Perfect Strangers Episode Guide

EPISODE 22 - Tux for Two

First Air Date: February 4, 1987
Nielsen Rating: 15.0 HH

Co-Producer: James OíKeefe
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Joel Saltzman
Directed by: Joel Zwick

Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton
Ernie Sabella: Mr. Donald Twinkacetti

Guest Cast:
Melanie Wilson: Jennifer Lyons
Rebeca Arthur: Mary Anne
Roger Morgan: James Greene
Margaret Milgram: Carol Bruce
Waiter: Frank Birney
Dennis: Hank Stratton

Dimitri Appearances: Dimitri can be seen in the apartment sitting on the end table wearing a bullet hat and a suit.

"We can play pin the tail on the mule and we can bob for potatoes . . . "
"Why the stormy weather?"
"Iíll go splash some on."
"Iíd love to rub those elbows."
"I second that emotion."

Donít be ridiculous: Said once.

Other catchphrases used in this episode:
"Get out of the city!"
"Thatís a good point, a very good point."
"Let me get this straight."
"Yes . . . I am."
"Oh po po!"

Other running jokes used in this episode:
Balkiís Myposian tuxedo
Balki laughs at his own joke
Balki picks Larry up and carries him around
Larry mixes up words and stammers when he's nervous
Larryís huffy laugh

Interesting facts:
The title is a pun on the classic song Tea for Two.
In this episode references are made to a photo contest which Larry entered held by the Chicago Gazette.  Tux for Two should have aired after the episode Up on a Roof in which Larry was searching for the perfect photograph to enter in that contest, instead Up on a Roof aired as the last episode of season two.
- Balki mentions the great sheepherder Zimdog Zakibatbat.  Itís not clear if Zimdog would be related to the Brothers Zakibatbat (Mooki and Gringki) mentioned in the third season episode
My Brother, Myself.
- This was the first episode in which we see Balkiís Myposian "tuxedo," as it would be dubbed by the fans.  The outfit, which includes short pants and pointy, curled shoes, was so popular that Bronson even wore it as Balki to present an award at the first American Comedy Awards.
- Actress Carol Bruce, who played gallery owner Margaret Milgram in this episode, would also play "Muffy" Endicott in the fourth season episode High Society.  Sitcom fans might remember her best as station owner Mr. Carlsonís mom in WKRP in Cincinnati.

Bloopers and Inconsistencies:
When this episode originally aired it was shown well before the episode Up on a Roof, but sequentially that episode should have been shown first as it is about Larry entering the photo contest which led to his being invited to Roger Morganís black tie exhibit opening.

The episode begins in the Ritz Discount store where Balki has lined up several pieces of wadded up paper on the counter.  He turns on the powerful wet vac to suck up the paper wads.  Once heís sucked up the last one he examines the nozzle of the vacuum but puts it too close to his face and it latches into him.  Struggling to get loose, the nozzle ends up attached to the back of Balkiís head as he thrashes around.  Larry enters the store and casually walks over to the vacuum, turning it off.  The hose drops from Balkiís head, who is relieved.  "Oh thank you, Cousin!  I thought it was gonna suck my brains out!"

Larry is holding an envelope and looking very happy, saying Balkiís not going to believe what he got in the mail.  "Your letter from Publisherís Clearinghouse?" Balki asks excitedly.  "You may already have won?"  Larry says itís almost as good.  "Balki, what do I want to be?"  "Tall?" Balki guesses.  Larry rephrases the question.  "What do I want to do for a living?"  "Be a photographer," Balki guesses correctly.  "And who inspired me to become a photographer?" Larry asks.  Balki motions to himself but Larry says no.  "Roger Morgan!" Larry announces.  Balki doesnít know who Roger Morgan is, so Larry explains heís the best photographer in the world and that he has received an invitation for Lawrence Appleton and a guest to the black tie opening night party of his new photo exhibit.  Balki asks why Larry would be invited and Larry explains that Roger Morgan was won of the judges of the Chicaco Gazette photo contest in which Larry placed tenth.

