Strangers Episode Guide
03 - First Date
Date: April 8, 1986
Nielsen Rating: 20.5 HH
TV Guide Description: Balki
asks Larry to teach him how to approach American women, but Balki's techniques
prove to be more successful -- and frustrating to Larry.
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Marty Nadler
Directed by: Joel Zwick
Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton
Ernie Sabella: Mr. Twinkacetti
Lise Cutter: Susan Campbell
Mary Anne Dorward: Diane
Mindy Sterling: Hostess
Allan Graf: Richard
Sarah Partridge: Girl
"After work do you want to have a happy hour with me?"
"So, this is one of your American mating places."
"Itís a jungle out there and I donít know how to swing."
"Put on your boogie sandals."
"You didn't make a spectacle of yourself, not even a private one."
"Well nobody twisted your leg to make you do that Cagney impression."
ridiculous: Not said in this episode.
used in this episode:
"Don't you give me that face!" (first time)
"Will you stop it?" (first time)
Other running jokes
used in this episode:
The Dance of Joy (not performed completely)
Larry replies flippantly to a statement by Balki to avoid having to explain or
argue a point
Balki jumps onto the couch
Larry hanging his coat or jacket on the closet door rack (first time)
Larry drinking antacid from the bottle (first time)
Girl" - performed by Balki when he comes home from the single's bar.
The Dance of Joy is performed for the first time, although not exactly as it
would be done in later episodes.
- When Larry comments about the letter he receives
from Ed McMahon it's actually a letter from American Family Publishing
sweepstakes which was known for sending out flyers about their sweepstakes
contest with Ed McMahon's picture on it, since he was their spokesman (he even
filmed television commercials encouraging people to watch for their envelope
with his picture on it in their mailbox!)
- Balkiís comment that "Tonight is kind of
special" is a line from a then popular commercial for Lowenbrau beer.
- This episode marks the first time the Dance of
Joy is actually performed. Itís introduced as a group dance for lots of
people. Larry and Balki perform the first steps of the dance together in
the way the Dance of Joy would be performed from this point on.
- Larry makes his first attempt to throw his jacket
onto the rack hung on the closet door . . . and misses, of course.
- This is the first time we see Larry get antacid
out of the refrigerator and drink it straight out of the bottle.
- Mindy Sterling is listed in the credits of this
show as playing the hostess. Unfortunately her speaking part appears to
have been cut. She is probably best known now as Frau Farbissina in the
Austin Powers movies. You can see her standing at the podium in the
background looking at Balki and Larry after Balki first attempts to speak with
Diane and Larry drags him back to the bar. She is also leaning to look out
the door as Larry is being dragged outside by Richard. You can also catch
her leaving a menu on the table as she seats them on Balkiís date with Diane
and back at the podium for the rest of that scene.
- This episode marks the first time the Dance of
Joy is performed. While the line dance done in this episode is not exactly
the same as Larry and Balki would later do, some steps are the same, in
particular the sideways leg kicks which everyone does on their own and then
Larry does do with the Balki the same way they would later always perform them.
The shouting of "Hey!" was also done in this early version.
- This episode has the first couch scene which
actually takes place on the couch.
- Allan Graf, who plays the tough guy in the bar in
this episode, would also appear as an irate hockey fan in the episode Get a
- Larry's very poor impersonation of James Cagney
includes the often misquoted line used by most people when impersonating the
classic film star. The phrase "You dirty rat, you killed my
brother!" was never spoken by the actor. The line, from the 1931 film
Taxi! was actually "You dirty rat, I'm going to get rid of you just
like you gave it to my brother."
episode begins in the Ritz Discount Store. Larry is at the counter working
when Susan enters. "Hi, Larry!" she says. "Oh, hi
Susan," Larry greets her. "The mailman put this in my box by
mistake," Susan says as she hands Larry an envelope. "Another
letter from Ed McMahon," Larry notes, "I feel bad about not getting
back to him." Balki enters the store, carrying a box. He stops
when he sees Susan and gasps, "Susan!" "Hi, Balki!"
Susan smiles. Balki throws the box to one side and steps close to Susan,
gushing, "Let me bathe in your beauty!" He sinks down to his
knees next to her. "All right, up!" Larry cries, stepping over
to pull him back up, "Bath time is over!" He then explains to
Susan, "You have to forgive Balki. The only redhead in his homeland
was a tree squirrel." Susan laughs but Balki is still smitten.
