Perfect Strangers Episode Guide

EPISODE 01 - Knock, Knock . . . Who's There?

First Air Date: March 25, 1986
Nielsen Rating: 21.3 HH

TV Guide Description: Cultures collide when Larry Appleton meets his Mediterranean cousin, Balki Bartokomous, who shows up on Larry's doorstep in the opener, looking for a place to stay and a job, although there aren't many openings for sheepherders in Chicago.

Co-Producer: James O’Keefe
Written by: Dale McRaven (series creator)
Directed by: Joel Zwick

Cast:
Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton
Ernie Sabella: Mr. Twinkacetti
Lise Cutter: Susan Campbell

Guest Cast:
Stephen Vinovich: Customer #1
Bobby Hosea: Customer #2

Balki-isms:
"Am I looking up Larry Appleton?"
"America . . . land of my dreams, home of the Whopper."
"You’re not exactly pushing me to my Outer Limits."
"You come out here right now you unfair person and I mean maybe!"
"Not until I get a few things off my neck."
" . . . you’re making one big mistake, Ghost Buster!"

Don’t be ridiculous: Introduced and said a whopping 5 times!  Now that's establishing a catch-phrase!!

Other catchphrases used in this episode:
"Oh po po!" (first time)

Other running jokes used in this episode:
Larry has a plan
Twinkacetti's barking growl

Songs: What’s Love Got to Do With It? (as Balki dusts)

Notable Moments:
Balki meets and moves in with his cousin Larry Appleton in Chicago, Illinois.
Balki gets a job at the Ritz Discount Store with his Cousin Larry.

Interesting facts:
-
The title of the episode is the opening line of the classic "knock knock" joke.
-
Includes the first time we hear Balki say "Oh po po po."  This is the only actual Myposian he speaks in the first episode, which is interesting since this would be the "greenest" he would ever be.
- If you look at the box Balki brings into the apartment you can see the "America or Burst" that was seen in the opening credits on the side.  On his back he has the alphabet blanket that is seen off and on during the first season rolled up at the top of his pack.
- Susan works as a nurse but this is not really established in the series, even though she's seen wearing nurses clothing in various episodes.
- Have you ever noticed that the bell on the cash register rings for the longest time in this episode?  This was fixed in later episodes.
- This is the first time we hear Twinkacetti refer to Balki as "turnip," a reference to the old adage that someone new to the country who doesn’t know much has "just fallen off the turnip truck."
- Steve Vinovich, who plays the customer in this episode, would turn up again as the commercial director in the episode To Be or Not to Be.
- An opening scene was cut from the aired episode which established Larry working in the Ritz Discount Store and his friendship with Susan.  To read this missing scene, see our review of the unaired pilot.

Bloopers and Inconsistencies:
-
When Balki appears at Larry's front door he is holding the hat we see him wearing on the boat to America and a note.  After Larry confirms he's found the right place Balki rushes in but the hat and note are no longer in his hands and we never see them again.  Balki does make a motion like he throws them down on the ground but if that's the case then he never picks them up when he comes in.
- Larry’s father is named George in this episode (he would later be known as Walter.)
- The setup of the Ritz Discount store doesn't look anything like the establishing shot of the building.  From the outside we see it is a corner store on the ground floor of an apartment building on a city block with glass double doors facing the corner edge.  Inside the store, however, there is only a single door on the side of the building with what looks like the corner of a park outside, including a low brick wall surrounding a grassy area with trees and a park bench, none of which is even remotely close to the city block setting of the establishing shot.  While there does appear to be a brick planter outside the store in the establishing shot, there's nowhere near as much greenery outside. 
- Susan challenges Larry’s word "Mypos" but Larry defends himself by pointing out that it’s a real country.  Susan never counters with the fact that proper names are not allowed in Scrabble.


Synopsis: The opening credits for the first season are complete and as important to the story as the beginning of the first episode.  We see Larry Appleton leaving his family’s two-story idyllic home (complete with white picket fence) in Madison, Wisconsin.  His family is there to see him off . . . mother, father and siblings (two girls and three boys are present).  His mom has even packed him a sack lunch.  Larry’s red Ford Mustang is burdened down with luggage and boxes . . . he’s finally striking out on his own in the world, moving to the big city of Chicago, Illinois.  He waves goodbye to everyone amidst the suitcases and bags piled inside his car.  They wave back (his little sister waggling her fingers in her ears and sticking her tongue out at him) as he drives off.

