Kelsey Grammer Opens Up About His Inspiration For Sideshow Bob On ‘The Simpsons’

Kelsey Grammer opens up about his inspiration for Sideshow Bob

During an interview on The Graham Norton Show, Kelsey Grammer opened up about his inspiration for The Simpsons’ Sideshow Bob and how he ended up with the role in the first place. According to Kelsey Grammer, Sideshow Bob was already a character on The Simpsons. Sideshow Bob was just a character that had yet to say anything. It was decided that they needed someone who could sing Cole Porter to play the voice of Sideshow Bob.

Grammer remembers how he frequently visited Sam Simon, the co-developer of The Simpsons and a former writer for the television show Cheers. One day, while Grammer was visiting Sam Simon, he was asked if he could sing the Cole Porter standard “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye” for the show.

“Well, we got this character who’s never actually said anything on the show. We want him to speak finally. Can you do it?” Grammer recalls Simon asking him.

When Kelsey Grammer read the script, he loved the idea of Sideshow Bob being a “cultured” serial killer. Almost immediately, Grammer had the perfect voice idea for the character. Kelsey decided to base the voice of the character on a former employee and theater director Ellis Rabb. According to Grammar, Rabb had a unique and over exaggerated voice. Kelsey claims that he always knew the voice would be perfect for a character and couldn’t wait for the day he could use it as such. When he read the script, he knew Rabb’s unique voice was perfect for Sideshow Bob.

According to Broadway World, Kelsey Grammer’s most recent appearance is being on Broadway with the role of Charles Frohman/Hook in Finding Neverland. Kelsey has a SAG Award, five Emmys, and three Golden Globes under his belt. He has also been nominated for 16 Emmys, eight Golden Globes, and 16 SAG Awards.

Kelsey Grammer’s television credits include Cheers, Frasier, Wings, and 30 Rock. In addition to The Simpsons, his other voice over credits include Toy Story 2, Anastasia, Teacher’s Pet, Gary the Rat, and Animal Farm. Kelsey has played the voice for Sideshow Bob for 14 years now. Back in 2006, Grammer even won an Emmy for his role as Sideshow Bob on The Simpsons.

According to Vanity Fair, unlike his professional life, Kelsey Grammer’s personal life has been filled with unimaginable tragedy and darkness. At the age of 13, his estranged father was shot and killed by a psychopath. Both of his half-brothers died in a scuba-diving accident. His sister was abducted, raped and murdered by Freddie Glen, the Colorado Spree Killer, in 1975.

In 2009, more than 30 years after his sister was murdered, Freddie Glen was up for parole. Grammer was successful in opposing his release when he described the killer as a monster.

“I miss her in my bones. I was her big brother. I was supposed to protect her—I could not…. It very nearly destroyed me.”

Vanity Fair asked Kelsey Grammer what he was able to learn or take away from all of the tragedy and darkness in his personal life.

“That every one of us is going to experience some terrible loss. I just got a big dose. For every story you hear that’s tragic, there’s another that’s equally tragic or more so. I think you come to look at it as part of life.”

Despite all of the tragedy and darkness early on in Kelsey Grammer’s life, he was able to be very successful in his professional life. If things had happened differently in Kelsey Grammer’s life, he might not have met the man who was responsible for giving him the inspiration he needed to be the voice of Sideshow Bob.

[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]