Anita Flores is easily the #1 Frasier superfan, and she’s got a podcast dedicated to the show to prove it – I’m Listening (now in its third season) delves into all kinds of Frasier goodness with a variety of rad guests, and if you haven’t given it a listen, I’d highly recommend doing that RIGHT NOW! I’d also highly recommend internet-eavesdropping on a recent phone chat we had about the podcast, and about things like who should do a 2019 cover of “Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs”, whether or not tossed salads and scrambled eggs even actually go together and MORE! You can also catch Anita live at The Pleasure Chest here in NYC next Saturday (11/16) for a new round of Party of Two, so grab tickets ASAP!
So you recently went to Mexico, yeah? It looked AMAZING!
It was amazing. I’d highly recommend that everyone go to Mexico City and Oaxaca. It was a really, really great trip.
So cool! Well, you’re back, so let’s talk about podcast stuff! I guess we’ll start with the obvious question, which is – why Frasier? And when did the obsession start for you?
I’d say the Frasier obsession started pretty early, just because I was watching it in real time. I won’t claim that at seven or eight years old I could appreciate the writing, but it was definitely a show that I liked watching. And I didn’t have much of a choice, anyway, because I didn’t have cable growing up, so I watched a lot of Must See TV. Then later it moved into syndication, so Frasier followed me around as I got older; in college I’d see reruns, and then I think things really took a turn when Frasier ended up streaming on Netflix. Streaming TV in general has just sort of…actually, I talked about this in an article recently, but streaming TV makes TV feel more like a friend or a companion and less like a show. It’s like something that I started to play in the background; it’s a relaxing show, I’ve seen every episode, so it’s a show I like to put on sometimes before I go to sleep. And then when I was thinking about doing a podcast, I kind of realized that there were certain shows that had been “taken”, if that makes sense, like Seinfeld. And Frasier…seemingly I was not alone in my love of it; I’d started taking polls on Facebook asking people “Does anyone here like Frasier? What if I did a podcast about it?” There were more people than I expected replying very enthusiastically that they liked Frasier, they wanted to hear more about Frasier, so. But it all started when I was actually watching it on TV when it was actually on.
Yeah, isn’t that funny? We didn’t have cable growing up either, so it was a lot of the Must See TV vibes. I remember my parents watching certain shows, and of course you don’t “get” everything that’s going on as a kid, but definitely stuff I appreciate now as an adult.
Yeah, it’s funny, I was at a Halloween party this weekend…there were a lot of shows I didn’t watch, but they’re just ingrained in my memory, like I never watched Night Court, but somebody was wearing a funny hat, like a fedora, and a judge’s robe, and they asked “Do you know who I am?” I was like, “You’re Harry from Night Court.” And they were like, “Yeah!” It was just funny. Like if I saw a character from Empty Nest then I’d recognize them. There are just certain things that I remember watching on TV that are ingrained in my brain forever.
Totally, and I wonder if that will even end up happening for younger generations now. I guess if they’re watching YouTube then there’s a chance it could switch to something fairly random via autoplay, but just having the TV on and discovering something that you never intended to watch or purposefully seek out…you know?
I genuinely feel sorry for the younger generation. I didn’t have a cell phone until I was like 19, and that was in 2006. I will say that I feel like when you don’t really have a choice, you just have to get creative; I didn’t have the internet growing up, or not until probably…10th grade? There are just certain things you had to look to for fun, including TV shows that are meant for adults. And having those play in the background now brings comfort, so I don’t know what that will look like for kids that have grown up watching YouTube videos. I have no idea.
I know, it’s so weird. My nieces aren’t old enough to talk about it yet, but I’m excited to pick their brains later. Alright, so you’ve watched every episode of Frasier. First of all, I’ll ask you what your favorite episode is (off the top of your head), and then also what your favorite episode of the podcast is, if there’s one that stands out to you, that might not even be about your favorite episode of the show.
