Friday, April 25, 2008

I guarantee you will laugh at this scene!

I had the good fortune to direct this episode of FRASIER, called ROZ & THE SCHNOZ. It was brilliantly written by Jeffrey Richman.

The premise: Roz is pregnant and meets the father's parents (played to perfection by Kevin Kilner and Jordan Baker). She is horrified to learn they both have huge noses. Will her baby have one too? This is the dinner party scene when everyone arrives and gets their first look.

There are times when it appears the actors are about to lose it. Those moments are real. David and Jane especially.

It was a tricky scene to stage, finding different ways to do the reveal as each character entered. But at the end of the day I couldn't be happier with the results. I think this is one of those rare scenes where you can watch it over and over again and laugh every single time.

Enjoy. I know you will.

36 comments:

D. McEwan said...

I saw this episode a couple months ago, and it is a gem, just hilarious throughout, even though it's a shame to have to cover the pretty face of Kevin Kilner with that horrid giant nose. A real classic.

Anonymous said...

Who's nose actually looks like that? Talk about unrealistic.

Denise said...

Well, anonymous, I suppose you could do better? If you're so great, why not give us your name, and perhaps someone could give you a job in the makeup dept?

Carlo Conda said...

Ken, it's time to restrict access to anonymous people.

Sebastian said...

Carlo I think that would be bad because I'd like to keep posting under my normal name.

Anonymous posters should be restricted from the site, right?

Pseudonym said...

Because, of course, Frasier is a completely realistic portrayal of a professional psychiatrist.

Anonymous said...

Funny? The same joke over and over again. Sorry, not as side splitting as advertised.

Mike D.

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

That was wonderful. Thank you.

Anonymous knows nose? I think not!

DodgerGirl said...

Yes, I agree. Comedy should always be completely 100% realistic. Since I have never slipped on a banana peel nor have I seen anyone actually do it, I refuse to believe a pratfall is funny.

Ken, did Kelsey Grammar ever break up during scenes? He seems like such a complete actor that he would be the last one to break character.

Graham Powell said...

That's up there with the "Mary at the funeral" scene you posted a while back. "...two giant Schnauzers." I almost fell off my chair!

Anonymous said...

Hilarious!

Pay no attention to those humor-challenged posters. Not to mention dense. Of course the actors' noses were unrealistically large...THAT'S THE POINT!

Now I have to re-watch the scene to take the taste of annoyance out of my mouth.

Thanks for posting this gem, Ken.

Wayne from Maine said...

Very Funny! did anybody else notice when Frasier anks the old men if he remembers rick the old men says "shit yeah!" I listened to it 50 times, I SWEAR that's what he said!

DougJ said...

"Funny? The same joke over and over again. Sorry, not as side splitting as advertised. "

Okay, someone give this guy his money back so he can get back to pulling off the wings of houseflies.

A. Buck Snort said...

Thank you, that was wonderful. Of course de Gaulle also had me shooting milk out my nose.

Tell the truth, hasn't everyone at least once speculated what the kid would look like when one of the parents had gotten a nose job? Two things people are probably most sensitive about are their name and their physical appearance. Is this one of those things where you worry a little about somebody feeling hurt, and then you realize, hey this is my job, plus it is funny?

Carlo Conda said...

@Sebastien
That's what I said. Ban "anonymous" people from posting comments.

Max Clarke said...

Probably Japan. Great.

Anonymous said...

Reminiscent of a funny "Phyllis" episode when Cloris Leachman dealt with a little person. (A parent of one of her love interests, if memory serves me?) Although she kept volunteering incriminating words, unlike here where the objects of the joke do the volunteering. i.e.) Serving her an hors d'oeuvre: "Shrimp?"

cpo snarky said...

And, of course, who can forget Basil Fawlty and the Germans. "Don't mention the war!"

Mary Stella said...

Giant Schnauzer comment got me, too. That's great!

On top of the writing, I love watching actors try not to crack up. It's like getting two laughs out of the same joke. Carol Burnett and company were priceless to watch whenever they struggled not to laugh at each other.

