Perfect Strangers Episode Guide

EPISODE 26 - Get a Job

First Air Date: March 4, 1987
Nielsen Rating: 16.9 HH

TV Guide Description: Larry and Balki quit their jobs in a huff and take "management trainee" positions at a burger joint to pay the rent.

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

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

Guest Cast:
Melanie Wilson: Jennifer Lyons
Rebeca Arthur: Mary Anne
Susan Kellerman: "Fat Marsha" Manning
Lewis Arquette: Construction Worker
Marty Schiff: Impatient to Order Hockey Fan
Tim Rossovich: Chili Dog Hockey Fan
Allan Graf: Parking Meter Hockey Fan

Dimitri Appearances: Dimitri is not seen in this episode.

"When Larry and Balki go first class they eat the whole hog."
"Cousin Larry put it in very uncertain terms."
"Youíre darn tooting!"
"Well, I guess weíre snookered."
"Weíre going to have to chew the bullet on this one."
"Well, Iím an equal opportunity!"

Donít be ridiculous: Not said in this episode.

Other catchphrases used in this episode:
"Ha!" said alternatively by Balki and Larry.
"Oh my Lord!"
"Hi!" in stereo
"Thatís a good point, a very good point."

Other running jokes used in this episode:
Balki cries until he gets something he wants.
Balki laughs at his own joke.
Larry grabs Balki by the shirt.
The boys simultaneously sigh.
The Dance of Joy

Songs: "9 to 5" - sung by Balki as he works the grill (this is the second time Balki has performed this song in the series, the first time being in the episode Picture This)

Interesting facts:
The title "Get a Job" is the name of a 1957 doo-wop song recorded by The Silhouettes.
When Balki says that he bets Charlie and his whole family could fit into the giant can of tuna heís referring to the classic animated Starkist tuna commercials in which Charlie the Tuna was always trying to get himself into a can of Starkist but was always rejected because they put only the finest tuna into their cans.
- Balki calls the burger jointís order wheel a "message center" and the service bell a "Bell System."  These refer to popular high-end office equipment and services of the day.  The "Bell System" was a trademarked term used by AT&T which monopolized the U.S. telephone market up  through 1984.  The system was known for its interconnectivity and was also affectionately known as "Ma Bell."
- Susan Kellerman, who plays Fat Marsha with such aplomb, is a well-known character actress who has worked in the business for many years.  Television fans may remember her best as playing Latkaís mother in the series Taxi and the sadistic fat farm coach, Bambi, in a notable episode of Laverne & Shirley entitled Fat City Holiday.
- Itís hard to determine when this episode was actually filmed, as Balkiís hair is notably shorter here than in the episodes surrounding it, and indeed shorter than we see it all season.  This could mean it was either the first or last episode to be filmed during the second season.
- Lewis Arquette appears briefly as a construction worker who orders gritty meat loaf.  Lewis Arquette was father to the acting Arquette family, including Rosanna, Patricia, Alexis, Richmond and David. Lewis Arquette passed away in 2001 due to congestive heart failure.
- Also appearing in the diner as a customer is a female extra who previously appeared in the first season episode Baby, You Can Drive My Car.  We strongly think this could be the same woman who later appears regularly as an extra in the background at the Chicago Chronicle.  We would love to know the identity of this regular extra.  If you happen to know, do let us know!
- This is the last episode that would feature an appearance by Mrs. Twinkacetti.  Belita Moreno would return to the show (looking very different!) in season three playing the Chicago Chronicleís advice columnist, Lydia Markham.
- This was not the first time character actor Allan Graf beat up Larry Appleton . . . he previously played the tough guy who dragged Larry outside to teach him a lesson for hitting on his girlfriend in the episode First Date.

Bloopers and Inconsistencies:
A very short outtake from this episode where Bronson and Mark break up laughing can be seen during the Friendship commercial for the series, which featured outtakes from the show.

