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Continuity

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Continuity

Postby Joe Keenan » Wed Jun 02, 2004 4:52 am

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Hello, Joe Keenan here.

As regards continuity and the sex of Niles' and Daphne’s child, both Chris Lloyd and I took the firm view that, while Seattle’s hospitals have many excellent attributes, the gift of prophecy is not among them. Hospitals, to be fair, have just as much right as the next building to make guesses about the sex of their cardiac patients’ future offspring, but their success rate in doing so is no better than that of the average bank or hair salon. We could, I suppose, have made it a girl, if only to avoid hurting the hospital’s feelings, but to do so would have barred us from exploring an interesting and funny emotion for Niles, i.e. his anxiety as the birth nears that, in some horrid Karmic payback for all the grief he’s given Martin, his child will have nothing in common with him, taking entirely after mom’s side just as he and Frasier did. This anxiety is fueled by the arrival of Simon and two more brothers who further exemplify the uniform loutishness of the Moon clan’s men.

Niles can only feel this anxiety acutely if he knows his child will be a son. If the sex is unknown he can cross his fingers and hope for a girl whom he’d presume would be another Daphne. And if it is a girl the anxiety disappears entirely and his and Frasier’s finale scenes run something like this.

Frasier: "Morning, Niles. Anything troubling you today?
Niles: "Nope."
Frasier: "Good. Off you go."

You see our dilemma and why we decided that the hospital, though possessed of admirable recall for past events, was a bit wobbly in the crystal ball department and should probably avoid playing the market.

Making the child a boy also allowed us a final opportunity to pay tribute to David Angell. I could not disagree more heartily with the poster who saw no need for us to do so in the final episode of the series he co-created. (Though it is an irony I’m amazed no one over here has noted that calling the baby David gives Niles’ and Daphne’s son the same name as the creator of "Friends.")

Yours truly,

Joe Keenan
Joe Keenan
 

Re: Continuity

Postby Quang » Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:06 am

Cool, a writers actually reads these boards. And a fan favourite one too.
Quang
 

Re: Continuity

Postby Anne » Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:26 am

Mr Joe Keenan,

If you come back to read the replies on this forum, I would like to say a very big THANKYOU !
Your scripts have always! made me LOL.
Most times I would be on the ground holding my sides with laughter.
Some may say I'm easily pleased, I say you are a genius :-)
Anne
 

Re: Continuity

Postby hansenkd » Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:16 am

Dear Mr. Keenan:

I hope that I'm not too presumptuous in replying to you here and hoping that you see this post. Obviously, the person you're referring to above in your reference to David Angell is me. This means you also read everything else in that thread, and I do want to address (humbly) what I said there.

First and foremost, you should know that you will not find a bigger fan of the show than me. Although I'm a busy graduate student, I've devoted many hours of my life to the show, most notably in writing transcripts (with as much love as I can) for the "Frasier Files" site for the last three years (of which I'm sure you're aware). I never had the chance to do one of your episodes--missed out on them in the rotation this year--but would have been honored to do so.

I have also been one of the most passionate advocates on the internet for the character of Charlotte as well as other characters--like Simon, or even Mrs. Moon--who take a lot of hits over here.

But I do want to address what I said about Mr. O'Shannon. I did not come up with anything I said on my own. I heard all of it from reputable sources, some of whom have direct or indirect contact with him. If any of it is incorrect, please set it straight, and I will gladly repent with a mea culpa. But it has floated around the internet for some time that Mr. O'Shannon was in fact quite bitter about what happened to his storylines this last season and that he did not attend the cast/crew trip to Hawaii. If this is not true, then by all means correct me.

I've also had very extensive contact with a good friend who recently conducted a phone interview with you, but she didn't share any information that you imparted to her, nor have I broken any confidences there.

