Strangers Episode Guide
29 - All the News That Fits
First Air Date:
September 23, 1987
Nielsen Rating: 15.2 HH
TV Guide Description: In
the second-season opener, Larry lands a job at a major newspaper, which makes
him oblivious to the needs of Balki, who seeks more meaningful employment to
enhance his life. [Note: this was, in fact, the third-season opener]
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Robert Griffard & Howard Adler
Directed by: Joel Zwick
Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton
Jo Marie Payton-France: Harriette Winslow
Sam Anderson: Mr. Sam Gorpley
Jack Bernardi: Mr. Feldman
Neil Elliot: Lance
Eugene Roche: Mr. Harry Burns
Appearances: In the first scene Dimitri can be seen sitting on the
counter with a tiny hockey stick. In the last scene he is facing another
direction on the counter and is made up like a mailman.
"Oh Cousin, you can read me like a cheap suit!"
"You really stepped in something good this time!"
ridiculous: Not said in this episode.
used in this episode:
"You really stepped in something good this time!" (first time)
Other running jokes used in this episode:
The Dance of Joy (mentioned but not done)
Balki laughs at his own joke
Balki mistakes an insult from Mr. Gorpley as a compliment (first time)
Balki repeats something nasty people have said about Gorpley to him in an
inadvertent way of trying to pay him a compliment
Balki and Larry grab each other by the hair / ears / heads
Balki reads aloud very slowly until finally Larry takes over to read aloud
"Return to Sender" - sung by Balki as he works in the mail room.
Larry and Balki have moved to a two bedroom apartment.
The cousins begin working at the Chicago Chronicle.
We first meet Harriette Winslow, the elevator operator, and Sam Gorpley, head of
the mailroom and Balki's boss, as well as Larry's boss, Mr. Burns.
- The title of this episode is a spoof of the New
York Times saying, "All the News That's Fit to Print."
- The start of the third season was full of changes for the show.
The cousins live in a new apartment (no reference to the move is ever made but
Balki has his own bedroom and the exterior shots are of a different building).
- From the first establishing shot of the
Cousinís new apartment we can see Pioliís Pizza located on the street level.
Pioliís Pizza would be referred to several times throughout the show (and was
most likely named for director Judy Pioli who would work on the show in later
- With the cousinsí move from working at the Ritz
Discount Store to working at the Chicago Chronicle, no reference to the
Twinkacettiís would ever be made again, although Larry mentions that the week
before he was working at the Ritz at the beginning of this episode and Balki
says heís still folding sweatshirts for Mr. Twinkacetti.
- Balki's line "climbing every mountain,
fording every stream" is a reference to the song "Climb Every
Mountain" from The Sound of Music.
- Two running jokes related to Mr. Burns were
unique to this episode only. One was his constant habit of getting Larry's
last name wrong (he finally gets it right at the end of the episode and
remembers it in all other episodes). The other was
his perpetual chasing of the reporter named Lance, who apparently always had an
- This episode introduced Jo Marie Payton-France as
Harriette Winslow, the elevator operator at the Chicago Chronicle. Harriette
would be the only character to be spun off from Perfect Strangers into
her own show, Family Matters, which would end up being a big hit for ABC.
Oddly enough to this day many people donít even realize that Family Matters
was a spin-off from Perfect Strangers!
Also introduced to the series in this episode was Sam Anderson as
Balkiís boss, Sam Gorpley. It seemed natural to introduce a mean new
boss to replace the interaction which took place between the cousins and Mr.
Twinkacetti, but Mr. Gorpley brought a whole new level of nastiness (and comedy)
to the series. Sam Anderson had appeared once on the show before, in
season one as a bank manager in the episode Check This.
Veteran actor Eugene Roche joined the cast for a brief period as Mr.
Harry Burns, Larryís boss and city editor of the Chicago Chronicle. He
would appear in only a few episodes, eventually introducing the cousins to the
paperís publisher, R.T. Wainwright (played by F.J. OíNeill), in the episode The
Defiant Guys. Mr. Wainwright would then become Larryís boss and Mr.