The scene switches to Balki Bartokomous leaving his sheep and goats in the field and handing his sheepherder’s crook over to a young man before bidding goodbye to his Myposian family and friends.  His mother and father are there (although they seem a bit old to be his parents?  Or maybe not, since in Little Apartment of Horrors Balki says his mama is 82 years old).  He accepts a tied bundle and a jacket from his mama as she hugs him.  He proceeds to jump onto the back of a horse-drawn cart where his luggage awaits him, including a box with the words "America or Burst" written on the side (the first of many Balki-isms to come).  His face is filled with excitement as it draws away, taking him on the first steps of an amazing adventure.

On the tramp steamer to America, Balki gets his first glimpse at the Statue of Liberty . . . a poignant moment many immigrants remember with great affection.  Next he is on the bus to Chicago.  We also see Larry driving on the freeway, approaching Chicago.  Their worlds are about to collide (even though we have to assume Larry is arriving at least two weeks before Balki).

The first scene opens with Larry alone in his new bachelor pad.  He gets a pitcher of pink lemonade out of the refrigerator and carries it to the coffee table in the living room, along with a glass and a bag of potato chips.  After setting them down he sits on the couch to watch television but first he tries to open the bag of chips.  In a moment many of us can relate to he cannot pull the bag open no matter what, even resorting to placing the bag on the table with his foot upon it as he pulls.  He finally gives up, sitting down with a sigh and saying, "Must be childproof."

Larry’s about to turn on the TV when there is a knock at the door.  "I hope whoever it is brought a chainsaw," Larry sighs as he walks to the front door.  Upon opening it he finds a young man who looks somewhat out of place standing there.  The man refers to a slip of paper and asks "Am I looking up Larry Appleton?"  "Larry Appleton, that's me," Larry smiles.  The young man is overjoyed, launching through the door and hugging Larry in glee, crying "Larry, Larry, Larry!  I look everywhere for you!  I walk the streets, I search the alleys, I say to everyone, 'Have you seen Larry?'  You don't know how many people have never heard of you!  But now I find you and I'm safe, I'm safe, I'm safe!"  He hugs a surprised Larry again.  "Yes, yes," Larry agrees, "Now you're safe!  Who are you?"  "I am Balki Bartokomous!  Philo, my fifth cousin three times removed is the step-uncle to your father on my mother’s side, two continents removed."  "I see, so we’re sort of related by rumor," Larry quips, still stunned.

Balki looks around Larry's apartment, hardly able to contain his joy.  "America!" he sighs, "Land of my dreams, home of the Whopper."  Balki moves to bring his belongings inside as he says, "So Cousin Philo says to me, he says 'Balki, when you move to America you have to go to Madison, Wisconsin, to look up George Appleton.  That's your father!"  "Yeah, that's the story I heard, too," Larry says, confused.  "So, I said goodbye to Mypos, my little Mediterranean island country, and I got on the tramp steamer . . . tramp, tramp, tramp . . . and then I got on the bus . . . bus, bus, bus . . . and I found your father to move in but he said 'No, you have to go to the big city of Chicago to find my son,' . . . that's you!  So I got on the bus . . . bus, bus, bus . . . and here I am!"  "Whoa, wait a minute . . . you came here to move in with me?" Larry asks.  "Of course I did, what do you think?  I'm going to move in with some stranger?" Balki asks, making himself comfortable on the couch, patting the cushion next to him to invite Larry to sit as well.

Larry walks around to the other side of the couch.  "Well, Balki, uh . . . look . . . there is a problem," Larry begins.  Balki pats the couch again and Larry sits down.  "See, I just moved here myself," Larry begins, "This is the first time I've lived alone.  I actually have my own bachelor pad . . . you wanna beer?"  "No thank you," Balki smiles, "What are you saying?"  "Well, I'm saying . . . " Larry hesitates, " . . . see I've lived my whole life with eight brothers and sisters and it's time, uh . . . hey, I want to live alone.  I didn't even know you were coming."  "You're father didn't call you?" Balki asks with surprise.  "Well, I'm sure he tried and I just wasn't home," Larry explains.  "Oh, well . . . " Balki sighs with embarrassment, "I feel like a fool to come here and bother you."  He stands up, shaking Larry's hand warmly, "Goodbye American cousin, nice to meet you.  Don't worry about me, I know where I'm going."  "Where are you going?" Larry asks.  "I don't know," Balki almost cries, "but this is America, open all night!"  Feeling guilty, Larry stops Balki.  "Uh, look . . . I can't just turn you out into the cold.  You can stay until . . . . "  Balki again hugs Larry tightly, thanking him repeatedly.  "No, no, no, no, no!" Larry says, pushing Balki away, "that many thank you's would be appropriate if you were staying a long time.  A day or two worth of thank you's is plenty."  Balki holds Larry's hand against his heart and says, "Thank you."

