David Hyde Pierce, who played Frasier Crane's fussy brother Dr. Niles Crane for 11 seasons on the hit NBC comedy Frasier, says that the show's gay-themed jokes poked fun at the “preposterousness” of gay stereotypes.

Pierce, who won four Emmy Awards during the show's run, came out gay in 2009 with the announcement that he had married TV producer Brain Hargrove a year earlier in California.

“The reason they had those gay jokes in Frasier, especially about Niles and Frasier, was it was examining stereotypes and those two were very neat and persnickety and it was acknowledging the fact that a lot of their behavior, [like] wine tasting and going to the opera and all, would be seen as gay by a lot of people,” Pierce said during an appearance on HuffPost Live.

“It was never jokes at the expense of gay people. We had gay people on staff. David Lee, one of the creators on the show is gay. And so, to me, it was always acknowledging the preposterousness of stereotypes.”

“It is a reflection of something that was more of a conversation at the time than it would be now,” he added.