Perfect Strangers Episode Guide

EPISODE 140 - Stress Test

First Air Date: March 28, 1992
Filming Date: December 20, 1991
Nielsen Rating: 7.3 HH

Produced by: Alan Plotkin
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Tom Devanney
Directed by: Judy Pioli

Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton

Guest Cast:
F.J. OíNeil: Mr. R.T. Wainwright
George Wyner: Dr. Michael Aldridge

stresstestgrab02.jpg (39207 bytes)Dimitri Appearances: Dimitri can be seen sitting on Balkiís drawing table each time they are in the City Room.

"Dr. Mike, before we get started I just got to hear your duck imitation!"
"I am a Halloween!"
"Oh no, heís got Binki?"
" . . . but that is water under the fridge."

Donít be ridiculous: Said once in this episode.

Other catchphrases used in this episode:
"What are we talking about?"
"Oh po po po po po . . . " (spoken by Larry)
"Boochi boochi boochi!" (spoken by Larry)
"Will you stop it?"
"Get out of the city!"
"What is the matter with you?"
"What? Are you outta your mind?" (spoken by Balki)
"Oh, go on with you!" (spoken by Larry)

Other running jokes used in this episode:
Larry slaps Balki on the back of the head
Balki hugs someone heís just met instead of shaking hands
Dance of Joy (mentioned but not performed)"
Balki and Larry do the "macho low-five bit"
Balki acts clueless when marriage to Mary Anne is mentioned
Balki laughs at his own joke
Larry and Balki grab each other by the hair and pull each otherís heads back

Songs: The following songs are sung by Balki and Larry as they compile the map of the United States: "California, Here I Come," "The Yellow Rose of Texas," "My Old Kentucky Home," "Oh! Susannah," "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny," and "New York, New York"

Interesting facts:
Larry still seems to have major hang-ups about his brother Billy, as he lets slip to Balki that he feels their dad liked Billy best.
- Larry includes the phrase, "Boochi boochi boochi," in amongst his Myposian when mocking the way Balki talks.  This was an important part of the game Boochi Tag which Balki and Larry played in the second season episode Tenspeed and Soft Touch.
- George Wyner makes another wonderful appearance in the series, this time as a brand new character (he had previously played potential bomber Marvin Berman in the episodes Dog Day Midafternoon and A Blast from the Past).  Here he plays the opposite side of the coin, portraying Dr. Michael Aldrich, a psychiatrist!  He continues to work steadily in both film and television.
- Youíll see a very familiar face playing Dr. Aldrichís assistant . . . itís the woman weíve been seeing in the background of the series throughout its run!  This is by far her biggest role as she interacts with Balki and Larry and even has a speaking part!  Sadly, she is not given credit in the end credits or in the script, so her identity, for now, remains a mystery.
- When Balki starts to exercise in the mirror and shouts, "And stretch!" he is imitating fitness guru Richard Simmons.  The flamboyant and inspiring icon first rose to prominence in the 1980's playing a role on General Hospital.  You can visit his official website by clicking here.
- Larryís "Think and Grow Calm" tapes, which were first mentioned in the sixth season episode See How They Run are brought back for a hilarious gag in which the now-classic line, "I am a hollow reed; trouble blows through me like the wind," is misinterpreted by Balki as "I am a Halloween."
- This episode marked the last notable appearance by F.J. O'Neil as Larry and Balki's boss, Mr. Wainwright.  He had made his first appearance on the series in the third season episode The Defiant Guys.  F.J. O'Neil was a veteran of show business, having been a song and dance man in the early days of his career.  He had made appearances in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Airwolf, Dynasty, Moonlighting, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Newhart, Dallas, Matlock, Santa Barbara, Small Wonder, Tales from the Crypt, The Hunt for Red October, Valerie, Guilty by Suspicion, Murphy Brown, Coach, L.A. Law and Wings.  In 2002, he was presented with the Ralph Morgan award for his service to the Screen Actors Guild, having been the union's treasurer and board member for many years.

Bloopers and Inconsistencies:
After Balki and Larry complete the map task, they are given the colored paper task to do.  Dr. Aldrich tells them there is a stack of colored papers in front of them and we cut back to the testing room where the papers are suddenly in front of Larry and Balki and the map puzzle has been moved to the upper edge of the table but is still surprisingly intact.  But there is no indication that anyone had come into the room to set this up this way or that Balki and Larry did it themselves!  In the script there *is* an indication of a short lapse of time, and you can read about that and the set up for the Richard Simmons joke in the Script Variations below!

The episode begins in the City Room of the Chicago Chronicle.  The elevator door opens and Larry steps out, looking frustrated.  Larry crosses to his desk and talks to Balki, who is sitting at his drawing table.  "Well, this is the biggest joke in the world!" Larry complains.  Balki gets up from his table to walk to Larry and asks, "What is?"  "Wainwright has got some psychiatrist doing a stress evaluation with the printers," Larry says.  Balki laughs, then says, "That is the biggest joke in the world.  I . . . I . . . I . . . I love it.  Iím just not quite clear on the punchline."  "What Iím trying to tell you is that Wainwright volunteered to help some doctor whoís doing a stress test with the printers," Larry explains, "The printers arenít under any stress at all!"  Balki bursts out laughing again.  Mr. Wainwright enters and approaches them.  "Appleton, Bartokomous . . . Iím gonna need your Dimitri cartoon one day early this week.  Weíre trying a new format on the Sunday paper."

