We were so taken up with the Giles Fraser piece on evangelicals, that we completely missed the much greater calumny. I refer, of course, to this article on Kelsey Grammer.
Oh, yeah, very interesting. 4 wives, blah blah, but then we get this:
"Counting his appearances in both Cheers and Frasier, Grammer played the pompous yet essentially lovable psychiatrist for two decades, from 1984 to 2004, the longest-running job in sitcom history..."When Dr Frasier Crane first ambled into the wonder that was Cheers, Peter Sallis had been playing Norman Clegg in Last of the Summer Wine for 11 years. After Frasier signed off for the last time, Sallis went on as the redoubtable Clegg for another 6. I make that a full 17 years that Norman Clegg outlasted Frasier in continuous production.
Of course, if we were to pay attention only to the wonderful Norman, we'd miss the fact that Frasier's mere 20 years compares poorly to Ivy, played by Jane Freeman, who ran the caff for those 37 years; Kathy Staff, whose Nora managed 35 years, with the odd break; and of course Compo, played by Bill Owen, who managed 27 years.
I admit that Frasier may have appeared in more episodes of his two sit-coms than the elderly Yorkshire folk, but that's the way it is with American series - huge teams of writers will always produce stuff faster than one bloke called Clarke. And that is merely "most productive", not "longest-running". So "the longest-running job in sitcom history"? Frasier barely served his apprenticeship.