So my favorite episode of the show is definitely “The Ski Lodge”, which is an episode that takes place with the whole Frasier gang in a cabin. It’s very farcical. This is also probably a good time to segue into my favorite episode of my podcast, which was with the Executive Producer of Frasier, Joe Keenan. Joe Keenan wrote probably most of my favorite episodes of Frasier including “The Ski Lodge”, which we talked about at length. But it was really interesting to speak to him about it, because he’s so smart, and he talked about French farce a lot; just the way he described coming up with all of these misunderstandings and mishaps that happen in “The Ski Lodge”…it almost sounds mathematical. I’m not a TV writer, so I just find it really fascinating when you have a show like Frasier, where a lot of what happens is like, misinformation and things blowing up and characters’ faces at the very end. I think the process is so interesting, how writers come up with these stories. He kind of just talked about writing “The Ski Lodge”, but yeah, it’s definitely my favorite episode; it feels very much like a play, just because it takes place in mostly one setting, which is this cabin. Lots of slamming door effects, people that have crushes on each other, and naturally everything blows up in Frasier’s face at the end of the episode. Definitely my favorite episode.
The best possible formula.
Right. And then of course talking to Joe Keenan was very cool; I was very flattered that he took the time to speak to me, and it was super, super cool. Can I say just one more, and I’ll be really quick about it?
Oh, for sure!
So the Joe Keenan one is really great, but my other favorite episode is called “Why POC Love Frasier”, which is “Why People of Color Love Frasier”. That was me and Rekha Shankar, who’s a head writer at College Humor. This episode, I found out, has its own Reddit thread. Essentially, this episode was talking about someone like me, like a Latinx person, and somebody who was raised in an Indian background, have this connection to Frasier. And it got really deep; we just started talking about how for Frasier, a big joke on the show is that he lives with his dad, but in other cultures, like some in Latin America and even in Rekha’s life growing up, families living together under one roof is not uncommon. It was just really interesting to talk about how we personally connected to the show. I thought that was a really, really great episode.
Yeah, that is super interesting! I lived in Argentina for two years, and that’s such a common thing; you only move out once you get married, but even then you’re around your family all the time and you take care of them. I guess I just never thought about it in the context of Frasier, how that is kind of an anomaly for American culture.
I also thought it was really interesting when I was in Mexico last week…there were a lot of very PDA couples in high school and older, and some of that I believe comes from still living at home, because if you’re a couple who’s in your early twenties but still live at home, you don’t know where you can make out with your boyfriend or girlfriend. So I definitely got to see a lot of very deeply in love slash horny couples in Mexico City.
Oh my god it’s so true. In Argentina they have these “love hotels” called telos that you basically just rent by the hour since people are like, “I don’t want to fuck around my family.” But back to Frasier! Would you say that “The Ski Lodge” would be the one you’d take with you to a desert island if you were stranded there and could only bring one episode to watch?
You know what, I think I’d pick a different episode! Can I cheat and pick a two-parter?
In that case, I’d pick a two-parter, and I’d pick the episode called “Something Borrowed”. It’s when Daphne is supposed to get married to Donny in season seven, the finale, but it’s a two-parter, because Niles finds out that Daphne is also in love with him. It always makes me tear up, if I’m being fully honest; it’s very romantic, and their entire relationship definitely warped my idea of romance for a long time. [Laughs] I’ve since moved on from this notion that it’s extremely romantic to yearn from someone from afar. In my opinion, in reality, it doesn’t usually work out that way in real life. But yes, I’d take that two-part episode with me to a desert island.
Solid choice. Hopefully it never comes to that! And who would you say you identify with most on the show? Like, which character?
I just had this conversation last night with my boyfriend at one o’clock in the morning. He thought he was going to get a simple answer from me. I think I’m a combination of…should I just pick one person? Because I feel as if this is a “Are you a Carrie or a Samantha?” in that I don’t think anybody is just a Carrie or a Samantha; I think we’re different pieces of characters. In my case, I’d say I have the anxiety of Niles, the sarcasm of Roz, and the sort of naivete and cookiness and…mmm, flakiness is the wrong word, but innocence, of Daphne, I’d say. If I had to pick one character, I’d pick Niles. I would. Just because I think his character is the one that I (along with many other people who’ve been on my podcast) relate to in that most of the time in life you’re not the star of the show, and it feels like you’re competing with everyone else; he was sort of in the shadow of Frasier, and I feel like that’s very relatable.