"Well, you can count on us, sir," Larry assures him, "And may I compliment you on your selection of the printers for the stress evaluation?  Theyíre under a lot of pressure down there."  Balki laughs again.  "Of course, it doesnít come anywhere near the level of stress we have up here in the nerve center," Larry adds.  Balki laughs again and says to Mr. Wainwright, "Heís killing me!"  Larry slaps Balki on the back of the head to make him stop laughing.  "Well, I guess weíve become somewhat, uh, experts at, uh. managing stress," Larry says.  "Appleton, youíve given me an excellent idea," Mr. Wainwright realizes.  "Well, just part of my job, sir," Larry smiles.  Mr. Wainwright walks toward the elevator. Larry is surprised when Mr. Wainwright doesnít continue and asks, "And, uh . . . what idea would that be, sir?"  "The idea is to forget the printers," Mr. Wainwright says as he turns back, "Iím gonna send the doctor up here to the nerve center to talk with the experts!"  Mr. Wainwright enters the elevator and the doors close.

Larry turns to Balki and gasps, "What have I done?"  "I have no idea but you were on a roll, buddy!" Balki comments.  "I think I just got everybody in the City Room volunteered for a stress test," Larry realizes.  "That could be fun!" Balki smiles.  "No, itís not gonna be fun!" Larry argues, "Balki, thereís going to be some psychiatrist up here trying to find out everything weíre thinking!"  "Well, uh . . . that might be possible with you, Cousin, but I donít think he can do that to me," Balki says, "Most of the time I donít know what Iím thinking.  I mean, sometimes I . . . I think I know what Iím thinking and then I . . . I start to try to think about what Iím thinking and just when I think the thought that I think Iím thinking . . . the thought is gone."  Balki looks confused and asks, "What are we talking about?"  Larry is exasperated and mumbles, then says, "We . . . weíre . . . weíre talking a . . . about the psychiatrist.  The psychiatrist . . . ?"  "Oh yes, the psychiatrist," Balki remembers.  "Do you see the way your mind wanders?" Larry asks.  Balkiís eyes drift away into thought.

"No, hey . . . no, Balki!" Larry brings him back, "Balki, no . . . no, see . . . see, that is just what is going to get you into trouble.  You have to be very careful what you say to the psychiatrist.  Okay?  Because heís gonna take everything you say and . . . and twist it and . . . and turn it . . . and . . . and think that just because your . . . your brother Billy was your Dadís favorite that youíre bitter and neurotic.  Well, itís not true, I tell ya.  And . . . and I just never had the chance to show Dad . . . " Larry crumbles, starting to cry.  "Cousin, Cousin, Cousin," Balki urges, "Itís okay.  Itís all right."  Larry bites his knuckles to try to stop crying as Balki rubs his back and says, "Itís all right.  Itís all right.  Now . . . now just donít . . . donít worry about your brother Billy and donít worry about me because when the psychiatrist comes to talk to me Iím just gonna be myself."  "Oh, youíre just gonna be yourself?" Larry asks.  "Iím just gonna be myself," Balki repeats.  "Youíre just gonna be yourself?"  "Iím just gonna be myself," Balki says, dancing a little.  "Well, let me tell you something, Balki," Larry urges, "You have gotta tell these people exactly what they want to hear.  Whatever you do, do not speak Myposian."

"Why not?" Balki protests.  "No, not a word," Larry insists.  "Itís a noble language," Balki points out.  "No, not a word of Myposian," Larry says, not realizing that a man carrying a briefcase has exited the elevator and is standing behind him, "No, no, none of this Ďoh po po po po po po boing boing boing boing diggi diggi diggi diggi diggi diggi diggi boochi boochi boochi!"  "Excuse me," the man interrupts, getting Larryís attention, "I donít want to interrupt your . . . chant.  Uh, Iím Dr. Michael Aldrich.  Mr. Wainwright sent me up here."  "Oh!  Oh!" Larry laughs with embarrassment, stepping forward to shake the doctorís hand, "W . . . well, yeah . . . yes, Dr. Aldrich . . . no, no, not a chant."  Balki steps forward and gives Dr. Aldrich a hug, saying, "Hello, hello.  Hello, Iím . . . Iím Balki Bartokomous and . . . and this is my . . . my Cousin Larry Appleton and, uh . . . "  Balki takes Dr. Aldrich aside.  " . . . I wouldnít bring up his brother, Billy."  They step back toward Larry.  "Iím just gonna ask a few questions, do some word association, show you some ink blots and ask for your interpretations," Dr. Aldrich assures them.

