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Kelsey Grammer's Late Night

Kelsey Grammer has done Shakespeare, Broadway and, of course, television sitcoms. But he's never hosted a television talk show.

That's about to change. Grammer filled in for David Letterman as the host of The Late Show for a day, on a show which will air Friday evening on CBS.

Grammer visited The Early Show to discuss his temporary stand-up gig, which was recorded Thursday, among other things.

The classically trained actor says he's never done any stand-up. Grammer says he had confidence in the show's writers and he says television audiences will have fun watching the show. But, he emphasizes, he's not going to try to compete with Letterman or be Letterman. Viewers, he say, should expect him to be himself.

Grammer will also be making a splash into cable television this month. He is the executive producer and voice talent in a new animated television series, "Gary the Rat." The show will debut on Thursday, June 26 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on the new TNN.

He says the idea for "Gary the Rat" was originally inspired by the Kafka novel "Metamorphosis," in which the hero wakes up and discovers that he's a giant bug. The cartoon was first made to run on the Internet, but Grammer felt it was ready for television audiences. In the show, Gary is a devious lawyer who one day wakes up and discovers that he's a giant rat — having had his unethical choices catch up with him.

Grammer's successful television sitcom, "Frasier," will see its last season this year. He says he will be hard at work after the show ends (Grammer is already working on a mini-series with Hallmark about Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde, and a musical version of the life of J. Edgar Hoover.)

Grammer says that he considers himself a storyteller, and that after "Frasier" finishes he'll keep telling stories, either as a producer, actor or preferably both.

Some Facts About Kelsey Grammer

  • Allen Kelsey Grammer was born in St Thomas, Virgin Islands, Feb. 21, 1955
  • Grammer attended Crest Preparatory High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and began performing in school plays
  • Grammer attended the Juilliard School's Drama Department in New York for two years, but he was expelled for not attending classes; classmates included Christopher Reeve, Robin Williams, Diane Venora and Mandy Patinkin
  • Worked in menial jobs while pursuing acting career in Manhattan in mid-1970s
  • Grammer performed for three years at the Old Globe in the late 1970s
  • In 1981, Grammer made his Broadway debut as Lennox in "Macbeth," understudied the title role and took over when Philip Anglim abruptly withdrew from the show after receiving negative reviews
  • In 1982, he had featured role of Cassio in a Broadway revival of "Othello" with James Earl Jones and Christopher Plummer
  • Grammer appeared as Dr. Canard on the NBC daytime series "Another World"
  • In 1984, Grammer joined the cast of the NBC sitcom "Cheers" — playing Dr. Frasier Crane; the show's creators originally wanted John Lithgow, but he was unavailable
  • In 1985, Grammer was asked to join "Cheers" as a regular
  • Grammer was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs in 1987
  • In 1988, Grammer failed to show up for two arraignments for a cocaine arrest
  • Grammer was sentenced to community service and 30 days in prison in 1990
  • Grammer lends his voice to the character Sideshow Bob on Fox's "The Simpsons"
  • In 1993, Grammer starred in the hit NBC comedy "Frasier", reprising his role from "Cheers"
  • In 2001, Grammer appeared as a television newsman in "15 Minutes," starring Robert De Niro and Edward Burns

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