Strangers Episode Guide
26 - Get a Job
First Air Date:
March 4, 1987
Nielsen Rating: 16.9 HH
Description: Larry and Balki quit their jobs in a huff and take
"management trainee" positions at a burger joint to pay the rent.
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
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 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!"
ridiculous: Not said in this episode.
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
"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)
- 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.
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
- 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.
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!"
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.
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.
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."
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!"
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.
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."
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.
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.
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!"
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.
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.
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!"
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.
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
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
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.
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
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!"
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.
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.
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.
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.
on to the next episode . . .