Burns would not reappear. Sadly Eugene Roche passed away in 2004 of a
- When the cousins move to their new apartment in season three there are
several episodes in which the layout of their living space is different than it
would eventually be. In this episode, plus Taking Stock and The
Break In, the front door is located to the left of the fireplace with the
closet door situated to the right of the fireplace. In all other episodes
the front door was located to the right of the fireplace and the closet was in
the hallway leading to the bedrooms. To read more about this, check out
our Watch . . . and Learn article from Issue #1, Summer 1989.
- A blooper from this episode in which Mark messes
up and says drum instead of paper basket can be seen on our YouTube
Channel, along with other bloopers from the series!
- Harriette blackmails Gorpley into keeping Balki
on by threatening to tell his wife about what he was doing with a young woman in
her elevator the night of the Christmas party. But in the next seasonís The
Gift of the Mypiot Gorpley explains his wife divorced him three years ago,
which was longer than the amount of time supposedly between those two episodes.
The episode begins with Balki moping around the apartment, fiddling with a
hockey puck as he saunters to the couch and sits upon it gloomily.
Heís wearing a Chicago Blackhawkís t-shirt and there is a Blackhawks pennant
sticking out of the lamp as well. Larry rushes through the front door and
tells Balki that heíll never guess who he just had coffee with. When
Balki doesnít venture a guess, Larry tells him, "The mayor!"
Larry goes on to amend that he really didnít have coffee with the mayor, that
in fact he brought it to the mayor. "But I was there when he
Larry continues excitedly, saying,
"Since I started working at the newspaper this kind of thing happens all
the time! Well, not all the time, but a lot!" He says he
canít believe that the week before he was selling keychains at the Ritz
Discount and now heís working for a major Chicago newspaper. Balki, who
is clearly unhappy, politely says thatís nice. Larry sits down on the
couch beside Balki, still bubbling. "Nice? Itís terrific!
Balki, Iím the city editorís right hand man. Well, not his right hand
man exactly, I mean, I run errands for him but
. . . who cares? I have my foot in the door! Iím finally on my way
. . . the skyís the limit! Is that a hockey puck?"
Balki confirms it is. "It
landed right next to me in that empty seat. Itís a good thing you
werenít there . . . youíd have a puck-shaped hole in the middle of your head
and look like a piggy bank." Balki cries as heís saying this last
sentence, and Larry remembers they were supposed to go to the hockey game.
Balki pulls the cover off a cardboard box on the coffee table, revealing a
sandwich. "I got you an Italian beef sandwich," Balki offers,
"with no peppers. I know how they make you puff up and turn
Larry apologizes, saying he completely
forgot. "You have every right to be angry with me." Balki
says heís not angry, that heís just lonely, "and a
guess a little hurt." Larry tries to talk but Balki continues, saying
heís lonely and hurt, "and I guess a little disappointed."
Once again Larry tries to speak but Balki expands upon his thought, saying
heís lonely and hurt and disappointed, "and I guess a little angry."
Larry asks if Balki is done and Balki says yes. But when Larry tries to
speak Balki starts again, saying that Larry never asks about his life.
Larry says Balki is right and that he
wonít let it happen again. "Howís your life?" "I
have no life!" Balki whines. Balki says heís happy for Larry.
"Youíre out there building your dream, climbing every mountain, fording
every stream. And Iím still folding sweatshirts for Mr. Twinkacetti."
"And that isnít enough any more, is it?" Larry asks. "Oh
Cousin, you can read me like a cheap suit!" Balki cries.
you know what you need?" Larry asks. "A reason to live?"
Balki replies. Larry says that Balki needs to find a new job and points
out there are thousands of jobs listed in the newspaper and that Balki should
take the next day off and start looking around. "Will you come with
me?" Balki asks. "I gotta work," Larry points out.
"Oh, I beg your pardon, I forgot . . . you have a life," Balki sighs.
Larry suggests Balki come down to the paper at lunch the next day so they can
plan his strategy. Balki thanks Larry and Larry apologizes again for
forgetting about the game, picking up the sandwich to eat it. As Larry
takes a bite of the sandwich Balki admits that he was a little upset.
"I stuffed a lot of peppers underneath your beef." Larry starts
coughing, choking on the hot peppers.
next day in the basement of the Chicago Chronicle we see a very elderly man
exiting the archives with some materials. He passes the mail desk which is
piled high with sacks of mail, then makes his way past Larryís desk, which is
the only one set up in this area. "How are you today, Mr.