The show opens in the Ritz Discount Store where Balki and Larry and talking to Jennifer and Mary Anne.  Larry is telling the girls they can pick any restaurant and he and Balki will treat them to dinner, money being no object.  "You heard that right," Balki confirms, "When Larry and Balki go first class they eat the whole hog."  Jennifer comments that the boys must be pretty confident that Mr. Twinkacetti is going to give them a raise.  Balki says theyíll get their raise and adds, "Cousin Larry put it in very uncertain terms."  Larry says that after the little talk he had with Twinkacetti the day before their raise is in the bag.  "I told him that when he walked through that door today I wanted an answer and it had better be the right one!"

Mr. Twinkacetti enters the store, looking at a newspaper and walking past everyone.  "Good morning, Mr. Twinkacetti," Larry offers.  "Yeah yeah," mumbles Twinkacetti as he heads to his office, much to everyoneís surprise.  Balki calls after him and Twinkacetti stops to look around.  "Isnít there something you want to tell us?" Balki asks.  "Yeah!  Get to work!" Twinkacetti says and goes into his office.  The guys are understandably embarrassed in front of the girls so Jennifer points to her watch, saying "Well, look at the time!  Weíd better go!"  The girls leave.

Balki looks to Larry.  "Cousin, weíre not going to let him do that to us, are you?"  Larry looks confused for a moment then agrees, "No weíre not!  Weíre going to clear this up right now!"  Larry marches over to Twinkacettií office door and knocks loudly on the glass.  He turns back and runs into Balki, who has followed him there.  Larry pushes Balki back and Twinkacetti exits his office.  "Mr. Twinkacetti, we need to talk about our raise," Larry states.  "Oh yeah, I promised Iíd have an answer for you, didnít I?"  "Youíre darn tooting!" Balki confirms.  "Well, Iím a man of my word.  No raise."  He walks back into his office.  "Well, I guess weíre snookered," Balki sighs.

Larry steps forward and pounds on the office door again, again turning around to run into Balki, whoís stepped forward as well.  Larry pushes him back again as Twinkacetti re-emerges, asking "What?"  "Mr. Twinkacetti, we are overworked and underpaid!" Larry declares.  "I know youíre overworked.  Iím not insensitive.  Thatís why I hired a new guy to help you out."  Larry wants to know how Twinkacetti can afford to hire a new guy if he canít afford to give them a raise.  "Ah, simple economics . . . itís the trickle down theory," Twinkacetti explains, "you see, the money Iím going to pay the new guy will be trickling out of your salary.  Sorry."

"All right, Twinkacetti, youíve pushed me too far," Larry sighs.  "Every day you insult me and I take it.  Well, Iím not going to take it any more!  There are a million jobs out there better than this and a million bosses better than you!  I quit!"  "I quit, too!" Balki states.  "Balki, I appreciate your loyalty and I understand youíre willing to make a sacrifice but you donít have to quit just because I quit," Larry says.  "Yes, I do," Balki insists.  "Weíre a team.  We should be together."  "Of course you should stay together!" Mr. Twinkacetti agrees, "You share a brain!"  Balki says that Mr. Twinkacetti canít talk to them like that any more.  "Like the great Nancy Sinatra said, ĎThese boots were made for walkiní!"

"Fine!  Walk!  Who needs you?" Mr. Twinkacetti scowls as he head back into his office.  "Oh yeah?  Well, who needs you?" Larry shouts as Twinkacetti slams his office door shut, knocking a picture off the wall.  Larry and Balki shout "Ha!" at the closed door several times in defiance.  "That felt pretty good!" Larry admits.  Balki finally looks at Larry and says meekly, "Now what do we do?"  "I donít know," Larry whines.  It only lasts a second, as Larry announces tomorrow they will get new jobs.  "In America you can do anything you want to do.  You just have to set your sights high."  "Could I be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?" Balki asks hopefully.  "Lower, Balki," Larry suggests.  Balki repeats the line in a lower and deeper voice.

