"Send in the Cranes" is slightly schizophrenic. The Crane portion in which Frasier has to go on for Woody as a children's party clown is hysterical, with the tension provided by the clown outfit's trick handkerchief that drops the clown's pants - while Frasier is wearing skimpy black French-cut briefs. Meanwhile, Sam is in one-dimensional horny jerk mode. No matter how lascivious he'd been during the Diane Chambers years, he was never as crude or as classless as he was here. This episode was evidence of Sam's character becoming a running gag rather than a character. He's never been more thoroughly unlikeable - a girl he was a hero to asks him to give her away at his wedding, and he considers her a slut?
David Lloyd, definitely one of the best comedic writers of the 20th century, was the best "ensemble" writer on Cheers. What I mean is, Lloyd made it a point (usually) to give extensive screen time to the whole cast in an episode. Take this superb outing, "Send in the Crane", one of my personal favorites of Season 7.
Sam has a choice between a mother and a daughter, so he chooses both. In the end, he fails, but at least he "wanted to do the wrong thing". Take Woody, who is to be the clown at a party Rebecca is preparing for one of the company's head honchos. In the end, he cancels out because of an acting opportunity. Too bad he's wearing the hilariously flashy underpants that are a (very important) part of the clown's outfit. In comes Frasier, Woody's substitute (since he recommended him to Rebecca), who is unaware that pulling a handkerchief out of the clown's outfit will cause the clown's outfit to drop -- and without those flashy underpants, we get crazy thong action. Thank Lilith for that one, whose trip to Paris was an impetus for the rather intimate gift she gives Frasier.
Too bad for Frasier the thong is cutting off his circulation. So he decides to go, you guessed it, a fresco for the rest of the day. Oops.
Carla, aware of this potential problem, decides not to call Rebecca to warn him. But Woody fortunately does. Alas, it matters not in the end since a relative of the head honcho sneezes.
Add in some fun dialogue with Cliff and Norm and you've got yourself a classic David Lloyd ensemble episode. This is situation comedy the way it's supposed to be done.
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