Season 8 Episode 12

The Show Must Go Off

Aired Unknown Feb 06, 2001 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
58 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Niles and Frasier see one of their favorite actors at a Sci-Fi convention and decide to hire him for a play they are producing.

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  • They got it right once again.

    A good episode in a mediocre season. This is partly due to the fact that it uses one of the better elements of the show, the fraternal relationship of Niles and Frasier. Add to that the very recognisable theme: things you liked in your youth may seem quite silly later on in life. Regular users of can attest to that: some show you loved as a kid comes out on DVD ... and you wonder what the fuzz was all about.

    Irony is never far away in "Frasier", from Frasier's disdain for sci-fi (although Kelsey Grammer played in Star Trek) to the appearance of Derek Jacobi (Frasier professed to be a fan of "I,Claudius" in one of the "Cheers" episodes.) I was also delighted to see Patrick Macnee in his cameo role, though I presume Peri Gilpin was probably even more excited.

    Another reason for this episode's success may sound strange: Daphne's not in it. With Jane Leeves being granted maternity leave, Daphne could disappear for a while, making it possible to ignore the Niles-Daphne plot line, the very thing that slows down episodes in this season.moreless
  • Niles and Frasier hire their favorite actor to put on his one man show.

    While at a Sci-Fi convention with Roz, Frasier sees his favorite childhood actor Jackson Hedley, whom he has been a fan of since childhood.

    Frasier is devastated that a man with his talent is stuck singing autographs, and doing birthday parties, all because he was a part of a popular sci-fi show, so to bring Hedley back to the stage Niles and Frasier, get him to perform his one man show, that he performed at their school when they where young.

    His performance is not what they expected, thinking he might be rusty, they watch an old tape of him performing at their school, and realize that he stinks.

    So opening night comes, and they do everything in their power to stop him from going on, but not even slipping in water stops him from performing.

    The best part of the episode was Jackson's performance; he was so bad it was funny.moreless
Patrick Macnee

Patrick Macnee

Cecil Headley

Guest Star

Ben Livingston

Ben Livingston

Stage Manager

Guest Star

Ray Porter

Ray Porter


Guest Star

Patrick Kerr

Patrick Kerr

Noel Shempsky

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Kelsey Grammer had appeared in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation as Captain Bateson in the episode "Cause and Effect." Both shows were produced by Paramount Pictures.

    • Frasier is sent to a Sci-Fi/Comic convention in search of an X-Men comic book for his son. Eventually Kelsey Grammer would go on to play "Beast" in X-Men: The Last Stand.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Frasier: What an honor it is to be reuniting such a great talent with the stage. Is he here yet?
      Niles: No, he's cutting the opening ribbon at Galaxy Mattresses.
      Frasier: Well, once this show opens he'll be able to throw away his oversize novelty shears.

  • NOTES (2)


    • Frasier: "He did a one-man show of soliloquies, and began my love affair with the Bard!"
      After "Star Trek" went off the air, William "Captain Kirk" Shatner (universally regarded as a hammy, overwrought actor) toured America performing a one-man show of Shakespeare soliloquies while living out of a popup camper. (Source: William Shatner's Star Trek Memories)

    • Frasier: "To see the man who defined Hamlet reduced to hawking t-shirts and sci-fi gee-gaws."
      Derek Jacobi plays a Shakespearean actor whose career is typecast after playing Tobor ("robot" spelled backwards), an android castmember on Space Patrol clearly a play on Star Trek. There are several aspects of Star Trek at play here. Captain Picard on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" was played by famed Shakespearean actor Patrick Stewart. Almost all Star Trek actors have complained of typecasting, and many spend the rest of their lives at conventions.

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