Regarding what you say about David Angell, you have to realize that I'm not so much criticizing the idea of giving him a tribute as I am lamenting the fact that O'Shannon's idea of the baby being a girl was forgotten. Frankly, I never saw that scene as a prediction of the hospital, but rather a vision of DAPHNE. And we know that she's got a spotty, but not imperfect record there, don't we? :-) I do see your point about the makings of a great plot in the finale, but I suppose that many fans would have liked to see some more female Crane blood to follow in Hester's footsteps. You obviously cared enough about what is being said to come and respond, and that is to be commended. I meant no disrespect at all in what I said. I suppose I just meant that we have the lovely dedication at the end of the Season 9 premiere and a poignant segment of the 200th episode clip show. And I respectfully submit that I don't believe that the idea of making the baby a girl would have shown any disrespect to Mr. Angell's memory at all. But word is that this did hurt Mr. O'Shannon's feelings. Again, correct me if I'm wrong. And might I timidly comment that a girl baby could have been named Lynn?

I do realize that the three seasons where he was at the helm were the least respected critically and that he certainly takes some of the blame for that, but he did good things too and I know he loved the show.

And I want to clarify that I don't think that eliminating the references to Martin's job and the appearances of Mrs. Moon were necessarily bad things at all--just that it would have been kind of nice to have just a few seconds of dialogue to explain it, that's all. Especially after David Lee insisted repeatedly on atf that Millicent Martin was going to be around to stay, despite negative fan reaction to the character.

Again, if I have been presumptous, please forgive me. Message boards will always elicit rather strong opinions, and I would hope that my devotion to the show and my passionate advocacy of the character of Charlotte, among other things, would offset any offense I may have given here.

Sincerely,
One of the biggest fans of the show--

Kelly Dean Hansen, Ph. D. candidate in Musicology
University of Colorado at Boulder

PS: I noticed that the baby had the same name as the "Friends" creator immediately! Maybe that alone was worth making the baby a boy! Lovely irony.



Post Edited (02-06-04 10:21)
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Re: Continuity

Postby billy bleachs hairpiece » Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:19 am

Was that realy him?

Is some yanking my giggle chain?

Would a comedy god contact us mere mortals?
billy bleachs hairpiece
 

Re: Continuity

Postby Sam » Wed Jun 02, 2004 12:34 pm

If this is really the amazing Joe Keenan, then all I can say is WOW! Thank you so much for taking the time to post. It's always exciting when a person so high up in the Frasier hierarchy posts on a message board.

Regards,
Sam.

P.S. Thank you for writing some of the best ever comedy episodes to have ever been seen on t.v such as The Matchmaker, Out With Dad and The Doctor Is Out!:-)
Sam
 

Re: Continuity

Postby karyn » Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:52 pm

I hate to be a bit of a "pill" or a skeptic, but is this really Joe Keenan???
The I hate Friends thread also had posts today from "Rachel" of Friends and the inimitable "Eddie Crane"...perhaps it is an authentic post, but...
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Re: Continuity

Postby Kris » Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:19 pm

I can't believe that the great Joe Keenan has actually "spoken" to us (as it were).

I've come over all faint..!
Kris
 

Re: Continuity

Postby Bad Ambassador » Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:28 pm

If it's really Joe Keenan: hello there, and thanks for many years of happiness.

If it's an impostor: sod off.
"You're rather good. All that banter, yet not a word wasted."
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Re: Continuity

Postby Jocelyn » Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:35 pm

Who knows? The man has written many of the greatest sitcom half hours of all time but how do we know if that was post was authentic? Frustrating really.
"Then came Lilith. If I knew then what I know now, I would have walked down the aisle with the ice sculpture and had her stand by the buffet table to keep the shrimp cold."

- Frasier recalls wedded bliss in Father Of The Bride
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Re: Continuity

Postby karyn » Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:07 pm

Hey guys...I remain skeptical as there has been no substantive reply...besides, I am surprised he would leave an e-mail address for all to see and bombard him...(look, I am American and Bush still has us believing we'll find WMD in Iraq...there is a basis for my doubts...)
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Re: Continuity

Postby hansenkd » Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:14 pm

The general intelligence of the post and the phrasing lead me to believe it was him. Besides, why would an imposter leave an email? He probably didn't know it would show up (the email address).
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Re: Continuity

Postby Ali 75 » Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:17 pm

I tend to think this is Joe Keenan, it was such a well written post, and he has used a contactable e-mail address (anyone dare to e-mail him?!)

