Q: Did any of the characters from "Frasier" appear on "Cheers" first? Other than Frasier, of course.

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

That's an interesting question. There were, of course, loads of cameos by "Cheers" characters on "Frasier," but did any of "Frasier's" main characters first appear in smaller roles on "Cheers"?

The short answer is no, though I'm putting an asterisk beside Lilith (played by Bebe Neuwirth, "Jumanji," 1995). In fact, two of the main characters couldn't possibly have appeared on the original show because "Cheers" claimed they didn't exist.

Let's get Lilith out of the way first. Is she a "Cheers" character who did cameos on "Frasier," or a "Frasier" character who was launched, like the title character himself, on "Cheers"? She did a mere 12 episodes of "Frasier" versus 80 episodes of "Cheers," but she very much existed in relation to her ex-husband Dr. Frasier Crane, who was introduced a season earlier than her on "Cheers."

Meanwhile, two of "Frasier's" central characters, his father, Martin (John Mahoney, "Barton Fink," 1991), and his brother, Niles (David Hyde Pierce, "A Bug's Life," 1998), couldn't possibly have appeared on "Cheers" because they only exist through a rewriting of the character's history.

It was stated on "Cheers" that Frasier Crane is an only child. "Frasier's" producers said they decided to add Niles' character to the show only after having seen Hyde Pierce's tape and wanting to get him involved.

It was also stated on "Cheers" that Frasier's dad was a research scientist. Instead, the "Frasier" team opted to rewrite him as a retired cop to provide a better contrast with his more "uppity" sons.

There are a couple of other interesting "Cheers"-to-"Frasier" cases, but these are more regarding the actors, not the characters.

The Martin Crane character may not have appeared on "Cheers" but Mahoney did — and his role as a cantankerous advertising jingle writer foreshadows much of Martin's future crabbiness. Meanwhile, Peri Gilpin, who played radio producer Roz on "Frasier," also did a one-off "Cheers" spot as a journalist (though for a newspaper, not radio).

Interestingly, Mahoney's and Gilpin's episodes appeared just weeks apart from each other during Season 11 of "Cheers," just months before "Frasier" debuted in 1993.


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