Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Frasier and Martin’s Relationship Was Inspired by Co-Creator’s Real-Life Father-Son Dynamic

Frasier and Martin’s Relationship Was Inspired by Co-Creator’s Real-Life Father-Son Dynamic

One of the strong points when looking back on Frasier was the tight-knit bond between Frasier Crane and his father, Martin. In the original series, Frasier, played by Kelsey Grammer, had his father Martin, played by John Mahoney, living with him in his condominium. Besides the father-son relationship here, there were other factors involved.

Martin was a member of the Seattle Police Department who was shot and injured while on duty. He had to retire and leave the one thing that gave him some life on earth. As it turns out, Martin goes to live with his son and tries to make it work.

There is tension in the relationship. Frasier isn’t too cool with a lot of Martin’s questions when it comes to Frasier’s love life. It seems like Martin wants to know every little detail. But the man is not giving up the love game just yet.

When developing the storyline for the show, the writers looked to see what real-life situations they could bring into it. David Lee looked at his own home situation and believed that it offered a solid solution.

‘Frasier’ Writer Looked At His Home Situation

Before Frasier‘s Martin-Frasier connection happened, David Lee and the writers thought a workplace situation might work. Yet Lee had a change of heart due to the fact that his own father suffered a stroke. It led him to a decision to change the focus on Frasier.

Another change was the introduction of Niles, Frasier’s brother, played by David Hyde Pierce. At first, the idea was to have Frasier as an only child. David Lee was an only child, too, so he was going to use that background. But having Frasier be forced to deal with both his father and brother adds another element to the show.

“People always ask how Frasier and Niles came from a father like Martin,” Grammer said in a piece for Vanity Fair. Grammer said in a Looper article that despite the differences on display, he feels like himself, Niles, and Martin have a moral compass in them. “Martin’s in public service, into knowing what’s right and wrong,” Grammer said. “That’s exactly what his sons were. On the simplest level, he was a good man, and their hope was to become the same thing.”

In their own way, Frasier and Niles keep their wits about them. They both work together to keep the peace. Niles has a rather eccentric side to himself, especially when it comes to Daphne, played by Jane Leeves. But it is Frasier’s devotion, albeit grudgingly, to Martin that provides depth and meaning to the characters.

Sadly, there will not be a reunion between father and son in the rebooted series. Mahoney is dead, leaving his son to cope with a new change in his life without him.