"Look, you can stay a couple of days until you get a job," Larry explains, "So, sit down, and help yourself to the goodies."  Larry walks over and sits down on the chair next to the couch with Balki following close behind.  When Larry sits in the chair, Balki sits on the arm of the chair.  Larry motions for Balki to take a seat on the couch "Over there," which Balki does.  "What this?" Balki asks, motioning to the pitcher.  "That's pink lemonade," Larry explains.  "You have pink lemons?" Balki asks in wonder, "Only in America!"  Balki then discovers the potato chip bag and cries, "Potato crumbs, my favorite!"  He easily rips the bag open, offering some to Larry, which Larry motions away.  Larry then picks up the remote and turns on the television set.  Balki eyes the screen with surprise, gasping, "Color TV!"  "Yeah, haven't you ever seen color TV before?" Larry asks.  "Of course I have, don’t be ridiculous!" Balki lies, then follows this with a stunned reaction to seeing "Blue!"  "On second thought, I've seen all these colors," Larry sighs, standing up and handing Balki the remote, "Green and red are going to be on later, you might want to stay up and watch.  I think I'll just hit the sack."  "I think I'll just hit the sack," Balki mimics, then looks worried, saying, "I don't have a sack."  "Well, you can sleep on the couch," Larry explains, "it turns into a bed."  Balki eyes the couch with surprise then says, "Of course it does, this is America!  And don't worry about me, tomorrow I get a job very fast.  I'm a professional."  "Well, then you shouldn't have a problem," Larry agrees, "What's your profession?"  "I'm a professional sheepherder!" Balki says proudly, not noticing Larry's look of concern as he heads to bed.

The next scene opens in the Ritz Discount Store, a place that sells second-hand and used merchandise at discounted prices.  Larry works in the store for Mr. Twinkacetti (whom we will learn in a later episode is also Larry’s landlord, as the Ritz is located on the corner of the apartment building where the boys live).  Larry is busy opening the store as Balki looks through the want ads in the newspaper.  "This is crazy!" Balki comments, "A big city like Chicago, there is not one single advertisement in here for a sheepherder."  "That's the way it goes," Larry comments, "last week there were pages of 'em.  What else do you do?"  "I am a sheepherder," Balki says, "My father was a sheepherder, my grandfather was a sheepherder, the little baby . . . . "  "I get the picture," Larry stops him, "But you know, in America you don't always get what you want right away.  For example, I want to be a photojournalist but then I've taken this job to pay the bills.  You'll have to take a job until an untended flock pops up."  The phone rings and Larry picks it up, answering, "Hello, the Ritz.  What?  Yeah, Susan, calm down.  Well, it's only a mouse, they're cute.  Think of Mickey.  Mickey wouldn't try to run up your leg.  Okay, okay, okay, I'll be right up."

Larry hangs up and heads for the door, telling Balki, "I have to run upstairs and protect Susan's legs from rodents.  Balki, I want you to do me a big favor."  Before Larry can even finish, Balki runs to the cash register, exclaiming happily, "You want me to watch the store?"  Balki keeps pushing the button to open the cash register and Larry keeps shutting the drawer closed, then finally pulls Balki away.  "I want you to watch the store," Larry explains, "Don't move, just stand there.  Can you do that?"  "You're not exactly pushing me to my outer limits," Balki says.  "Stand there," Larry directs, heading for the front door.  Balki tries to reach around behind him to push the cash register button again but Larry turns, saying, "Ah!" to stop him, then when Balki stands still again Larry adds, "That's the idea!"  Larry hurries out the door.

