When Kelsey Grammer decided to give Frasier a reboot, he did reach out to the former cast members and gauge interest. Obviously, David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves, and Peri Gilpin are not on the Paramount Network show. Sadly, John Mahoney, who played patriarch Martin Crane, is now dead. Grammer knew that he wanted to pay homage to Mahoney in some way.
Grammer addressed this along with a subtle shift in Frasier’s own attitude in this wide-ranging Entertainment Weekly interview.
“Well, he’s a little mellower,” Grammer said. “He’s a little less goofy about some things. He has certain knowledge now. He’s now his dad. He’s put on the role of his father and that’s new to him, but I think he’s ready for it. And as an homage to John Mahoney, to the role of Martin, we wanted to really include the fact that Frasier was now an orphan.
“That’s what it comes down to,” Grammer adds. “And now he’s the guy that needs to live up to the role his dad showed him. It’s a nice vibration, and it’s lovely to have John kind of around in our subtext all the time. I have a lot of pretty ‘airy fairy’ friends, and a lot of them are mediums or spiritualists or whatever. And I was talking to one of them who said, ‘Oh, by the way, John is very happy about this show.’ I said, ‘Well, I’m glad to hear that.’”
Grammer OK With Having John Mahoney’s Presence On Set
In the original series, Martin could be cranky toward Frasier and Niles. At the same time, he could pass along pieces of wisdom to his sons and Daphne. But some of the softest times you could find Martin on screen was with that rascally terrier, Eddie.
Mahoney did a great job working with a cane in his hand. Frasier provided 11 seasons of laughter while on NBC in its original run. For his efforts, Mahoney did pick up one Emmy Award.
While he could be cranky and stubborn, Martin also had this kind of Yoda energy that kept him grounded when everything was burning up like a house fire around him.
In a 2018 interview with Fox News, Mahoney talked about his time with the Frasier cast. “When it was finally over, I wasn’t sorry it was over because I thought we had taken the show as far as we possibly could,” he said. “But, leaving [the cast] was a heartbreak of immense proportions.
“I absolutely loved David [Hyde Pierce], Kelsey [Grammer], Jane [Leeves] and Peri [Gilpin],” Mahoney said. “They were so close. When I left England to immigrate to the United States, I didn’t think I would ever miss anything more at that time… But it was just as bad to leave \”Frasier” and those friends behind. I can’t tell you how close we were every single day for 11 years. We just adored each other and still do.”
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