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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 9 -> Episode 9.20

Cheerful Goodbyes
Episode Details

Written by: Heide Perlman

Directed by: Sheldon Epps

Original US airdate: 30th April 2002

Original UK airdate: 10th May 2002


Cast Information
Main Cast
Frasier Crane .... Kelsey Grammer
Niles Crane .... David Hyde Pierce
Martin Crane .... John Mahoney
Daphne Moon .... Jane Leeves
Roz Doyle .... Peri Gilpin
Recurring Cast
   
   
Guest Cast
Norm .... George Wendt
Cliff .... John Ratzenberger
Carla .... Rhea Perlman
Paul .... Paul Wilson
Phil .... Philip Perlman
Walt Twitchell .... Raye Birk
Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

Frasier ends his show with a story of a bed wetter who he shared a bunk bed with - it's not hard for people to guess that the person he was talking about was Niles. In fact so many people have realised, that Niles refuses to introduce Frasier's speech in Boston. However, when Frasier, Niles, Daphne and Martin arrive at the airport in Boston, Frasier spies Cliff Clavin at an airport bar. He is surprised to see them, but then says he is pleased Frasier has decided to come to his retirement party. Frasier knows nothing of it, but says that he has - and brought his family too. Niles is dumbfounded - he had to pull a lot of strings to get everyone in to one of Boston's hottest restaurants, but Frasier drags everyone along to the party. There he is reunited with Carla and Norm among others as they all celebrate Cliff's retirement and his moving to Florida (something Carla is relishing!). Martin gets along like a house on fire with Norm, while Daphne is enthralled with Cliff's crackpot ideas about dolphin alphabets and the like. Niles, on the other hand, can't wait to get out of the party but changes his mind when Carla starts bringing up all the stories about Frasier being humiliated during his time at 'Cheers'.

Everything seems to be going well until Cliff tells Frasier that he is angry becuase not one person has begged him to stay since he told everyone he was leaving, unlike when Frasier announced he was moving to Seattle. Frasier agrees to talk to everyone while Cliff takes a walk round the block, and manages to convince everyone to say that they will all miss Cliff when he comes back. All seems to be going well, until it is Carla's turn and she can't quite say the words 'I'll miss you' and instead launches into a tirade about how she can't stand him and won't miss him. Cliff is taken aback but then announces he is cancelling his move because you only say somnething like that if Carla really will miss him!

Episode Title Cards
  • And It Took Five Days To Carve A Jack O'Lantern

  • Other Nicknames He Considered Were "Tiger" And "The Duke"

Episode Highlights

- Frasier wonders how many people had guessed the bed-wetter he had mentioned on his show was Niles:
Niles: My patients
Martin: The guys at work
Daphne: One of the flight attendants

- Carla greets Frasier at the party:
Carla: I forgot how big your head is!

- Carla gives her description of Cliff:
Carla: He's a big blowhard who thinks he knows everything and never shuts up.
Daphne: Imagine (!)

- Frasier wonders where Cliff's mum has got to:
Cliff: Ma got on the wrong plane - she ended up in Bosnia.

- One of the guests is giving Cliff a toast:
Cliff: You were always there for me, Al
Phil: I'm Phil - Al's been dead for 14 years, you dumb son-of-a-bitch!

- Norm is reluctant to toast Cliff in case he wants to hug:
Carla: You're gonna kiss him with tongues if that's what it takes to get rid of him!

Frasier Online Episode Review

Another in a long line of 'Cheers' reunion episodes, and a very enjoyable one it is too. Instead of trying to impose a constricting story on the characters, they just let Cliff, Norm and Carla interact with Niles, Daphne and Martin and the episode was all the better for it. It was great writing that saw Martin get along with Norm and Daphne finding Cliff (and his stories) fascinating. I certainly enjoyed seeing all the gang again, and with a great ending, the episode was a fun trip down memory lane, though perhaps viewers who have never seen 'Cheers' will find this episode a bit of a turn-off.

Rating

79 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 84.4%
Total Number of Reviews: 7


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Oh dear god, it's just labelled wine, May 21, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia


"Cheerful Goodbyes" is one of the most plotless episodes this show has ever done. It's also clearly a marketing move on the part of NBC (then celebrating its 75th anniversary) and a dedication to the supporting cast of a series that had by this point been off the air for a decade. I'd be inclined to dislike it if it weren't for the feel-good vibe the episode manages to engender over the course of its half-hour.

After ditching Roz to look after Frasier's place, the rest of the gang vacate to Boston where they're quickly roped into the retirement party of Cliff Clavin (John Ratzenberger) of "Cheers" fame. For what I assume are legal reasons, the episode isn't actually set at the bar Cheers but this might just be a good thing. Ted Danson either wasn't available or was deemed unnecessary by the script, so the episode gets that out of the way right off the bat. Indeed, by setting this episode in a generic function room, we're treated to a deliberately plot-free piece that is really just an excuse to bounce 10 or so characters up against each other and see what sticks. It's odd, but it's done with panache. While Woody, and Lilith were granted guest spots in clear "Frasier" episodes, Sam and Diane took over their respective episodes - two un-"Frasier'-esque instalments that were redeemed largely by the performances and attention to character detail. Rather than trying to shoehorn the rest of the gang into a Frasier escapade, the script just does its own thing. There are some good moments for all the cast with Niles' lack of interest gradually becoming a fear of social interaction, Martin making friends (unsurprisingly) with Norm (George Wendt), and Daphne being a sucker for Cliff's stories ("I never knew there were so many letters in the dolphin alphabet"). Frasier still gets to be the bringer of doom when he sets about a plan to help Cliff, and I particularly relish the performance of Philip Perlman as barfly Phil, who exists largely to provide us with "old guy is abrasive" jokes.

I'll concede here and now that I'm not gonna give this episode an incredibly high rating. For anyone who has seen little or no "Cheers", much of the character stuff here may take some guesswork. And regardless of how much this show owes to that one, it still feels like an indulgence to spend this time with a bunch of people our characters have never met before nor will again. Still, this is a bunch of good fun, buoyed particularly by the performances of Ratzenberger and Rhea Perlman as Carla. I've only recently started watching "Cheers" from the beginning, and their performances ring true to me. That was a show that was always happy to be inventive in its structure, and one that wasn't afraid to show many sides of its characters. To give them one last hurrah in a free-form environment doesn't seem like too bad an idea.


Rating: 77%

 

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