We see the exterior of a hamburger restaurant called Fat Marshaís Burgers, which is the epitome of a "greasy spoon" style, low-end burger joint which has a hockey theme throughout, focusing on the Chicago Blackhawks.  A tall, buxom woman dressed mostly in spandex is cleaning the counter as Balki and Larry enter, Larry looking confused and saying this canít be the place.  Balki points out that itís the address the employment agency gave them.  "This place doesnít have a management program," Larry observes.  "A methadone program, maybe!"  "Okay, we train for that!" Balki says hopefully, then off Larryís discouraged look Balki says, "Cousin, come on.  Letís face it, weíre going to have to chew the bullet on this one.  Itís been two weeks, the rent is due and I havenít heard back from the Supreme Court."

They approach the counter as Larry says, "Excuse me, we were supposed to meet a Ms. Manning?"  "Thatís me!  Fat Marsha!" the woman says proudly in a Southern drawl.  "You donít look fat, Fat Marsha!" Balki observes.  "Oh, thank you sweetie!" Fat Marsha replies, "I used to weigh 300 pounds but when I opened this place I lost my appetite.  Now Iím having the time of my life!"  She comes around the counter to approach them and asks if they are there about the jobs or if theyíre answering her ad in the personals, eyeing them provocatively.  Balki introduces them and Fat Marsha turns to look at Larry.  "Hey, youíre cute!" she says as she eyes Larry.  "I think thereís been a mistake," Larry begins.  "No, youíre cute all right!" Fat Marsha insists.

She turns back to Balki, saying "And youíre not so bad yourself.  Where are you from?"  Balki explains heís from Mypos.  "But I can still work here, canít I?"  "Well, of course you can, darling, Iím an equal opportunity employer!"  "Well, Iím an equal opportunity!" Balki says happily.  Larry explains that the employment office sent them there for management trainee positions but that heís sure they gave them the wrong address.  He makes a slight move to leave but Fat Marsha puts her leg up on one of the stools, blocking his path.  "Ah, no mistake," she says, "My other management trainees quit.  They were, uh . . . worn out."  She smiles at him knowingly and then steps aside.  "Iíll get you a couple of uniforms."  Larry stops her, saying they were really looking for something with career advancement opportunities.  "Well, donít worry, cutie, I got a feeling youíre going to advance real fast."  She reaches behind Larry to pinch his bottom which makes Larry extremely nervous.  Larry turns to see Balki looking at Larryís behind and waits for a reaction from his cousin.  "Sheís got a nice smile," the naive Balki comments.

In the next scene Fat Marsha is training the boys on getting out orders.  Larry is working the grill and Balki is taking notes.  Fat Marsha is standing close behind Larry, directing his arms as she explains the steps of getting the food on the plate and placing the ticket down with the order and ringing the bell to call for the waiter, all this is done in a very seductive way.  Balki takes notes meticulously.  "I like your spirit, Balki," Fat Marsha comments.  "And you have nice firm handwriting!  You ever arm wrestled naked?"  Balki smiles shyly and says, "No.  That would be cheating!"  Fat Marsha laughs at this but Larry continues to look mortified.

Fat Marsha reaches under the counter and pulls out some paper hats for them to wear.  Balki mistakenly starts putting his down his shirt like a napkin so Fat Marsha bends his head down, not accidentally pointing his face at her breasts, and places the hat on Balkiís head.  Once done she turns to Larry and asks, "Need a hand, honey?"  "No, I got it!" Larry answers immediately, placing his hat on his head.  Fat Marsha approaches Larry anyway, purring "Oh, thereís somethiní about a man in uniform that drives me crazy!"  She gooses Larry again and then gets her coat and bag and says sheíll be back in a couple of hours.  "Iím going to go pump some iron!"

After she leaves, Balki ducks down behind the counter and says, "Oh Cousin, youíre not going to believe this!"  "I already donít believe this!" exclaims a shell-shocked Larry.  Balki stands back up holding a restaurant sized can.  "Itís a humongous can of tuna!" Balki exclaims excitedly.  "Iíll bet Charlie and his whole family are in here!"  Balki then spins the order wheel, stating, "And look at this!  A message center!"  He then points out the bell, "And this!  A Bell system!  I canít wait to write home about this!"  "Balki, wake up and smell the roach spray," Larry moans.  "This place is one step away from being condemned!"  "Well, in Mypos this is a five-star restaurant," Balki notes.

