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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 10 -> Episode 10.06

Star Mitzvah
Episode Details

Written by: Sam Johnson

Directed by: Sheldon Epps

Original US airdate: 5th November 2002

Original UK airdate: 3rd February 2003

Cast Information
Main Cast
Frasier Crane .... Kelsey Grammer
Niles Crane .... David Hyde Pierce
Martin Crane .... John Mahoney
Daphne Crane .... Jane Leeves
Roz Doyle .... Peri Gilpin
Recurring Cast
Dr Lilith Sternin .... Bebe Neuwirth
Frederick Crane .... Trevor Einhorn
Noel Shempsky .... Patrick Kerr
Kenny Daly .... Tom McGowan
Guest Cast
Rabbi Gendler .... Corey Fischer
Jason .... Stephon Fuller
Jeremy Berman .... Brendan Hill
Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

Frederick is about to have his Bar Mitzvah, and his mother is going through all the things she has saved from when he was a baby and finding the whole experience quite emotional - not something you'd expect to hear about Lilith. Frederick wants to invite a large number of people in the hope of getting a large amount of presents until his mother dissaudes from this. He also asks hs father to give a blessing at the ceremony, and because Frasier isn't Jewish, he decides to make it more special by giving it in Hebrew. Noel Shempsky overhears this, and offers to help Frasier translate it in return for a favour - he wants Frasier to go to the Star Trek convention and get a signed autograph of the Enterprise captain, Scott Bakula (he can't go himself because of William Shatner's restraining order). Frasier reluctantly agrees, but when Niles offers to take him to lunch with a famous painter at the art gallery on the same day as the convention, he decides to go to the lunch and then drive to the convention. However, traffic thwarts his plan and leaves Frasier without a signed photo for Noel.

A distraught Noel vows revenge on Frasier and translates his blessing in Klingon, instead of Hebrew. This backfires on Noel when Frasier later buys him the wig Joan Collins once wore on a Star Trek episode and tries in vain to warn him. Frederick is humiliated at his Bar Mitzvah as Lilith shares embarrassing stories from his childhood and everyone finds out his middle name is 'Gaylord'. This is, of course, fiurther compinded when Frasier delivers his speech in Klingon to everyone's bewilderment until one of the guests points out it was in Klingon leaving Frasier to make a hasty exit. Meanwhile, Daphne learns of Niles one night encounter with Lilith and Martin terrifies everyone with his camera that has the world's brightest flash.

Episode Title Cards
  • Star Mitzvah

Episode Highlights

- Frasier is surprised that Kenny has received an invitation to Frederick's Bar Mitzvah:
Kenny: I bet he's heard his fair share of Kenny stories.
Frasier: From whom (?)

- Noel comes into Frasier's studio and sees Roz:
Noel: You've never worn that sweater on a Tuesday before.
Roz: I've asked you to take your hands out of your pockets when you talk to me!

- Noel asks Frasier to get Scott Bakula's autograph at a Star Trek convention:
Frasier: Isn't this something you could do yourself?
Noel: Well, I would but William Shatner's restraining order is still in effect.

- Martin recalls a photo he took which washed Lilith out:
Frasier: That bloodless skin has confounded even the most experienced photographer

- Daphne learns that Niles once slept with Lilith:
Daphne: When were you intending to share this bit of information with me?
Niles: Soon......very soon........never.

- Frasier can't believe Noel's over reaction when he doesn't get Scott Bakula's autograph:
Frasier: Surely you realise that Star Trek is just a TV show.
Noel: So was Brideshead Revisited.

- Lilith breaks down at Frederick's Bar Mitzvah:
Daphne: Nice girlfriend you've got there (!)

- Frasier delivering his blessing in Klingon

- Lilith and Frasier console themselves after embarassing themselves at the Bar Mitzvah:
Frasier: I've been trying to console myself with the fact that without embarrassing parents there'd be no pyschology.

Frasier Online Episode Review

A great episode that features a lot of memorable moments: Daphne finding out about Niles sleeping with Lilith, Martin's camera with the brightest flash you've ever seen and Lilith being emotional. I was also pleased to see Noel in an expanded role, which resulted in a hilarious scene where Frasier gave his Bar Mitzvah blessing in Klingon. There is also an amusing scene over the end credits, where the photos Martin has taken with his camera are shown. The end result is a very funny episode that is one of the best of the season, though it perhaps doesn't stand up that well to repeated viewings.


85 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 90.9%
Total Number of Reviews: 11

Come here, Daddy's little peanut man, May 25, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

After ten years (and another decade or so on "Cheers" for some of these characters), it's always a delight when a series can find legitimately funny and inventive things for them to do. "Star Mitzvah" is a gem of an episode, using the past and the future of its characters to create some lovely comedy. (And perhaps I like it because many of the series' B- and C-plots have been quite slim of late, so to have an episode that openly admits to being one long plot is a blessing.)

The road to Freddie's bar mitzvah is paved with great material. Frasier thinking Freddie's word was "Dada" is an older conception of the character, but still makes me laugh. Martin's camera flash is simply exquisite, particularly Frasier's great escape from his apartment and then that stunningly hideous face Bebe Neuwirth makes on being flashed. This was one of the first episodes (maybe the first) that I saw on its original broadcast, and that face has remained in my mind. The fact that Daph doesn't know about Niles and Lilith's one-night-stand is another great example of the writers going to the archives and interacting with the characters. It's a fun little scene which, thankfully, isn't dragged out into a drama. In fact, that could be this episode's greatest advantage or greatest drain. When Frasier speaks Klingon at the ceremony, most people (including the rabbi) are just amused. Freddie even gets some boyhood respect out of it! This isn't the kind of farce in which everything must go horrendously wrong; it's just a family story about a bunch of characters with very little conflict but strong personalities. It's an episode that could have been written back in season 1, but seeing the way the characters interact now makes it a more rewarding experience.

But what we should really talk about is Noel. Quite definitely the most one-note character from the series' beginning, Noel Shempsky served a specific purpose when he was introduced and has rarely strayed. As a constant source of annoyance to Roz and slight weirdness to others, it's been strange in some ways that he has become the most consistent KACL character from the pre-Kenny years. Kerr is a reasonably limited actor, at least in this role, and the show has rarely shown interest in expanding his field. So, I'm happy to report this is absolutely the best Noel episode in the entire run. He gets several great lines (including "There are no friends in the world of Star Trek autography" and the second best line reading of the series' only running verbal gag, "Why'd you do it, Dr. Crane?" -- the best line reading is Martin's, of course). He manages to be integral to a script that has fun with the stereotype of a Trekker but doesn't actually put it down. And, while Noel's breakdown and curse is one of the most ridiculous things this show ever did, it's ridiculous to a sublime degree. Kerr is having such fun hamming up the character, and I approve.

And finally, if I'm not mistaken, this is the first time Eddie has ever been at KACL. I'm not sure how long Roz had to train him to push the talk button, but... it only took 10 years!

Rating: 90%


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