grammer had a few demands for the Cheers spinoff. He didn’t want to be married. And he didn’t want the show to feature kids or dogs.
Well, about that dog. We’re assuming Eddie, the rascally Jack Russell terrier, would have another staredown with Frasier to show his displeasure.
Vanity Fair did an oral history on Frasier three years ago. The show’s creators and actors participated to tell how the show came to life. They also furnished some behind-the-scenes factoids.
Grammer won out on the wife. Frasier and Lilith divorced before he moved from Boston to Seattle. The two had Frederick, but you rarely saw him on the show, save for holiday events.
But dogs were another story.
David Lee, one of the Frasier co-creators, told Vanity Fair how they changed Grammer’s mind.
“Sometimes, the network would do dial testing, where they’d put people in a room with dials and you’d watch their reactions through a two-way mirror.,” Lee said. “One of the testers told us that you could always get the dials up if you use a baby, cute child, or dog. So, we cynically thought, let’s put a dog in to get the scores up.”
Eddie and Martin Were Close on Frasier, But Actor Didn’t Like the Dog in Real Life
Enter Eddie. He was Martin Crane’s dog. And Martin, Frasier’s dad, brought along Eddie when they moved into Frasier’s high-rise condo. Frasier didn’t like the dog, but he loved his father.
Eddie’s real name was Moose. And according to Frasier cast members, the late John Mahoney, who played Martin, didn’t like Moose. But on the show, you only saw Martin’s love of and devotion to Eddie.
Grammer told Vanity Fair: “I was directing an episode and told John to put Moose on his lap. John said, “No! The son of a bitch always bites me.” We had to put sardine oil on his hands.”
Janes Leeves, who played Daphne, described Moose as a “complicated little fellow.”
She said: “There were many times when he just improvised or went completely nuts, rolling around on the couch with his legs in the air, making funny noises.”
Moose also killed lots of rats on set. Enzo, Moose’s son, played Eddie as well to keep it in the family.
Peter Casey, a Frasier co-creator, said of the Moose-Enzo dynamic:
“Moose and Enzo hated each other. They couldn’t be on the set together. Apparently, it was one of those classic parent-child Hollywood rivalries.”
Sadly, Moose died in 2006, two years after the show ended its run. He was 16. Cause of death was old age.
But Grammer didn’t totally hate Moose/Eddie. He thanked him in a 1994 Emmy speech. “Most important,” Grammer said, “Moose, this is for you.”