A male customer who has been walking around the store stops at a chair and calls to Balki, "Uh, excuse me, I'm interested in this chair.  Well, how much is it?"  Balki starts in that direction then remembers he can't move.  "What the price tag says," Balki answers.  The man looks at the price tag with a sneer and says, "Well, uh . . . you don't go by what the price tag says, do ya?"  "Of course not, don't be ridiculous!" Balki answers, then asks, "What do you go by?"  Sensing that Balki has no idea what he's doing the man says, "We'll negotiate!  You are the head man here, aren't you?"  "Of course I am!" Balki smiles, "Come over here to me."  Off the man's confused look Balki explains, "I'm not allowed to move."

Some time later Balki is dusting around the store, singing "What's Love Got to Do With It?" as he dances with the feather duster.  Larry returns and walks over to watch Balki as he makes his way around and starts dusting Larry's behind, not realizing it's him.  "Cousin Larry, don't you notice anything different?" Balki asks proudly.  "No," Larry answers.  "Look!  Look!" Balki urges, motioning to Larry's right but Larry doesn't look so Balki finally turns his head for him, saying, "Look!  I sold that chair and that fan and that brass coat rack!"  "You did?" Larry asks with surprise.  "All without moving!" Balki adds.  "Well, that's great!" Larry says happily.  "Needless to say, Cousin Larry, I think I've been wasting my time poking animals up the hill with a stick!"  Balki pulls some bills out of his vest pocket, announcing, "And heeere's the money!"  Larry goes to the cash register to put it away then stops, saying, "There's $45.  That was a couple hundred dollars worth of stuff.  Where's the rest?"  "That's it!" Balki smiles.  "Well, there were price tags on that stuff," Larry points out.  "You don't go by what's on the price tag!" Balki scoffs.  "You don't?" Larry asks with worry.  "Of course not, don't be ridiculous!  I barter like we do at the marketplace on Mypos!"  "Balki, don't you realize what you've done to me?" Larry asks.  "Yes, and you're welcome," Balki says, "You know, I think I should look for a job as a salesperson!"  "Well, stick around," Larry smirks, "When Twinkacetti fires me you can apply for my job!"

The second act begins where the first act ended, except Larry is now leaning forlornly over the cash register.  "Cousin Larry?  Cousin Larry?" Balki tries, then finally lifts Larry's head by the hair, "Cousin Larry!  I'm so sorry!  Oh po po po!  Maybe Mr. Twinkacetti won't notice these things are missing."  "But you sold his hat rack," Larry sighs, motioning toward the door where it used to stand, "Every day the first thing he does when he comes in is put his hat on that rack."  Just at that moment Mr. Twinkacetti enters, moaning, "Same damn thing every day . . . sunlight . . . it gets old."  As Mr. Twinkacetti is complaining, Larry moves behind him and picks up a cane which he holds up to take the place of the hat rack.  Without looking, Mr. Twinkacetti takes his hat off and passes it over his over his head where it lands on the cane.  Larry gives a sigh of relief as Twinkacetti walks away without noticing anything odd.

Mr. Twinkacetti walks to the cash register and starts to get some money out, then notices Balki standing on the other side.  "Buy something or get out," Twinkacetti orders, then asks, "Where's the yo-yo?"  He turns to see Larry still standing at the doorway.  "Hi, Mr. Twinkacetti," Larry smiles, "Rotten day, isn't it?"  "Why are you standing there holding my hat on a stick?" Twinkacetti asks.  "Well, uh . . . technically, uh . . . it's a cane," Larry shows.  "Well, uh . . . technically, uh . . . you're a jerk!" Twinkacetti snaps, "Where's my hat rack?"  "Mr. Twinkacetti," Balki calls, despite Larry desperately motioning not to say anything, "I sold it."  "Who are you?" Twinkacetti demands.  "My name is Balki.  I'm Larry's cousin.  Philo, my fifth . . . . "  "Who cares?" Twinkacetti asks, "Why's he selling stuff?"  "Well, you wanna hear a funny story?" Larry asks.  "No," Twinkacetti says curtly, "Where's my money?"  Larry hands him the cash Balki received and Twinkacetti counts it.  "Forty five bucks?  That hat rack was solid brass.  Where's the other thirty?"  "That was my mistake!" Balki explains, "But to make it up I won't charge you for the hour I worked."  "What a swell guy!" Mr. Twinkacetti smiles sarcastically, "I want the rest of my money!"

