Frasier (1993) s01e13 – Guess Who’s Coming to Breakfast

It’s incredible how well Kelsey Grammer is able to play Frasier making social faux pas. It should run counter to his character, but never does. When Grammer’s digging himself his deeper and deeper hole this episode—as Peri Gilpin looks on, astonished—it just makes sense. Of course he’s going to do it. What else would he do.

After the opening radio show sequence—with Elijah Wood calling in and complaining about being bullied for being too smart, which is a wonderfully twisty call and very funny but does have a mean punchline, and then Gilpin going out on a date with “Noel the Mole” (Patrick Kerr)—she’s giving nerds a try because her lucks been bad with the Chads—Grammer goes hope and tries to arrange for an evening alone so he can have a date. In return, dad John Mahoney wants him to clear out the night before.

There’s also the requisite phenomenal David Hyde Pierce crushing on Jane Leeves scene, with Hyde Pierce doing a complicated and hilarious bit of physical comedy.

But then it’s full steam ahead to the aftermath of Mahoney’s date night. The date (Linda Stephens) slept over and Grammer just can’t handle it. No matter what he says, it’s something embarrassing at best and humiliating at worst. The episode’s already established Hyde Pierce and Grammer as… comically crude when discussing their potential sex lives.

On the radio later that day, Grammer gets a caller upset about her daughter having sex—Piper Laurie as the caller, she’s fantastic—and Grammer turns Mahoney and Stephens’s sex life into an anecdote for the radio show. Here’s where Gilpin’s looking on in shock.

Neither Stephens or Mahoney find Grammer’s anecdote amusing, with Stephens dumping Mahoney. But does Grammer learn his lesson? Will he leave the situation alone or will he fix it….

Great performances from Grammer and Mahoney this episode; Stephens is a good guest star; Leeves gets a very funny moment or two.

There’s also an odd bit when Grammer appears to be flirting with Leeves, which doesn’t go anywhere, but does remind about Grammer’s date, the whole reason the episode started with the date night business. Grammer doesn’t have the date. Or they did have it and didn’t show it. But it doesn’t seem like he had it.

It’s a very weird oversight.

Oh, and great third celebrity call from Henry Mancini. As he drones on, Grammer and Gilpin do an excellent bit of physical comedy to keep themselves awake.

Very, very good episode.

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