Actor Kelsey Grammer talks beer, baseball … and Sideshow Bob

Almost 40 years after she began playing one of the most iconic butterflies in history, Kelsey Grammer was the one who threw the foam Sunday afternoon at TD Bank Ballpark in Somerset, NJ, where everyone knew her name and, she hoped. , they would soon meet the couple. of beers that he has spent six years developing and brewing.

“What tends to happen is they say ‘Hey, it’s you, wow, that’s great, can we have a picture?'” Said Grammer in a voice that is as instantly recognizable as expected to anyone who has watched television during the last four. decades. “And then they taste the beer and say ‘Oh. Oh. It’s good.”

Grammer laughed.

“That’s what I hope people will do,” he said as he sat in a suite during the Double-A game between the Somerset Patriots, an affiliate of the Yankees, and the Reading Phillies. “You get a little hook, and you could say I’m that hook, but then they have a beer that tastes great. And it’s a good beer. “

His place as one of Sam Malone’s favorite clients on “Cheers” undoubtedly put Grammer, an accomplished stage actor who had only a handful of television credits before landing the role of Frasier Crane in 1984, on his way to afternoons like on Sunday, when he fused two of his passions off the screen.

The Faith American Brewing Company was founded in 2015 by Grammer, who hoped to use a property in the Catskills area of ​​upstate New York to help generate some economic activity in the area.

“(He) got in touch with a couple of brewers and got a recipe from a friend and we did a little slip and slide and a little improv because yeah, there were some demonstrations and some things that I really didn’t like. Grammer said. “We finally came across this one, the beer, the Faith American Ale. And I thought it was okay, like Goldilocks. “

Grammer began brewing the beers, in addition to Faith American Ale, it also brewed Calico Man IPA, in 2019, although it shut down production during the pandemic. With the improved production, the beers are being distributed in New York and New Jersey and Grammer plans to start hosting events in the faucet room he built on the Catskills property.

“If it sucked, it would be another celebrity concoction that fell by the wayside,” Grammer said with a smile. “This is the beer that I hope people will drink for a long, long time.”

The 66-year-old Grammer, who threw a perfectly good first pitch, to Patriots manager emeritus Sparky Lyle, who won the 1977 AL Cy Young Award with the Yankees, between pouring his beers and posing for selfies in the esplanade served to remind him of his late grandfather, whose advice still rang true on Sunday.

“I haven’t increased the speed,” Grammer said. “So I thought, well, I hope I have precision. Because my grandfather used to say ‘You’re going to need precision before you need speed.’

Grammer is a baseball fan enough that the mention of Jacob deGrom’s 102 mph fastball prompted an immediate and emphatic shake of the head.

“No sir,” Grammer said. “I thought if he got 35 (mph) from this, he would be in pretty good shape.”

Grammer said he loves baseball so much that just playing the National Anthem on an organ, since it was Sunday, makes him cry. He performed the anthem before the 1996 All-Star Game in Philadelphia and also sang “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” during the seventh-inning stretch of a Cubs game in 2011. In 2015, toured the Baseball Hall of Fame with his familyincluding the tweens that he hopes will soon become fans. Grammer also spoke fondly of the gentle insistence it took to convince his wife Kayte, a native of England, to watch “The Natural,” which she said she liked.

Thirty-three years ago, Grammer saw the closest thing to a real-life moment when he was at Dodger Stadium for Game 1 of the Dodgers-Athletics World Series that Kirk Gibson finished off with a shocking home run. against Dennis Eckersley.

“I just said ‘Oh (shoot), well okay, we’ll see what happens,’” ​​Grammer said as he ate a hot dog as a glass of beer sat next to the baseball he threw at Lyle. “I’m talking to this girl I was saying, ‘You know what, what the hell?’ (Shooting). Everybody just stands up (and says) ‘OMG!’ And the next day it’s Roy Hobbs.

“Baseball is just… it’s everything. It’s the American pastime. “

Grammer has at least one thing in common with a handful of gamers he’s seen over the years: iconic and surprisingly inexpensive cameos on “The Simpsons.”

Or, as Grammer put it regarding the roles he’s most recognized for: “Sideshow Bob always sneaks in somewhere, because he’s kind of universal.”

As defining of a character as Frasier Crane became for Grammer – the announcement of a Paramount + reboot gives Grammer the opportunity to become the fourth actor to play a character for at least 21 seasons: He has played the murderous, melodious and occasionally sentimental Bob Sideshow throughout the record run of “The Simpsons,” who is 32 years old. seasons with at least two more to come.