Feldman?" Larry asks nicely. "Not dead," Mr. Feldman
answers. The elevator doors open and people pile out as the elevator
operator steps out and announces, "Okay, basement level . . . mailroom,
storage, archives, garage and Appletonís desk." She smiles at Larry
and says hi and Larry answers, "Hi, Harriette."
One of the last men to walk off the
elevator talks to two reporters, giving them their assignments. This is
Mr. Burns, the city editor and Larryís boss (although his name isnít
actually mentioned until much later in the show). He turns to Larry
saying, "Applegate." "Thatís Appleton, sir," Larry
corrects his boss, who then asks if he got the list of the aldermen who drive
foreign cars, which Larry confirms and shows proudly. His boss compliments
the work and tells Larry to find out if the governor drives a foreign car.
Larry says heíll get
right on it and goes back to his desk.
Turning around, the editor is shocked to
see the piles of mailbags sitting there. "Why is this mail stacking
up here? Whatís going on? Whereís Gorpley?" Larry
answers that he thinks Gorpley is in his office. "Youíd think that
the head of the mailroom could at least get the mail distributed!" the
editor huffs, then turns to go into the office behind him, shouting for Gorpley.
appears at the top of the tall staircase behind Larryís desk, and starts down,
apologizing for being late and saying this is the biggest building heís ever
seen. Larry greets Balki, proud to show off his new workplace.
"I finally made it to the big time!" "You know what?"
Balki asks, "I ask everyone in the building about you and they never heard
of you!" Balki eyes the huge basement and exclaims, "Is this
your office? Itís humongous!" Larry explains that itís the
mailroom, archives, store room, "and this (indicating his desk) . . . is my
office." Balki congratulates Larry, saying, "You really stepped
in something good this time!"
Larry leads Balki behind the mail desk to
show he picked up the classifieds for Balki before they hit the street.
"Wwoww!" Balki exclaims, "Insider trading!" At this
point the editor steps out with Gorpley and asks why all the mail is there.
"This is the mailroom, sir," Gorpley explains. The editor asks
if Gorpley is going to let a great metropolitan newspaper grind to a halt
because he canít get the mail distributed. "Iím hiring someone,
itís just that he canít start for a few days," Gorpley explains.
"Well I need someone in this mailroom today!" the editor exclaims.
Seeing his chance, Balki steps forward,
excitedly shaking his hand so that his fingers click against his palm.
Eyeing Balki in confusing the editor misconstrues his anxiousness and says,
"Itís down the hall next to the water fountain." "I start
today!" Balki gasps. "Start what?" the editor asks.
"I need a job!" Balki pants. "Whatís your name?" the
editor asks. "I have no idea!" Balki says, too nervous to think.
Larry steps forward and introduces Balki, saying he can vouch for him.
"What kind of a car does the governor drive?" the editor asks.
"I donít know, sir," Larry admits. "Do you think you can
get that information for me today? Do you need a dime? What is
it?" Larry hurries back to his desk.
"You need a job?" the editor
asks Balki. "Yes!" Balki says excitedly. "Weíll
give you a try," the editor offers. Balki thanks the man, hugging him
tightly, much to the editorís shock. "Weíll see if it works
out," the editor adds, adding that Gorpley will show him around.
Balki holds on to the editorís hand in gratitude. "I have to go
now," the editor says. "Itís right down the hall next to the
water fountain," Balki offers.
The elevator door opens and man exits.
The editor is immediately on him, yelling "Lance! Did you finish that
column?" as he chases him toward the parking garage. Larry walks over
to Balki to congratulate him on getting the job. "Cousin, isnít it
wonderful? Weíll be working together! Now we are so happy, we do
the Dance of Joy!" Larry stops Balki before he can really get
started, turning to note that Mr. Gorpley is still standing behind them.
They settle for a handshake instead.
I get it!" Gorpley sneers. "Cousin! I see, itís all
falling into place. Can you say Ďnepotismí?" Balki says
heíll try but before he can Larry asks, "Nepotism?" to which Balki
cries, "He asked me!" "You get a job working for the
city editor . . . next thing you know you start bringing in your family,"
Gorpley accuses Larry, "Well, your family may have gotten you in here, but
I decide if you stay." Gorpley moves to walk upstairs and Balki stops
him, asking if he isnít going to teach him the tricks of the trade.