"Mr. Twinkacetti, he doesn't have it," Larry explains.  "But I could pay you back if you give me a job!" Balki tries, "I can fix things!"  "Who cares?" Twinkacetti sighs.  "You can fix things?" Larry asks with surprise.  "Why not?  Im young!" Balki answers.  "Well, actually, you know, if you fixed up some of the used things you take in you could sell it for more money!" Larry says to Twinkacetti, "It's a good idea!"  "If I want to hear a good idea I'll go to a smarter source than you . . . like a wedge of cheese!" Twinkacetti says.  "I can fix anything!" Balki insists, "Once my grandmother broke her little finger into silly putty.  It just hung there all limp and dangly.  And if I came up and did that . . . "  He motions flicking it with his finger, " . . . it would flip around like the tassels on a belly dancer.  And she would say to me, 'Balki . . . don't do that.'  And I said, 'You give me that, this what we do . . . we take some nice mud and we make a cast and dry in the hot sun' and six months later I took off the cast and . . . what do you think?  The finger is no more limp and dangly.  It won't bend at all!  It just sticks out like a nail in a board."  Twinkacetti ponders then a moment then declares, "I like that story!  Now get out of here!"  "Mr. Twinkacetti, give him a chance," Larry asks, "How else can he pay you back?"  "All right, all right, I'll give him like a little test," Twinkacetti agrees, pushing past them to an old radio.  "Let's see, ah ha!  Fix this old radio and he's got a job!"  "Now that's not fair," Larry protests, "That radio probably hasn't worked for forty years!"  "Take it or leave it," Twinkacetti says.  "He'll take it," Larry agrees, then asks Balki, "Can you fix it?"  "Of course I can," Balki says, "It's probably just the picture tube."

Later that evening, Larry and Susan are in Larry's apartment playing Scrabble.  Larry puts down some points, saying, "There you go . . . fifteen points."  Susan looks at Larry's word and reaches for a dictionary, saying, "Mypos?  I challenge that."  "Mypos is a real country," Larry explains, "I have a little corner of it growing on my dining room table."  He points to the table where many of Balki's possessions are sitting.  Balki enters the apartment, looking tired.  "Cousin, I need to take a break.  I never knew fixing a radio could be so quiet."  Larry and Susan stand up and Larry introduces her.  "Susan, this is the cousin I was telling you about.  Balki, meet Susan.  She's our neighbor."  Susan holds her hand out to Balki, saying, "Hi, nice to meet you."  Balki stares at Susan in wonder, then asks, "Would it be impolite to ask if I could be your slave for life?"  Susan laughs nervously and sits down, answering, "Well, uh . . . I think that's illegal."  She then comments, "Oh, he's cute."  "This cute Mediterranean boy means every groveling word," Balki continues, getting down on his knees at her feet, "Take me and do with me as you will."  Larry grabs Balki and pulls him up and pushes him to the door, saying, "You're embarrassing Susan.  Stand up, act like a man, go work on the radio."  "Can I take her with me?" Balki asks, moving toward Susan again, but Larry turns Balki around answering "No!"

Balki swings around and heads across the room, stepping over the back of the couch as he throws himself at Susan's feet again.  "Then I take you in my heart, American goddess.  I want to worship your painted toenails."  Larry grabs him again, herding him to the door and scolding, "Just leave with whatever little dignity you have left.  Come on.  Go!"  "It's nice to meet you, too!" Susan calls.  Balki tries to move toward her but Larry holds on to his suspenders and flings him out the front door, shutting it behind him.  Balki pops back in and sighs, "I can die happy now!"  "Right," Larry sighs and Balki leaves.  "He grovels great!" Susan exclaims.  "Sorry," Larry says as he sits back down on the couch, "Now I understand why he doesn't have a crease in his pants."  "Oh, he's sweet," Susan says, "You know, I hope he gets the job."  "Susan, they haven't even made parts for that radio in forty years," Larry points out.  "Then he doesn't have a chance?" Susan sighs.  "Well, I didn't say that," Larry corrects her as he reaches for a small radio on the end table, "See, Balki doesn't know it but I'm gonna slip this little baby in that big ol' radio and at the proper moment, click . . . Dance Fever.  Twinkacetti'll never know the difference."  "That's sneaky!" Susan smiles.  "I know," Larry agrees, "I'm very proud!"