The scene flips to a small side office where Dr. Aldrich is interviewing Larry, who is sitting with his foot tapping the air nervously.  "All right, Larry," Dr. Aldrich says, holding up a Rorschach ink blot, "What do you see?"  "Manís, uh, relentless quest to return to and liberate the child within, as I have," Larry answers.  We cut to a later scene with Balki, who is looking at the same ink blot.  "Butterfly," Balki answers.  Dr. Aldrich holds up a round ink blot to Larry and asks, "And what do you see in this one?"  "Man in turmoil, uh, struggling to reach the level of inner peace I have," Larry answers.  "Bowling ball," Balki answers.  Back with Larry, Dr. Aldrich says, "Now weíre going to do some word association.  Iíll say a word.  You say the first thing that comes into your head.  Boy."  "Young, well-adjusted urban warrior with a vision, a desire to help others on his road toward adulthood," Larry answers.  "Girl," Balki answers.

"Career," Dr. Aldrich prompts Larry.  "Struggling, clutching, climbing, always trying to reach the next rung of the corporate ladder all while being a loyal soldier to Mr. Wainwright, which I am," Larry answers.  "Job," Balki answers.  "Now, thereís just one more area that Iíd like to cover," Dr. Aldrich tells Larry, "I understand that even though youíre married your cousin still lives with you.  Tell me about that."  "Oh, w . . . well, uh . . . no, thatís, uh . . . I know that it may seem a little peculiar but, uh . . . no, uh . . . well, uh . . . I had no choice.  Because, well . . . well . . . well, to be . . . be perfectly honest, uh . . . heís . . . heís helpless without me."  The scene cuts back to Balki after heís been asked the same question.  "Cousin Larry said that he needed help with the rent but to tell you the truth heís . . . helpless without me," Balki answers.  Dr. Aldrich semi-smiles with a puzzled look on his face.

Some time later Larry and Balki are sitting in the City Room at their desks.  Larry looks worried.  Mr. Wainwright enters the room and approaches them.  "Bartokomous, Appleton . . . " Mr. Wainwright begins.  Balki remains seated but hugs Mr. Wainwrightís waist, smiling, "Hi, Mr. Wainwright!"  Larry jumps to his feet and says, "Y . . . yes, sir, Mr. Wainwright."  "I just finished talking with Dr. Aldrich and heís given me some very constructive ideas about changes I could make around here," Mr. Wainwright informs them.  "Well, you know, I was pretty impressed with him myself," Larry brags.  "Dr. Aldrich, uh, found you two very . . . mm . . . interesting," Mr. Wainwright says, "Uh, in fact heís so impressed by you that he wants both of you to do further stress testing at his clinic.  Be there tomorrow morning at nine."  Larry looks shocked and Balki looks excited as Mr. Wainwright exits.  Balki stands up and asks, "Cousin, did you hear that?  We get to go down to the clinic for further testing!  Oh, Iím so excited!  I donít know about you but Iím not gonna sleep a wink tonight.  What am I gonna wear?  What am I gonna wear?"

Balki turns and realizes the other people in the City Room are giving him a strange look.  "Oh, I guess we shouldnít flaunt our good fortune in front of the others," Balki sighs.  "I knew it!" Larry sighs, "I knew it!  Dr. Aldrich found something to make him think that weíre unstable, the quack."  He looks at Balki and asks, "What did you tell him?  Did you tell him about the Dance of Joy?"  "Tell him about it? I taught it to him," Balki answers, "He did this snappy little knee jerk thing with a little rotation and here . . . Iím gonna have you try it."  "Balki, Balki!  Donít you see whatís going on here?" Larry cries, "When Wainwright said heís . . . heís gonna make some changes around here what . . . what he means is that heís gonna find out who canít handle stress and fire them!  And Iím gonna be one of the first ones to go!"  On Larryís terrified and Balkiís concerned expressions the scene fades to black.

Act two begins the next day at Dr. Aldrichís clinic.  Itís a good-sized room with a large mirror on one side and a table set up in the middle.  Balki comes running through the door and stands in awe.  "So this is the clinic," Balki gasps, "Itís even more wonderful than I dreamed!  So much Formica and simulated wood."  Balki reaches toward a table where some puzzle pieces are laying as Larry enters the room, looking less than enthusiastic.  "Well, I . . . I . . . I donít have to work at the paper," Larry muses, "I could cut hair.  My uncle Bud had a barbershop, did . . . did well.  Oh, and my uncle Ed sold meat door-to-door, always made a very nice living."  "Cousin," Balki sighs, patting Larryís back, "Cousin, listen, this is not necessary.  Youíre not going to lose your job and can we please just be adults about this?"  Larry sighs.  Balki suddenly exclaims, "Popsicle sticks!" and grabs jar filled with tongue depressors from one of the counters.  Balki takes one out of the jar and pops it into his mouth, sucking on it.

