LIVE WITH REGIS AND KATHY LEE (TV program - NBC) with host Regis Philbin and Kathy Lee Gifford May 18, 2000
Interview by Regis Philbin and guest host Susan Lucci. David was wearing same clothes at Today Show interview.
Regis Philbin:   All right, he's been making us laugh as the uptight neurotic Dr. Niles Crane, he's really a fabulous actor on Frasier, of course, all these years. Has a big night coming up tonight and here he is, David Hyde Pierce. (loud audience cheering)
RP:   David, good to see you! David Hyde Pierce:   Good to see you.
Susan Lucci:   Oh, so great to meet you David.
DHP:   Very nice to meet you too. DHP sits down and looks out at audience.
DHP:   Must not be as early for them as it is for me.
RP:   It looks really early for you today.
DHP:   Oh man. I tell you, I'm still on LA time.
RP:   Have you been doing New York at, by the night time?
DHP:   A little bit. I've been going to shows.
SL:   Great, what did you see?
RP:   What did you see that's great?
DHP:   Everything I saw is good. I saw "Kiss Me Kate."
RP:   Oh, isn't that a great revival?
DHP:   Amazing. Saw Dame Edna, which, is that unbelievable? So funny you can't believe it.
SL:   You didn't sit in the front did you?
DHP:   No, I specifically didn't sit in the front cuz he uses people in the audience in the cruelest ways. But it's really funny. And saw Copenhagen.
RP:   Oh yea, how is that?
RP:   Phillip Bosco
DHP:   The great Phillip Bosco, Blair Brown, Michael Comstein, an amazing cast.
RP:   And when you see three shows in a row on Broadway does it kind of whet... your appetite to go back into it?
DHP:   I thought you were going to say "wet me". (laughter)
SL:   You have quite a background in theater don't you?
DHP:   Thank you! I do actually. I started out doing theater here in New York. One of my first apartments was like, you know, two doors down from here.
RP:   Is that right?
DHP:   Yea, on Columbus Avenue.
RP:   How do you feel when you see it?
DHP:   Uh, it's nice. I lived, the same air conditioner is still in the window. (laughter) And I assume it still doesn't work. (laughter) But it does, you know, I would love to go back on the stage. I did a musical briefly back in LA while I was doing Frasier. Boys From Syracuse.
SL:   Oh great.
DHP:   And there's nothing like live theater and having live bodies in the audience.
RP:   Sure. I bet that was fabulous. Incidentally, he was the, David was the host, one of the host of the night-time Emmy Awards last year which I made a brief appearance on.
RP:   And you were very nice to me.
DHP:   Well, we had a good time. We had a funny bit. We thought it was funny.
RP:   We thought it was funny, yea. So the audience didn't laugh, so what. Now, you know, all his life he wanted to be an actor. But a lot of us go through that phase where you see something in the movies and all of a sudden you come home and you kind of, re-enact it, you know, in front of the mirror.
SL:   Oh, definitely.
RP:   Did you go through all of that? DHP (laughing): Um . . . yes. I . . . as a very little kid I was just obsessed with death scenes. (audience laughter) I used to watch, I remember, really, really young, like 6, 8, years old. I saw when Marlon Brando did Julius Caesar and I think Louis Calhern played Julius Caesar and he got stabbed in the forearms. So I used to write little plays for my elementary school friends where I played Julius Caesar and they'd stab me to death. And I watched gangster movies and then I'd, you know, re-enact death scenes at home.
RP:   And I love when they get shot by a Tommy gun, you know, multiple bullets (jerks about demonstrating)
DHP:   That was me, that's what I did. I used to do it in my house, my mom and dad, where I grew up, had a big, long staircase. And you know, my mom would be in the kitchen or something and from the kitchen she'd hear me go "oh! oh! oh! oh! oh!" and "bumpeda, bumpeda, bumpeda, bumpeda" down the staircase.
RP:   You took the fall for your art.
DHP:   That's right, that's right.
RP:   And then of course, wanted to be a concert pianist and plays very, very well.
SL:   So I hear.
DHP:   Oh, like all of us. Well, I don't play well enough to be a concert pianist, That was the problem.
RP:   One day we would love to just roll out the piano and have you noodle a few tunes.
DHP:   Right. Well, if you're looking to lower your ratings.
SL:   Do you still plays?
DHP:   I do play, I play for fun.
SL:   For fun.
DHP:   I play all the time.
RP:   Yesterday we had Sarah Michelle Gellar, have you noticed these three name actors and actresses now
DHP:   Yes. Well, you get, you're paid per name. (audience laughter)
RP:   You wish!
DHP:   That's why we all do it. Just wait, you know it's gonna be like . . .
RP:   David Hyde Pierce.
DHP:   Yes. Isn't that lovely?
RP:   Sounds like something out of olde England, you know, olde London.
