Some years ago, one of those Top 100 poll shows was asked to determine the number one sitcom. The top spot, to anyone with an interest in television comedy, would be fought out between, most assumed, Fawlty Towers, the short running but cult classic, and Seinfeld, the single most commercially successful (at least in the US) television sitcom of all time.
Yet, when the poll of critics was examined, both shows were beaten by Frasier. Outrageous, surely? Frasier, a spin off from the hugely successful 1980s hit Cheers, was a good show, but best sitcom of all time? Really?
I was one of the doubters. I had watched and enjoyed Frasier on and off, but greatest sitcom?
Yet when I listened to the critics reasons, they were very clear in their reasons. The show ran for 11 seasons, and during that time maintained a consistent quality over that period of time, but that’s not just it. What made Frasier a great show was the ensemble cast, and the fact that those 11 years allowed each actor to create a rounded and entertaining and endearing character. I was still doubtful, so I bought season one on DVD when I saw it going cheap.
Did I change my opinion of the show? Well, put it this way: I went on to buy the other 10 seasons. In short, if my house was burnt down, it would be the first box set I’d replace. If there’s one sitcom you’re going to order from Amazon, this is the one. Pure comedy gold.
The clip below is from an episode where Frasier is asked to record a short jingle for his radio psychiatrist show. He goes at it with gusto.