The next morning Larry arrives at the Ritz and sees Balki has fallen asleep in a chair.  Larry places the small radio inside the big one just before Mr. Twinkacetti comes in.  "Good morning, cheers and top of the day!" Twinkacetti says happily as he enters.  "Well, you're in a good mood," Larry notes.  "And why not?" Twinkacetti asks, "Last night all my horse accounts paid off and today I get to laugh in a man's face.  Sounds like a good day to me!  Go for it, sport!"  Larry awakes Balki gently and Balki opens his eyes and looks up, smiling, "Good morning, America!"  "Hey, grape leaf, turn on the radio," Twinkacetti orders.  "I fell asleep before I got to test it," Balki explains, walking to the radio with Larry, "but it'll work . . . Balki fixed it."  "You know it'll work," Larry agrees, walking smugly to Twinkacetti, "And I know it'll work, but you don't.  And that's why this is gonna be so much fun.  You are gonna be so embarrassed when that radio . . . . "  "Cousin Larry, what this?" Balki asks, holding up the small radio he's found in the bigger one.  Larry looks frustrated as he takes the small radio from Balki and Twinkacetti smirks at him.  "Feeble!  Boy, that was feeble!" Twinkacetti smiles, "And you didn't think I'd catch on!"  He laughs a moment then demands, "Turn it on!"  "All right," Balki says, holding a hand over his ear, "Make yourself ready."

Balki switches on the radio and the store is immediately filled with rocking music that blares amazingly loud.  Everyone has to back away, holding their hands to their ears as the sound starts to shatter all the glass pieces displayed around the store.  Pottery, vases and figures break into a million pieces that fly everywhere.  Finally Balki runs over to turn off the radio and everyone stands stunned until Larry and Twinkacetti start to cry "You did it!" and Balki joins in with "I did it!" as he hops around.  "Look at this place, it looks like Ella Fitzgerald gave a concert!" Larry exclaims.  "I don't believe it!" Twinkacetti gasps, "That radio never sounded that good brand new!"  A customer who witnessed the whole thing cries, "What a great sound!  How much you want for it?"  Balki cries, "Three hundred!" as Larry cries, "Four hundred!"  Twinkacetti growls to shut up both of them.  "Five hundred bucks," he answers.  "You got it!" the customer says, pulling out some cash, "Here's a fifty dollar deposit and I'll go get my truck!"  He hurries from the store.

Mr. Twinkacetti takes Balki aside, asking, "Can you fix any radio?"  "Does Telly Savalas love you baby?" Balki asks in return.  "My friend!  My pal!  These fingers!" Mr. Twinkacetti gushes, kissing Balki's fingers on his right hand, "You not only have a job here . . . "  Balki raises his left hand and Twinkacetti kisses those fingers as well, " . . . I'll even pay you . . . minimum wage . . . shhh!"  He looks back to Larry as if he's giving Balki some great deal.  He then turns to address both of them.  "Uh, boys, put this little goldmine out for our customer to pick up.  On second thought, uh pinhead, do it yourself . . . " he says to Larry, " . . . we wouldn't want magic fingers here to accidentally hurt his hands."  Twinkacetti goes to the cash register as Balki says, "Oh Cousin Larry.  I help you anyway."  "Thank you," Larry says.  "Of course," Balki sighs, "I tell you where to put everything."  He motions to the radio, "This goes right there . . . "  Balki then motions to some other newer and fancier equipment behind it, " . . . and then we have this amplifier to go on top, and then when you move these two big speakers please be careful because they're expensive."  Realizing what's happened, Larry and Mr. Twinkacetti look shocked.  "You . . . you uh . . . you hooked all that stuff up to that radio?" Twinkacetti asks.  "Of course, how else you going to make it work?  It was broke," Balki answers.  "Mr. Twinkacetti, something just occurred to me," Larry sighs.  "I just sold a thousand bucks worth of equipment for five hundred?" Twinkacetti cries.  "Damn, it occurred to you, too," Larry sighs.