DHP:   Jimmy Burrows, our long-time director on Frasier calls me David Hyde Park. (audience laughter)
SL:   Is it your real name?
DHP:   Hyde is my actual middle name. I was always David Pierce. When I was here acting on the stage I was David Pierce. And then when I joined the Film Union there already was a David Pierce.
RP:   Oh, no kidding.
DHP:   In face, if you ever see the Terminator movie
RP:   Uh huh
DHP:   There is a David Pierce in the Terminator movie, its' not me.
RP:   So he had to go back to Hyde.
DHP:   And so I had to. I didn't want to change my name.
DHP:   So I just used my middle name.
RP:   Well, you've got a big night coming up tonight. Everybody's talking about whether or not Niles and Daphne are gonna, well, we'll have to find out. Let's wait, we'll come back and we'll ask him about it in just a moment.
RP:   David Hyde Pierce from Frasier on our show right now. And tonight, of course, everybody's wondering how Niles is gonna handle this. You know he has carried around this deep love for this woman. And hasn't revealed it yet.
DHP:   No, no. He tried to many times.
RP:   What is it like for Niles to carry this around in his heart all these years?
DHP:   It's been seven years now.
DHP:   He can barely walk. (audience laughter)
RP:   Well, everybody knows it, everybody is saying 'Why doesn't he tell her!' Why hasn't he told her?
DHP:   Well, there's always been a relatively good reason. Initially he was married. And then he was in love with her, but he was in love with his wife. Then he got separated. And so that wasn't a good time. Then he finally got divorced and Daphne fell in love with his divorce lawyer.
RP:   Oh, I gotcha.
DHP:   And so now she's engaged.
RP:   All of that.
DHP:   Well, she's not only that, she's engaged, she's gonna get married to him.
RP:   So time's running out.
DHP:   Very possibly tonight.
RP:   Niles has to make . . .
DHP:   Niles, no, because Niles has now moved on. He's in love with his ex-wife's plastic surgeon. It's a lot like (audience laughter( it's a lot like your show.
RP:   And just, you know, when you think about it, Niles almost didn't make it on the show right? I mean that was a . . .
DHP:   Well, he was originally not going to be on the then show. There was no brother. The guys who created the show had crated Wings which was all about two brothers. And hen Sheila Guthrie, who is the casting director who worked with Jeff Greenberg who is out main casting director, brought in pictures of me and tape of me from another show I'd done and said "Look, if you ever have a brother, this guy looks kinda like Kels."
RP:   Absolutely perfect casting.
SL:   Absolutely perfect.
DHP:   My lucky day, I'll tell you.
SL:   And a wonderful part in itself.
DHP:   Oh man. Oh well, the writing,
SL:   The writing is outstanding.
DHP:   Yes, it's a joy play.
RP:   It's been great. Now where does Frasier wind up next season? In the NBC line-up. Do you know yet? DHP (poker-faced, audience laughter): Yes.
RP:   I've lost track with all the news.
DHP:   Yes, I know. Well, we used to be, like tonight we're on Thursday night.
DHP:   And then starting next season we'll be on Tuesday night. At 9 o'clock, And I don't think there's really anything else on at 9 o'clock. (audience laughter)
RP:   No, there really isn't. Especially when I'm on at 8. But anyway! Well that's good. I'm glad we're not facing Frasier next season.
DHP:   Oh, so you, oh, we're not up against each other? Oh, that is so nice.
RP:   No, we're on at 8 on Tuesday.
DHP:   That's great.
RP:   We're on wherever ABC wants us to be on.
DHP:   I know. I was saying there's like a hour and a half next season that Millionaire isn't on. (audience laughter)
RP:   Now here's a clip from tonight's show. Which incidentally, NBC has kept very, very quiet. Very secretive. But in this particular scene we have Daphne telling Frasier, I suppose Niles will walk in, something will happen with Niles. We rarely play a clip without the star being in it.
DHP:   Good thing!
RP:   But Daphne is telling Frasier she finally knows that Niles loves her. Take a look at this. (Shows clip)
RP:   Funny stuff. Well, somebody told her.
DHP:   Yes, apparently she knows. Yea, he told her during an ill-advised massage.
RP:   Ah, but I didn't see you in the scene here.
DHP:   No. I felt my presence though.
RP:   I did too as a matter of fact.
DHP:   No, you know what? The truth is, I realized as I was watching that clip, they can't show any of the scenes I'm in tonight. It gives too much away. There's nothing I do in tonight's episode we can show you now. (laughing)
RP:   Guess we'll have to wait till tonight. Till 9 o'clock tonight on NBC. Frasier, one hour. Ok. (audience begins applauding loudly, music starts playing) Thanks David.
DHP:   Good to see you. Thanks.
SL:   So nice to meet you.
RP:   Good luck to you, take care buddy.
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