Frasier: A German narcissist - there's an appealing combination.
Oh Shit the mid-90s loved gay-confusion episodes sooooo much. It is almost hard to fathom how much your dad likes it when gay people think straight people are gay and vice-versa. He really really likes it. I know he does.
Every single sitcom in the '90s had at least one episode like this, where some characters think a straight person is gay and it is SO FUNNY! The straight person is all like yeah I love having (straight) sex and then the other character thinks: GAY SEX!!! And then the audience laughs.
So in this one Frasier is trying to set Daphne up with his new boss, but his new boss is GAY! And he thinks Frasier is GAY! too but actually he is just into the theatre. I want to call this a gay-panic episode but I think that is politicizing a dumb joke that only exists because Frasier-bot is a lazy robot. But if you want to politicize it then yes, this is a very gay-panic episode where every single fucking joke in the whole episode is just GAY!!!! Over and over. Like Frasier says “you should come over and have dinner” and the audience laughs because GAY! And then Frasier is like “I like wine” and the audience is all like “hahahaha GAY!”
The really sad thing is this may be the best-written episode so far. Not because gay jokes are funny but because gay jokes seem to really inspire Frasier-bot, and they get his gears grinding extra fast (this is a very mixed metaphor) and he spits out some legitimate situational comedy that isn’t just “The Dad is sad” or “Frasier likes the opera.”
As a result we the audience are treated with a slightly humorous situation where Frasier is trying to set up Daphne with a dude who is trying to fuck Frasier, and Niles is trying to sabotage the imaginary set up and the gay dude thinks The Dad is gay and where the fuck is Eddie? Probably off trying to have gay sex with a straight poodle he thought was gay because it was a poodle, or trying to screw a handsome Labrador retriever who is all like, “Eddie I am a lesbian. Your cock-eyed stare is not cute it is menacing and I find you threatening and repulsive.”
Anyway the gay dude thinks Frasier is gay because of GAY STEREOTYPE! And that shit is hilarious. Daphne throws her bra away in a gesture that makes literally no physical sense at all and then everyone goes away happy.
Some notes, first of all the Roz is a slut theme may have reached its nadir in this episode. In Peri Gilpin’s first appearance in the episode she approaches a very normal looking Frasier and says “You look like you’ve been ridden hard and put away wet.” And then the audience laughs. No context is given for this nor is there any sort of mitigating factor that somehow explains away the bizarre sexual connotation. This is so weird, the show acts like this is somehow innuendo but there isn’t any veneer of normalcy, it’s like if Roz walked up and just said “you look like an erect penis that just got spit on by a prostitute,” and then the laugh track hummed and everything was cool. What the fuck? Then Roz debases herself by listing a bunch of ex-boyfriends while Niles and Frasier mock her from on high. Those fucking lame-ass prudes, you wish you were half the man Roz is.
Also Frasier makes GAY! Dude think The Dad is gay and it leads to The Dad describing an idyllic bar as having a “great crowd, lot of young cops” and then inviting the guy to a Seahawks game and saying “Frasier hates it so it’d just be us.” This is absolutely the funniest part of the episode.
Anyway here is the frasieronline.co.uk review:
This episode is my all-time favourite, and an undoubted classic episode of 'Frasier'. What works so brilliantly is the script by Joe Keenan, because the lines that Frasier comes out with where he believes he's getting Tom closer to Daphne, is in fact making Frasier all the more attractive to Tom. This works all the way through the dinner party scene and never once descends into innuendo. Although a bunch of gay cliches is used (opera, theatre, fashion, cops), the episode would not work without them because it is precisely these things that are so present in Frasier's life and so normal that to think anything else of them is absurd. For example, only in 'Frasier' could Daphne tell that Tom's break up involved a dispute over opera recordings, and Frasier not give a moments thought to it. A simply wonderful episode from beginning to end.