Balki politely says thatís nice and starts to go back to work.  Larry wants to impart to his cousin just how important this is to him.  "Itís like me wanting to be a baseball player and meeting Pete Rose!  Or me wanting to be an actor and meeting Lawrence Olivier!"  Balki catches on, saying "Is it like me meeting the great sheepherder Zimdog Zakibatbat?"  When Larry says it is Balki realizes what an exciting day it is for his cousin and Larry says heís glad he can share it with Balki.  Balki gets excited about going to the party, saying they can play pin the tail on the mule and bob for potatoes and do the Limbo Rock.  Balki mimics doing the limbo as Larry clarifies that heís sharing his happiness with Balki but heís going to spend the evening with Jennifer.  Balki asks in a hurt tone why Larry is asking Jennifer to which Larry replies, "Because sheís beautiful and I want her."  "Thatís a good point, a very good point," Balki concedes.  Larry assures Balki that if Jennifer couldnít go that he would be next on his list.

Mr. Twinkacetti exits his office and Balki enthusiastically tells him the big news as Mr. Twinkacetti hurries his steps, trying to get out the door but not before Balki has finished saying that Larry and Jennifer are going to a black tie party.  "Color me excited," Mr. Twinkacetti scoffs and leaves.  Just as heís walking out the door Jennifer and Mary Anne enter wearing their stewardess uniforms.  Jennifer is telling Mary Anne that she can tell him since it was her fault.  "It was a simple mistake!" Mary Anne says.  "Simple mistake?" Jennifer cries.  "All right, Iím a simple person.  Is that what you wanted to hear me say?" Mary Anne asks.

Balki asks whatís wrong and Jennifer explains that she canít go to the party the next night because sheís working.  Larry points out that Jennifer had said she would be flying to New York tonight and be back tomorrow.  "Thatís what I thought but Mary Anne got our destinations mixed up," Jennifer explains, "Weíre not going to New York, weíre going to New Zealand!"  Balki is stunned.  "Youíre going to New Zealand?  The sheep capital of the world?  How lucky can you get?"  Mary Anne turns to Jennifer and says, "See!"

Jennifer apologizes sincerely to Larry for not being able to go to the party with him and that he can find someone else.  Mary Anne says theyíd better get going because they have a lot to pack since theyíre flying back through New Delhi.  "You didnít tell me anything about New Delhi," Jennifer says.  "I donít know anything about New Delhi," Mary Anne assures her as they leave.  Larry stands, looking disappointed, but his expression changes to one of apprehension when Balki slyly asks "Who did you say was next on your list?"  Balki mimes the Limbo Rock again as Larry looks frustrated.

The next evening Larry enters the apartment, carrying rented tuxedos which he announces to Balki are for the party that night.  Balki says heís ready and enters from the bathroom, wearing his Myposian tuxedo and posing for Larry.  Larry calmly tells Balki that heís not going to meet Roger Morgan dressed like that.  "Why not?" Balki asks.  "Because this is a black tie party, not a bullfight," Larry explains.  Balki points out that heís wearing a black tie and Larry explains that "black tie" means you must wear a tuxedo.  Balki misunderstands, saying heíll go "splash some on."  Larry holds up one of the tuxedos to show what it is and Balki says he doesnít have one.  Larry explains he got it for Balki and Balki is thrilled saying Larry shouldnít have bought it for him.  Larry says he didnít, that he rented it.  Balki is taken aback, surprised that Larry would pay someone money to wear their clothes and pointing out that he already has clothes.  Larry says, "But not like these," and holds up his own tuxedo.  Balki notes that Larryís tuxedo looks just like his.  "But if weíre dressed exactly alike how will people tell us apart?" Balki asks worriedly.  "Dental records," Larry answers.

Larry goes on to explain that this is not the kind of party where youíre supposed to have fun.  Balki wants to get it straight . . . everybody is going to be wearing black suits and nobody is going to be having any fun.  "What the difference is between this party and a funeral?" Balki wants to know.  "Thereís no body," Larry answers, then menacingly says, "But I can fix that!"  Balki is upset but Larry insists that this party is very important and that itís vital they behave properly because Roger Morgan has been known to take young photographers under his wing and make them what they are today.  "What are they today?" Balki asks curiously.  "Photographers," Larry says, losing his patience.  "Thatís what you want to be!" Balki says excitedly.  "Yes, yes it is," Larry agrees, slowly yielding to the temptation to strangle Balki until Balki laughs innocently and Larry pulls his hands away.

