Season 7 Episode 7

A Tsar is Born

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Nov 11, 1999 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
66 votes

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Episode Summary

Frasier, Niles and Martin bond while watching the Antiques Roadshow. After they attend a taping for an appraisal of their own, Frasier and Niles become elated when they believe they are Russian royalty.

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  • "Well hang on to your fur hat Niles!"....

    The beginning to one of the best episodes of season seven, "A Tsar Is Born," is odd enough - with Frasier, Niles, and Martin shockingly discover that they are all big fans of Antiques Roadshow - but the ending even outdoes that. When Antiques Roadshow comes to Seattle, Martin decides to get his family heirloom - a metal bear with a clock set inside - appraised by antique experts. Much to Frasier, Niles, and Martin's surprise, they are told that the bear clock was once owned by the Romanov family! Frasier and Niles' curiosity boils over and the two of them set out to see if they are actually Russian royalty - they end up learning an awful lot about their family history.

    Each and every scene of "A Tsar Is Born" is side-splittingly funny. John Mahoney is always great and funny in each episode as Frasier's dad Martin, but he is particularly funny in this episode - doing things and reciting quotes that are some of my favorite Martin moments of the series. But the entire episode is hilarious, revolving around Martin's anger towards Frasier and Niles because of what he perceives to be shame that they feel for being a part of the Crane family. Then this bear is tossed into the mix, pouring salt on Martin's wounds as Frasier and Niles are driven mad to find out if they are a part of the Romanov family though Martin feels they should just be happy being Crane men. The entire episode is worth watching just to see the Crane boys on Antiques Roadshow and Frasier and Niles' reactions to their family history findings.moreless
  • In this episode we follow the Crane brothers through the discovery of actually having something in common with there dad and furthermore possible being related to russian royalty.

    In this episode we follow the Crane brothers through the discovery of actually having something in common with there dad and furthermore possible being related to russian royalty.

    Of course they screw it all up as they go along and end up having to pay for a Winnebago they don’t really want. Along the way Niles gets to see Daphne in a hilarious 60’ies wedding dress and we get to laugh, once again, at both brothers superior vanity, when they first refuge to appear on television with an heirloom, but later swoop in and hold it proud when the value is reveled.

    Just a really funny episode.

Robertson Dean

Robertson Dean

Dr. Myshkin

Guest Star

Neal Lerner

Neal Lerner


Guest Star

Grace Rowe

Grace Rowe

Stage Manager

Guest Star

Patrick Kerr

Patrick Kerr

Noel Shempsky

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • After Dr. Myshkin leaves, the beautifully-bound diary of Princess Sonja Romanoff is still lying on Frasier's coffee table. Dr. Myshkin said that it was a "copy" and therefore may have been meant as a gift for Frasier, but that point is never made.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Daphne: Wow, I don't see the three of you watching the same show very often. What's going on? Pavarotti jumping the Grand Canyon?

  • NOTES (2)

    • The Crane Men share a bonding experience over the televion show "The Antiques Roadshow", they play a drinking game similar to "Hi Bob" where they take a drink everytime someone on the show utters the word "veneer".

    • Martin says the first place he wants to go in the Winnebago is Elmo, Nebraska. There is no such place.


    • Dr. Myshkin refers to "Princess Sonja Romanoff". There was an actress named Sonja Romanoff who worked in European films during the 60's.

    • The episode title, "A Tsar Is Born" is borrowed from the 1937 film, "A Star Is Born" starring Janet Gaynor (remade in 1954 with Judy Garland and 1976 with Barbra Streisand). Even "Tsar", the Russian spelling of "Czar", is an anagram of "Star".