I had a lot of coffee, and I’m very sorry if I’m rambling right now!
No, these are great answers! Alright, so it’s tough to beat the OG Frasier theme song, but if you could choose anybody to cover it, who would it be? (If anyone?)
Oh my god. Wow, this is a really good question. I didn’t expect this answer, it truly just came to me, but yesterday I saw a new music video for Haim, and I do really like them. I liked that they did a cover of Shania Twain’s “That Don’t Impress Me Much”, and even though this is a very different, jazzy genre, I would like to see the Haim version of “Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs”.
That’s a good answer! I’d be super into that. I was also thinking the other day about how I don’t really see tossed salad on any menus nowadays. Like I feel like the only time I’ve ever seen that as a menu option is like, in my elementary school cafeteria or really old school diners.
There’s a whole backstory…I’m doing an episode (which I’ve already recorded) that covers the origins of that song, “Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs”. I’ll give you one fun fact, which is that the composer (because Kelsey Grammer didn’t write “Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs”)…the tossed salads and scrambled eggs are an analogy for people, as in he doesn’t know what he’s going to do with these tossed salads and scrambled eggs, aka people with mental problems. That’s perhaps slightly problematic, but yeah. I’m actually looking at a Vulture article right now for confirmation. Yeah, it was the composer Bruce Miller that was responsible for the song. And as far as I can tell, tossed salad and scrambled eggs are not a thing that people eat together.
There’s gotta be a Frasier superfan out there who only eats those things now though, you know?
Probably, yes. And we do try the combo on the upcoming episode of my podcast that is loosely called “Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs”. [Laughs] My oldest friend (who’s a writer) and I got drunk off of sherry and ate tossed salad and scrambled eggs. My boyfriend, who’s a very good cook, made the scrambled eggs and prepared the salad. (This sounds crazy talking about it out loud.) But we finally answer the question of whether or not we think tossed salad and scrambled eggs go together. I won’t tell you, because you have an extra reason to tune in now. [Laughs]
Oh my god. So has this whole season already been recorded, then? And what’s the plan moving forward?
So I’d say the majority of the episodes have already been recorded, however, there are still more coming. I actually met my first native Oaxacan Frasier fan in Oaxaca two weeks ago, and I am not a fluent Spanish speaker, but I have been speaking more Spanish, just because it feels really good to be practicing. It feels good to speak a second language. And so I befriended this art gallery owner slash artist who my boyfriend and I met in Oaxaca and then got drinks with him. Naturally it came up, “I have a Frasier podcast.” I asked him if he likes Frasier, and he loves Frasier, so I’m going to have him on my podcast. I’m very nervous, because we’re going to do it in Spanish, and then I think I’m going to release it in Spanish but also dubbed over in English. So that’s coming.
I think I’m also going to do another episode about Frasier virgins and make people watch it who haven’t; I get to pick an episode for them to start with and then see what they think about it. That was a long answer, but yes, still going. I’d say another season is just me reaching for the stars even more. Like, this season I got Rachel Bloom, which was (for me) pretty shocking, because I didn’t know her personally, and the only reason I found out she was a fan was because somebody who listens to my podcast tweeted at me and said, “You should have Rachel Bloom on; she’s a fan.” It’s very lovely to have people listening to my podcast who can find out tidbits like this for me. So for me, another season…you know, I want people that are actually on Frasier on the pod. And with with Rachel Bloom, I just tweeted at her and she said, “Sure!” I saw Edward Snowden was on Joe Rogan’s podcast, so I tweeted at him and said, “Hey, if you’re sick of talking about surveillance, come on my podcast to talk about Frasier!” [Laughs] Haven’t heard from him yet. I also tweeted at Stormy Daniels, but haven’t heard from her yet, either. (I’m hopeful.) Next season I’d just like to continue having people you wouldn’t expect are fans of Frasier on the podcast. I’d like to keep that momentum going. It’s about throwing your shit at the wall and seeing what sticks. That’s my whole motto right now.
Featured photo by Arin Sang-urai