I've managed to catch up with a few early morning episodes of Frasier on Comedy Central. It has always been one of my favourite comedies - superbly written and brilliantly acted. American comedies and dramas are very different from ours. They're usually very slick, well produced, containing 'clever' and quickfire humour. The plots usually have a fallguy and a wiseguy and the American writers tend to make the characters likeable. I remember watching American comedy of the past and always finding it very funny. I love quick, dry and often slapstick humour which the American's are so good at producing. I'm thinking the Lucille Ball Show, Bilko, Taxi, Cheers and more recently Friends and Will and Grace. Our best comedies often include a grotesque leading character who is unlikeable, yet is so appealing in their awfulness, they are instantly watchable. I'm thinking Fawlty Towers, Absolutely Fabulous, The Office, The Royle Family to name but a few.
Frasier sort of transcends the best of American and British humour. The character of Dr Frasier Crane was a spin-off from the highly successful Cheers series. Frasier is a slightly neurotic, snobby radio psychiatrist who lives with his father, his father's dog Eddie and a live-in physical therapist called Daphne. It often lapses into farce with intricate plotlines and sub plots, but always delivers a superbly crafted comedy. And yes, it gets a Sky+ in my house.
Here's my top 5 facts about Frasier...
1. John Maloney who plays Frasier's dad Martin, is actually British born and bred from a little place called Blackpool!
2. Jane Leeves who plays Daphne Moon starred in the Benny Hill Show as a Hills Angel.
3. The show won 37 Emmys during its 11 year run.
4. Kelsey Grammer who plays Fraiser has had a turbulent personal life. His father and sister were both murdered. His twin younger brothers were killed in a scuba diving accident.
5. David Angell who produced series 1-8 was killed in the 9/11 disaster.