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Episode reviews for Episode 1.23 - Frasier Crane's Day Off

Avg. Viewer Review: 93.4%
Number of Reviews: 7

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Fever Pitch, Aug 10, 2011

Reviewer: David Sim from Skelmersdale, Lancashire

Season 1 is erratic among Frasier's peak years. The high quality comedy of Seasons 2-5 drops in and out of Season 1. But that's certainly not apparent of the last four episodes of the season, where the production team maintain a consistent level of laughs and top notch writing.

And Season 1's penultimate episode is a splendid affair. Frasier Crane's Day Off is lively, spry inspired silliness. My favourite episode of the season.

We've already met KACL staff like Bulldog and Noel Shempsky, but the producers have saved the best til last. This episode debuts the wonderful Gil Chesterton, played with camp (or is it just British?) pomposity by Edward Hibbert.

Because this is Gil's first appearance, it means that some of his much loved character traits aren't too readily apparent. For instance, Gil's gayness isn't really an issue yet. I suspect that was added to the character when Joe Keenan joined the writing team in Season 2. Here, Frasier chalks up Gil's prissiness to a "phony British accent"!

Frasier's a little under the weather today. Something that has not gone unnoticed by Gil's wandering eye. Gil wishes him a speedy recovery, but Frasier isn't buying it. He knows that Gil has an eye on his time slot, and he won't give it up without a fight. Illness or no illness.

But the next day Frasier's worse and has to stay home, giving Gil the perfect chance to pounce on Frasier's airtime. When Roz hears a rumour that Gil is sweet-talking the station manager into letting him have the slot on a permanent basis, Frasier does some sweet-talking of his own and convinces Niles to fill in for him the next day.

After being a co-host in the last episode, Niles gets the mike to himself in this one. He convinces a married couple on the rocks that instead of packing up they're emotional baggage, they admit they're love for one another on the air. When they do, Frasier thinks Niles is after his time slot too. His fears give rise to paranoid dreams and insidious plots that everyone is out to take his show away. In an insane attempt to get back control of the mike, he mixes medications, goes down to KACL in high spirits and has the equivalent of an on-air meltdown.

Frasier Crane's Day Off is an early attempt at something this show would become renowned for. Watching simple events spiral further and further into madness. Its all plausible too if you stop to examine the episode. Frasier's fears are based on logic. Gil is a food critic, and he's interested in Frasier's slot because it ends just in time for dinner. And Niles has always been jealous of Frasier's celebrity status (something that came up in the last episode) and wants some of it for himself.

It isn't just some contrived behaviour designed to get an audience laughing. Frasier's actions may seem extreme to the casual viewer. But anyone who knows the show will see that it isn't. The episode's plot logic is carefully thought out, where every little action seems to fuel greater and greater mayhem. Something the show would get better and better at.

The inspired insanity at KACL brings the episode to a wonderfully funny close. Kelsey Grammer even looks genuinely wired. It all reminded me of the finale to The Germans, that Fawlty Towers classic. I half expected to see doctors with strait-jackets and butterfly nets chasing Frasier through the studio!

Frasier Crane's Day Off is filled with delightful throwaway gags. I like the way Niles puts his tissue to a different use when he covers his mouth with it, thinking Frasier's got some sort of plague. Or Daphne playing Nurse Nightingale to a whiny Frasier. I loved Martin overpowering Frasier by giving him a simple poke with his finger.

Its a bit odd to watch Gil without anyone making cracks about his sexuality, but even in his first appearance Edward Hibbert is as lovably pompous as ever. Its no wonder he became a mainstay, and the show's most enduring supporting character. Although David Lloyd is the one who would come to shape and define the Gil we all know, Chuck Ramberg and Anne Flett-Giordano do a more than capable job of endearing him, with Hibbert clearly relishing the role. Never again will Edward Hibbert find a part like Gil Chesterton.

A flawless penultimate episode that motors along in fine style, puts everyone to good use, and leaves us panting for the season finale.

Rating: 100%


An early classic, Jul 09, 2009

Reviewer: Sammy J from Canberra, Australia

This is an episode that utilises the main cast brilliantly, is surprisingly
hilarious in rewatches, and just has everything going for it, including
the introduction of Edward Hibbert as the beautifully pretentious Gil
Chesterton. As Frasier is forced to take time off due to illness, he
drives Daphne and Martin wild while waiting with a paranoid ear to
the radio for Gil to take over his spot. Niles and Roz have some great
scenes at the radio station, and everyone works more than up-to-
par. Classic.

Rating: 96%


Frasier Crane Takes a Sick Day, May 02, 2009

Reviewer: Warren Lancaster from Toronto, ONT CAN

In one of the greatest episodes of the series, we find the penultimate episode of season one and Edward Hibbert's first appearance as the long-time closeted Gil Chesterton. I especially love Frasier going crazy at the station and security rolling him away in a chair. Truly a classic, and definately the funniest episode of season one.

Rating: 98%


Hilarious, Dec 09, 2008

Reviewer: NK from England, UK

Frasier falls ill and in fear of losing his time slot to Gil Chesterton, he gets Niles to fill in. The trouble is that Niles ends up being very good and so Frasier, still ill and doped up on drugs, goes back to work to reclaim his show.

This has great acting from Frasier and also some great scenes with him being nursed by Daphne.

Rating: 95%


Frasier Crane's Day Off, May 10, 2008

Reviewer: Jason Cook from Sheffield, United Kingdom

Yet another typically hilarious episode of Frasier from the first season! Frasier comes down with a fever and is forced to take time off work, much to the delight of Gill who is after Frasier's time slot. With Frasier still not well enough to return to work, he calls in the help of Niles to cover his show for him, thinking that Niles would be no threat and ultimately keep his time slot safe. However, Niles does Frasier's show much better than Frasier had anticipated which, with Frasiers fever making him delusional, makes him march down to the station to take back his show (and dosed up to the eyeballs with self perscribed medication might I add!). This results in an extremely funny scene where Frasier hijacks the booth and continues with the show high as a kite, cutting people off left right and centre and just making a fool out of himself basically! A brilliant episode which I never tire of watching.

Rating: 96%


Review for 'Frasier Crane's Day Off', Feb 10, 2006

Reviewer: Nick from North Wales, U.K.

Curiously this also features Niles working at K.A.C.L. and it makes a nice surprise when he actually succeeds in filling Frasier's shoes. Kelsey Grammer's acting while over-medicated is enjoyable and the episode is never less than amusing.

Rating: 82%


'Frasier Crane's Day Off' review, May 22, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK

The late Season 1 quality continues unabated with this frequently hilarious episode in which a flu-ridden Frasier becomes increasingly paranoid about losing his time slot to food critic Gil Chesterton, causing him to persuade Niles to fill in for him - something which makes Frasier even more paranoid when his brother proves to be a great success. The sickbed-bound Frasier is at his most whining and self-pitying here as he's pampered by an increasingly exasperated Daphne and the argument between the two is brilliant while I also loved Martin's increasingly extreme tales of his own past sicknesses. The highlight is arguably when a doped-up Frasier breaks into KACL, locking out Niles and Roz in the process, and makes a complete hash of answering his callers' problems. Edward Hibbert makes quite an impression in his first appearance as Gil and the episode as a whole is true delight.

Rating: 87%