Season 7 Episode 18

What's Up, Doc?

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Mar 30, 1989 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
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Episode Summary

Sam actually fakes a case of impotence to get close to a therapist Lilith and Frasier introduced to him.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Sam fakes imp--, well, you know, to snatch a new female friend.

    In this interesting and quirky episode, Sam fakes impotence to befriend a psychiatrist that Lilith and Frasier introduce him to. Her introduction was quirky enough, given the smart and silly conversation she has with Frasier and Lilith. But Sam goes to great lengths to seduce the woman. Most of his attempts are dashed right away by Dr. Rydell.

    So Sam has to get creative. When he converses with the gang, the idea of impotence pops up. Sam sees this as a perfect opportunity for him to appear vulnerable and in need of the great doctor's help. So he makes an appointment with her to discuss his problem.

    This scene is the payoff of the episode, so wonderfully done by Ted Danson and guest Madolyn Smith-Osborne (as Dr. Rydell). Often the conversation flirts with hysteria yet somehow provides a subtle amount of tension as we wonder who will win this battle of wits and dialogue. Danson likes to act with his face as much as his dialogue. It is a joy to watch his facial expressions change from discomfort to disgust to lust in matters of instances, perfectly supplementing his often tangent dialogue. Smith-Osborne is just as convincing combining her superiority with her vulnerability -- providing just the right combination of slyness and innocence. This is a very difficult scene comedically, and both pull it off with a fascinating effortlessness. Kudos.

    While amusing, much of the rest of the episode is forgettable. I was, however, pleased with the final conversation between Rebecca and Sam. I think we get a bigger sense of Sam's vulnerability, which makes him that much more likable. Almost a tragic (almost) comedic figure. This is what makes Cheers so great. It's a story that places comedy above the lessons -- but it places the lessons in there to make the situation more realistic. Cheers is a fascinating comedy because it adds the humanity to the characters -- not in a wishy-washy manner like Friends (e.g.) -- but in a tempered manner. No show has been like it since.

    While far from the best episode of the series (or even the season), "What's Up, Doc?" is still a successful effort.moreless
Rhea Perlman

Rhea Perlman

Carla Lozupone Tortelli LeBec

George Wendt

George Wendt

Hilary Norman "Norm" Peterson

Ted Danson

Ted Danson

Sam "Mayday" Malone

Kirstie Alley

Kirstie Alley

Rebecca Howe (1987-1993)

John Ratzenberger

John Ratzenberger

Clifford C "Cliff" Clavin, Jr

Woody Harrelson

Woody Harrelson

Woodrow Tiberius "Woody" Boyd (1985-1993)

Madolyn Smith-Osborne

Madolyn Smith-Osborne

Dr. Sheila Rydell

Guest Star

Bebe Neuwirth

Bebe Neuwirth

Dr Lilith Sternin-Crane

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Sam: Answer the question, what do I have in my life that isn't women or sex?
      Rebecca: Come on Sam, you're a passionate guy. I bet you have a lot of things you care deeply about.
      Sam: Yeah, like what?
      Rebecca: Sailing.
      Sam: Babes on waves. See, the doctor was right. I'm a shallow guy.

    • Sheila: If you change your mind about the sex, I can be beeped anytime.
      Sam: That's pathetic!

    • Sam: You would actually have sex with somebody you don't even respect?
      Sheila: Isn't that what you do with women?
      Sam: Yeah, but I cover it up.

    • Sheila: Sam, you forced me to tell you what did you want me to do? Lie?
      Sam: Of course, yes.

    • Carla: Sammy, you mind if I take off early? I want to put the little ones to bed myself tonight.
      Sam: Put them to bed? Hey it's two am.
      Carla: Oh right, they're probably not home yet.

    • Sam: What kind of problem should I make up?
      Carla: Well how about this, I once took one of my kids to the school psychiatrist and he said the kid had kleptomania.
      Norm: Anything come of it?
      Carla: Got a couple of pens and a leather appointment book.
      Norm: Or you could try using my problem. I've always had this terrible fear of being a failure.
      Carla: You are a failure.
      Norm: Then I've licked it.

    • Sam: Oh Doctor, I've got a free phone right here.
      Sheila: I'm looking for a bit more privacy.
      Sam: I have a phone in my bedroom.

    • Sam: No wonder I didn't get anywhere. She's a friend of Lilith and Frasier's. She's another one of those boring cold-hearted intellectuals with legs I can kill for.

    • Cliff: She's exactly like the girl I took out last night.
      Carla: You mean tore out.

    • Carla: This is truly sad. I mean a guy who would never settle for less than eight dates a week is doin' a couple of back flips over a lousy maybe.
      Sam: Hey come on. That's progress for me and Rebecca.
      Carla: Face facts, you had it once but you lost it. You're nothin' but Clavin in a good shirt.
      Norm: I guess we're gonna have to go shoppin' for a new hero.

  • NOTES (0)