"Figure them out for yourself," Gorpley snarls, and leaves.
"Well, Mr. Gorpley must have a lot of confidence in me!" Balki says
Harriette, who has been standing outside
the elevator ever since Lance exited, interrupts by saying, "Excuse me . .
. the only thing Gorpley has is
a nephew who needs a job . . . and you just took it!" She motions for
them to approach her as she gives Balki some advice. "Youíd better
be careful. One mistake, and you gone!" Harriette walks back
into the elevator and Balki follows her, thanking her. Larry introduces
them, "Balki Bartokomous, this is Harriette Winslow. Harriette runs
the elevator here." "Oh, well your job must have its ups and
downs," Balki comments, laughing at his own joke.
A nervous Lance approaches, asking,
"Is this elevator going up?" "No," Harriette quips,
"This week itís going sideways!" Larry goes back to his desk
as Harriette closes the elevator door. Balki notices the elevator button
and presses it to find it buzzes. He stands pressing it and singing to it
when Harriette opens the door and says, "Donít do that, baby!"
comes down the stairs carrying a large wire basket full of mail. He takes
Balki over to the mail table and says he wants him to sort the envelopes in
order of zip codes. "These donít have no zip codes," Balki
points out. "Hey, you wanna quit?" Gorpley asks hopefully.
Balki says no, that he wants to do the best job he can. "You know
what I think?" Gorpley asks, "I think this time tomorrow youíre
going to be history." "Oh, well thank you for the vote of
confidence," Balki smiles, "I think weíd better wait Ďtil Iíve
earned it." Gorpley goes back into his office and Larry eyes Balki
with a slightly worried expression as Balki smiles obliviously.
The second act opens with Balki standing
at his mail table, singing "Return to Sender" as he works and dances.
Larry appears at the top of the stairs and starts down, calling to Balki.
"Look at me, Cousin, Iím a mailman!" Balki exclaims as he carries
two mail sacks to his table (knocking a bunch of stuff off the back table as he
does so). Larry warns Balki to look busy because Gorpley is coming.
Balki says heís been busy since four
"Okay, Balki, watch yourself!"
Larry warns. Balki immediately stops in a tense pose, looking down at
himself. "Be careful!" Larry clarifies, "Gorpley told his
secretary heís going to get rid of the kid from Mypos today."
"Oooh!" Balki gasps, "Point well taken, Cousin!" As
Larry walks away Balki suddenly starts. "Do you think he means me?"
"I think so," Larry answers as he goes back to his desk, offering,
"Hang in there . . . you can beat this!"
Balki empties the two mail bags into his
table and then struggles to gather all of the loose mail into his arms, ending
him in a squat position as he
carries them toward the back of the mailroom. Gorpley exits the elevator
carrying three boxes and calling to Balki, who has to turn awkwardly with all
the mail in his arms. "Well, you look like youíve got time to
kill," Gorpley says coldly, walking over to the mail table and motioning
for Balki to join him. Balki laboriously carries the mail back to the
table and stands, still bent over, as Gorpley speaks.
"I volunteered you to address the
company Christmas cards . . . by hand. And I need them this
afternoon." "Excuse me," Larry interjects, "Isnít it
a little early for Christmas cards?" "I want to avoid the
holiday rush," Gorpley explains. He looks back at Balki and snidely
remarks, "Merry Christmas." Balki quickly puts the mail heís
holding onto the table and wishes Gorpley a Merry Christmas in return.
"I donít know why everybody calls you a slime bucket," Balki offers
sincerely. Gorpley slinks back into his office.
editor appears at the top of the stairs, calling out "Applebaum?"
Larry corrects his name and meets his boss halfway up the stairs, then follows
him back down. The editor says heís short-handed and needs to turn an
assignment over to Larry. He explains thereís a bunch of kids at the
Kinsey Youth Center holding a demonstration about someone wanting to pave over
their ball park to create a parking lot and that he wants Larry to check it out.
Larry pulls out his camera bag and says he will get some pictures the paper will
be proud of. "Pictures? I donít need pictures. I need a
story. In your job interview you said youíd done some reporting."
Larry explains this is true but that his principle field is photography.