Deciding that it would be a good idea to prepare Balki for what to expect Larry suggests they pretend the living room is the photo gallery.  "There are photographs on the wall, important people are standing around, we both have drinks . . . "  Balki asks what kind of drink he has and Larry asks what kind of drink heíd like.  "Cola, please," Balki says happily.  "You have a cola," Larry says and Balki is happy.  As Larry starts to reset the scenario again Balki asks if he could have a diet, so Larry says he has a diet cola.  Balki then asks if thereís a caffeine free and Larry impatiently says Balki has a caffeine free diet cola.  Balki then asks if thereís a ginger ale in there and Larry is fed up, saying they have no drinks.  "Do we have a little pretzel or chip of some kind?" Balki asks.  "No food, no drinks.  Nothing," Larry insists.

Larry continues, saying theyíre standing there looking at a photograph.  "Oh, puppy dogs!" Balki smiles.  Larry says someone comes up and asks "What do you think of this photograph?"  "I think itís pretty," Balki says immediately.  "Wrong!" Larry shouts.  "I think itís ugly?" Balki tries.  "Wrong!" Larry shouts.  Balki thinks about it then says, "I think itís . . . pretty ugly?"  Balki laughs at his own joke but Larry is not amused.  "Is this how youíre going to act when you meet Roger Morgan?" Larry asks.  "No, Iíll be good," Balki promises, then scowls.  "Boy, are you strict!"  "Yes, I am," Larry says seriously.  He explains that at this kind of party it doesnít matter what you think.  "What matters is that they think you think what they think, got it?"  "I donít think so," Balki admits.

Larry explains to Balki that when someone asks him what he thinks Balki should ask them what they think and then tell them the same thing.  "But they already know what they think," Balki points out.  "Exactly, and they want to hear the same thing from you.  So letís try it again."  Larry says theyíre looking at a picture but Balki walks away from him.  "Iím choosing a new picture, itís enough with puppies."  Larry looks like heís really about to blow his top but he somehow keeps his cool.  "What do you think of this picture?" he asks.  Balkiís about to give his opinion when he remembers what Larry said and answers, "What do you think?"  "I like it, how about you?" Larry asks.  "I like it, too," Balki states and Larry tells him he did good and suggests Balki try on his tuxedo.  Balki asks if Larryís sure that this is how people act at these parties and Larry assures him he is, saying itís just a game you play to get your foot in the door.  Balki promises he wonít embarrass Larry as he tries on the jacket of the tuxedo.  Itís immediately apparent that the jacket is way too small for Balki, the sleeves coming up way too high.  Larry tries to pull them down but the shoulder seam rips open.  "I guessed at the size," Larry admits.  "Guess again!" Balki comments.

The second act opens in the Milgram Gallery where the Roger Morgan photo exhibit is taking place.  A waiter is offering hors díoeuvres to patrons as they mill about.  Larry and Balki enter and once theyíve come forward we can see Balki is wearing Myposian tuxedo as people turn to look at him strangely.  Balki says heís sorry the tuxedo place was closed.  "Me, too," Larry sighs.  Balki insists that he doesnít mind being a little different.  "Iím proud of my heritage."  "Okay, be proud," Larry nods, "Just . . . stand behind me."  Balki asks which one is Roger Morgan and Larry says he doesnít see him, but he spots the photo editor of Shutter magazine, Dick Jorgeson who won a Pulitzer Prize the year before, and Margaret Milgram who owns the gallery.  "Balki, I never thought Iíd be rubbing elbows with so many important people."  Balki in the meantime has spotted a lovely woman in a fancy gown and sighs, "Iíd love to rub those elbows!"  Larry is quick to point out itís just an expression.  "Donít rub anything!"  Larry suggests they mingle and Balki asks what that means and Larry says, "It means talk, without touching . . . without touching!"