Of the 15 episodes focusing on Sideshow Bob, nine were rated higher than the show’s season rating, including each of the last three dating back to 2015’s “Treehouse of Horror,” which included the vignette “Wanted: Dead, Then Alive “in which Bob actually kills Bart (and brings Bart back to life after getting bored without him).

Sideshow Bob’s highest-rated episode was his first: the first season of “Krusty Gets Busted,” in which Bob framed Krusty for robbing a convenience store to take over Krusty’s show and give him the high treatment. sewing you think you deserve. Bart, of course, exposes Bob’s plan, thus setting in motion the latter’s never-ending quest for revenge.

An audience of 30.4 million people tuned in to the episode the night of April 29, 1990. But Grammer, who was asked by the late Sam Simon to voice Sideshow Bob, who wrote for “Cheers” before helping to develop “Los Simpson “- you didn’t need to see the ratings to know that the character had an immediate impact.

“I had a friend who was a teacher in Illinois, in Evanston, when the first one came out,” Grammer said. “And that week, whatever group of students took care of them, God bless them, they painted an entire building with Sideshow Bob’s head on it. And it said ‘Free Sideshow Bob’.

“He sent me the photo and I said, well, I guess this thing took off. It has cast a very long shadow since then. “

But as two of Gibson’s 1988 Dodgers teammates, Mike Scioscia and Steve Sax, learned when they participated in the 1992 classic “Homer at the Bat,” the Screen Actors Guild’s remnants of reruns and the house don’t go away. they add up to exactly what it is not. cast members.

“I’m afraid the show isn’t making a profit yet,” veteran “The Simpsons” showrunner Al Jean said, tongue firmly planted on his cheek, during a “Homer at the Bat” panel discussion at the Hall of Fame. Baseball in 2017.

“I have several checks in my room right now that I brought with me that I actually forgot to bring here,” Sax said. “I was going to show you. I received three checks and it was a total of one dollar and 18 cents. ”

When told on Sunday about the increase in viewership provided by Sideshow Bob, Grammer smiled.

“It’s good to know, because I’ll tell you what I told you: ‘It’s about time you started paying me some money,'” Grammer said. “I was getting a SAG scale for the first 10 and I thought it’s okay please come on guys it’s the most successful show ever.”

Grammer said he has seen every episode of Sideshow Bob except for the Treehouse of Horror installment. Your favorite, unsurprisingly?

“The best is honestly HMS Pinafore,” he said, referring to the season 5 classic “Cape Feare,” which is among most of the all-time top 10 lists compiled by diehard critics and fans. same.

(At this point, the other seven people in Grammer’s suite began to nod or murmur in agreement, showing that there is at least one thing that still unites Americans.)

A parody of the “Cape Fear” films, as well as other horror and thrillers, “Cape Feare” brings Bob on parole closer to his goal of murdering Bart, while revealing the best and most absurd joke of the day. Franchise: Bob Coming Out From Under The Simpsons Car – The family was placed in witness protection, renamed themselves The Thompsons, and moved to a boat along Terror Lake to try to escape Bob, and get in, one at a time, in eight rakes. The clip played during Sunday’s game.

Bob finally gets on the Simpsons ship in the middle of the night, ties up the rest of the family, and is about to murder Bart when he asks his foil if he has any last requests. Bart, seeing a sign that the ship is 15 miles from Springfield, asks Bob to sing the sheet music for HMS Pinafore. Bob makes the request and is finally about to kill Bart when the boat crashes ashore at a brothel, where the Springfield Police Department is conveniently meeting.

“We are in the recording session, because I never read in advance, I just said ‘What are we going to do today?’ – and they said, ‘Can you sing this?’ Grammer said. “I said, ‘Well, I can, oddly enough.’ And that was a lot of fun.

“And when I was making buttercup – ‘I’m poor little buttercup’ (and here Grammer actually sang the line), I thought, OK, this is it. This will be one of my most famous moments.

“It was.”

Jerry Beach recommends “Sideshow Bob’s Last Gleaming” (Season 7) and “The Bob Next Door” (Season 21) as the second and third best Sideshow Bob episodes. Also, his eight-year-old daughter asked him Sunday night if he would ask Grammer to do the voice of Bob Sideshow. She was disappointed to learn that he did not apply.

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