Balki goes on to point out that this is the best offer theyíve had in two weeks.  Larry agrees they should try to make the best of it.  Balki announces that he wants to cook because then he will get to ring the bell.  Larry insists he will cook and Balki will serve until Balki starts to cry and Larry gives in and says Balki can be the cook.  Balki happily switches his hat for Larryís (even though they are exactly the same).  "Why am I arguing about the level of my humiliation?" Larry wonders aloud as Balki happily rings the bell.

In the next scene the guys are working and have several customers.  Balki is preparing french fries and spraying water on the grill to make it steam as he sings "9 to 5."  Larry approaches him, asking how the chili dog is coming.  Balki puts the hot dog on the bun and then covers it with a huge amount of chili.  Larry serves it to some customers and then approaches a construction worker sitting in the next booth, asking if he can help him.  "Yeah, last time I was in here the meat loaf was gritty, it tasted like sawdust and the gravy was a kind-of greenish brown stuff.  Whatís it like today?"  "Pretty much the same," Larry answers honestly.  "Give me a double order," the man decides.

As Larry turns a woman is about to get his attention but he replies first, saying she has an order of fries coming.  Larry walks back into the kitchen and puts the double order of meat loaf on the wheel.  Balki spins the wheel and then stops it firmly with his hand, snatching the order off triumphantly.  Larry then says theyíre missing an order of fries.  Balki looks up at the wheel and says smugly, "I donít see an order of fries!"  "I forgot to put it up," Larry explains.  "I just need an order of fries."  "If itís not on the wheel, you donít get a meal!" Balki says, then laughs, saying "I just made that up!"  Larry obligingly writes an order of fries and puts it on the wheel.  Balki spins the wheel and stops it again, snatching off the ticket.

Balki puts the a batch of fries into the fryer and says "I love this machine!  It does shrimp, too!"  "Balki, we donít serve shrimp," Larry points out.  "Yes, I know, but if we did this little baby would fry their little tails off!"  Larry asks if some plates sitting on the counter are ready and Balki says almost.  He puts two Blackhawk Burgers on their buns, ringing the bell twice, then one Puck Burger, ringing the bell again, and then three Slapshot Slaws, ringing the bell until Larry stops him.  "I can see the orders.  Do you have to ring the bell?"  "I have to ring the bell!" Balki smiles.

Larry delivers the orders and announces the status of the remaining orders.  "Anybody need anything?" he asks in general.  "No!" everyone in the restaurant answers.  Larry goes back to the kitchen and tells Balki this job is a breeze.  "Think Iíll bring in a little TV tomorrow."  Balki is busy putting a bunch of hamburger patties on the grill.  Larry asks what heís doing.  "Iím putting twenty five patties on the grill.  Marsha told me to do that for the four oíclock rush!"  "She also told me sheís taking me to Club Med but you donít see me packing," Larry comments.  Balki looks upset, asking, "You got vacation already?"  Larry says that itís four oíclock and that theyíre looking at the rush.  Balki insists that Marsha told him there was going to be a rush.

Larry takes Balki over to the front door (Balki opens the cash register to make it ring as he passes and Larry shuts it again) and points him to look out through the glass.  "Look outside.  Okay, do you see a rush?"  "I see a big herd of people coming across the street from the stadium," Balki notes.  "Oh my Lord!" Larry cries, looking out the window, "There must have been a game today!"  "Cousin, theyíre pulling the parking meters out of the ground!" Balki exclaims nervously.  "It must have been a hockey game!" Larry realizes.  The cousins are pushed back against the wall by the door as a stream of burly hockey fans come pouring into the place, complaining about it having been the worst game and generally in a very bad mood, one even carrying a parking meter!  Larry and Balki stand in the corner, looking extremely apprehensive.

