'Frasier' had a surprising influence on 'Avengers: Infinity War'

Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment
Yahoo Movies

If you thought the Arrested Development Easter egg in Avengers: Infinity War was unexpected, it’s not the only beloved TV comedy manifested in the record-smashing superhero ensemble.

As Peter Parker might say, you ever hear of an old TV show called Frasier?

In a visit to Yahoo Entertainment’s studios this week, Infinity War screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely revealed the fact that the eccentric intellects from the Emmy-winning ’90s Cheers spinoff were the main inspiration for the dynamic between Tony Stark, aka Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), and the Master of the Mystic Arts, Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch).

Frasier was influential in our decision to put Stark and Strange together,” McFeely revealed (watch above).

As the writing duo explained, most shows would have given Dr. Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) a brother who was completely different they would play against each other. But the Frasier creators made the bold decision to pair the titular therapist/radio host with a sibling (David Hyde Pierce’s Dr. Niles Crane) who was “even more like Frasier than Frasier,” Markus said. “And it gives Frasier the opportunity to go, ‘Wow, I must be really annoying.’”

So how did that translate to a pair of superheroes? “To take Tony and Dr. Strange, who are quite similar — they both have goatees, they’re both arrogant — the impulse might be, ‘Well, let’s keep them separate because they occupy the same space, and everyone will get their own Arrogant Goatee Man,” said Markus.

“But to put them together, one, is funny, and their powers are totally different. But also it helps Tony go, ‘Wow, arrogant people are really annoying … I’m arrogant, huh.’ This is how we become better people in life.”

Suddenly that “I don’t feel so good” meme with Frasier makes even more sense.

Avengers: Infinity War, you may have heard, is now in theaters.

Watch the Infinity War cast show off their (hypothetical) death faces:

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