Annie said...

Yes, the script was funny, but timing and reaction shots make this. LOVE the big pause after 'giant schnauzers,' letting the laughter play out. As with most good actors, the words aren't nearly as funny as the reactions to them.

btw - an actress friend wanted to get a nose job. Her 'huge' dilemma was whether she was ethically liable to tell her fiance (once she found one) that she had been de-schnozzed.

Sam Kim said...

LOVED that scene. Frasier was one of the funniest sitcoms on TV (along with MASH and Cheers, of course). I just finished watching the first six seasons again earlier this year.

@Mary
The elephant story is probably the greatest example of actors losing it on the Carol Burnett Show.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qqE_WmagjY

Anonymous said...

Ken,

I've got to tell you this. Frasier is one of my all time faves. I've watched most episodes something like 100 times over. I read this blog almost everyday, as I think you're a really funny guy, but this episode is easily my LEAST favourite of all of Frasier.

Why? Not sure, but deriving humour from physical appearance takes Frasier down several notches to... I don't know... 'Saved By the Bell' or 'Fresh Prince' level. Sooooo not what attracts me to Frasier.

It's funny, but maybe William Goldman was right after all: in Hollywood, no one knows anything.

Carlo Conda said...

It's funny how most anonymous users end up insulting Ken or a commenter.

Anthony said...

This is as good a place as any to ask this question, but what does Ken think about the sitcom convention where people could have a loud conversation without being heard in the next room? It's obvious why it's done (e.g. whispering is hard to understand), but surely there's some nifty word attached to those type of scenes.

Yes, it's a funny scene, and it's most natural when they bust up loudly in the kitchen while being unheard by the people in the next room.

Tallulah Morehead said...

Everyone knows that Frasier's kitchen is surrounded by the old Cone of Silence from GET SMART, picked up cheap, at the CONTROL garage sale.

Tallulah Morehead said...

BTW, only common people are ever "anonymous".

Stars and classy folks like I are "Incognito".

cpo snarky said...

funny, Tallulah strikes me more as the "in flagrante" type...

Pseudonym said...

The same joke over and over again. Sorry, not as side splitting as advertised.

Now there's a gem of an interesting discussion, because it underlines the symbiotic relationship between sitcom writers and actors.

If I read this as a script, I probably wouldn't find it that funny either.

flem snopes said...

"btw - an actress friend wanted to get a nose job. Her 'huge' dilemma was whether she was ethically liable to tell her fiance (once she found one) that she had been de-schnozzed."

Annie... tell her don't do it.

Two words: Jennifer Gray.

Kevin said...

Fake laughter is never funny. Hardest thing to act is laughter.

rita said...

loved how miles keels over in the kitchen. thank you!!!qdecnz

Mary Stella said...

The elephant story is probably the greatest example of actors losing it on the Carol Burnett Show.

That was great, Sam! Love "Mama's" killer ending line. Thanks!

jbryant said...

Fine scene, and quite nicely directed, Ken (I especially like Niles' first reaction to the noses, shot over the shoulders of the couple in the foreground).

But of course, the first anonymous' comment about the nose being unrealistic is well taken. After all, Cyrano de Bergerac has never been successful in any of its iterations. A miracle they keep dusting off that old flop.

Maybe the anonymous haters would've related to the scene more if it were about a couple of big asses.

Terry S. said...

Mr. Levine, I saw this episode in a rerun on September 12th, 2001. After watching nearly non-stop coverage of the previous day's events, I was so grateful to find something non-news related. I watched this episode and literally laughed till I cried. Thank you so much for bringing a bit of joy into that dark week.

Alicia said...

Speaking about Fraiser and how the actors where laughing themselves... How many times did that happen on Fraiser? On Cheers?

Anonymous said...

"Maybe the anonymous haters would've related to the scene more if it were about a couple of big asses."

Which reminds me of my favorite Cheers line of all time, uttered by Coach: "Table for the Blubberbutts!"