As the second act opens the burger joint is in mayhem.  Hockey fans are screaming en masse for their orders as Larry and Balki struggle to get them out.  Balki shovels food onto a plate and Larry runs it out into the crowd.  A guy in a booth tells Larry he hasnít ordered yet and Larry brushes him off and asks "Who had the Puck Burger?"  A huge man on one of the stools at the counter asks where his chili dog is and Larry says he doesnít know and offers him the Puck Burger instead.  Larry runs back into the kitchen as the guy in the booth stands up and yells, "Hey, when are you gonna take my order?"  "Iím a little busy right now," Larry explains meekly.

Larry runs to Balki, who is standing and staring at the spinning order wheel.  "I lost my place on the wheel," Balki moans, "Pat Sajak makes it look so easy!"  Larry stops the wheel and grabs Balki by the shoulders, begging him not to go to pieces on him now, clutching Balki by the head.  "I need you!  Be here for me!"  "I will!" Balki says, but when Larry lets go and turns to the grill Balki collapses onto the floor.  Larry prepares three plates as Balki picks himself off the floor, a piece of lettuce stuck to his face.  Larry slaps Balki lightly on the face and arm asking if heís with him and Balki says he is.

The man in the booth stands again, saying "Hey!  Iíd like to eat while I still have my teeth!"  Larry grabs the plates, passing the man waiting for his chili dog which Larry assures him is coming very quickly, and carries the food to the table with the complaining man and drops them down.  "I still havenít ordered yet!" the man points out.  "Well, I ordered for you," Larry sighs, running back to the kitchen.

On the way back to the kitchen the chili dog man reaches over the counter and grabs Larry by the shirt, pulling him to his face.  "Who do I have to kill to get a chili dog around here?"  Larry assures the man itís ready right now and goes to get it.  He tells Balki he needs a chili dog desperately and Balki says theyíre out of chili.  "What do you mean weíre out of chili?  We canít be out of chili!" Larry cries.  "Well, my chili happens to be popular," Balki explains.  Larry tells Balki thereís a man who will kill him if he doesnít get a chili dog.  Balki continues to try to explain theyíre out of chili, even saying "Read my lips!" and saying "Weíre out of chili!" very clearly.

The chili dog man stands up, yelling "Hey Bozos!"  Balki and Larry look at him and smile, saying "Hi!" simultaneously.  "I still donít have my chili dog," the huge man complains.  Larry says itís coming.  "Is that him?" Balki asks nervously.  Larry confirms it is.  "Then I suggest we find some chili," Balki agrees.  They look around and Balki comes across a saucepan, saying heís found something.  "What is it?" Larry asks.  "It looks something like chili," Balki offers.  Larry looks skeptically into the pan.  "Itís green!"  The huge man says impatiently, "Iím waiting!"  "Close enough!" Larry states and he grabs two ketchup bottles and squirts them into the saucepan which Balki then mixes up.  He slops the stuff, which is a disgusting mix of green and red slop, onto the chili dog plate and Larry presents it to the man.  "This was supposed to be to go!" the man says and so Larry takes the plate and opens a paper bag and, after a moment of hesitation, dumps the contents of the plate into the paper bag and tosses the empty plate to Balki.  He rolls the bag up sloppily and hands it to the man saying itís on the house.

The chili dog man heads for the door but bumps into the parking meter man.  "Watch where youíre walking, jerkface!" chili dog man says.  "How would you like me to walk on your face, dirtball?" threatens the parking meter man.  The two start pushing each other until it escalates into an all out brawl.  Larry races into the center of the action and tries to hold the two men apart, saying they have a very strict no-fighting policy.  The parking meter guy picks up Larry and slings him over his shoulders, spinning wildly.  Balki runs out to help and is scooped up by the chili dog man, who similarly starts spinning him around.

At this moment Fat Marsha returns and see the melee.  She blows a whistle and yells for the men to break it up.  "Put Ďem down . . . carefully!" she orders.  Once Balki and Larry are back on the floor the parking meter man insists, "Well, these two hockey pucks started it!"  "Out!  Now!" Fat Marsha demands of the men.  "Are we still on for tonight?" both men ask her worriedly.  "Iíll let you know," she informs them coolly.