Twinkacetti turns on Larry with a vengeance.  "You!  You brought him here!  This is all your fault!  You got your walking papers, buster!"  Twinkacetti runs into his office and slams the door.  Larry turns to Balki and says, "Well, I hope you're happy."  "Thank you," Balki says nicely, "I hope you're happy, too."  "Happy?" Larry moans, "Getting fired does not make me happy!"  "Fired?" Balki asks with surprise, "He just gave you official papers to take a nice walk."  "That's American for fired!" Larry explains, "It's a colorful language, isn't it?"  "What?" Balki asks, "He cannot do to you what is my fault!"  Balki starts for Twinkacetti's office, calling his name.  Larry tries to stop him but Balki holds up his hand, determined to continue.  "You come out here right now, you unfair person, and I mean maybe!" Balki calls, banging on Twinkacetti's office door.  Twinkacetti emerges, looking incensed.  He starts toward Balki but Balki holds up his hand to stop the man before he gets too close.  "You have something to say before I pull your tongue out through your nose?" Twinkacetti asks.

"You can't fire Larry!" Balki insists, "He's a good person!  And if he goes, I go!"  "That goes without saying!" Twinkacetti sneers, pointing to the front door, "Now I want to see heels going that way!"  "Not until I get a few things off my neck!" Balki continues, "You don't know what kind of good fellow you dumping to the birds!  He was always loyal to you, he make everything perfect for you and you won't find anyone to do better!  His only mistake was to be good friend to me.  But the customer likes him and that's why they come back!  And if you let this good person walk out that door you're makin' one big mistake, ghost buster!"  Mr. Twinkacetti looks unimpressed, so Larry starts to walk away saying, "Thanks but you're wasting your time, Balki, come on."  They start to leave when Twinkacetti says, "Wait a minute," and steps between them, "Wait a minute . . . I was just thinking about what the turnip said here and uh . . . well, I'd be stupid to let either one of you guys walk out that door.  You're both hired again."  "We are?" Larry asks excitedly, then grows suspicious, asking, "Why?"  "Don't be ridiculous, it's because he sees we're both good persons," Balki offers.  "Yes . . . no!" Twinkacetti corrects him, "Because I see you're both out of work persons.  And if you're not working I can't take ten dollars a week out of your salary to pay for the stereo stuff and the hat rack and all of this mess!  Gentlemen . . . and turnip . . . welcome to the wonderful world of being in debt."  Twinkacetti laughs all the way back to his office.  "Am I in debt?" Balki asks Larry.  "Yep," Larry answers.  Balki is thrilled.  "I’m a true American!"

"Well, Balki, you got us our jobs back," Larry comments.  "Well, where I come from family sticks together," Balki explains, "Isn't this just like America?  Another happy ending!"  "Yeah," Larry agrees.  "We're buddies!"  "Yeah."  "We're working together!"  "Yeah."  "We're roommates!"  "We have to talk," Larry begins seriously.  "Now you see, you couldn't have this talk if you lived alone," Balki points out, "You need me.  And this may surprise you but I need you to.  You saved my life.  You took me in."  "Well, it is nice to have somebody to talk to," Larry admits, "You're welcome to stay until you can afford a place of your own."  "No problem!  I have a job now that pays minimum wage . . . sssh!!  As soon as I pay back Twinkletoes and put my whole family through college I'm gone like a bird!"  "Balki . . . do you have any idea how much minimum wage is?" Larry asks.  "Of course I do, don’t be ridiculous!" Balki assures him.  The framework is set . . . the cousins will obviously be living together for some time to come.


Background information: In early 1986 when Tom Miller and Bob Boyett were offered the time-slot of 8:30 p.m., Tuesday nights on ABC between the hugely popular shows Who's the Boss? and Moonlighting, they couldn't refuse.  But this meant ramping up production of their new series into super-overdrive.  According to the September 27, 1986 issue of TV Guide, Joel Zwick explained the situation.  "The cast assembled for the first time one morning, and three weeks later that show was on the air.  We were often dubbing Tuesday shows on Monday afternoons.  One show was on the air a week after the first reading."

In the same article Lise Cutter, who plays Susan, was quoted as saying of Pinchot, "He's insane.  But that's OK.  He makes up all those crazy movements - all those antics.  He adlibbed 'Don't be ridiculous' one day and it became part of the show."

As a mid-season replacement the show received a lot of buzz and word of mouth from the start.  It did well in the ratings and garnered good reviews.  But mostly it clicked with the right audience at the right time.  Only six episodes were made for that initial time slot but the series was renewed for the fall and would be moved to Wednesday to launch that night's programs (which shows the network executives had a lot of faith in the series at the time).

Continue on to the next episode . . .