Larry casually starts to walk over to Margaret Milgram where she stands with a young man looking at a photograph called "Hitchhiker on the Road to Bitterness" on a pillar.  She comments that she thinks itís the essence of Rogerís best work.  Unbeknownst to Larry, Balki has gone around the other side of the pillar and asks her "Do you really think so?"  Larry is shocked and nervous, staying to the side as the conversation progresses, or rather deteriorates.  Ms. Milgram starts to ask Balki what he thinks then notices his clothes.  She finishes her question anyway.  "I think itís the best of his essence, too!" Balki offers eagerly.  He goes on to say that they have a calendar at home of all his work and that this particular picture is September.  "A calendar?"  "Yes, itís right over the toilet," Balki explains.  Larry wants to die.  "A toilet?  Please!" Ms. Milgram says in disgust.  "Oh, itís right out the door to your left," Balki offers, not understanding.  "Well I never . . . !" Ms. Milgram scoffs.  "Well in that case let me suggest a high fiber diet," Balki says with the best intentions.  "Dennis, I need a drink!" Ms. Milgram sighs and takes her young escort away.

Mortified, Larry walks over to Balki and establishes a new rule.  "Donít say anything unless youíve got something caught in your throat."  Balki is confused, saying he was just agreeing with her like Larry said.  "Donít you think itís a good picture?"  "Yes, itís a good picture," Larry agrees.  "All his pictures are good!  I looked at this one all through September.  I think it might have been better if heíd shot it with a wide angle lens . . . made the car seem a little more farther away, a little more desolate."  "Boy, you know a lot for a guy whoís never sold a picture!" Balki marvels.  Larry goes on to wonder why Roger Morgan only shoots in black and white.

At this point the waiter arrives with the hors díoeuvres tray and offers it to Balki.  Balki takes the whole tray and Larry has to tell him to give it back and take just one thing.  Balki asks the waiter what one item is and the waiter answers "Those are finger sandwiches."  Balki looks disgusted and sick and Larry assures him theyíre not what he thinks and urges him to take something.  "Perhaps a cocktail frank?" the waiter offers.  "Oh, my nameís not Frank, itís Balki.  And I think cocktails are those little drinks over there."  The waiter thanks Balki and says heíll try to remember that before walking away.  Balki comments that one would think theyíd get a waiter who knew what he was doing.

At that moment Roger Morgan enters the gallery and people swarm to him.  Heís wearing a jacket and white turtleneck sweater, looking somewhat casual.  Larry points him out to Balki and Balki immediately comments that the man isnít wearing a black tie.  "No wonder everyone is staring at him!" Larry is trying to get his nerve up, realizing this is it.  He walks over to Roger Morgan with Balki right behind.  Larry gets his attention and starts to stutter, saying "It is such a measure to pleat you."  He tries to introduce himself but he canít even speak his own name without Balki prompting him.  Mr. Morgan asks Larry if he has something caught in his throat.  Larry stammers that heís fine.

Dennis then steps in and asks Mr. Morgan why he only shoots black and white.  Balki points out that Cousin Larry was wondering the same thing.  Larry is so embarrassed he grabs Balki and pulls him away, bemoaning the fact that he blew his big chance.  Balki encourages him to try again but Larry insists itís over.  "Cousin, if I were standing there, and the great Zimdog Zakibatbat were standing over there, I would hope you would do this."  Balki picks Larry up around the middle and carries him back over to Roger Morgan, setting him down.  "Mr. Morgan, my Cousin Larry . . . again."  "Yes, I remember," Mr. Morgan assures him.

Larry tries to speak but no words are coming out of his mouth, so Balki speaks for him, saying that Larry admires him, to which Larry can manage to say "I do, I really do!"  Balki goes on to say that Larry would like to be as great as he is someday.  "I would, I would!" Larry nods.  "You know, thatís the great thing about photography.  Itís a non-verbal medium," Mr. Morgan jokes.  Balki then goes on to ask if he didnít take the hitchhiker photograph with the wrong lens.  Everyone is startled, especially Larry.  Dennis steps in, saying no one talks to Mr. Morgan like that and heíll take care of them.  He looks around for Margaret Milgram who isnít nearby to support him so he runs off to look for her.  "Donít mind Dennis," Mr. Morgan assures them, "He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth."  "Must have been painful for his mama!" Balki comments.

