After Kelsey Grammer was recently spotted holding what looks to be a new Frasier script in London, rumors are circulating that the sitcom may be making a comeback sooner than we think. Let’s take a look back at the classic series and reminisce about some of the most famous Frasier guest stars.
Frasier is one of the most successful TV sitcom spinoffs of all-time. The series had an incredible 11-season run that spanned from 1993 to 2004. Even though the character Frasier, played by Kelsey Grammer, was a fan favorite on the TV series Cheers, was Frasier strong on his own to enough to carry the Cheers audience? The series finale of Cheers set viewing records and was watched in approximately 42.4 million households. Needless to say, the Frasier spinoff show had a lot of expectations.
But Frasier didn’t try to ride the coattails of Cheers. It instead separated itself completely. Unlike Cheers, the tone of Frasier had a much dryer sense of humor. It also featured sharper storytelling and more sophisticated characters.
While it did often make references to Cheers, and some of Frasier Crane‘s friends from Boston would visit his new home in Seattle, the series established itself as one of the greatest American sitcoms in its own right.
And over its 11-season series span on NBC, many guest stars would make appearances on Frasier. They often appeared as a love interest of the title character played by Kelsey Grammer, or as callers seeking advice on his psychiatric radio show.
Here’s a list of the best Frasier guest stars over the course of the series, which would win a walloping 37 Primetime Emmy Awards in its 11 years. Note that any appearances by former Cheers cast members have been excluded purposely, because, well, they’re simply too obvious.
Bill Gates – “The Two Hundredth” (Season 9, Episode 8)
In his best acting attempt, Bill Gates plays himself as a guest on Frasier’s radio show in 2001. While Frasier isn’t prepared to answer calls, the switchboards become flooded with tech support questions for Mr. Gates. about how to install Windows XP after it was released in October of that year.
Sir Patrick Stewart – “The Doctor is Out” (Season 11, Episode 3)
Star Trek: The Next Generation and X-Men film franchise star Sir Patrick Stewart plays acclaimed opera director Alistair Burke who shows interest in Frasier. He invites Frasier to a private party after questions about Frasier’s sexuality start to circulate.
Mike Judge – “The Harassed” (Season 10, Episode 12)
The legal team at KACL radio wants staff members to take a sexual harassment seminar hosted by Van, played by Mike Judge (Office Space, Beavis and Butt-Head). By the time the episode aired in 2003, Judge was mostly known for his voice work and animation, so his guest spot may have gone unnoticed by many viewers. However, his calm demeanor and deadpan delivery were suited perfectly amongst the Frasier cast.
Macaulay Culkin – “Seat of Power” (Season 2, Episode 11)
Macaulay Culkin (Home Alone) is a guest caller named Elliott in this holiday episode originally aired on December 13, 1994. Many celebrities made cameos as Frasier guest callers over the years, which became somewhat of a home-game among viewers who would guess the actor’s voice. In this particular call, Elliott tries to disguise his voice as a 43-year-old man just as Culkin’s Kevin McCallister character does so well in the Home Alone films.
Elijah Wood – “Guess Who’s Coming to Breakfast?” (Season 1, Episode 13)
Long before he was Frodo, Elijah Wood was another celebrity guest caller on Frasier back in 1994. Wood played Ethan, a child caller reaching out to Frasier’s radio show seeking advice on being bullied at school for having a 160 IQ. However, he receives little solace from the doctor as seen in the following clip.
Michael Keaton – “Wheels of Fortune” (Season 9, Episode 16)
Michael Keaton plays wheelchair-bound preacher Blaine Sternin, half-brother of Frasier’s ex-wife Lilith Frasier (Bebe Neuwirth). While everyone else seems to believe Blaine’s guise, Frasier sees right through him as the con artist he truly is.
Teri Hatcher – “First Do No Harm” (Season 6, Episode 5)
Teri Hatcher plays Marie, who is set up with Frasier by his father Martin (John Mahoney). While she is considerably younger than Frasier, things start off swimmingly until Frasier suspects she’s only dating him for free psychiatry advice.
Sarah Silverman – “Maris Returns” (Season 11, Episode 7)
In the final season, Frasier has left the radio to return to being a private practitioner. His first day back in the office sees a handful of eccentric clients including his first patient Jane, played by Sarah Silverman. Things don’t go as planned for Dr. Crane, as his public image makes him immediately recognizable to those seeking his advice.
Dr. Phil McGraw – “The Devil & Dr. Phil” (Season 10, Episode 21)
Dr. Phil plays himself as an old friend of Frasier who still owes him $200 from a years-old card game. After reuniting, Dr. Phil dodges his debt with Frasier and the episode’s story develops as Dr. Phil’s current agent Bebe Glazer (Harriet Sansom Harris) tries to recruit Frasier by any means necessary.
Stephen Root – “Detour” (Season 11, Episode 21)
I’m a huge fan of Stephen Root in almost anything he’s in, including his special guest appearance in Frasier. In one of the Frasier episodes from Season 11, he plays Harbin, an oddball mechanic who ends up helping Frasier and girlfriend Charlotte (Laura Linney). They became stranded in the middle of nowhere while trying to catch the train to Portland and Harbin is the only person who can help them.
Frasier Guest Stars That Joined Kelsey Grammer On The Sitcom
Were you a fan of the Frasier TV show? Did you have any favorite Frasier guest stars, cameos or guest appearances that didn’t make this list? Please let us know in the comments section below.