"No, no Balki, those are not popsicle sticks," Larry explains, "Those are tongue depressors."  Balki takes the stick out of his mouth and says, "Well, of course they are.  Donít be ridiculous.  After the popsicleís gone your tongue gets depressed."  Larry grabs the jar away from Balki and returns it to the counter.  A door opens on the other side of the room and Dr. Aldrich enters with a woman.  They are both wearing lab coats.  "Hello, Larry . . . Balki," Dr. Aldrich greets them.  "Dr. Mike!" Balki exclaims, running to hug him and inadvertently pushing the other end of the tongue depressor into the doctorís mouth.  "Well, are you ready to get started?" Dr. Aldrich asks.  "Dr. Mike, before we get started I just got to hear your duck imitation!" Balki insists.  "My duck imitation?" Dr. Aldrich asks with confusion.  "Yeah," Balki says, "Cousin Larry says youíre a big quack!"  Larry looks shocked then pulls Balki away and pulls the tongue depressor out of his mouth, hitting him on the head with it and growling, "Will you stop it?  Youíre . . . !"  "Ow!  Ow!" Balki cries as Larry hits him. Larry then throws the depressor aside.

"He . . . heís a little nervous about the test," Larry explains, pinching Balki and making him cry "Ow" again.  The female assistant steps forward and places a device around Balkiís neck with hangs down on his chest.  "Oh, look Cousin!" Balki says, "Chest watches!"  The woman starts to place electrodes on Balkiís neck which lead to the small machine.  "What these devices will do is measure the amount of stress that your body is feeling," Dr. Aldrich explains.  "Please be seated," the woman instructs after sheís placed the machine and electrodes on Larry as well.  "Weíre just gonna ask you to perform a few simple tasks," Dr. Aldrich explains as Larry and Balki take a seat at the table, "Thereís no right or wrong way to do them, no passing or failing.  Just do your best."  Dr. Aldrich and his assistant walk into the other room again.  Balki clasps his hands with excitement.  "No passing or failing," Larry scoffs, "We are gonna be graded on everything we do."  "Oh come on, Cousin," Balki argues, "Dr. Mike left the room.  We can do anything we want in this palace of fun!  Iím so excited!  I just canít believe it!"

"Balki, we cannot do anything we want," Larry explains, "Dr. Mike is gonna be watching us from behind the mirror."  Balki turns to look at the mirror and says, "Get out of the city!  Thereís no room behind that mirror!"  Balki gets up to inspect the mirror.  "Itís just right up against the wall," Balki reports.  "No, Balki, there is another room on the other side of the mirror," Larry explains, "He can see us but we canít see him."  Balki looks incredulous at this news.  "Really?"  "Yes," Larry confirms.  Balki steps in front of the mirror and looks at it closely.  We can see Dr. Aldrich looking at him from the room on the other side.  Suddenly Balki begins to do aerobic exercises and shouts, a la Richard Simmons, "And stretch!"  Larry runs over to grab Balki and pulls him away.  "Balki!  Balki!" Larry scolds.  "What?" Balki asks. "He is watching us from over there!" Larry says urgently, "He is going to be evaluating everything we do!  You know, and . . . and . . . and without even knowing it we could be revealing our . . . our deepest, innermost thoughts."

Larry does realize that Balki is holding up two fingers as "donkey ears" behind Larryís head.  Larry turns and sees this in the mirror then turns on Balki and yells, "Will you stop it?"  Dr. Aldrich is laughing about this from behind the mirror as Balki and Larry start to slap each otherís hands.  "What is the matter with you?" Larry asks.  The machine around Larryís neck starts to beep and lights flash.  "Oh god!" Larry cries, "Look!  Iím . . . Iím already registering stress!"  "Cousin, Cousin . . . "  "Iím failing the test already!"  "Calm down!" Balki urges as he fans Larry with his hands, "Calm down!  Calm down!  Calm down!  Remember . . . remember your ĎThink and Grow Calmí tapes?"  "Yeah, good," Larry says.  "Well, now just remember, you take a deep breath," Balki instructs, and they both take two deep breaths, "And repeat after me . . . I am a Halloween.  I am a Halloween."  "No, no, no," Larry complains, "Itís not ĎI am a Halloween.í  Itís ĎI am a hollow reed.í"  "Well, that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever but . . . if it works for you, go with it," Balki comments.

"I am a hollow reed," Larry recites, "I am a hollow reed.  Trouble blows through me like the wind."  Larry calms down enough that his machine stops blinking and beeping.  "All right, weíre going to begin with a simple task," Dr. Aldrich explains over a microphone hooked up to a speaker in the clinic, "Please, be seated."  "Oh," Balki says as they return to the table, "You know, I decided I like this seat because itís . . . "  Balki moves to sit in the chair which Larry was in previously, but Larry pushes him over to the other seat and they both sit down.  "Assemble the puzzle of the United States on the table," Dr. Aldrich instructs, "You have one minute.  Begin."  "All right!  All right, Balki!" Larry says, "You start with the east coast and work your way this way.  Iíll start with the west coast and work my way that way."  "Oh Cousin," Balki sighs, "Come on.  No, no . . . I donít . . . no, I donít want to have a plan."  "Just start on the east coast and work your way this way!" Larry repeats.  "No, I donít want to have . . . cause, Cousin, I . . . I want to be here with the farms . . . "  Balki indicates where the midwest would be.  " . . . where people have nice braids and . . . "