"Susan," Balki says,
"let me shine your shoes with my heart!" Balki drops to the
ground and starts rubbing Susan's shoes with his chest.
Susan giggles, saying, "He is so cute!" "Balki, save
something for your honeymoon!" Larry urges. "I'm going,"
Susan assures Larry as she steps over Balki, "See ya!" "Bye
bye, Susan," Larry offers as she walks out the door. "Goodbye,
love goddess!" Balki adds. "Balki, you have to stop doing that
to Susan!" Larry cries, "You don't do that to other women."
"I don't know any other women!" Balki points out. "Well,
maybe you should go out and meet some," Larry suggests. "Easy
for you, you're a happening guy!" Balki cries. "Well,
true," Larry agrees, "but anybody can do it . . . I mean, you see a
woman, you smile, pay her a compliment, ask her her name! It's easy."
A woman who has entered the store during this conversation asks them, "Ah,
can somebody help me, please?" Balki grabs Larry by the arms and
gives him a look of urgency, realizing this is his chance. Larry motions
for Balki to go for it.
Balki starts to walk to the
woman, who is looking at some shirts on a table with her back to him. As
he approaches he starts to get down on his knees but Larry grabs the back of his
suspenders and pulls him up, motioning for Balki to stay up on his feet. Balki
steps close to the woman and asks, "Can I help you?" "Uh
yeah," she says, "Do you have any sweatshirts?" "Right
over there," Balki points. "Ah, fantastic!" the woman
smiles, walking to the table with the sweatshirts. "Yes, and speaking
of fantastic you have perfect bone structure for having babies!" Balki
smiles. Larry drops the notepad he was writing on as the woman also reacts
with shock. "What your name is?" Balki asks. The woman
looks uncomfortable and walks away from him to another display. Balki
follows, looking at the back of her jeans. "Oh I see, it's written on
the back of your pants!" Balki notes, reading, "Levi Strauss."
He smiles coyly, saying, "Hello, Levi. My name is Balki."
"Hey, where do you get off, anyway?" the woman asks angrily.
"Well, I got off in New York but then I took the bus to Chicago,"
Balki explains, then adds, "My kind of town, Chicago is." The
woman smiles nervously and starts to leave but Balki says, "Levi? Uh,
after work do you want to have a happy hour with me?" At this point
Larry steps in, saying, "Excuse me, uh . . . he means no harm. He's
from another country. And he has a head injury." The woman
beats a hasty retreat.
turns on Balki and gives him an angry look. "Don't you give me that
face!" Balki protests, "I did just what you told me, it didn't
work." "Balki, that's not how you meet women," Larry
insists, "That's how muggers meet women!" Mr. Twinkacetti enters
the store from his office. "Gentlemen, front and center! I'm
going to the track. If I pick any losers I'll think of you!" he says,
pointing to Balki. He then pushes past Larry, urging, "Move it!
Move it! Get away from my money!" as he opens the cash register.
"Mr. Twinkacetti," Balki begins, "How do you get dates?"
"Well, uh, that's easy," Mr. Twinkacetti offers, closing the cash
drawer, "You see a woman, you offer her fifty bucks and not a penny
more." "I don't think that's the kind of date he's talking
about," Larry clarifies. "Well, bite my tongue," Mr.
Twinkacetti smirks, "Does that mean I don't get to play St. Francis in the
school play?" Twinkacetti tilts his hat at them and leaves the store.
you've got to go to a place where single women hang out," Larry explains,
"Maybe you should just go to a single's bar." "Oh, a
single's bar, I have seen that on TV," Balki says, then recites, "Give
me a light . . . go for the gusto . . . here's to good friends. Will you
come with me, Cousin Larry? Tonight is kind of special."
"No, Balki, a single's bar is not my first choice of places to meet
women. I prefer more formal situations . . . you know, uh . . . weddings .
. . tax audit . . . Heimlich maneuver . . . . " "Oh, please,
Cousin," Balki begs. "No, I just don't like those kinds of
places," Larry says. "Please, you have to go with me!"
