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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 4 -> Episode 4.14

To Kill A Talking Bird
Episode Details

Written by: Jeffrey Richman

Directed by: David Lee

Original US airdate: 25th February 1997

Original UK airdate: 10th October 1997

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
Stephanie Garrick .... Patricia Wettig
Carol Larkin .... Rosemary Murphy
Alfred Larkin .... Jack Sydow
Elaine Hensley .... Nancy Linari
Peter Soutendeck .... Wayne Alexander
Wella .... Brandi Burkett
Christine .... Lisa Askey
Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

Frasier is lamenting the fact that he is unable to find the right woman, and so decides to take himself off the market - for the time being. Meanwhile, Niles is moving into a prestigious apartment block, the Montana, but it doesn't allow cats or dogs so he has to give his whippet a new home. However, he won't be alone for long as he purchased a bird named Baby who can speak. Eager to make the right impression so he decides to throw a welcoming party and invites some of his neighbours. One of them, Stephanie, Frasier meets when he goes to visit Niles and hopes something more will happen come the night of the party.

However, before anyone arrives, Frasier turns on the fire and Baby is so scared that she attaches herself to Niles' head just as the first guest arrives. Frasier steps in to cover for him as Niles frantically tries to remove the bird while hiding in the kitchen, but eventually Frasier manages to persuade Niles that people won't laugh at him if he comes out - which turns out to be true. However complications ensue when the bird starts repeating phrases it has picked up concerning the guests, and they're not particularly flattering....

Episode Title Cards
  • Just Call Me Stinky
  • Get A Grip

Episode Highlights

- Describing his blind date:
Frasier: She's 32, has a terrific body and thinks I'm God's gift to broadcasting.
Martin: Well, at least you have one thing in common (!)

- At Niles' apartment:
Frasier: You know, this building isn't as exclusive as you think - your doorman waved me through.
Niles: That's because he knows you.
Frasier: Oh, fan of my show?
Niles: No, he lives in your building.

- The sight of Niles with a towel over his head.

- The climactic final scene where Niles' bird ridicules everyone.

- As Niles has to go outside wearing the bird:
Niles: I'm sure my reputation won't suffer any more than it has.
Frasier: I wouldn't be so sure - wearing a white bird after Labor Day (!)

Frasier Online Episode Review

This episode is an enjoyable combination of snobbery, with Niles worrying about what his new neighbours will think of him after a bird attaches itself to his head, and farce - most notably the ending where Niles' guests learn what he thinks of them thanks to the bird repeating a few choice phrases he has picked up! This, the debut writing episode of Jeffrey Richman, and won David Lee an Emmy for directing it is certainly a superior episode of the show, but seems to lack that certain something that raises it to classic status for me (though I know plenty of other fans will disagree).


84 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 91.7%
Total Number of Reviews: 10

A solid farce, Dec 11, 2011

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

The layout of Niles' new apartment seems almost tailor-made for
farce (and will indeed hold some of my upcoming favourites, such
as "Daphne Does Dinner"). "To Kill A Talking Bird" is another great
example, with Niles and Frasier each hoping to gain something
important from the evening, with all their hopes ruined by Niles'
new pet bird.

This episode is full of great moments, as Frasier attempts to keep
the guests entertained (and fails), and Niles struggles around in
the kitchen with a bird on his head. There's a delightful moment
near the end when everyone accepts Niles' apology about the
party thus far that feels so natural and warm, making it all the
more amusing when Niles' bird ruins the whole thing.

It's perhaps not one of the series' all-time greatest comedies:
after all, really the central conceit of "keep Niles' secret" is the
basis for the story, and the stakes are never really increased. Yet,
it's another episode that takes David Hyde Pierce's penchant for
physical comedy, and is good for some belly laughs.

Rating: 88%


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