The Frasier Creators - Goodnight Seattle

Goodnight Seattle - the Unofficial Frasier Page
Goodnight Seattle - the Unofficial Frasier PageGoodnight Seattle - the Unofficial Frasier PageGoodnight Seattle - the Unofficial Frasier Page
Goodnight Seattle - the Unofficial Frasier Page

The Frasier Creators

Frasier was co-created by 3 men - David Angell, Peter Casey and David Lee. Here's the story on the three men, how they started off in comedy and the story of how they met.

David Angell Peter Casey David Lee

David Angell

 

David Angell

 

 

David Lawrence Angell was born in West Barrington, Rhode Island in 1947. He had little desire to be in showbiz as a child, indeed he once planned on becoming a priest like his brother Kenneth. He thought of becoming a doctor for a while before he went to Providence College, where he gained a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature. After college he joined the army, where he worked for 2.5 years until 1972. David had a clerical assignment at the Pentagon in 1972.

After returning to civilian life, David wrote manuals for insurance companies and also worked as a methods analyst. One day he watched The Mary Tyler Moore Show and wondered if he could write like the writers of the show. David wrote some scripts, and luckily for him two of the producers of Rhoda picked up his scripts and said he showed promise.

David and his wife Lynn sold their house and moved to LA in 1977. He managed to get a job writing some scripts for Barney Miller, but was then unemployed for 5 years. He stuck at it though, believing he could really do it. He managed to find work in the early 1980's, writing scripts for Family Ties, The Bob Newhart Show and Condo before becoming a staff writer on Cheers, where he met Peter Casey and David Lee in 1985. David won an Emmy for his script for the Cheers episode "Old Flames", where Sam Malone's friend says he can break Sam and Diane up in 24 hours.

The trio set up their own production company, Grub Street Productions in the late 1980s. The name is a British slang phrase meaning "a lot of hard work". In 1990 they created their first sitcom, Wings, set in a Nantucket airfield. It was very successful and ran for 7 seasons, including an episode where Frasier and Lilith Crane visited from Boston.

In 1993 when Cheers ended, the trio came up with the idea of giving Frasier Crane his own series. They decided to let him leave Boston and move to Seattle - a town they chose because it was so far away from Boston that they wouldn't be able to have a Cheers character drop by every few weeks like the producers wanted.

Sadly, David Angell was killed in the New York disaster on September 11th 2001. He and wife Lynn were on board American Airlines Flight 11 - the Boston - LA flight that was hijacked and crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, New York. He is sorely missed by friends, family and colleagues.

 

Peter Casey

 

Peter Casey

 

 

Peter was born in San Francisco, the son of a cop (sound familiar?). He wanted to be in showbiz all his life. In 1975, Peter graduated from the San Francisco State University, where during his senior year he took a TV writing course and wrote a spec script for The Waltons. Like David Angell, he too has a Bachelor's Degree, except Peter has one in Broadcast Communication.

Not long afterwards, Peter moved to Los Angeles, where he started working for a mimeograph company as a typist. Here he met David Lee, who would proof-read Peter's typed scripts, and they began writing their own scripts together. The three weeks they were together (Peter was fired after 3 weeks because he was too slow!) was enough for the two men to bond.

Peter went from job to job, such as a pizza delivery boy and a survey taker, as he and David wrote scripts firstly for drama, before switching to comedy. When David Lee left the mimeo company, he joined David working as a sandwich salesman at Paramount Studios.

In 1978 they got their first big break when The Jeffersons accepted one of their scripts. One year later Peter and David Lee were invited to join the show as writers, story editors and producers, all of which they did during their 6 year stint with the show.

In 1983 they submitted a spec script to Cheers, but the Charles brothers (the creators of Cheers) were on holiday and didn't read it right away. Whilst waiting for the reply from Cheers, Peter and David were offered a new contract from The Jeffersons. They stalled as long as they could, hoping the Cheers people would respond, but they didn't. peter and David signed for one more year at The Jeffersons - and three days later the Cheers offer came through. The Charles brothers agreed to wait a year for them.

In 1984 the two finally moved to Cheers, where they met David Angell. The three were writers and producers on that show too, and in 1990 they formed Grub Street Productions, creating Wings and eventually Frasier. In recent years they have also crated a new show, named Encore! Encore! which did not do too well and was axed after a few episodes.

 

David Lee

 

David Lee

 

 

David C Lee was born in Claremont in California, the son of a bank vice-president. When he was 9 years old, his cousin took him to see My Fair Lady, and it was from then on that David decided to be involved in showbiz. His Bachelor Degree is in Music Theory & Theatre, which he obtained in 1972 from the University of the Redlands.

After graduating David moved to Los Angeles to become an actor, but by 1975 it was going nowhere. He got a job working as a proof-reader for a mimeograph company, where he met Peter Casey. They teamed up and started writing scripts together, after reading through the scripts that David proof-read and deciding they could do better. After stints on The Jeffersons and Cheers, they met David Angell and formed Grub Street Productions.

David's directing career began by accident. He'd trained as a director previously, but the thought of actually doing it was too scary for him. However Wings (and future Frasier) director Andy Ackerman's back went out suddenly just before an episode was due to be filmed, and David was forced to fill in for him. He found it horrifying at first, but had help from the staff and directed 5 other Wings episodes, as well as directing many Frasier episodes. David Lee has also directed episodes of other sitcoms such as Everybody Loves Raymond, and in 2001 he directed a pilot for a show called Say Uncle!, although the pilot was not picked up for a full series.

David Lee is gay and has taken part in many gay rallies among with other Frasier staff such as writer/producer Joe Keenan.

If you have any more information about any of the creators (particularly Peter Casey or David Lee!), contact me and let me know.


Legal Stuff:

Frasier created by David Angell, Peter Casey and David Lee. Based on the character "Frasier Crane" created by Glen and Les Charles and featured in the NBC / Paramount production "Cheers". Frasier is a Grub Street Production for NBC and Paramount. All Frasier characters are copyright NBC, Paramount and Grub Street Productions.

Goodnight Seattle created and maintained by Gareth Thomas. Any comments? Contact me and let me know. I'm listening.

This site is totally unofficial.

1