The Show (Cable program - BayTV35) with host Susan Blake     September 27, 1999
The interview first aired on "The Show," a one-hour daily talk variety show which airs weekdays at 6:00 pm on Cable Channel 35 BayTV. It was subsequently posted on sfgate.com. To view the interview on RealVideo, click here.
Susan Blake: Our next guest is known as a very tightly wound doctor David Crane [sic] on the hit show "Frasier." Lets take a look.
[CLIP FROM FRASIER (from Season 1 episode "You Can't Tell a Crook By His Cover")]:
Frasier: Niles, just sit down and relax, for god's sake. You are being irrational.
Niles: Don't you dare call me irrational! You know that makes me crazy.
Frasier: Now, Niles. Now, listen. I think Jimmy's just a perfectly nice guy. Besides, Daphne can take care of herself.
Niles: I don't care, I'm going after her. I'm not without resources. My Tae Kwon Do instructor tells me that I'm just two moves away from becoming quite threatening.
[END AUDIO CLIP]
SB: It is Dr. Niles Crane, otherwise known as David Hyde Pierce. Thanks for joining us today.
David Hyde Pierce: Thank you, Susan.
SB: I know you have some other things that you want to talk about, but I first want to congratulate you on your third Emmy.
DHP: Thank you very much.
SB: That must be very exciting.
DHP: Yeah, it was a nice thing...
DHP: It was a nice thing.
SB: OK, so lets talk a little bit about what a big cause in your life has become and something that you're helping a lot of people with and that is Alzheimer's, correct?
DHP: Yeah, I work... I'm one of the national chairpersons for the Alzheimer's Association. I got involved because my grandfather died of Alzheimer's disease and then last year my own dad died with Alzheimer's-like symptoms. So I've seen it first hand and I hate it and I want to get rid of it.
SB: And there is a big event coming up, it's called the Memory Walk, correct?
SB: And it's all across the country?
DHP: They have it all across the country in September and October. It's different weekends in different places and it's an opportunity for people to raise both money and awareness about the disease and specifically to raise money for local organizations that provide resources for families going through this.
SB: David, tell us a little bit about where they are in terms of research. Because there's been a lot of publicity about it in recent years and I think in people's minds there is a perception that we've really made great strides in treatment.
DHP: Yeah. Well, no, we haven't made great strides in treatment. There are some treatments available but they're very... they're not long term effective.
SB: Uh huh.
DHP: However, we do have incredible breakthroughs that keep happening in the research and my sense is that we're getting closer and closer to a cure, but we really have to find a cure because we're... right now there's about 4 million people who have the disease, but in the next century when my generation, when the babyboomers turn sixty, we're going to go from 4 million to 14 million people with the disease and we can't afford to let that happen because it would be disasterous. So we have to keep up the funding, really, so that the research can progress.
SB: And so what kind of money are you looking to raise through the Memory Walk and is all that money used then for research? Or how is the money to be used?
DHP: No, there are... first of all, you can always donate to the Alzheimer's Association and money will go towards research. The Memory Walk in particular has raised about 43 million dollars over the years and that really has more to do with caregiving and providing resources in the community so that when someone... For example, Shelley Fabare, who is another national chairperson, has been involved with the association for many years. She got involved because just ten years ago her mother was diagnosed with this and they, at the hospital, they basically said, "Well, she's got Alzheimer's, too bad, see ya!" and she didn't know where to turn and she found the Alzheimer's Association number in the phonebook and they were literally a lifeline for her. And she's been paying them back ever since and gladly. So that's the main place for the Memory Walk money to go.
SB: Right and I know here in San Francisco our Memory Walk is going to be Saturday, October 2. Before we get out of here, I want to talk a little bit about the Emmys the other night. It looked like you were having a great time. Was it a lot of fun to do that?
DHP: I had a blast.
SB: Yeah, you looked like you were enjoying it.
DHP: I had a great time. I hosted with Jenna Elfman and she's really sweet and funny and we had a good time working together. And also I thought it was actually a pretty good Emmy Awards. I thought there was some very funny stuff. I thought that there was some very moving stuff that happened. Certainly Robert Guillaume appearing and as always when they show the montage of people who've passed away over the last year, that's always a very moving thing. But I was very pleased with it.
SB: Now, also how long have you been studying interpretive dance?
DHP: About an hour and a half...
DHP: ...which if you saw the Emmys you can tell. That may even be long.
SB: The purple tights were especially a nice touch.
DHP: Thank you.
DHP: Well, you know what. We wanted... we figured, everyone always hosts the Emmys or these award shows, they come out in their tux and their ballgown and that's great. We just wanted to surprise people a little bit.
SB: Oh and with Jenna. To do that sort of thing with Jenna was like perfect.
DHP: Well, exactly, because she's so physical in her comedy and wanted to do something that incorporated that.
SB: OK. Now there are a couple of... we've got "Frasier" fans all over the place here. They're dying to know, are we ever going to see Maris? And are you going to truly reveal your deep dark secret and your crush on Daphne?
DHP: Hmm, two very good questions. Un, you don't want to meet Maris.
DHP: People ask that question all the time. Believe me, I know her, I've been married to her, you're better off. That's the first thing. And as for Daphne, I cannot believe that this series will end without her and me coming together. Now whether that's going to happen this season, I don't know, althought there is a possibility. The writers have been talking about it. I've only seen a few of the scripts so far and I know that they're definitely shaking things up. I'm sorry to say that in San Francisco, I know that's a little...
SB: (laughs) That makes me a little nervous.
DHP: I know, but... we get those here too. So it's definitely going to be an interesting season, I can tell you that.
SB: Alright. David Hyde Pierce, thank you so much for joining us.