Balki asks, "You're the love expert!" "I don't think
so," Larry says. "Oh! Po Po!" Balki says in a knowing
tone, "I see! You're afraid if I learn the secrets of your power I'll
misuse it." Larry stares at Balki a long moment then nods, saying,
"Yes, that's it."
The next scene opens at a
restaurant / lounge where a band is playing and some people are up dancing while
others are sitting at tables,
eating, drinking and talking. Balki and Larry enter and Balki immediately
starts moving to the music. "So, this is one of your American mating
places," Balki notes. "Meeting, a meeting place,"
Larry corrects him quickly, "People meet each other here. They mate
somewhere else." "So many beautiful women!" Balki observes.
"Yes, and you'll notice that none of them have men wrapped around their
ankles," Larry points out. Balki looks around the room with surprise,
saying, "You know, you're right! You really know your stuff, Cousin
Larry! Well, I think I pick out my woman now." Balki starts to
step over a chair in his haste to get started but Larry pulls him back.
"This is not a cafeteria. Go slow, take it easy. Be cool."
They head for the bar as Balki assures Larry, "I know how to be cool!"
Balki walks with a loose gait as he veers away from Larry and approaches two
women at a table, remarking to one of them, "Hey Mamo, you be gettin' down
wid you bad self!" Larry rushes over and grabs Balki, pulling him
over to the bar quickly.
Everyone in the lounge stares at
them in confusion. "Everyone is looking at us," Larry notes,
"I don't like that! All right, let's get this over with so I can go
home. Now the first thing is what we call eye contact."
"Eye contact," Balki repeats, "Like the Three Stooges?"
Balki motions a classic Stooges eye poke bit at an non-amused Larry.
"All right, I'm gone, I'm outta here," Larry states,
turning to leave. "No no, Cousin, Cousin!" Balki stops him,
pulling him back. "Okay, okay," Larry agrees, sitting back down,
"Look, for safety's sake we had better define eye contact. You look .
. . you look . . . into a woman's eyes from across the room, and if she
looks back, you know, you kind of hold the look . . . that's eye
contact." "Like that woman is looking at you?" Balki asks,
spotting a woman on the other side of the bar. "What woman?"
Larry asks. Balki raises his left hand to point across the bar and Larry
grabs it, pushing it down. Balki then points with his right hand and Larry
grabs that and pushes it down as well. "Don't point!" Larry
insists. Balki then points her out with his nose. Larry ventures a
look and sees the woman is indeed looking and smiling at him. "She
must be looking at someone else," he says, acting embarrassed and shy,
"After you've made eye contact you work your way over to the woman and you
use your opening line. Something like, uh . . . do you come here often? .
. . can I buy you a drink? . . . didn't we meet in the Oval office? Things
"Can I try it?" Balki
asks excitedly. "Oh . . . oh . . . okay," Larry agrees
nervously. Balki prepares himself them starts scanning the room
with his eyes. He makes eye contact with a shy-looking blonde at the end
of the bar. She smiles back at him. "I have made eye
contact," Balki informs Larry. "Oh boy!" Larry says, still
worried. "Can I try my opening line?" Balki asks.
"All right, go ahead," Larry says, "Just, uh . . . don't tell her
you know me." Balki walks around to the woman, leaning over her
shoulder to say, "Hello. Do you come here often?" The
woman sighs, "No." "Would you smother me with your
beautiful American body?" Balki asks, slumping down slowly as if to drop to
his knees. Larry leaps from his barstool and runs to Balki, grabbing him
to hold him up. "Excuse us!" Larry offers, pushing Balki back to
his barstool, then turning on Balki to say, "You were one step away from
throwing yourself at that woman's feet, weren't you?" "Old
habits die hard," Balki admits, "Why don't you show me, Cousin Larry,
you're the expert!" "Look . . . look, I . . . I just don't like
these places," Larry stammers, "and besides, I'm . . . I'm more of a
kind of a uh, talking expert than a, uh . . . uh . . . I really don't want to
Balki looks across the bar and
notes, "That woman is still looking at you." "She is?"
Larry asks, looking away. Balki follows her eyes and confirms, "Yes,
she is." Larry slowly looks up at her and sees she is smiling at him.
"Oh my God, she is!" Larry says, looking
down again. "Go ahead and get her, you love devil!" Balki
encourages. Larry looks at her hopefully, then says, "All right.
