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The Story Behind Its Celebrity Voice Cameos & Why They’re So Great

Frasier was able to make use of a staggering amount of celebrity voice cameos in its 11-season run – here’s how, and what makes them so perfect.

In its 11-season run, Fraser featured a number of impressive celebrity voice cameos—from John Lithgow to the great Mel Brooks—but the story behind them highlights just what makes them so perfect. in the cheers spin-off, the titular psychiatrist hosts his own radio show, on which he offers his professional advice to his listeners. Frasier’s radio show takes calls from people who need more specific advice, and this is where many of the show’s celebrity cameos came in.

One of the show’s best running jokes was Fraser‘s celebrity cameos, which were incredibly easy to miss. These appearances came in the form of individuals calling into Frasier’s radio show, often with unusual problems or abrasive personalities for added comedic effect. However, what made these cameos so perfect goes far deeper than the simple fact of their existence or their regular recurrence.

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what makes Fraser‘s celebrity voice cameos work so perfectly actually stems from the story behind how they were captured and the nature of how they were written into the show. The format of the cameos made for a satisfying running gag, with fans attempting to identify the celebrity by just their voice, but the fact that the celebrities never actually appeared on Fraser made it all the more satisfying. put simply, Fraser‘s high number of cameos avoided being seen as a gimmick because of how subtly they were achieved.


Kelsey Grammer sitting at a table in Frasier.

The show’s use of the celebrity cameos through phone calls actually made them much easier to record. Usually, the callers’ dialogue would be read off-camera, and the celebrities’ voices would then be added in post-production. This allowed Fraser‘s celebrity guest stars to record their dialogue over the phone, which actually made the variety in cameos much easier to achieve, as none of the celebrities needed to be physically available to film their cameo – a simple phone conversation was never a constraint on their time.


By making the celebrity cameos part of the titular character’s radio show, the show’s writers were also able to link them to Fraser‘s original premise. This allowed the cameos to feel organic, rather than forced, making them a subtle running gag which highlighted Fraser‘s more sophisticated sense of humor. Many of the celebrities even disguised their voices for their cameos, making it even less obvious exactly whose voice was being heard in any given episode.

All of Fraser‘s celebrity voices were thanked at the end of each season with a “thanks for calling” montage, showing the names and faces of the actors who had taken part. This was a perfect way to reveal the extent of Fraser‘s cameos without breaking the show’s carefully written subtlety, also confirming or disproving fans’ identifications of the voices throughout the season. Whether or not Fraser‘s upcoming reboot will find some way of reusing the old method of obtaining impressive and subtle celebrity voice cameos remains to be seen, but it was certainly one of Fraser‘s greatest running gags.


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