"All right . . . all right, Balki, Iíll start on the coasts and work my way in, you start in the middle and work your way out," Larry suggests, desperately trying to get started.  "Oh come on, Cousin," Balki argues, "Now look . . . "  "Balki, if we donít do this Iím gonna lose my job!" Larry cries.  "Oh Cousin, for goodness sake," Balki sighs, "Letís make a game out of it."  "Balki, we have wasted fifteen seconds!  Weíve only got forty-five seconds left!" Larry cries.  "Cousin, Cousin, look, the only way to accomplish a difficult task is . . . is to make it fun," Balki insists, "Okay?"  "California!  Whereís California?" Larry asks.  Balki picks up the California piece and moves it to Larry, singing, "California, here I come, right back where I started from . . . "  "Start in the middle of the country!" Larry urges.  Balki looks for a piece and picks up Texas, singing, "Thereís a yellow rose of Texas that I am gonna see . . . "  Larry picks up Kentucky and he and Balki both sing, "Oh the sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home . . . "  Balki picks up Alabama and sings, "Oh, I come from Alabama with a banjo on my knee . . . "

Larry picks up Louisiana and adds, "Iím goiní to Louisiana, my true love for to see . . . "  As they continue working they both sing, "Oh Susannah, oh donít you cry for me, for I come from Alabama with a banjo on my knee."  Larry picks up Virginia and they sing, "Carry me back to old Virginny . . . "  "All right, Balki, we just . . . we just need New York," Larry points out, "Whereís New York?"  "Okay, where is New York?" Balki wonders.  "Just find New York!" Larry urges, "Iíll . . . Iíll do the rest."  "We just need New York?" Balki asks.  "You just find New York!" Larry says.  "If . . . I can make it there, Iíll make it anywhere," Balki notes.  "Itís up to you!  New York!  New York!" Larry urges.  Balki looks on the floor and finds the New York piece.  He picks it up and starts to sing, "These vagabond shoes . . . "  Larry provides the background musical accompaniment as Balki continues, " . . . are leaving today."  They sing together, "I want to be a part of it, in old New York!"  They stand as they continue to sing, "If I can make it there Iíll make it anywhere.  Itís up to you, New York, New York!"  They finish with a flourish.

"Time!" Dr. Aldrich calls, then he comments, "You did very well!"  Larry and Balki look pleased and sit back down.  "Are you ready for step two?" Dr. Aldrich asks.  "Oh, you bet we are!" Larry states, and he and Balki do their macho bit.  Dr. Aldrich sits down and instructs his assistant, "Raise the temperature in the lab to one hundred degrees."  The woman moves to the thermostat on the wall to change it.  "I love this part," Dr. Aldrich smiles to himself, then he says into the microphone, "There is a stack of assorted colored papers in front of you.  Separate them according to color and count them.  You have two minutes."  Dr. Aldrich starts his stopwatch.  "All right, Balki," Larry says, "This will go faster if we each take half and . . . and then add them up at the end."  Larry splits the papers into two piles and gives one to Balki.  "Okay, uh . . . could I have that pile?" Balki asks, "because Iíve . . . Iíve always loved . . . "  Larry gives Balki his pile without arguing.  "Begin," Dr. Aldrich prompts.  They begin to sort their piles by color and count.  "One, two, sweep the hut," Balki counts, "Three, four, milk the goat.  Five, six, tend the flock.  Seven, eight, run next door and see if Stavros has any extra lard.  Nine, ten . . . "

"Balki, will you stop that?" Larry asks, "It doesnít even rhyme!"  "Well, it does in Myposian," Balki informs him.  "Now I have to start all over again," Larry moans, gathering up the papers.  After a moment Larry sighs, "Boy, itís getting hot in here."  "Balki?" Dr. Aldrich calls over the speaker.  "Uh huh?" Balki asks, fanning Larry with one of the papers for a moment.  "What is your phone number?"  Larry is counting his papers out loud, "Six . . . seven . . . "  "Five, five, five, nine, eight, seven, six," Balki answers.  "Five, four, three, two, one, zero," Larry counts, then is left confused.  "Will you shut up?" Larry scolds Balki, then his monitor starts to beep and flash.  "Cousin . . . now, Cousin, Cousin . . . look, look . . . just remember, deep breath!  Deep breath!  I am a hollow reed and wind blows through me with no trouble."  "Hollow reed . . . trouble blows through me like the wind," Larry recites, and his device stops beeping.  "Wind blows through me with no trouble," Balki repeats, and they continue to sort and count.  "One, two . . . " Larry counts.  "Larry, what is your wifeís occupation?" Dr. Aldrich asks.

