Friday, May 10, 2013

Fun Friday: Frasier Parodies for "Ode to Joy"

I've probably mentioned multiple times that I watch a lot of Frasier. I've seen most episodes 3-4 times at this point, which is rather ridiculous when you consider that the show ran for eleven years, yielding 264 episodes. From time to time, I've noticed some continuity errors, strange acts that don't really fit a character, and running gags that sadly got dropped at some point in the run. Today I wanted to point out a funny coincidence that I found.

Originating in 2000, "They're Playing Our Song" (S07E13) features a parody of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy." David Lloyd wrote the episode, which has all of the radio station's hosts coming up with jingles to introduce their shows. Despite the simplicity this assignment requires, Frasier blows it out of proportion, composing a multiple-verse ditty requiring a full orchestra and a choir. But, before he resorts to such a complicated tune, Niles pokes fun at a song his brother "wrote" for a musical in prep school, with lyrics that began, "we are valiant men of honor, wrenching, brawling..."

A little over three years later, "Lilith Needs a Favor" (S10E13) features another parody to the same classical tune. Lori Kirkland wrote the episode, which you might recall as the one where Lilith comes to Seattle to ask Frasier for the sperm to give Frederick a biological sibling. At dinner during her stay, Lilith attempts to evoke positive memories to win over her ex-husband, reminiscing about a song Frederick composed when he was four, which began "my dad is the greatest dad because he cooks me cream of wheat."

This small part of Beethoven's "Symphony No. 9 in D Minor" is one of the most-played songs in the world, so it's no surprise that a series as highbrow as Frasier utilized it during its run, but I still find it interesting that the sitcom parodied it twice in about three years, don't you? Are there other instances of this song on this show that aren't coming to my mind?

Both episodes are available for streaming via Netflix: first one and second one, and Amazon Prime Instant Video: first one and second one.
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This

No comments: