- Frasier may eventually make a return to his old bar, Cheers, but it will take time for him to work up the courage to go back.
- Kelsey Grammer wanted Frasier to return to Boston because he felt his character had unfinished business there and it’s where his son would be living.
- A local bar named Mahoney’s Taproom is a tribute to John Mahoney, who played Frasier’s father on the original show and is honored in various ways throughout the new series.
Before Dr. Frasier Crane was a well-known Seattle-based radio psychologist, he lived in Boston, where he frequented that famous bar where everybody knows your name. Before leading 1993’s Frasier, Kelsey Grammer’s iconic character was introduced to audiences in 1984 during the third season of Cheers. The Frasier revival series, which premieres October 12 on Paramount+, sees Frasier back in Boston (last we saw him 19 years ago, he was headed to Chicago). Will Frasier visit his old hangout now that he’s back in Beantown? In a recent interview with Variety, showrunners Joe Cristalli and Chris Harris discuss the possibility of Frasier making his way back to Cheers.
“It is a little bit by design that he hasn’t mentioned it or gone back there [Cheers]. He’s not ready. He left Boston with his tail between his legs. So hopefully it gets to a place where he can do it. I would love to see Norm and Sam. How great would that be?”
“It might just take him a little bit of time to warm up and get up the courage to set foot in that bar again. And we like the idea of stretching it out. If or when he goes back to Cheers, that’s going to be a big moment. We want to make sure we do it right and give it what it deserves.”
According to the showrunners, the idea for Frasier to return to Boston was all Grammer’s. After discussing whether Frasier should now be living in Chicago or New York, Grammer suggested Boston.
“Kelsey was like, ‘You know what? He’s got unfinished business in Boston. He’s not happy with the self he was in Boston. Let’s bring him back to Boston,'” Cristalli says. “That’s ostensibly where his son would still be living, and that’s where he grew up. It really clicked into place then. There were a lot of stops and starts but we ended up, I think, in a pretty good place.”
Frasier first appeared on Cheers as a love interest to Diane Chambers (Shelley Long). While that relationship didn’t last long, Frasier’s stay on the series did. He was a mainstay until Cheers concluded in 1993. During the show’s run, Frasier married and later divorced Dr. Lilith Sternin (Bebe Neuwirth). The two have a child, Freddy, who is now an adult and a starring character (portrayed by Jack Cutmore-Scott) in the spinoff. Neuwirth, who reprised the role of Lilith in multiple episodes of Frasier, will make a guest appearance on the new sitcom.
Frasier’s New Local Hangout Honors John Mahoney
While the Cheers bar may not be his current hangout, there is a different spot where Frasier can enjoy drinks and unwind, and it has a special significance. In honor of the late John Mahoney, who played Frasier’s father Martin through the original show’s 11-seasons run, a local bar bares his name: Mahoney’s Taproom. In addition, the bar’s sign reads “since 1940” which happens to be Mahoney’s birth year.
According to Cristalli, the show also plays homage to Mahoney by way of Freddy:
“Freddy is like a walking tribute to John Mahoney. But Freddy brings a different color to what he can jab Frasier with. Freddy speaks French, knows wine regions and goes toe-to-toe in different ways.”
Mahoney passed away in 2018 following a battle with cancer.
Frasier stars Grammer, Cutmore-Scott, Jess Salguiero, Anders Keith, Nicholas Lyndhurst, and Toks Olagundoye. Along with Neuwirth, Peri Gilpin returns as a guest star. The series premiered on Paramount+ on October 12, while CBS will air the first two episodes on October 17.