"I have my own camera, my own lenses, my own film . . . . "
"Now youíve got your own pencil," the editor offers, handing him a
pencil, "You can write,
canít you?" "Write? Oh me? You bet! Yes, I
write constantly . . . Iím a writing fool." Larry says heíll have
that first thing tomorrow morning. The editor points out that theyíre a
daily newspaper and that he needs the story by 4:30. At this moment the
editor spots Lance at the top of the stairs and chases after him again.
Balki comments that he didnít know Larry
could write. Larry is putting on his coat as Harriette stands watching.
"Of course I can!" Larry explains, "I studied journalism in
college. I know the five Wís of reporting . . . who, what, how, when . .
. how? No, howís an H. How . . . what . . . who . . . who . . .
hoo boy, Iím in trouble!"
Later that day Larry is sitting at his
desk with paper everywhere and a pencil in his hand, in his mouth and behind his
ear. Heís looking pained as he reads over the paper in his hand.
At his worktable, Balki announces heís finished the four hundred Christmas
cards. In exasperation, Larry
throws down all three of the pencils in succession and sighs. "Who am
I trying to kid?" he exclaims, "Iím not a reporter, Iím a litter
bug." Balki walks over to Larryís desk and says that Larry is being
too hard on himself. "Cop a mellow attitude!" Balki urges.
Balki smooths out one of the crinkled
pieces of paper on Larryís desk and reads it over. "Now you know,
this looks pretty good to me," he announces. "Pretty good?"
Larry says, "Pretty good, you think thatís what I want to hear from Mr.
Burns when he reads my first article? ĎPretty good, Appleberg.í"
"Appleton," Balki corrects. "I know my name!"
Larry cries. Larry moans that this is for the Chicago Chronicle and if
itís not great he wonít get a second chance.
Gorpley exits his office and calls Balki over, asking if heís finished.
Balki confirms that he has, much to Gorpleyís consternation. "This
is all of them?" he asks incredulously. "Yes, Iím sorry it
take so long but I thought that I would alphabeticalize them," Balki
explains. "You think youíre pretty smart, donít you?"
Gorpley asks. "Well, Iím no Sam Donaldson . . . " Balki shrugs
humbly. "Weíll see how smart you are," Gorpley smirks, holding
up a paper. "I need one hundred copies of this flyer. Youíve
got ten minutes." Balki explains that the copy machine is broken.
"Hey, relax! Iím looking out for ya!" Gorpley says smoothly,
"You can use the mimeograph machine." He shows he has the
stencil all set up for Balki all ready and hands it to him, repeating that he
has just ten minutes. "And if you canít do the job, I know someone
who can!" He gives Balki a phony smile as he walks up the stairs.
Larry, whoís still working on his
article, asks Balki if he needs help with the mimeograph machine. Balki
says no, then sighs, "Just . . . point it out to me." Larry gets
the machine from behind the stairs and tells Balki to wheel it to his table as
he plugs it in. Balki wheels the machine toward his
table as Larry takes the cord and moves the opposite direction to plug it in,
but the cord is too short and Larry ends up getting pulled down to the ground
when Balki wheels the machine too far and too fast.
Balki wheels the huge machine back to
where Larry can plug it in and Larry asks Balki to get the stencil and then the
paper. Larry places the stencil in the machine and sets it up for Balki
showing him how to turn it on. "Get it?" Larry asks.
"Got it!" Balki answers. "Good," Larry finishes and
goes back to his desk. Larry starts typing on his article as Balki turns
on the mimeograph machine and the copies start flying out loosely onto the floor
as Balki tries to catch them. After a moment the papers stop coming out
and Balki is flustered, not understanding why itís stopped working.
Larry asks how itís going without looking and Balki lies, saying itís going
fine and encouraging Larry to continue working on his article.
Balki stops the machine and Larry looks around, seeing Balki is having trouble.
Balki tells Larry itís no problem but Larry runs over to help anyway.
Mr. Burns appears at the top of the stairs, calling out "Applebee!"
He says he needs the article in five minutes then exits again as Larry once
again corrects his name. Larry is obviously torn between finishing his
article and helping Balki with the mimeograph. He finally decides and
walks over to Balki to help. Balki pushes Larry back to his desk, saying
he has to do his article. Larry pushes Balki back over to the mimeograph.
Balki pushes Larry back to his desk again.