" . . . five . . . flight attendant," Larry answers, " . . . six . . . "  "Does it bother you that your wife spends a lot of time away from home with good looking pilots?" Dr. Aldrich asks.  Larry looks angry but continues to count, " . . . twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen . . . no! . . . sixteen . . . "  Larryís monitor starts to flash and beep again.  "Cousin, I am a hollow reed," Balki reminds him.  "nineteen . . . I am a hollow reed," Larry repeats.  "Iím a hollow reed."  " . . . twenty . . . Iím a hollow reed . . . Iím a hollow reed . . . oh, whoís kidding who?" Larry cries, "Iím not a hollow reed!  How can I be a hollow reed when my wifeís off sharing peanuts with some square-jawed jet jockey?"  They are both suffocating and anxious and Larry tries again to say, "I am a hollow reed . . . "  "If a hollow reed doesnít work, you try ĎIím a Halloween,í" Balki suggests.  "I am a Halloween," Larry recites, "I am a Halloween.  I am a Halloween."  Balki echoes him as he recited this.  Larryís monitor finally stops beeping and Larry sighs, "I am a . . . all right, thank you, buddy.  Thank you.  All right, letís get these things counted and get out of this oven!"  "Oh, okay," Balki agrees.

"And donít let him distract you!" Larry urges.  "All right, all right," Balki says, and they continue sorting and counting.  "Balki?" Dr. Aldrich asks.  "Uh huh?" Balki responds.  "I understand your girlfriend lives in the same house with you," Dr. Aldrich comments.  "Yes, thatís right," Balki confirms, "She lives right across the hall."  "Are you feeling a lot of pressure to get married?" Dr. Aldrich asks.  Balki thinks about this a moment, then asks, "To who?"  "Balki, weíve gotta do something about the heat in here," Larry gasps, "Turn on the fan."  "No, no Cousin," Balki argues, "I donít think thatís a good . . . "  "Turn on the fan," Larry repeats.  "Cousin, Cousin, listen to me . . . "  "Turn on the fan!  Turn on the fan!  Turn on the fan!  Turn on the fan now!  Now!" Larry screams, the monitor beeping and blinking again.  Balki jumps up and runs toward the floor fan, but stops by Larry and begins, "Iím a hollow reed . . . "  "Turn the fan on now!" Larry screams.  Balki turns on the fan and the breeze immediately starts to blow all of the papers off the table.  Larry tries desperately to hold them down, ending up with one paper over the lower half of his face.  Balki leans toward him casually.

"Balki, turn off the fan!" Larry yells.  "I am a hollow reed," Balki urges.  "Turn off the fan!  Turn off the fan!  Turn off the fan now!" Larry barks.  Balki runs back to the fan as Larry crawls onto the table to try to hold more papers down.  "I . . . I canít . . . Cousin, I canít turn it off!" Balki cries, "And I canít turn it off."  Balki tries to pick up the fan but itís bolted to the floor.  "And I . . . I . . . it . . . it . . . I canít move it.  I canít move it, Cousin."  "You have twenty seconds," Dr. Aldrich announces.  "Balki, help me pick up the papers or Iím gonna lose my job!" Larry cries.  "Cousin, listen, you know what?" Balki says, "Donít think about that!  Donít worry about it.  Nothing . . . nothing is that important, Cousin."  Larry has curled up on the table and is sucking on his fingers.  Larryís monitor continues to flash and beep.  "Itís just . . . Cousin, itís just . . . oh gosh . . . if you lose your job you get another job."  Balki starts picking up papers from the floor.  "Balki?" Dr. Aldrich calls.  "Yah?" Balki asks.  "Did your Cousin Larry tell you that heís going to Disneyland this summer and heís not taking you?" Dr. Aldrich asks.

Balki drops the papers he has picked up in shock.  "How . . . could you . . . do that to me?" Balki asks as he walks toward Larry on the table, "You . . . you know that going to the Magic Kingdom is my lifelong dream."  "Balki, I didnít say that!" Larry insists, "Heís lying!"  "Doctors donít lie," Balki counters, "And anyway, lying about Disneyland is illegal."  Balki sadly sits down. Larry gets off the table and cries, "Balki!  Iím telling you I didnít say that!  Donít you see what heís trying to do?  Heís trying to pit us against each other so heíll raise our . . . raise our stress level!"  "And you thought youíd just go to Disneyland and unwind!" Balki screams, his monitor finally flashing and beeping as well.  "I am not going to Disneyland!" Larry screams, "Nobody is going to Disneyland!"  "Timeís up!" Dr. Aldrich calls out calmly.  "Oh god!" Larry cries, "Oh no!  We didnít finish the test!  Weíre gonna lose our jobs!"  "Yeah, well, one of us is goiní to Disneyland!" Balki cries.  Larry looks fed up and snarls nastily, "Yes, I am!"

