The Candidate is the 7th episode of Season 2 on NBC series Frasier.


Upset that Martin is actively endorsing (and appearing in a commercial for) a right-wing congressional candidate, Frasier decides to get behind his opponent, but becomes conflicted about it when his candidate reveals something personal to him.


Martin invites Frasier, Niles and Daphne to the living room to watch a political commercial. Frasier and Niles are both shocked to discover that it's for congressional candidate Holden Thorpe (voiced by Sydney Pollack), a right-winger who is running a fear campaign based on promises of lowering crime rates (Frasier describes him as "Himmler without the whimsy"). Worse yet, Martin is in the commercial, telling how he was shot and pulling down his pants to show his scar from where he was hit. Next day at the café, Frasier meets Niles, who urges him to support Thorpe's opponent, Phil Patterson. At first, Frasier doesn't want to, out of fear that him taking political sides will alienate listeners, but when he goes on his show shortly afterwards, he gets a call from Thorpe himself, who has heard Frasier making jokes about his radio ads and insults him. Afterwards, Frasier begins publicly supporting Patterson and shoots a TV spot at his own apartment.

During the shooting, Frasier gets a moment alone with Patterson while on a break. Patterson then tells Frasier that he was abducted by aliens years earlier and that was what inspired him to run for office. While shooting the campaign ad, Frasier is uncomfortable about his candidate being, to his mind, in need of professional help. He shares his concerns with Niles, who convinces him to carry on supporting Patterson until the election is over and get him to seek therapy afterwards. The day before the election, at the radio station, Frasier learns from Bulldog that Patterson has become the center of a scandal involving "aliens". As he goes on the air, it's revealed to the viewers that he was talking about some undocumented Guatemalans found living with Patterson. On the air, Frasier, thinking the alien abduction story has come out, passionately defends Patterson for his beliefs and argues that people shouldn't judge Patterson for them. After the election, which Thorpe wins by a 92% landslide, Patterson comes to Frasier's apartment. It's mentioned in the scene that the Guatemalans were exchange students Patterson was giving free room and board. Patterson doesn't have any hard feelings against Frasier since he was defending him and didn't intend to ruin his campaign. Patterson then leaves, planning to run for office in California instead.


Kelsey Grammer as Frasier Crane
Jane Leeves as Daphne Moon
David Hyde Pierce as Niles Crane
Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle
John Mahoney as Martin Crane

Special Guest Star

Dan Butler as Bulldog Briscoe

Guest starring

Boyd Gaines as Phil Patterson
Sydney Pollack as Holden Thorpe (caller)

Cue Cards

  • Andy Warhol Said It Best
  • Citizen Crane
  • The Fault Lies Not In Our Stars, But In Ourselves
  • One Person Speaking Out Can Make A Difference


Dedicated to
the memory of
  • The title is multifaceted, apparently a political reference, it later might be construed as suggesting the potential psychiatric institution commitment of Patterson.