“Good Afternoon, Seattle. I’m listening.” Who can forget the sign-on of legendary radio psychiatrist Frasier Crane?
Hilariously and expertly played by Kelsey Grammer, the sitcom Frasier was a staple of American television. In fact, the series won dozens of awards and ran for over a decade. So popular was Frasier that Kelsey Grammer became one of the highest-paid TV actors of all time.
But, after his time on Frasier, Grammer has seemed scarce. Why has it been so long since we’ve seen the genius of Kelsey Grammer?
Well, just because he hasn’t been front and center on television doesn’t mean he has disappeared. He has actually stayed fairly busy.
Let’s take a look at what Kelsey Grammer has been working on. And Frasier fans will want to keep watching until the end to hear some good news about their favorite radio shrink.
Frasier Was a Tentpole of Television
Before we examine what Kelsey Grammer has been up to, let’s take a look at why his series Frasier was so iconic.
The series follows Dr. Frasier Crane a cultured and witty psychiatrist who moves from Boston back to his hometown of Seattle for a new start. Here, he starts a successful radio program. Though his posh and aristocratic lifestyle meld with his equally pretentious brother Niles, Frasier sometimes finds himself butting heads with his blue-collar father and philistine coworkers.
The show was equal parts sophisticated and down-to-earth. Though this quirky and quick-witted sitcom was one of a kind at the time, it was a huge hit.
However, the concept was not a total shot in the dark for NBC. The character of Frasier had already tested extremely well as a series regular on Cheers. Cheers was a wildly popular sitcom starring Ted Danson and Shelly Long. After its 11-season run, NBC was compelled to keep the magic alive with the spin-off Frasier.
Because of Kelsey Grammer’s stint on both shows, Frasier is the second longest-running character in TV history at an amazing 20 years. It seems NBC recognized his talents, too.
At the height of the show’s popularity, Grammar was being paid 1.6 million dollars per episode. That still among the top TV salaries of all time.
By the end of its run in 2004, Frasier ran for 11 seasons, a total of 264 episodes, and accrued 37 Emmy awards. Kelsey Grammer was nominated for best comedy actor every year and won 4 times.
So, where has this shining star of comedy been since the show ended?
Broadway was Calling
Kelsey Grammer has followed a career path similar to many others with his educational background. After studying a Julliard, Grammer started out working on stage productions.
His stage career started in the late 70s at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. In 1984 he made his debut on Broadway in a production of Macbeth. A few years later he was cast in Cheers and began his successful career in TV.
After 20 years, on screen, it seemed Grammer’s Julliard roots were calling. After Frasier, Grammer got back into stage work.
He’s had no lack of success, either. He starred in the original Broadway production of Finding Neverland. In 2010, Grammer was nominated for a Tony award for his work as Georges in La Cage aux Folles.
In 2016, Grammer finally did take home a Tony award for his role as a producer on The Color Purple.
A Number of Movie and Television Roles
Although he’s not dishing out the witticisms as Dr. Frasier Crane anymore, we still see Kelsey Grammer make appearances in film and TV.
The actor has dabbled in a few sitcoms such as Partners and Hank, but they didn’t see much success. Both series lasted less than one season.
However, his other work has shown a move away from comedy. Some of his post-Frasier roles show him in quite a different light. In 2014, he played the villain in the Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Grammer returned to TV as the anti-hero Tom Kane in the Starz series Boss. This was quite a turn for Grammer in a dramatic series playing a corrupt Mayor battling dementia.
Grammer was even tapped to play a cameo in Sylvester Stallone’s Expendables franchise. If you are familiar with the series, you know the cast is comprised of some of the most iconic actors of the 80s and 90s. It must be quite validating for Grammer to earn a spot alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, and Stallone.
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He Joined the X-Men
It also appears that Grammer wanted to try out the action genre. In 2006, he joined the comic book universe with X-Men: The Last Stand. Though he might not have been as easy to spot in this role.
Grammer played Dr. Hank McCoy also known as Beast. Beast is covered with blue fur, has pointed ears, and fangs. Grammer had to sit in the makeup chair for three hours while the team outfitted him with a wig, muscle suit, eye paint, and prosthetics.
He must have enjoyed the role as he returned for an uncredited cameo in X-Men: Days of Future Past.
A Sought-After Voice Actor
Kelsey Grammer has a unique, sonorous voice. The same voice that he showed off as a radio personality on Frasier is sought after in the voice acting community.
Grammer has an equally impressive animated voice acting career as he does in live action.
He has lent his voice to such films as Anastasia, Toy Story 2, and Storks.
Visionary director Guillermo del Toro is such a fan of Grammer’s voice work that he wrote a part specifically for him in his animated Netflix series Trollhunters.
But Grammer’s best voice acting is for one of America’s longest-running series.
He’s Been Trying to Kill Bart Simpson
Kelsey Grammer’s most iconic voice work is the nefarious Sideshow Bob on the Simpsons.
The sociopathic and sophisticated clown with the wild red hair has been plotting against the Simpson family for decades.
Sideshow Bob seems to be a very fun character for Grammer to voice as he clearly brings the pizzaz and intellect of Frasier Crane to the part.
Despite it not being live-action, some fans would suggest Kelsey Grammer is even more beloved for playing Sideshow Bob than he is Frasier.
Sideshow Bob’s first appearance on season 3 of The Simpsons in 1990. In fact, Grammer was suggested for the part by Simpsons writer Sam Simon. Simon also worked as a writer for Frasier and knew Grammer would be perfect for the voice of Bob.
Grammer has stuck with the role ever since. More than 30 years later, as The Simpsons prepare for its 33rd season, Kelsey Grammer’s Sideshow Bob still wages war on Bart Simpson.
So talented is Grammer that he took home another Emmy Award for outstanding voice-over performance.
Moving into Producing
Kelsey Grammer isn’t just a talent in front of the camera. He also has a knack for producing.
His first executive producer credit came on Frasier and he’s stuck with it ever since. Not only has he produced some series for himself like the aforementioned Boss or Partners, but he was also an EP on the wildly popular series Girlfriends and The Game.
If you are wondering what Kelsey Grammer has lined up, his next project has just been revealed.
A Frasier Reboot is Happening
Dr. Frasier Crane is coming back to television. That’s right, more than 17 years since the series ended, Kelsey Grammer is going to reprise his famous role.
The news was recently released from Viacom CBS. The Frasier reboot will be a headlining title in the company’s new Paramount+ streaming service.
While the service confirmed that Grammer will be back and better than ever in the lead role, no word has been released about the supporting cast. Yet, fans of the show know that part of what made Frasier such a terrific comedy was, in part, the supporting cast.
We will wait in anticipation to hear if David Hyde Pierce who played his brother Dr. Niles Crane, or Jane Leeves playing Daphne Moon will return to the reboot.
It’s not clear if the new Frasier will be a limited series run or if it’s designed to launch new stories for the characters. What is clear is the upcoming series will build on the legacy of one of the most popular tv series of all time.
Kelsey Grammer is fixing to be front and center in the comedy world once again.
While he may not be in the spotlight as he was during his days on Frasier, Kelsey Grammer has not fallen into obscurity. His many projects since his famous NBC sitcom days have kept him busy. Though it sounds like we are going to see him reprise the role of Dr. Frasier Crane soon.
So, what do you think? Is Grammer one of the best sitcom actors of all time? Is the Frasier reboot a good idea? Sound off in the comments below.
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