The next day at the Chicago Chronicle, Larry and Balki are standing by Larryís desk.  Larry is on the phone and says, "Yes, thank you, Alice."  Larry hangs up and tells Balki, "That was Wainwrightís secretary . . . "  "Alice," he and Balki both say.  "Heís on his way down here," Larry continues, "We may as well clean out our desks now."  "Cousin, I am so sorry that I let you down," Balki apologizes, "I . . . I . . . I . . . . when Dr. Aldrich said that you were going to Disneyland without me I . . . I just completely lost it.  It wasnít very nice of Dr. Aldrich to lie to me."  "Yeah, he really got your goat," Larry comments.  "Oh no, heís got Binki?" Balki asks worriedly.  "No, no . . . he doesnít have Binki," Larry assures Balki, "Itís . . . itís an expression."  "Heís got Binki is an expression?" Balki asks with frustration, "What does that mean?"  The elevator doors opens and Mr. Wainwright steps out.  "Appleton, Bartokomous," he says seriously, "Iíve just been on the phone with Dr. Aldrich."  "Well, Iím surprised you both fit," Balki says, then he laughs at his own joke.  "Mr. Wainwright, I . . . I . . . I can explain everything about the stress test . . . " Larry begins to explain.

"Thereís nothing to explain," Mr. Wainwright insists, "Dr. Aldrich thinks Iím brilliant because I teamed you two together.  He thinks your obsessiveness offsets Bartokomousí lack of concentration, and his level of composure offsets your level of neurosis."  "B . . . but . . . but sir, we . . . we failed the stress test," Larry admits, "We . . . we crumbled."  "Thatís the point of the test, Appleton," Mr. Wainwright explains, "Everyone crumbles.  You two did fairly well until you started fighting with each other.  Then you crumbled in a big way.  I saw the tape.  It was quite amusing.  As a matter of fact my wife and I are having people over tonight to view it again.  My favorite part is ĎI am a Halloween!  I am a Halloween!"  Mr. Wainwright walks away laughing.  "Well, Cousin, you see it werenít for nothing," Balki smiles, "We still got our jobs and weíre bringing big laughs to Mr. and Mrs. Wainwrightís parties and, uh . . . we learned a valuable lesson: That we make a great team Ďtil we start to fight.  So, uh, letís just see to it that, uh . . . we donít have any more fights.  Okay?"  Balki walks over to his work table.  "W . . . w . . . w . . . w . . . w . . . wait a minute . . . wait," Larry stops him, "Are . . . are you saying that I am the one who starts the fights?"

"Well, I . . . Iím not saying that, no," Balki says, "although you are the one that . . . that, uh, has always started them.  I mean, for six years anyway you have been the one that starts . . . but look . . . but that is water under the fridge . . . you just . . . itís not . . . the important thing . . . "  "No, wait . . . wait . . . what . . . what do you mean . . . what do you mean for six years Iíve been the one who has started the fights?" Larry asks.  "Well, youíre the one who comes two inches from my ear and says, ĎWhat?  Are you outta your mind?í"  "All right, well . . . well, I am not the one with the attention span of a flea," Larry points out.  "Well, I am not the one that comes up behind you and does this . . . "  Balki slaps the back of Larryís head.  " . . . when you want me to shut up."  "Well, I . . . I am not the one whoís always saying, ĎOh, go on with you!í"  Larry pushes Balkiís face away with his hand.  "Yeah, but you do this!" Balki says, grabbing Larry by the hair and pulling his head back.  "Ow!" Larry cries, then he counters, "No, you do this!" and pulls Balkiís head back by the hair.  "Ow!" Balki cries.  Balki begins, "Actually . . . " as Larry begins, "Well, I guess . . . " and they finish saying, " . . . we both do this."  They grab each other by the back of the hair and pull each othersí heads back, both crying, "Ow!" as the episode ends.

