On the television show Frasier, Frederick Crane, the title character’s estranged son, is the product of an interfaith union: his mother’s Jewish; his father isn’t. When the time came for Frederick’s bar mitzvah, Frasier wanted to be a supportive dad–but he didn’t really know what he was doing. And so a vindictive Jewish co-worker at Frasier’s radio station decided to step in.
What followed was every bar mitzvah boy’s worst nightmare. Frasier ascended the bimah, greeted the rabbi, and then sounded out a prayer written by his coworker…that happened to be, not Hebrew, but Klingon.
Granted, this isn’t the sort of situation that happens in most interfaith families–or most non-interfaith families. But the awkwardness between father and son is representative of many teenager-parent relationships. And Frederick’s shock and awe at the end–when his friend tells him that Frasier’s Klingon language skills are actually top-notch–is that combination of embarrassment and pride that any parent, and any child, can relate to.