This is a little faster than I usually like to operate. I'm only doing
this for you!" Balki nods his thank you and Larry gets off his stool
and casually starts to make his way around the bar. As he suavely makes
his way to the other end of the bar we can see that the woman Balki had talked
to has walked down to his end of the bar and is seated in Larry's place, talking
to Balki. Larry sidles into the barstool next to the woman who has been
eyeing him and begins, "So . . . . " He is immediately grabbed
by the throat by a huge man who was sitting at a nearby table. "Hey,
pal . . . that's my girlfriend!" he says, dragging Larry out of the bar.
Larry tries to call to Balki for help but can't yell out with his throat
constricted. Balki is too busy talking to the blonde to see Larry being
pulled out the front door.
Back at the apartment Larry is
sitting on the couch dressed in his pajamas and robes and with an ice pack
against his head. Balki enters, singing the song "Young Girl" at
the top of his lungs. He jumps onto the table behind the couch and says,
"Cousin Larry, I'm
so happy! I met one fox-like American woman!" He hugs Larry
tightly, shaking him as Larry cries in pain. "Sounds like you had
fun, too!" Balki comments, "Hey, you disappeared pretty fast!
Did you . . . " Balki winks, " . . . get lucky?"
"Yeah, I got lucky!" Larry nods, "I'm lucky I wasn't
killed!" "That's nice," Balki sighs, then adds, "Big
news! I'm going on my first American date tomorrow night! Aren't you
happy for me?" "Why not?" Larry smiles painfully,
"While you were inside meeting your fox-like American chick I was out in
the parking lot learning that the human body can bounce off of concrete!"
"I have so much to learn," Balki notes. "Reams!" Larry
assures him. "Well, you can show me tomorrow night because you coming
with me on my date!" Balki announces, "We'll double the pleasure,
double the fun!" Larry gets up slowly and in pain, laughing
sarcastically as he walks around to the back of the couch. "Let me
try to make something absolutely crystal clear to you," Larry begins,
"I would rather spend the evening with Jabba the Hut."
"Well, call him up! We'll all party!" Balki says happily,
picking Larry up and setting him back down. Balki walks into the bathroom,
singing "Young Girl" again as Larry collapses with his icepack on the
two opens in the apartment with Larry helping Balki, who is dressed for his date
with Diane, tie his necktie. Balki reaches up to help but Larry pushes his
hand away. Balki tries with his left hand and Larry slaps it. Balki
slaps Larry's hand back and Larry slaps Balki's face so Balki pushes Larry's
face and Larry pushes Balki's until Larry cries, "Will you stop it?"
Larry finishes tying Balki's tie as Balki says, "I'm sorry. I'm just
nervous about my date." "She'll love you," Larry assures
Balki, "I guarantee it!" "Well, maybe you're right,"
Balki says hopefully, "My underarms are safe, my scalp is not flaky and my
breath is lemon fresh." "Well, other than gargling with Pledge I
think you're off to a good start," Larry agrees. There is a knock at
the door and Susan enters, saying, "Hi guys!" "Oh, hi
Susan!" Larry says. "So, Balki, ready for your big date?"
she asks. "Well, let me see," Balki thinks, "I open the
door for her, I pull out the chair, I don't speak with my mouth full and I don't
touch her body unless I am asked." "Larry . . . wha . . .
?" Susan asks. "Well, these are questions that came up,"
Susan sits on a chair as Balki
begs, "Please, Cousin Larry . . . please come with me!"
"No!" Larry answers firmly. "Please! It's a jungle
out there and I don't know how to swing!" Balki pleads. "Now
don't worry!" Larry assures him, "I believe in you!" He
slaps Balki's arm and heads him to the bathroom, saying, "She is going to
love you! You have got the right stuff!" After Balki closes the
bathroom door Larry turns to Susan and says, "He is doomed!"
"Larry, why don't you go with him?" Susan asks. "Oh no, no
no no no no no," Larry refuses, "You're thinking Balki's my friend, my
roommate, a strange from another country, he looks up to me. How can I
cast him aside? Like this!" Larry motions casting
something aside. "Larry . . . . " Susan begins. "Nice
try . . . nice try, Susan, but it won't work! I don't like to be
embarrassed. I've spent my whole life avoiding embarrassing situations.
Who knows when it started? Maybe when I was born nude in front of all
those strangers." "Larry, I don't see how going on a date with a
friend can be embarrassing," Susan wonders.
checks to make sure Balki can't hear him and answers, "We are talking about
Balki! The man who doesn't believe the refrigerator light goes off.
The man who knows 1001 unfunny jokes about sheep. The man who thinks Bo
Derek is a fine little actress. And you are telling me that he's not going
to embarrass me? Take a reality pill!" "If you're gonna be
embarrassed, don't go!" Susan states. "Oh, great! Lay a
guilt trip on me!" Larry sighs, "You don't have to tell me that
tonight is going to be a disaster. And you don't have to tell me how
terrible I'm going to feel if I'm not there to pick up the pieces. All
right, I'll go! There! I hope you're happy!" "If
it'll be easier for you, I'll go with you," Susan offers. "Oh
sure, come along!" Larry says, "Wouldn't be a car wreck without
innocent bystanders." "I'm gonna go put on my face," Susan
says, heading for the door. "Sure, easy for you! You get to
wear a disguise!" Larry calls after her. After Susan leaves Larry
remarks, "She is so manipulative!"
two couples arrive at the same lounge were Balki met his date. They're
shown to a table and Balki motions for his date to take the end seat. He
pulls the chair out for her and she sits, then Balki sits down himself without
pushing her to the table. Seeing her sitting so far away, Balki encourages
her, "Don't be shy! Come, come!" She pulls the chair and
herself to the table. "So, uh, Diane, what do you do?" Larry
asks. "Good opening line, Cousin Larry, but she's my date!"
Balki points out. "I teach high school geography," Diane
answers, "That's why I'm so fascinated by Balki's homeland."
"It is a fascinating place," Balki agrees, "We have no sewers and
in the rainy season it . . . . " "I uh . . . " Larry
interrupts, "I come from Wisconsin." "That's nice,"
"Oh!" Balki suddenly
exclaims, "Did I tell you my joke about the three sheepherders?"
"Oh, you don't want to do that," Larry warns. "This
is the funniest joke in all of Mypos!" Balki laughs. "It's a
small country," Larry adds. "These three sheepherders want
to find out who has the most beautiful sheep in all of Mypos. So they
decide to bring each the prized animal to be judged by the others."
"Uh, waiter? Waiter?" Larry calls. "And so, then the
first one presents his sheep and the others said 'This a very beautiful animal .
. . so big, so white, so fluffy, good gums." "Waiter! Yo!"
Larry calls even more desperately. "You know this one!" Balki
says to Larry, who nods. "You're so funny," Balki smiles, and
continues. "So, the next one brings his sheep, even more beautiful.
And then the next one presents his sheep . . . but it's just a horrible looking
animal! Skinny, dirty, wrinkled face. And they say this has got to
be the most ugly animal in the world! And then the sheep looks up right
into their faces and the sheep says, "You think I'm ugly? Well, I'm
not!" Balki dissolves into laughter and Susan and Diane laugh with
confusion and wait for the rest. "And?" Diane finally asks.
"That's the punchline," Larry announces, "Anybody for the salad
bar?" "There is no salad bar," Susan notes.
"There's no punchline either," Larry remarks, "But that didn't
The band begins to play a song
and Balki listens, noting, "Hey . . . you know, this sounds like a song
from my country." "Oh no, it doesn't!" Larry contradicts.
"Really?" Diane asks. "Yes," Balki answers, "It's
called the Dance of Joy. It's a lovely dance with lots of people."
"Oh look, they have takeout!" Larry notes. "Well, can you
show us the dance?" Diane asks. "Oh no, no, no," Larry
says. "Aw, come on!" Diane urges, "Show us!"
Balki stands up and motions for the others to do so as well, saying, "It
lot of people!" Larry tries to encourage Susan to stay seated,
saying, "We'll stay here," but she and Diane get up and join Balki on
the dance floor. "Waiter, check please!" Larry calls.
Balki demonstrates the steps of the Dance of Joy to Susan and Diane and then
encourages the patrons, calling, "Come on, everybody, feel the beat!
Put on your boogie sandals!" Other people get up and join them as
they dance in a line around the restaurant. Larry jumps up, saying, "Balki,
some of these people went to college!" He gets up and goes to the
band, motioning for them to stop playing, saying, "That's enough!"
He runs to Balki, calling, "Balki! Balki, that's it! They Dance
of Joy is over!" A hand slaps down hard on Larry's shoulder and he
turns to see the man who beat him up the previous evening.
"Hey!" the man snarls, "We're having a good time!
Dance!" "Five, six, seven, eight . . . " Larry counts down
and the band begins again and Larry joins the people in the Dance of Joy.
at the apartment Susan drops Larry and Balki at their apartment, the three of
them still laughing. "Good night, Susan," Larry laughs.
"Good night, I had a great time!" Susan laughs as she walks away.
As soon as the door closes, however, Larryís face drops. "I can't
believe it! My first American date!" Balki exclaims happily, leaping
over the back of the couch to sit down, "Diane says she'll even see me
again! Isn't life great?" Larry sadly walks closer to the
closet, tossing his jacket toward the rack on the door. The jacket lands
on the floor. Larry then tries to throw his keys onto the desk but they,
too, fall to the floor. "No!" Larry finally answers Balki's
question, "I made a fool out of myself! I am so embarrassed!"
"What?" Balki says with surprise, getting to his feet, "Why?
We were having fun!" "Fun?" Larry cries, "I made a
public spectacle out of myself. One threat of death and I was out there
tapping my little feet off!" "You did not make a spectacle of
yourself, not even a private one!" Balki insists. "Of course I
did!" Larry says, "Look, some people can sing and dance and get away
with it. I am not one of them. I donít like to sing! I
donít like to dance! People . . . LOOK at you!"
Larry goes to the refrigerator to
get some antacid as Balki follows, saying "But if everyone is singing and
dancing they don't point to
one man and say 'Look at that fellow singing and dancing.' They look at
the fellow who's not singing and dancing. Don't they?"
Larry walks to the couch to sulk. "You know what I think?" Balki
asks, "I think you won't admit it but you really did have fun
tonight." "Oh, no I didn't!" Larry insists. "Oh,
yes you did!" Balki disagrees. "Did not!" "You
did, too!" "Didn't!" "You danced!" Balki
points out. "I was threatened!" Larry points out.
"You sang!" Balki says. "I didn't enjoy it," Larry
insists. "You laughed," Balki adds. "A hollow
laugh," Larry says dramatically, drinking some antacid. "Well,
nobody twisted your leg to make you do that Cagney impression!" Balki
counters. "Well, I got sucked into the mob mentality!" Larry
defends himself, "Look, Balki, you and I are different."
"We are?" Balki asks with surprise. "Yes!" Larry says,
surprised he even has to point it out, "You like to just jump into the
swimming pool of life without even checking to see if there is water. I,
on the other hand, like to make sure there's water, a life guard . . . test for
algae . . . then I dip a toe in and call it a day. I . . . I shouldn't be
teaching you anything. I don't know how to have fun."
"That is not true,"
Balki argues, sitting next to Larry on the couch, "You are a fun
person." "Really?" Larry asks. "Yes," Balki
"Oh, no I'm not," Larry sighs. "Yes, you are," Balki
says, "Do Cagney for me again." "Oh no," Larry
refuses. "Oh, come on," Balki pleads. "Noooo,"
Larry sighs. "Oh come . . . please! Or I look at you and
point!" Balki threatens. "Okay," Larry agrees, standing up.
He prepares himself then begins, in a terrible James Cagney impersonation,
"Oh, you dirty rat. You killed my brother, you dirty rat."
Balki laughs hysterically, saying, "Perfect!" Larry is tickled
with Balki's enthusiastic response. "Now you see, don't you feel
better?" Balki asks. "Well, yeah, I do!" Larry admits,
sitting down again, "You know, I'm gonna try to loosen up more often.
Thanks, Balki." "Oh, I should thank you," Balki says,
"If it wasn't for you I'd still be throwing myself at woman's feet.
You know, you taught me if I just relax and be myself people will like me.
And you learned something . . . actually, you learned the same thing!"
Larry nods, realizing this is true, and says, "I guess so! So, you
really think I sound like Cagney?" "Perfect!" Balki smiles,
"Just like Cagney!" After a moment Balki asks, "Can you do
Lacey?" Discouraged again, Larry reaches for the antacid and takes
on to the next episode . . .