Script Variations:
There are quite a few differences between the shooting script dated December 19, 1991 and the final episode:
The episode started a little bit earlier with Balki sitting at his drawing table drawing Dimitri.  "Dimitri, I'm getting the feeling you're really not into this today.  You better shape up or someone on this table is going to bed without television."
- After Larry says that the printers aren't under any stress at all, Balki laughs and says, "Oh, now I get it.  That is good.  Did you hear the one about the farmer's wife and the unicorn?"
- After Larry rambles about his brother Billy, Balki urges, "Cousin, you're just going to have to let that go.  And since I don't have a brother Billy, I'll just be myself."  When Larry argues against this, he says, "Balki, just being yourself is the trap a lot of people fall into before they're labeled lunatics."
- Dr. Aldrich's name in this script is Dr. Michael Anderson instead.  After he tells them that he just wants to show them some ink blots and ask for their interpretations, Balki says, "Interpretations.  Oh, you're in for a treat.  Cousin Larry does a dead on Bette Davis.  And I'm pretty proud of my Richard Simmons."  Balki speaks as Richard Simmons and says, "Now we're going to Atlanta to meet Martha who's lost 350 pounds."
- Quite understandably, the two scenes with Larry and Balki being interviewed by Dr. Anderson were filmed as two complete scenes back to back.  This may have originally been conceived as two separate and non-interspersed scenes because originally Balki had more dialogue in the word association part.  After Dr. Anderson tells Balki about the word association they're about to do, he says, "Balki."  "Larry," Balki answers.  "No," Dr. Anderson says.  "Yes," Balki offers.  "Okay."  "Dokey."  "Boy."  "Girl."  "Career."  "Kim-chi."  "Not Korea.  Career," Dr. Anderson clarifies.  At the end of their session Balki tells Dr. Anderson that Larry is helpless without him, then he leans over and points out, "Infantile has an 'e' at the end."
- After the tests, Larry is at his desk working at the computer and Balki is at the drawing table.  "I'm telling you, Balki, I don't know what I was so worried about," Larry says, "That interview was nothing.  By the time I got through, Dr. Anderson was ready to come to me for help.  You know if I hadn't gone into journalism, I would have made a terrific psychiatrist."  "Did you detect the bitterness he had toward his parents?" Balki asks, "He's clearly a victim of multigenerational anger which manifests itself in fixation at the Oedipal level."  "I saw that.  I saw that," Larry agrees.  Balki holds up an inkblot and Larry answers, "A butterfly."  This is when Mr. Wainwright enters.
- After Larry tells Mr. Wainwright that he was impressed with the psychiatrist himself, he adds, "You couldn't have made a better choice.  Wise move picking a Jungian."
- After Balki admits to showing Dr. Anderson how to do the Dance of Joy, Larry sighs, "Well that's it, he thinks we're a couple of dancing lunatics."  "Well actually, Cousin, he said I was one of the most well adjusted people he ever met," Balki says.  "He did?" Larry asks, "Oh god, it's me.  He saw right through my charade."  "You played charades with Dr. Anderson?" Balki asks, "All I could get him to do was thumb wrestle."
- When they enter the clinic and Larry says he can get another job, Balki says, "Cousin, you do this all the time," and then he insists Larry won't lose his job.
- After Balki asks to hear Dr. Anderson's duck imitation and tells him that Larry called him a 'big quack,' Balki asks, "Do you do the walk, too?"
- After Larry tells Dr. Anderson that Balki is nervous about the test, Larry and Balki whack each other and Larry adds, "He's under a lot of stress."
- After the assistant starts to put the monitors on the guys, Larry asks, "What are these for?"  "Nothing really," Dr. Anderson assures them, "they just tell us whether or not we have to lock you up."  Dr. Anderson laughs and admits, "I love that joke.  A little psychiatric humor."
- Instead of doing more Richard Simmons in front of the two-way mirror, Balki instead waves, presses his face against the glass and then notices he has something between his teeth.
- Balki does not do "donkey ears" behind Larry's head in this version.
- When they are told to do the United States puzzle, Balki says happily, "Cousin, a puzzle.  This is more fun than a barrel of flunkies."
- As Balki is complaining about not wanting to have a plan and Larry keeps insisting Balki just do what he says, Balki says, "Cousin, don't yell at me," then suggests they make a game of it.
- Instead of "The Yellow Rose of Texas," Balki was originally supposed to sing "The Eyes of Texas."
- In this script, the "macho bit" is referred to as the "macho low-five bit."
- In this version of the script Dr. Anderson has a couple of assistants in the back room with him.
- In this script it is clarified that there is a space of time between the first test and the second.
- After being told to sort the colored papers, Balki says, "Is this getting better every minute, or what?"
- After Larry complains that he has to start all over again counting the papers, Balki says, "Well, now I have to start over again, too.  But maybe that's a good thing.  This time I'll organize my colors from warm to cold."
- After Larry tells Balki to shut up when he gives Dr. Anderson his phone number, Balki counters, "Dr. Anderson asked me a question and it's only polite that I answer the man.  We want to be asked back, don't we?"
- After Balki tells Dr. Anderson that Mary Anne lives right across the hall, he adds, "She's papered the walls in a lovely floral print.  Just between the two of us, she's overdone it with the potpourri."
- After Larry continues to insist that Balki turn on the fan, Balki says, "Whatever you say," and turns it on.  After the papers fly everywhere, Balki says to Larry, "I was just going to say that the fan will blow the papers away."
- After Balki asks, "'He's got Binki' is just an expression?  What does that mean?" Larry answers, "I'll explain it to you in the unemployment line."
- After Balki makes the joke about Mr. Wainwright and Dr. Anderson both fitting on the phone, he adds, "Where do I come up with them?"
- In this version, Mr. Wainwright's favorite part of the video is the fan, not "I am a Halloween."
- After admitting they both pull each others' heads back by the hair, Larry says, "Yeah, yeah, we do.  Lunch?"  "Chinese?" Balki asks.  "You always want Chinese," Larry says, "Mexican?"  "We had Mexican yesterday," Balki reminds him.  Balki pushes Larry's face.  Larry whacks Balki on the back of the head.  The elevator door opens.  "Italian," Balki and Larry agree, and they get into the elevator.

There was a revised TGIF spot which was filmed at the end of the episode filming which announced Perfect Strangers move to 9:30 after Baby Talk:

tgifscriptrevised121791.jpg (139544 bytes)

Continue on to the next episode . . .