Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Forget 'Roseanne.' Let's talk about 'Frasier'

I don't know about y'all but I've had my fill of Roseanne and her now-canceled sitcom. She makes it difficult to remember that not all sitcoms are negatively controversial. Some, in fact, are very funny without being preachy or losing their comedic integrity.

 Take Frasier for example.

My friend Matt Baume has created a video focusing on an episode of the sitcom, "The Matchmaker," which features a gay theme:

 It wasn’t easy to put gay characters on TV in the 1990s. But one show managed to be gayer than pretty much any other mainstream sitcom of the time. Frasier had two huge advantages when it came to LGBT inclusion: first, a ton of gay people worked on it, from the cast to the writers to directors. And second, its comedy hinges on misunderstandings, farce, and unspoken social taboos -- and unspoken taboos just so happen to be something queer people know a thing or two about. 

 What's really interesting about Frasier in general is not only the two openly gay cast members who worked on the show, David Hyde Pierce and Dan Butler, but also the fact that the actor portraying Frasier - Kelsey Grammar - is a conservative Republican.

 Definitely from another time and universe when compared to the bunch present nowadays.


Frank said...

The show had a gay sensibility. Niles always seemed like a gay man trapped in a straight man's body - or a straight man trapped in a gay man's body, not sure which. One of my favorites: the Old Time Radio Play that goes totally out of control.

steevee said...

Also, John Mahoney, who played the brothers' dad, was gay too. He didn't talk about it in interviews, but reportedly it was common knowledge in the Chicago theater scene where he started out and periodically worked and among people who knew him personally.