Once again Larry drags Balki away, this time completely humiliated and asking Balki if he has any idea what heís done, that Roger Morgan no longer thinks heís an idiot but knows heís an idiot and that he comes from a family of idiots.  Balki is frustrated with trying to understand these strange social rules where you think one thing and say another.  "People should just be themselves," he insists, then adds, "except for Dennis . . . he should be somebody else."  Larry says Balki is right and that heís sorry he even came.

Dennis walks up to them and points them out to Margaret Milgram, who is right behind and looks at them questioningly.  "Pardon me, but how did you get in here?" she asks.  "Heís with me," Larry explains.  "I was talking you," Ms. Milgram clarifies.  "I was invited," Larry answers.  "And Iím his invited guest," Balki adds.  Ms. Milgram says sheís uninviting both of them, saying Larry is a blithering fool and that Balki has a nerve to come dressed as a matador and utter the most tactless and inane dribble.  Larry cuts her off, telling her that Balki is the only one who has the guts to say what he thinks.  "And donít put down his clothes.  Heís proud of his heritage."  "No one speaks to her like that," Dennis interrupts.  "Well, Iím sorry but your Nana was being rude!" Balki insists.  This comment takes Ms. Milgram and Dennis aback sharply and she announces sheís calling security.  As they walk away Dennis smarmily says "Youíre in trouble!"

Larry suggests they leave and as theyíre walking toward the exit Roger Morgan stops them, wanting to talk to Balki about the lens comment.  Larry explains that Balki was only repeating a stupid remark heíd said.  But Mr. Morgan is quick to point out it wasnít stupid, that in fact it was a very perceptive comment.  "Well, itís what I really thought, Iíd not ashamed to admit it," Larry says.  "Not now anyway!" Balki adds.  Mr. Morgan asks Larry what lens he would have used and Larry says he probably would have used a 28 mm.  "That was exactly the lens I was going to use," Mr. Morgan tells them, "but my camera bag was locked in my car, along with my keys."  "Oh po po!" Balki laughs.  "Cousin Larry does that all the time!"  Mr. Morgan says itís refreshing to hear an honest criticism.  "Usually when I ask people what they think they turn around and say ĎWhat do you thinkí?"  Larry laughs at this and then adds, "I hate that!"

Balki points out that Larry won tenth place in the photo contest he helped to judge.  Mr. Morgan says he remembers the picture and that if the committee had listened to his opinion Larry would have done better than tenth place.  This means the world to Larry to hear this and Mr. Morgan assures Larry that he was a beginner once, too, and would like to see more of Larryís work.  He suggests Larry drop some photos off at his hotel and that maybe he can be of some help to him.  Before he walks away he comments to Balki, "Nice outfit, kid!  Very Myposian!"  Balki makes a comment in Myposian and Mr. Morgan confidently replies "Dach mach bing bing!" before walking away.

Back at the apartment Larry sorts through some photos to take to Roger Morgan.  He asks Balki what he thinks of one picture and Balki says, "What do you think?"  Larry says he really needs Balkiís opinion but Balki assures him that he doesnít, that everyone has an opinion, "Me, Roger Morgan, even Dennis and his Nana.  But the only one that matters is yours.  Now bring Mr. Morgan the one you like best."  Larry makes his final selection and puts it into the envelope and hurries to get his coat so they can take the photos over to Mr. Morganís hotel, commenting on how great this is going to be.  "This could be great!  If Roger Morgan likes these I could be working in a newspaper in a couple of weeks!  I could be in a new apartment in a couple of months!  In a year, I could win a Pulitzer."  "And if he doesnít like them?" Balki asks.  "Iíll jump off the Sears Tower," Larry replies.  "Donít you think youíre getting a little crazy again?" Balki asks.  "Isnít there somewhere in the middle?"  Larry thinks about this and says, "Youíre right.  How Ďbout I give him the pictures and hope for the best."  "I second that emotion," Balki states.

Continue on to the next episode . . .