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Radio shrink Frasier gets toughest patient – Bill Gates

But will Larry phone in on the night?

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Considering the uncomfortable and dysfunctional perfomance Bill Gates put on for the trial cameras, it surely seems reckless for him to have agreed to appear in Frasier, which we understand is a TV show about, er, a shrink. But like the good conspiracy theorists we are, we've figured out that maybe it's to do with somebody who needs a shrink even more than Bill does.

You know who we're talking about. Now, we are not paranoid enough to suggest that Microsoft is evil and all-powerful enough to have specifically arranged the whole thing so that it fell on 12th November 2001. It'd be tricky, but perhaps not impossible, to contrive matters so that the 200th episode of Frasier was broadcast on or around that day.

But if it turned out that it were to be broadcast on that day, then it would be a lot easier to slide Bill in for a special guest appearance, in order to claim to Kelsey Grammer that Gates is his biggest fan (Of a shrink phone-in. Figures). Frasier is set in Seattle, Gates is local, so there's a logic.

Whatever, even if Microsoft didn't plan anything, but was approached out of the blue, smart Redmond marketing droids will surely have made the connection, and if they haven't, we're making it for them now. Go for it, team.

In Las Vegas on 11th November Bill will be doing his usual visionary pre-Comdex keynote, so on the 12th the public prints will be full of reports of the packed theatre, people queueing round the block and so on (Vegas really should build a decent-sized hall if it wants to be a conference venue). Lots of nice soft publicity for Bill that day, then on the 13th, when other matters might have got their turn, he'll get another bite of the cherry when the reports of his starring appearance in Frasier come out.

And what other matters might these be? Well, checking the Comdex keynote schedule we can't help noticing there is someone close to Bill's heart taking the rostrum at 7pm. Yes that's right, it's Crazy Larry Ellison of Oracle, a prime customer for Frasier if ever we saw one. Now, wonder what time Frasier goes out in Las Vegas? ®

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