Larry tells Fat Marsha he can explain everything.  "Well, thereís nothing to explain!  Itís always like this during hockey season!"  She asks Larry if heís okay and reaches toward his bottom but Larry quickly sits on one of the stools so she can goose him again.  "Well, you okay, Balki?" she asks.  Balki says he has a little something in his eye.  "Well good, because I was afraid youíd broken something important!"  She pinches Balkiís behind and walks away as he reacts in shock.  Larry approaches Balki, who says "I think she just invited me to Club Med!"

Back at the apartment, Larry and Balki run into the darkened apartment and turn on the light.  Both are winded from running.  "Why were those dogs chasing us?" Balki asks.  "Because we smell like cheap hamburger," Larry explains.  Balki sniffs himself and Larry then says, "You smell like cheap hamburger.  I . . . Iím not sure what I smell like."  "I canít believe it!" sighs Larry, "We actually managed to find jobs that are worse than working for Twinkacetti!"  Balki says it wasnít all that bad.  "Wasnít all that bad?" Larry asks incredulously.  "Balki, we spent a day feeding tainted meat to homicidal hockey fans!  Not to mention getting sexually harassed by the Amazing Colossal Woman!  What job could be worse?"  "Well, what about that lady I saw on television that has to check the waistband on menís underwear?" Balki asks.  Larry says they should have taken the pay cut and stayed with Twinkacetti.

There is a knock on the door and the cousins go to answer it.  Mr. and Mrs. Twinkacetti step inside and Larry says he knows the rent is due but they donít get paid until the end of the week.  "Donít worry about that, boys," Mrs. Twinkacetti assures them, "I just found out why you quit!  Donald has something he wants to say."  When her husband doesnít say anything she orders him to, "Speak, Donald!"  "Iíd like you to come back to work for me," Twinkacetti says begrudgingly.  "What happened to the new man?" Balki asks.  "Heís history," Mrs. Twinkacetti explains, then, "Tell him why, Donald."  "That bum was stealing me blind," Mr. Twinkacetti explains.  "Now you two are losers but at least your honest losers!"  "High praise indeed!" Larry says sarcastically.

Balki says that they would love to come back and work for him but itís not possible because they have new jobs and theyíre management trainees and theyíre advancing rather rapidly.  Larry is concerned when he hears this, until Balki adds, "On the other hand, every management trainee has his price."  Realizing that Balki is positioning them to bargain he and Balki go into a huddle and when they turn around Larry says, "But weíd be willing to hear your offer."  Mr. Twinkacetti says nothing so his wife says, "Make Ďem an offer, Donald!"  Twinkacetti offers, "Letís say same job, same pay, no hard feelings?  What díya say?"  Larry and Balki go back into a huddle to discuss this, then turn back again.  "Letís say we get the raise we should have got in the first place, you pay us overtime, and we never hear the word Ďlosersí again," Larry suggests.  Mr. Twinkacetti growls in frustration but his wife smiles and answers, "Donald says yes!"  Mr. Twinkacetti asks if he can go now.  "Iíve still got dishes to do!"  He walks out the door.

"Itís nice to have you back boys," Mrs. Twinkacetti says and they go to hug her, but she holds them back, her face scrunched in an expression of disgust at their smell.  "Do yourselves a favor," she suggests, "Burn these clothes!"  She leaves quickly.  Larry comments on how they got their jobs back and they both sigh.  "Why donít we feel happy?" Balki asks.  "Maybe itís because weíre going back to the same crummy jobs we hated two weeks ago," Larry offers.  "Thatís a good point, a very good point," Balki agrees, "Well, this is one way to look at it.  Weíre not going to have those jobs forever.  You came to Chicago to be a photographer and you will be."  "Yeah, and you didnít travel thousands of miles to be a clerk in a discount store," Larry adds.  "Yeah!" Balki agrees, "Some day Iíll graduate from night school and Iíll go to college."  "Yeah!  Then we can tell Twinkacetti what to do with our jobs and mean it!" Larry smiles.  Balki says heís getting happy.  "You know what I feel coming on?"  "A Dance of Joy?" Larry asks.  They break into the Dance of Joy, ending with Larry in Balkiís arms.

Continue on to the next episode . . .