In which case I'll either make a total prat of myself by responding to an imposter, or a total prat of myself as I usually do anyway, so what have I got to lose?

Joe, thanks for clarifying. We are very much looking forward to the finale, and as you may have gathered have loved S11. Thanks for all the great episodes you've written over the years, no other sitcom comes close to the standard Frasier has set and no other sitcom ever will. (sorry to grovel!)
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Re: Continuity

Postby Joe Keenan » Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:47 pm

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In making my original post I sought only to clarify Chris's and my refusal when, choosing the sex of the baby, to abide by the highly suspect predictions of a municipal hospital. This is no knock on "Rooms With A View" which we thought a terrific episode and fully deserving of the accolades it received. The only thing that left us scratching our heads was that final vision — which, make no mistake, was the hospital’s, not Daphne’s —that some day Niles and Daphne would be back within its walls cuddling two adorable little girls.

How on earth, we asked, does the damn hospital know this?

Though we admired the If-these-walls-could-talk approach to storytelling, we agreed that when the walls start talking about things that haven’t happened yet it’s perhaps time for the walls to lay off the cocktails and lie down. Besides, if the hospital could really see into the future, why then did it fail to predict Martin’s season 11 heart attack? Or, for that matter, any of Ronee’s numerous cosmetic surgeries? Didn’t see those coming did you, Nostradamus General? Why then should we take the word of a hospital with such a spotty record in sooth-saying, especially when doing so would deny us the chance to play one final variation on the fathers and sons theme that has dominated the series? (It bears noting, by the way, that Niles’ knowledge that he was having a son was established as far back as "Boo!" when, fretting over whether Martin will survive to see his grandchild, he asks "who’ll teach him to throw a football ball?")

Nothing in my post was intended to either confirm or deny anything that has been said regarding Dan O’Shannon’s response to this decision. Dan has not to my knowledge commented publicly on the matter so neither will I. Explaining creative decisions is one thing, gossiping about colleagues another.

As for ma Moon I will concede that though Chris and I created the character at the end of season 7 I wasn’t overly fond of her (though this is no reflection on the marvelous Millicent Martin). In recent years she has occasionally struck me as quite funny, such as when she offered cigarettes to little Alice. Most of the time though I’ve found her abrasive and unpleasant and her sudden ubiquity was, to me, one of the more bewildering aspects of more seasons 8-10. Going into season 11 we felt that where mom was concerned, less was more, though we wound up using her even less than we planned to. She appeared briefly in the first Maris show at the impromptu baby shower, though much of her part in that overlong show wound up being cut. I referenced her in the first scene of "The Doctor Is Out". She was originally included in the "The Placeholder" as part of the B-story in which Niles and Daphne suppose their otherwise model housekeeper is stealing from them, only to find out it’s really mom. In the first draft she showed up in the final scene bursting with larcenous intention. We read this at the table but the show was, again, very long and the scene not funny enough, so we chose a simpler means of wrapping up the story. After that she simply didn’t cross our minds much. It might have been nice to work her into the finale, but the story, which already featured our core cast plus Charlotte, Ronee, Kenny, Noel, Gil, Bebe Glazer, three Moon brothers, a doctor, Jennifer Beals, Eddie and a monkey seemed a mite crowded already and, since mom, unlike the brothers, had no real function in the story, we saw no point in squeezing her in.

Yes I have visited this site from time to time, message boards being the procrastinating author’s best friend. I found the story synopses with favorite quotes useful at the end of the season when trying to help the people putting together NBC’s obligatory clip show recall which episodes certain lines had come from. With 264 shows behind us it’s not always easy remembering. Thanks to all of you for your many kind words and I hope you enjoy the rest of the season.

