Peter Casey Bids a Final Farewell to "Frasier"
San Francisco native Peter Casey (B.A., '75) brought a little of his hometown to Seattle when he created "Frasier." "My father was a San Francisco police officer for 34 years and my grandfather was a captain. That was the inspiration for Martin [Frasier's father] being a policeman. Many of his police buddies were named after police friends of my dad's."
After 11 years of phenomenal success, the show has come to an end. SFSU Magazine caught up with Casey a few weeks before the heavily anticipated last episode aired on May 13 (on which he made a guest appearance) to ask him about his time with the Crane brothers and to find out what's next. While he admits that he will miss the routine, the laughs from the studio audience and being in a room with "a dozen amazingly talented, funny, witty writers," Casey also feels that it was time to go. "We filmed 264 episodes. You don't want to hang around until they're showing you the door."
After more than a decade of demanding production and writing schedules, the producer is looking forward to a little time off. Casey plans to spend more time with his sons and his wife, Rosemary (B.A., '81). The Caseys are major donors to SFSU's Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts Department.
Casey has won seven Emmys for himself (the show has won a record 31) and countless other awards. In 2002, SFSU named him Alumnus of the Year. "I was so touched and flattered. â¦ That my alma mater chose to single me out of so many worthy graduates was immensely gratifying and just an enormous thrill for me."
What's been the most rewarding part of "Frasier"? "Being the co-creator of a show that is so widely admired and enjoyed," Casey says.
A few years ago, while vacationing in Scotland with his wife, he picked up a local newspaper and found a headline declaring the start of a new season of "Frasier." "That was pretty cool," he says.
Now that "Fraiser" is over, is there any celebrity gossip Casey's willing to dish? Well, yes. But it's about the dogs. Apparently, Enzo, who played the original Eddie, wasn't the most cuddly animal in the world. "He would just stand there as you petted him -- you might as well have been petting an ottoman," Casey says. When Enzo's son, Moose, came on the set to play Eddie part-time, the movie star egos really started to flare. "For a while we used both dogs and you couldn't let them see each other or they'd go after each other. Call it professional jealousy." He admits that although Enzo was a little more of a "real dog" -- he liked to be petted -- Casey still calls him a "treat whore."
And who was responsible for more out-takes, Eddie or his human colleagues? "It's no contest," Casey says. "The humans made far more mistakes. Maybe we should have been throwing them bits of boiled chicken all those years."
-- By Samantha Schoech