Frasier (1993–2004)
2 user

The Show Must Go Off 

Frasier and Niles try to reawaken the career of Jackson Hedley, an old actor they saw perform Hamlet when they were young. When they see him perform again, however, they realize that he is talentless and will humiliate himself.



(created by), (created by) | 5 more credits »

Watch Now

With Prime Video



Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode complete credited cast:
Daphne Moon (credit only)
Stage Manager
Fire Marshall
Milan Dragicevic ...
Guy Fan


While shopping at a science fiction convention, Frasier spots Jackson Hedley, a Shakespearean actor whom he and Niles idolized as children. They try to re-start his career with a revival of the show Hedley performed in junior high, but their grown-up eyes reveal that he is a talentless ham. Rather than face public humiliation, they try to sabotage their own show, right up to the moment of curtain. Written by crouchbk

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

actor | theater | See All (2) »




TV-G | See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 February 2001 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The title is from the universal show business adage that the show must go on no matter the injury or heartache. See more »


Dr. Niles Crane: Frasier, this is going to be humiliating. Not just for us, but for Jackson. What are we gonna do?
Dr. Frasier Crane: What all good producers do. We'll shut down and blame the director!
See more »

Crazy Credits

When the title "Frasier" (in apple green) and the usual silhouette of Seattle are on screen, several lights are being lit in the "windows" of the buildings. See more »


References Star Trek (1966) See more »


Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs
Written by Bruce Miller and Darryl Phinnessee
Performed by Kelsey Grammer
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

one of the classic episodes
7 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Most "Frasier" episodes are at least "good" (and even the "bad" episodes are funny), but this is one of the classics.

Looking for X-Men comics for his son at a fan convention, Frasier spots Jackson Hedley, whose acting inspired him and Niles as young men. Disappointed that such a fine actor has been reduced to playing an android on "Space Patrol", Frasier and Niles decide to produce a one-man show, in the hopes of reviving Hedley's stage career.

It's only after committing themselves to the show that they hear him act. Hedley's performance sets the platinum standard for overacting -- pretentious sighs, wheezy gasping, exaggerated emphases, inappropriate gestures, etc, etc, etc. Next to Hedley, William Shatner comes across as Max von Sydow. (It isn't clear whether Hedley is supposed to be a grotesque exaggeration of Shatner -- but it's hard to believe that an odious comparison /wasn't/ intended.) Frasier finds a video tape of an old Hedley performance, which confirms that he was always that bad. Niles and Frasier recognize that, 30 years ago, they just weren't good judges of acting.

The theater is packed on opening night, * and hoping to avoid embarrassment, they try every trick in the book to cancel the production. Frasier even sets off the sprinkler system -- which (the building being so old) clogs after a few seconds. Fortunately, Hedley slips in the puddle and injures himself. Unfortunately...

"Frasier" is likely the most-lavishly produced sitcom ever. The producers didn't hesitate to get A-list actors (eg, Eva Marie Saint as Roz's mother!). This episode not only has Derek Jacobi as Jackson Hedley, but Patrick Macnee as his father! One of /the/ classic sitcom episodes (for this series or any other), worth seeing just to enjoy Hedley's appalling skill at scenery chewing.

* The obvious question of why everyone else doesn't recognize Hedley as a miserable actor isn't addressed.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: