Perfect Strangers Episode Guide

EPISODE 119 - Great Balls of Fire

First Air Date: April 26, 1991
Filming Date: March 15, 1991
Nielsen Rating: 13.6 HH

TV Guide Description: Larry hopes his and Balki's stint as volunteer firefighters will generate good copy for a human-interest story, but what they get is a fire -- at the firehouse.

Co-Producer: Alan Plotkin
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Barry OíBrien & Cheryl Alu
Directed by: Bill Petty

Cast:
Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton
Melanie Wilson: Jennifer Lyons
Rebeca Arthur: Mary Anne Spencer

Guest Cast:
Ron Dean: Chief Newton

greatballsgrab02.jpg (51669 bytes)Dimitri Appearances: Dimitriís photo can be seen sitting on the bookshelf.

Balki-isms:
"You can read me like a cheap suit."
"You know, you never cease to erase me."
"Those Lucky Charms!"
"Well, Cousin, it was just a simple matter of fighting fire with Folgers."
"Oh, Cousin, look!  Thereís a fire squisher!"

Donít be ridiculous: Not said in this episode.

Other catchphrases used in this episode:
Larryís way of saying the word "great"
Balki makes a comment that goes, "Well something something and make me something," in this case, "Well, feed me lemons and make me pucker."
"Oh my Lord!"
"Get out of the city!"
"Thatís a good point."
"Oh, right!"

Interesting facts:
-
The week before, on April 19, 1991, the series moved to the 9:30 p.m. time slot on Friday night.  During the summer repeats, the show would return to its regular 9:00 p.m. timeslot.
greatballsgrab15.jpg (38499 bytes)-
This episode was introduced by a new type of TGIF intro called TGIF Trivia.  These alternative segments featured the voice of one of the TGIF show cast members asking a series of questions about the upcoming show, with three multiple choice answers accompanied by clips from the show.
-
The title of this episode is the title of a very popular Jerry Lee Lewis hit of the same name, made popular in 1957.  A 1989 biopic about Jerry Lee Lewis starring Dennis Quaid also went by the same title.
- Bill Petty stepped in to direct this episode, the only one he would direct for the series.  He also directed one episode of Full House, but his steady job on that series was as editor.
- Ron Dean played Chief Newton in this episode with great flourish.  He has made appearances in many movies and television shows, including Risky Business (as the detective with the bullhorn), Teachers, The Breakfast Club, T.J. Hooker, The Color of Money, Wiseguy, Above the Law, Cocktail, The Fugitive, The Client, Murder, She Wrote, Chain Reaction, ER, The West Wing, Without a Trace, Numb3rs, Six Feet Under, The Dark Knight and The Beast.  He has also had a recurring roles as Chief Kramer in the series Crime Story, Frank in Frasier, Detective Marion Zeke Crumb in Early Edition and Joe Brockhurst in NYPD Blue.
- At one point Balki quotes the lyrics from the song Ainít No Mountain High Enough, made popular twice, first in 1966 by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, then again in 1970 by Diana Ross.  Balki had already sung a snippet from this song earlier this season in the episode
Black Widow.
- When Balki calls out, "Cousin Larry Appleton, come on down!" he is, of course, using the famous line from The Price is Right, spoken originally by announcer Johnny Olsen, and then subsequently by announcers Rod Roddy and Rich Fields, to invite audience members who have been chosen to play to come on down and take their place in the game.

Bloopers and Inconsistencies:
greatballsgrab29.jpg (78725 bytes)-
There is a mystery regarding the beginning of this episode.  When we see Balki debating about bothering Larry, you can see an object lying on the floor between Balkiís table and Larryís desk, as well as a bunch of stuff strewn all around on the floor.  The shooting draft script only indicates that Balki first went to Larryís desk and then instead of telling Larry what was on his mind he took something.  Itís possible that Balki then dropped whatever item he took in the hopes of getting Larryís attention, but this isnít in the script.
- Cousin Dabzzygirl spotted another blooper for us in that when Balki and Larry first see the coffee pot on fire Larry runs to the phone to call the fire department.  When the phone rings, Balki cries, "Incoming emergency!" and falls back against the doorway, but you can see the whole wall move flimsily since it is only a set and not really a solid wall!


Synopsis:
The episode begins in the basement of the Chicago Chronicle.  Larry is typing at his desk.  Balki is by his work table, looking anxious.  It appears that he wants to approach Larry about something but is hesitating.  Balki finally makes up his mind and walks purposefully to Larryís desk, stepping up onto the desk itself and crouching down so that he is looking down upon Larry in a way that canít be ignored.  Larry finally stops typing and pauses a moment, then asks, "Something on your mind, Balki?"  "Ho ho, Cousin," Balki says, sitting down on the desk, "You can read me like a cheap suit.  Cousin, if you were me and you wanted to get you to do something that was really hard, long hours and no pay, how you would get you to do it?"  "Well, thatís easy," Larry says lightly.  "Really?" Balki asks with surprise.  "Well, sure," Larry says, "Iím a reasonable man.  Iím willing to listen to logical arguments."

"Well, I thought so," Balki says.  "Yeah, sure," Larry smiles, "So go ahead.  Just state the facts, support it with statistical data then be prepared for a flat ĎNo.í"  "Oh, forget it, Cousin," Balki moans as he gets off the desk and heads back to his work table, "I . . . I knew you wouldnít want to be a volunteer fireman.  Just . . . just never mind."  Larry stands up quickly and announces, "Iíll do it!"  "Just forget I said anything, okay?" Balki continues as Larry walks over to him, "The firehouse needs volunteers, I thought you might like to do something for the community but obviously . . . "  "I said Iíll do it."  " . . . I was wrong.  I was wrong!  Okay?  I was wrong.  Itís not the first time Iím gonna be wrong, itís not the last time Iím gonna be wrong . . . "  Balki stops and looks at Larry, asking, "What?"  "Iíll do it," Larry says.  "Youíll do what?" Balki asks.  "Iíll be a volunteer fireman," Larry states.

Balki shakes his head and comments, "You know, you never cease to erase me."  "Well, Balki, Wainwright has been after me for a while to do a human interest story and being a volunteer fireman would be a great story," Larry smiles.  "Wait a minute," Balki says, "Cousin, if thatís the only reason youíre going to do it, I donít think you should do it."  "Well, Balki, thatís not the only reason," Larry insists, "I . . . I would think my commitment to the community would go without saying.  So when do we start?"  "I guess tomorrow," Balki says, stunned.  "Well, great!" Larry smiles, patting Balkiís shoulder.  "Yeah," Balki says, looking lost.  "You donít seem that excited about it," Larry notes.  "Well, I . . . I donít know, Cousin, I . . . I got just what I wanted.  I . . . I . . . I got you to do exactly what I wanted you to do and yet somehow you managed to suck all the joy of it," Balki sobs.

The next day at the fire station, Balki and Larry enter the garage of the station from another room.  Larry and Balki are both wearing firemanís jackets and blue jeans.  Larry is wearing a firemanís hat and Balki is holding his hat and staring at it.  "Cousin, they gave us hats!" Balki smiles, "I love hats.  I particularly love this hat.  Itís so elaborate.  You know, on Mypos the firefighters wear a watermelon rind with a chin strap."  Balki places his hat on his head.  "Balki, this is gonna be a piece of cake," Larry says.  An older man slides down the fire pole and turns to them.  "Iím Chief Newton," he introduces himself, "Iím in charge of training volunteers."  "What a coincidence!" Balki exclaims, "We are volunteers!"  "I hate volunteers," Chief Newton states seriously, "They like to wear the hat but they canít take the heat.  The hats are yours when you finish the training."  Chief Newton pulls Larryís hat off his head.  He grabs Balkiís hat as well, but Balki throws his arms over it and holds on tight.  Chief Newton has to hand Larry back his hat as he wrestles and shakes Balki for the other hat, dragging Balki around on the floor as Balki cries, "Oh no!  Donít take my hat!  I need it . . . I need it.  I must have the hat!  I . . . I love the hat!  Maybe I can . . . "

Chief Newton finally reaches down and tickles Balki until he lets go, then snatches the hat away.  He walks back to Larry, who gives him his hat willingly.  Larry helps Balki up as Chief Newton hangs the hats on a rack on the wall.  "Uh, say, uh, Chief," Larry says, taking a notebook and pencil out of his pocket, "uh, before we get started I have, uh, a couple of questions."  "Shut up," Chief Newton snaps, "For the next six weeks you do what I say when I say.  If I say ĎJump,í you say ĎHow high?í  If I say ĎMake coffee,í you say ĎHow hot?í  If I say ĎPaint the fire truck,í you say, ĎHow red?í  You got that?"  Balki steps around to Larry to reply, "Uh . . . uh . . . let me recap, okay?  That was . . . that was, uh . . . ĎHow high?í ĎHow hot?í and ĎHow red?í  Right?  Or . . . or was it . . . was it high hat, red hot and how now?"  "Shut up," Chief Newton barks.  "Do . . . do people tell you you look like Sinatra?" Balki asks.  Chief Newton steps aside, saying, "All right, letís get to work."  He leads them to a corner of the station where some equipment is sitting.

"First, Iíll familiarize you with the equipment youíll be using," Chief Newton explains, "This is an axe."  He indicates an axe on the wall and Balki starts to reach for it.  "Donít touch it," Chief Newton warns, then points to an item on the floor and continues, "This is a high-rise back pack.  Donít touch it."  Balki, who had been reaching for the backpack, jumps back.  Chief Newton shows them a computerized machine and explains, "And this is a state-of-the-art fire extinguisher . . . the AFXQ 9000 . . . The Mighty Max."  Balki starts to reach toward it.  "Lay a finger on it and youíre off the program," Chief Newton warns.  He steps forward and picks up an oxygen tank on a back harness from the floor.  "All right, itís time to get into your gear," he says as he helps Balki place the tank on his back, "This is a breathing apparatus.  On your back."  "Is this as heavy as it looks?" Larry asks as he reaches down to pick up the other one.  "Itís heavier," Chief Newton answers, as he straps the tank onto Balki, who keeps giggling.  Chief Newton gives up and walks away as Balki helps Larry on with his tank.

Chief Newton walks back to them carrying a coil of fire hose.  "Water delivery apparatus over your right shoulder," he instructs as he places the hose on Larryís right shoulder.  Larry groans under the weight.  "Thatís also heavy," Chief Newton warns as he brings another hose and places it over Balkiís right shoulder.  Balki starts to falloff-balance but Chief Newton pushes him back up again.  Chief Newton then reaches down to pick up two very heavy-sounding iron bars, which he holds out to them, explaining, "Pry bars in your left hands."  Balki and Larry grab the bars with the left hands and when Chief Newton lets go they both drop down to hit the ground again with a clunk, even though Balki and Larry manage to hold on to them.  "You know, Cousin," Balki notes, "This is almost exactly like the outfit I wore to my grammar school graduation.  Except, of course, I had the snorkel."

"Get over here," Chief Newton instructs, and he leads them to a small set up stairs which go up and down on both sides.  "All right, give me forty flights," Chief Newton orders.  "You know, I . . . I . . . Iím not much of a climber," Larry hesitates, "I . . . Iím more an on-the-ground management type."  "Go!" Chief Newton barks, startling Balki. Balki starts running up one side of the stairs and down the other quickly, as Larry slowly ascends one side, climbing about two steps every time Balki runs up and own both sides of the stairs.  "You know, Chief," Balki says, "This is going to do wonders in defining our quads."  Balki stops in front of Chief Newton and laughs, until the Chief shouts, "Shut up!"  Balki starts over the stairs again as Larry reaches the bottom of the side heís climbed up and down and wearily calls out, "One!"

Back at the apartment that afternoon, Larry is lying prone on the couch in exhaustion.  Balki is sitting on the arm of the couch and says happily, "Hey, Cousin, while you were unconscious Chief Newton told us tomorrow heís going to show us exactly how close you can get to the flames and still keep your eyebrows."  Larry lifts his head and states, "I am never going back to that fire station."  "Well, Cousin, what about your story?" Balki asks.  "Iíll get another story," Larry moans.  "Well, what about your commitment to the community?" Balki asks.  "I never wanted to help the community," Larry sighs.  "You didnít?" Balki says with surprise.  "No," Larry confirms.  "So you lied!" Balki exclaims, and he grabs Larry by the hair and pulls him up into a sitting position as Larry cries, "Ow!  Ow!  Yes, I lied!  But this is the truth . . . I am never going back to that fire station ever, ever again!"  "Well, Iím going back," Balki insists, "Ainít no mountain high enough, ainít no river deep enough, ainít no fire hot enough to keep me from getting that hat.  Now Iím going to my room.  I want you to sit right there and think about what youíre doing, young man!"  Balki walks into his bedroom.

A moment later there is a knock at the door.  Larry goes to answer it and Jennifer steps inside.  "Hi, Larry," she says.  "Well, hi," Larry greets her.  "Larry, is it true youíve become a volunteer fireman?" Jennifer asks.  "Well, I . . . " Larry begins.  "Larry, thereís something I have to tell you," Jennifer says anxiously, then she adds, "Uh, maybe I shouldnít.  I feel so foolish."  "Well, Jennifer, you can tell me anything," Larry assures her, and he takes her hands and leads her to the couch, "Here, come in, come in.  Weíre engaged.  You can tell me anything.  I told you about my fear of eggs."  "Okay," Jennifer begins, "Iíve always had this fantasy about firemen."  As she speaks, she becomes more intense.  "I see this dashing man in a soot-streaked slicker.  Silhouetted by a raging fire he hacks his way into my bedroom with an axe.  He scoops me up in his arms."  She notices the look on Larryís face and says worriedly, "Iíve said too much."  "No, no, y . . . you havenít," Larry assures her, intrigued.  "He carries me to safety," Jennifer continues, "He leans me against his truck.  The rungs of his ladder pressing against my back . . . I canít go on."  "Try," Larry encourages her.  "There was always one thing missing," Jennifer explains, "My fireman was faceless . . . until now.  Larry, youíre that face in my fantasy."

Jennifer lunges forward and kisses Larry passionately, knocking him back onto the couch while she lies on top of him.  After a moment of intense kissing, she lifts her head and says, "Well, I better be going."  She gets up and heads for the front door.  "I, uh, just wanted to share that with you," Jennifer explains before leaving.  "Well, Iím glad you did," Larry replies, and she exits.  Larry has been reduced to jelly on the couch and slowly sits up, trying to recover.  He reaches for a glass of water on the coffee table and drinks some, then throws the rest in his face.  Balki enters from his bedroom carrying a notepad.  "Okay, Cousin, Iíve made a list of the pros and cons of going back to that f . . . "  Balki stops, seeing Larry is wet.  He looks up at the ceiling as if checking for rain, then continues, " . . . to that firehouse and serving your community.  Now I . . . I donít care if I have to stay up all night Iím gonna get you to do this!"  "Iíll do it," Larry says.  "Donít you fight me on this!" Balki cries, "Itís gonna make you a better person, dagnabit!"  "Iíll go back. Iíll serve the community," Larry states, "Iíll be a volunteer fireman."  Balki throws down the notepad and sighs, "Well, feed me lemons and make me pucker."  The scene fades to black.

Two days later at the fire station, Chief Newton slides down the fire pole.  The fire truck is not parked in the garage.  "Appleton!  Bartoko-mouse!  Get a move on!" he calls.  "Actually, itís . . . itís Bartokomous," Balki corrects from the second floor.  "Shut up!" Chief Newton yells, "Get on down here!"  Balki slides down the pole with no problem, then steps aside and calls, "Cousin Larry Appleton . . . come on down!"  Larry finally appears, sliding down the pole very, very slowly.  He stops some distance above the ground and whines, "Itís so high!"  "Cousin, come on," Balki encourages, "Youíre holding on too tight.  Loosen your grip."  Larry loosens his grip and slides quickly down the pole, landing roughly and falling backwards onto the floor.  "Come on, Cousin, I help you up," Balki offers, and he reaches down and takes Larryís hand and pulls him forward.  Unfortunately he pulls Larryís head right into the pole, and Larry falls backward again, dazed.  Trying to be helpful, Balki says, "Come on, Cousin," and grabs Larry legs to pull.  Larryís legs are on either side of the pole, though, and Larry screams "Wait, no!  No!" before Balki can pull something else into the pole.  Larry stumbles to his feet, insisting, "I can get up."

Chief Newton approaches them and announces, "All right, we start in five.  Look sharp, men."  "Oh sir, Iíd look a lot sharper with a hat!" Balki suggests.  An alarm starts going off and firemen begin sliding down the pole as a voice announces, "Engine number 151.  Respond to structure fire at 529 Lawrence."  "All right, everybody on the truck!" Chief Newton calls, "We got a fire to fight!"  "Oh, where do I sit, sir?" Balki asks excitedly.  "Youíre not going anywhere," Chief Newton informs him.  "Oh but . . . yeah . . . " Balki says, turning and trying to jump onto the fire truck anyway.  Chief Newton grabs Balkiís legs and tries to pull him off the truck, but Balki holds on.  "No, no please!" Balki cries, "I want to . . . I want to ride on the fire truck!  Itís been my dream since yesterday!"  "No, youíre not going!  Youíre staying right here!" Chief Newton insists, and he lets go of Balkiís legs and grabs him around the middle, throwing Balki over his shoulder and carrying him away from the truck.  "No!  No!  Oh look, Cousin!" Balki says, "Theyíre doing the firemanís carry!"

Chief Newton sets Balki down in a chair and orders him to, "Sit there!"  As soon as Chief Newton runs for the truck, Balki is up and running right behind him.  Chief Newton turns and orders, "Sit!"  Balki returns to the chair and sits down as Chief Newton climbs into the passenger seat of the fire truck.  "Excuse me, sir . . . " Balki calls.  "Stay!" Chief Newton orders, and the fire truck pull out of the station.  "This isnít fair," Balki complains, "They get to put on their hats and go fight a fire.  Those Lucky Charms!"  "Yeah, life is tough," Larry offers sarcastically, "Iím gonna go make some coffee."  Larry walks into the stationís kitchen.  Just then Mary Anne and Jennifer enter.  "Hi, Balki," Mary Anne says.  "Mary Anne!" Balki exclaims, and he grabs the chair and hops with it to meet Mary Anne.  Larry hears this and looks through the blinds from the kitchen into the station and sees the girls.  "What are you doing here?" Balki asks.  "Oh, we just happened to be in the neighborhood," Jennifer answers.  "No, we werenít," Mary Anne contradicts, "We were clean across town when you said, ĎIíve just got to get to that fire house!í"  Jennifer gives Mary Anne a dirty look.

"Well," Balki sighs, "Iím glad youíre here but youíre going to be disappointed.  I donít get my hat for another four days."  In the kitchen, Larry has donned a firemanís jacket and hat and comes out looking macho with an axe slung over his shoulder.  "Balki," he says, "I just finished my heat tolerance test.  Iíll be ready when I have to fight a towering inferno."  He acts surprised to see the girls, saying, "Oh, Jennifer.  Mary Anne.  I didnít know you were here."  Larry walks over as Jennifer gazes at him in awe.  "Too bad you didnít get here sooner," Balki says, "You missed all the excitement.  Listen, the . . . the . . . the alarm went off and the siren was . . . was wailing and everybody jump on the truck and race off to fight the fire and then they say that we have to stay here and sit in chairs."  "What Balki means is that we were told to stay here and take care of any incoming emergencies," Larry explains, "Chief Newton is saving us for the big fires.  The raging blazes."  "Larry, you look wonderful," Jennifer gushes.  "Well, you know what they say . . . clothes make the man," Larry states, "Of course, I donít have to tell you that."

"Balki, whatís up there?" Mary Anne asks, walking over to the fire pole and looking up.  "Oh, the other end of that pole," Balki answers, "You want to see?"  "Uh huh," Mary Anne agrees.  Balki hops across to her, still sitting in the chair, and they exit.  Larry steps closer to Jennifer.  "I love the uniform, Larry," Jennifer swoons, "By the way . . . I had that dream again last night."  Jennifer steps forward and they kiss passionately.  "Iím on duty, you know," Larry points out, "I was left in charge.  Neither rain nor snow nor sleet nor hail nor gloom of night shall stay this trusted firefighter from the swift completion of his appointed rounds."  "Isnít that the mailmanís creed?" Jennifer asks.  "Well, they use it, too," Larry offers, "Can I show you the officer transportation unit?"  "What?" Jennifer asks.  "The fire pole," Larry clarifies.  They walk toward the pole as Larry explains, "It may look deceptively simple but this firefighter can tell you from experience that the pole slide is one of the most difficult maneuvers to master."  Mary Anne slides down the pole, shouting, "Wheeeee!"  "She didnít do it by the book," Larry quickly states.  Balki then comes down the pole, head-first.

"Well, we donít want to stop an important man from doing a very important job," Jennifer says, "Iím so proud of you, Larry."  They kiss again.  "We better go," Jennifer then says, and she and Mary Anne head for the exit.  They stop and look back as Jennifer says, "Doesnít Larry look handsome in his uniform?"  "He sure does," Mary Anne agrees, "And he should always wear a hat.  It covers his oddly-shaped head."  Mary Anne exits.  Jennifer takes a moment to look at Larry questioningly, then she also leaves.  "Boy, Jennifer was really impressed," Balki observes, "Imagine how proud sheíll be when you fight a real fire?"  "Fight a fire?  Who needs a fire?" Larry asks, "Look at the reaction Iím getting with just a uniform!"  Balki pauses, then says, "Cousin . . . I smell smoke."  "Well, of course you smell smoke," Larry says, "Weíre in a fire station.  Everything in here reeks of smoke."  "No, no, itís getting stronger," Balki notes, "Come on.  Weíd better check it out."  They head to the kitchen where they see the coffee maker smoking.  "Cousin, Mr. Coffeeís on fire!" Balki gasps.  "Oh my Lord!" Larry exclaims, "Weíve got to call for help!"

"Heeeeellllppppp!!!!  Heeeeellllpppppp!!!!!" Balki starts to scream.  Larry runs out into the station and hurries to the telephone which he dials.  The phone in the station starts to ring.  "Incoming emergency!" Balki cries, and he hurries out and grabs the phone on the other side of the room.  "Hello, fire department," Balki answers.  "Yeah, yeah, yeah, hello," Larry says frantically, "Please, the place is on fire!  You gotta come quick!"  "All right, all right, donít panic!" Balki urges, "Just . . . just keep your cool.  We . . . weíre here to help you.  Now . . . now . . . now wh . . . where are you located?"  Larry cups his hand over the phone and calls, "Balki!"  "Just a minute, Cousin," Balki dismisses him.  "Balki!"  "Just a second, Cousin!"  "Balki!!" Larry shouts even louder.  "Cousin, just a second!  Iím on the phone!" Balki screams.  "What is the address here?" Larry asks.  "Iím sorry, Iíve got an idiot here," Balki says into the receiver, then he turns to Larry and answers, "921 Bay Ridge Avenue."  "921 Bay Ridge Avenue," Larry says into his receiver.  "Get out of the city!" Balki exclaims, "Thatís where our fire is!"  Larry looks over at Balki, realizing at last what is going on.  "Balki," Larry says.  "Hello?" Balki asks into the phone.  "Balki."  "Just a second, Cousin."

Larry hangs up the phone and places his hands on his hips.  "Hello?" Balki asks into the receiver, then he sobs, "He hung up."  "Balki!  Balki, the hose!" Larry notes, "Help me with the hose!"  Larry grabs one end of the hose and runs into the kitchen.  Balki has picked up the other end and is pulled along behind Larry.  Balki arrives in the kitchen and stands next to Larry, who is holding his end of the hose toward the fire.  "Turn on the water!" Larry instructs.  "I cannot, Cousin, Iím holding the hose," Balki points out.  "No, Iím holding the hose," Larry argues, and then he sees they each have one end of the hose.  Balki connects the two ends together but Larry pulls it away and throws the hose down.  "Balki!" Larry cries out, then he places a hand to his head in frustration.  "Coffee, Cousin!" Balki says.  "Not now, thank you," Larry sighs.  Balki runs over to the coffee maker and pulls the carafe from the coffee maker and dumps the coffee over the machine, dousing the fire.  "Balki, youíre a genius!" Larry pronounces, throwing an arm around Balkiís shoulders, "You saved us!"  "Well, Cousin, it was just a simple matter of fighting fire with Folgers," Balki says, placing an arm around Larryís shoulder as well.

"Well, the important thing is itís out," Larry notes.  "Yeah," Balki sighs.  "Of course, weíll have to make more coffee," Larry says, "But I can handle that."  Larry walks to the cupboard and opens the door above the coffee maker.  The lower part of the cupboard is full of flames.  Larry screams and turns to Balki, asking, "What are we gonna do?"  "Oh, uh, Cousin, look!" Balki points to the other side of the kitchen, "Thereís a fire squisher!"  Balki and Larry run across the kitchen and get the fire extinguisher from the wall, then run back over to the cupboards.  Together they spray the fire until it is out.  "Hoo," Larry sighs, "There.  Crisis averted."  "Cousin, we make a great team, donít we?" Balki asks, placing his arm around Larryís shoulder again, "You light Ďem, we fight Ďem." "Well, when youíre in an emergency with Larry Appleton, you can count on a cool head and a steady hand."  As they walk away from the cupboards, the bottom doors burst open and a huge ball of flames comes shooting out.  Larry screams and Balki stares at the fire in shock.  "Balki!  Balki!" Larry cries, but Balki is still in shock.  Larry slaps Balkiís head and Balki turns around and slaps Larryís face in return.

"Mighty Max can save us!" Larry suggests.  He and Balki run into the station and Larry starts fiddling with the computerized fire extinguisher.  "No, Cousin, no, no," Balki protests, "We . . . we . . . we cannot . . . no, no donít touch it.  Chief Newton say that if we touch it weíll be out of the program and . . . and I wonít get my hat."  "Balki, if we donít touch it, the fire station will burn to the ground and you wonít have a head!" Larry points out.  "All right, thatís a good point," Balki agrees, "Letís go."  Larry starts messing with the machine, hitting buttons and knobs.  "Maybe this . . . maybe this . . . maybe . . . maybe this . . . do you see anything marked ĎOn?í" Larry asks.  "Well, I donít know, Cousin, but if this was a clock radio this would turn it on."  Balki reaches over and flips a switch and the machine starts.  It starts spewing foamy fire retardant out of two large nozzles, which Balki and Larry pick up and carry into the kitchen.  Larry stops in front of the cupboards and starts to spray the fire.  Balki comes up behind him and ends up spraying Larry with the foam.  Angry, Larry turns and sprays Balki.  Instead of fighting the fire, they continue to spray each other, covering themselves in foam.

Some time later, a very drenched and foamy Balki and Larry are standing in the kitchen, looking at the cupboards.  "Well, Balki . . . we saved the fire station," Larry notes, "Weíre heroes.  Theyíre probably going to give us medals . . . and a parade."  "If this donít get me a hat, I donít know what will," Balki nods.  The camera pulls back to reveal that the entire kitchen is a sea of foam up to Larry and Balkiís waists.  The next day in the apartment, Balki and Larry are sitting on the couch with Mary Anne and Jennifer.  "Cheer up, Balki," Mary Anne says, "At least you got to put out a fire before you were thrown out of the program."  "Yeah, but I never got to ride on the fire truck . . . and thereís a big, empty space on my head where a hat should be," Balki says sadly.  "Well, it wasnít a complete loss," Jennifer points out, "You got a nice story out of it."  "It was very realistic," Mary Anne adds, "Just reading it made me smell smoke."  "You were burning toast when you read it, Mary Anne," Jennifer reminds her.  "Oh, right!" Mary Anne remembers.  "Well, what do you say we all go out and get some dinner?" Larry asks.  The others agree and get up from the couch.  "Weíll get our coats and meet you downstairs," Jennifer says.  "But nothing flambť," Balki suggests.

The girls leave and Balki sadly walks to the door to get his coat while Larry opens the door to the hall closet.  "Uh, Balki, itís, uh, kind of cold outside.  You might want to wear your hat."  "No, Cousin, Iíll just . . . Iíll just turn my collar up," Balki sighs, not realizing that Larry has taken a firemanís hat from the closet.  Balki turns and sees the hat and smiles broadly.  "Cousin!  My hat!" Balki exclaims, putting it on his head, "My hat!  Thank you!"  Balki goes to hug Larry and hits him in the face with the hatís visor.  Balki raises the visor so he can hug Larry without hitting him again.  "How you did get it?" Balki asks.  "Well, Chief Newton sold it to me," Larry explains, "Unfortunately, he wouldnít sell me a uniform."  "Oh, thatís okay, Cousin," Balki says, "I donít need a uniform."  "Oh, it wasnít for you," Larry assures him, "I was counting on wearing it on my honeymoon."  Balki looks confused and Larry looks disappointed, and on their reactions the episode ends.


Script Variations:
There are a few differences between the shooting script dated March 14, 1991 and the episode which aired:
The episode begins just slightly differently when the direction say "Balki makes a move toward Larry as if to speak to him.  He thinks better of it, takes some things from Larry's desk, and goes back to his mail table."
-
When Larry asks Balki if there's something on his mind, Balki replies, "Cousin, you can read me like a book of matches."
- After Larry notes that Balki doesn't seem very happy about his volunteering, he asks, "What's wrong?"
- At the fire station, after Larry tells Balki "This is going to be a piece of cake," Balki replies, "We get hats and cake?"
- After Chief Newton says that he hates volunteers and that they like to wear the hat but can't take the heat, Balki responds, "I can take the heat.  I've practiced in the kitchen.  Can I keep the hat?"
- When Larry takes the notebook out and says he has a few questions, he asks, "Have you ever had a near death experience and how much does the department spend in an average year on rope?"
- After Chief Newton tells Balki to shut up after the "high hat, red hot and how now" line, Balki says, "I'm sorry, sir, it's the hat.  I can't think without it."  Balki laughs and then asks Chief Newton if people tell him he looks like Sinatra.
- After Chief Newton warns them that if they touch the Mighty Max they'll be out of the program, Balki says, "Yes, sir, Chief Newton.  I don't want to hurt my chances of getting that hat.  I love that hat.  I want that hat."  "Shut up," Chief Newton barks.  "You're a Capricorn, aren't you?" Balki asks.
-
After Balki's line about his grammar school graduation, Balki says, "Okay, Chief, point me to the fire."  "You're not going anywhere until you're in shape to climb a high-rise building," Chief Newton says, "Get over here."
-
When Balki is doing the stairs, he says, "You know, Chief, this is good for defining the quads and it would probably help build up our calves if you let us wear ankle weights while we do this."
-
At the beginning of the first apartment scene, the door opens and the guys stumble in.  Larry looks like he's been through the wash.  "Boy, what a workout," Balki says enthusiastically, "Great for the old cardio masculine system.  You'll notice my gluteous is already maximized.  Can't wait to get back there tomorrow."  He then tells Larry what was said while he was unconscious.
-
After Larry says he's never going back to the fire station again, he adds, "I don't know why I ever let you talk me into this."
- After Balki quotes "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" regarding getting his hat, Larry says, "I don't care about the hat.  I don't look good in hats."  "Cousin, I can't believe you're going to break your pledge to the community just because you have an oddly shaped head," Balki comments, then he tells Larry to sit there and think about what he's doing.
-
Larry throwing water in his own face is not in this script.  When Balki comes out of the bedroom with the pad and pencil and says he's listed all the pros and cons of going back to the station he adds, "I didn't even mention the hat."
-
After Larry slides down the pole and hits the ground hard, Balki notes, "A little too loose, but fortunately the floor broke your fall."  "What do these guys have against stairs?"  After Balki tries pulling Larry up, making him hit the pole, and then by the legs, Larry says, "I can get up," then adds, "Everything that isn't numb hurts."
-
After Balki says that he'd look sharper in a hat, Chief Newton says, "You'll get the hat when you earn it."
- The announcer first comes on and says, "Engine number 151, stand by."  Then the tone sounds and he makes the announcement.
- After Chief Newton sets Balki in the chair, Balki asks, "Excuse me, Chief, how exactly am I helping?"  "By staying there and not touching anything," Chief Newton answers.  "You can count on us, sir," Larry assures him.
-
After Balki asks Mary Anne if she wants to see the top of the fire pole, he starts to hop after her in the chair.  "Balki, forget the chair," Larry says.  "When Chief Newton comes back and sees the empty chair, won't he know I'm not sitting in it?" Balki asks.  "I'll handle Newton," Larry promises.
- After Jennifer and Mary Anne leave, Larry says, "I think Jennifer and Mary Anne enjoyed their little glimpse behind the scenes of a real fire station."  "I know I did," Balki says, then he notes how Jennifer seemed very impressed.
-
After Balki tells Larry the address of the fire station, Larry says, "Hi," into the phone and Balki replies, "Hi, how are you?"  When Larry later tries to get Balki's attention to let him know he's the one on the phone, Balki says, "I'm on the phone."  "Balki, hang up," Larry says.  "I can't hang up," Balki insists, "I'm handling an emergency."  Into the phone he says, "I'm sorry.  Same idiot."  "Balki, it's me," Larry points out, and he hangs up.  This is when Balki is upset that the other party hung up.
- Balki's line about "Nothing flambť is not in this script.
- The rest of the script is the same.

A page was included in this script for a pick up to be done for the episode A Catered Affair.  It consists of only two lines of dialogue which, for whatever reason, needed to be refilmed.  The only evidence of this pickup in that episode is the fact that the wet patches on Larry's shirt on the shots over his shoulder are not as dark as in the rest of the scene and the sky outside the window is lighter!  To see comparison pictures, visit the episode outline for A Catered Affair.

greatballsgrab28.jpg (57345 bytes)

The scripts for the TGIF promos which aired March 29, 1991 were included at the end of this script and shot after the filming of this episode.  You can view the script pages for these promos below and you can currently view these spots on our Video page.  It's interesting to note how Balki introduces their episode Family Feud as being "all new" when that episode was actually a repeat.  Also the spot was changed to add the fact that the episode Duck Soup would be airing the following week.

tgifscript032991-1.jpg (90829 bytes)    tgifscript032991-2.jpg (93216 bytes)    tgifscript032991-3.jpg (93428 bytes)    tgifscript032991-4.jpg (87358 bytes)    tgifscript032991-5.jpg (114562 bytes)

Continue on to the next episode . . .