The Bryan Times
November 29, 1989

 Bronson Pinchot is Acting Funny

Written by: Luaine Lee
Scripps Howard News Service

Bronson Pinchot has reduced life to a simple rule: "You just want it.  And you do it."

It's a philosophy that brought him from worrying about his one pair of tennis shoes six years ago to a house in Malibu, a hit TV sitcom and his first starring role in a movie.

Pinchot, who stars as the irrepressible Balki in "Perfect Strangers," is now flying high in "Second Sight," as a seer with special insights that make him valuable to a detective agency.  This is Pinchot's first starring role in a film.

Pinchot says he knows when something's funny, but not from the script.  "I know it from my body.  The only tricky thing on television is you have to rehearse it without an audience.  If you do it for an audience, it's for eight writers with furrowed brows who are sitting there trying to figure out how to solve the writing problems.

"So you have to say, 'OK, I know it's funny even though nobody's laughing.  And when the audience comes in, I know they'll laugh.'

"Sometimes I say to myself 10 minutes before going on, 'Just be funny.'  Forget trying to hit the A, B, and C of it.  And just go out there and be a walking funnybone."

He learned that from making himself tall.  At 5-foot-9, Pinchot is not exactly tall, but he recalls a drama coach once telling him the secret to a scene was that he had to "think tall."

At first Pinchot resented it.  So he rose to the occasion, so to speak.  "As I walked offstage I just said I was the tallest person who ever lived.  I don't know what I did, but the audience was just screaming.  And I just was tall and I was lurching around as if I were on stilts.  That taught me a lesson."

Pinchot doesn't have many kind words for ABC's "Perfect Strangers" today.  He's upset that rewrites continue until air time, leaving almost no margin for preparation.

Even if he has second thoughts about TV, he's sure he wants to act in films.  Though he was in "Risky Business," "Flamingo Kid," and "After Hours," "Second Sight" is really the first step to that dream.

"With movies you can make every moment happen totally.  With TV you're just standing there in this flat lighting with a script that was just written that day, with an audience that was bused in from some shopping mall.  The fact that any of it works is a miracle."

Unlike many other comedians, Pinchot isn't dying to do drama.  "Actually, I love doing comedy.  It's what I do."