Regards,

Joe Keenan
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Re: Continuity

Postby karyn » Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:54 pm

Mea culpa...
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Re: Continuity

Postby Jocelyn » Wed Jun 02, 2004 8:07 pm

Okay, so I'm now 99.9% sure it IS Mr Keenan himself, in which case:

THANKYOU for all these years of wonderful comedy! Your scripts have made me laugh more than you'll ever know. LONG LIVE FRASIER.
"Then came Lilith. If I knew then what I know now, I would have walked down the aisle with the ice sculpture and had her stand by the buffet table to keep the shrimp cold."

- Frasier recalls wedded bliss in Father Of The Bride
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Re: Continuity

Postby Bad Ambassador » Wed Jun 02, 2004 8:13 pm

Ooh. Frasier's best writer on our little board. Who'd have thought it?

Let me just say: here in the UK we all love Frasier as much as ever, even if Channel 4 doesn't...
"You're rather good. All that banter, yet not a word wasted."
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Re: Continuity

Postby ToffeeGirl » Wed Jun 02, 2004 8:31 pm

*In best python impression* I was an “unbeliever”, but I am willing to take this post/s on face value.
That being said, Thank you Joe for a wonderful 11 years, I will miss it when it’s gone.
"None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free"
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Re: Continuity

Postby Beth » Wed Jun 02, 2004 8:32 pm

Meep! How absolutely thrilling! Just goes to show "You never knooow...who's lurking...in the shad-ows." ;)

Thank you for everything. The show has been a constant joy to me.

Oh, and I thought the finale was perfection. (There's that word perfect again.)

-Beth
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Re: Continuity

Postby Ali 75 » Wed Jun 02, 2004 9:48 pm

How many other writers/producers from other shows would take the time to come to our humble little boards (I'm thinking of David Lee and Lori Kirkland on the newsgroup too) and chat with us, even though Joe was posting to clarify something, he mentioned that he reads the board from time to time. (and how many of us are quietly panicking that we've posted something we shouldn't have done?!) This show and its staff just goes up in my estimation more and more. I'll raise a glass on the 23rd and think of these moments. Thanks again Joe.
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Re: Continuity

Postby Beth » Wed Jun 02, 2004 10:02 pm

"and how many of us are quietly panicking that we've posted something we shouldn't have done?!"

HA! I know that thought crossed my mind.
Beth
 

Re: Continuity

Postby hansenkd » Wed Jun 02, 2004 10:28 pm

Beth wrote:

> "and how many of us are quietly panicking that we've posted
> something we shouldn't have done?!"
>
> HA! I know that thought crossed my mind.

Heck, I KNOW I did. That's one of the reasons he posted in the first place, LOL!!
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Re: Continuity

Postby Sam » Wed Jun 02, 2004 11:28 pm

WOW, this is really Joe Keenan!

If you read this post again, Joe, I would be extremely grateful if you could answer a question. In the 'Frasier' finale we were told that you were in the scene in KACL, so I was just wondering, where abouts were you standing and what were you wearing? I'm just curious to see what you look like as I have this vivid picture built in my head of what you look like, so I just want to confirm my suspicions lol.

Thanks and regards,

Sam.
Sam
 

Re: Continuity

Postby karyn » Wed Jun 02, 2004 11:30 pm

I too will wipe the "egg" from my face and thank you very much for 11 tremendous years...it just doesn't get any better than what you and the other writers/producers/actors/actresses provided...
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Re: Continuity

Postby Jocelyn » Thu Jun 03, 2004 6:09 pm

Well, unless Joe Keenan is a closet Friends fan I think my conscience is clear!

Sam - Have you got a copy of that Frasier Night special which aired on C4 in 1999? Both JK and CL are inteviewed on that if you want to put faces to names.

You know, after having been depressed so long by C4's awful treatment of Frasier these past couple of years, having Joe Keenan visit this board to speak to fans directly has really lifted my spirits and proved just what a uniquely nice bunch of people the Frasier cast and crew seem to be.
"Then came Lilith. If I knew then what I know now, I would have walked down the aisle with the ice sculpture and had her stand by the buffet table to keep the shrimp cold."

- Frasier recalls wedded bliss in Father Of The Bride
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