Larry ends up pushing Balki aside and goes
to the machine, realizing that all the papers are jammed under the drum.
The machine starts running
again but the papers are still flying out onto the floor. Larry tells
Balki to get the paper basket to catch the copies in and Balki runs to get it.
Larry makes some adjustments to the mimeograph and turns it on again, not
realizing that his tie is now in the drum. When he turns the machine on it
pulls his tie in, pulling Larry down toward the machine and trapping him.
Balki runs back and eyes the situation in
shock. "Cousin! Itís alive! And itís hungry!" he
cries. Larry yells to turn it off but Balki tries and canít. Balki
grabs Larry by the neck and tries pulling him out of the machine, then when that
doesnít work he grabs Larryís head and then his ears and keeps pulling.
Larry cries "The plug!" repeatedly to Balki, finally grabbing Balki by
the hair and insisting, "The plug!" Balki cries ow and when
Larry releases him runs over and pulls the machineís plug out of the wall.
The machine releases its grip but still has the end of Larryís tie in the
elevator door opens and Mr. Burns steps out, calling "Appleton! Where
is the story?" Unable to move away from the machine, Larry explains
that something came up and he still has a bit of polishing to do. In an
attempt to help, Balki grabs a pair of scissors and without a word cuts
Larryís tie in half, freeing him. "This is news, not
silverware!" Mr. Burns cries, "I need a story!"
Balki runs to Larry desk and picks up one
of the wrinkled paper lying there and hands it to Mr. Burns, saying it was his
fault that he accidentally threw Larryís article away but that heís found
it. Larry tries to explain thatís not the final version as Mr. Burns
reads it but the editor stops Larry, saying "Itís pretty good."
Larry is happy to hear this. Mr. Burns smiles, saying, "See you on Monday,
Appleton! Then maybe you can explain to me why you were trying to
mimeograph your tie!" Mr. Burns walks into the store room.
did you hear that?" Larry asks excitedly. "Yes! He got your name
right!" Balki answers. "No, no, he said I did a great job!"
Larry corrects. "Well, what he actually said was Ďpretty
good,í" Balki points out, "which, as you remember, I also said . . .
. " Mr. Gorpley exits the elevator, looking at his watch and happily
announcing, "Timeís up, Bartkomous!" Balki scrambles to gather
the mimeographed copies from the floor as Larry stops Gorpley, trying to
distract him. When this doesnít work, Larry says, "Mr. Gorpley, you
have got a goldmine here! Just look at him! Youíll never find
anyone who will work as hard as he will! How can you fire a man like
that?" Balki stands, holding the messy copies in his hands, and says,
"Mr. Gorpley, I have only nineteen flyers. I have failed you."
"Yes, you have . . . youíre fired," Gorpley states flatly, then
turns to Larry. "See how easy it was?" he smirks.
Larry is incensed, saying Gorpley wonít
get away with it and that Balki has done everything heís been asked to and
that the man has no right to
fire him. At this moment Harriette steps forward, having heard the
conversation. "Excuse me, sugar," she tells Larry,
"youíre going about this the wrong way." She steps past Larry
and begins, "Gorpley . . . I was gonna save this for something big, but I
like the kid. Now either he stays or I tell your wife what you were doiní
with Miss Passerelli in my elevator during the Christmas party!"
Gorpley tries to feign innocence, stating, "I donít know what youíre
talking about!" "Can you say Ďalimonyí?" Harriette
asks. Readnig Harrietteís serious face, Gorpley finally says, "Hey,
I like the kid, too!" He turns to Balki and says he can stay and can
finish the flyers next week. Gorpley turns to give Harriette a nasty look,
which Harriette returns even stronger. Gorpley goes back to his office.
hugs Harriette and thanks her. "Well, I figured someone had to look
out for you," she smiles, going back to her elevator. Larry steps
forward and shakes Balkiís hand. "Congratulations, Balki, youíre
going to be here next week!" "Well, weíll both be here next
week!" Balki smiles. "I was here last week!" Harriette
interrupts, "Wanít no big deal!"
Back at the apartment, the cousins hurry
in the door with the latest edition of the newspaper and hurry to the kitchen
table where they sit down. "All right," says Larry,
"Letís see what Larry Appleton has to say about the protest at the Kinsey
Youth Center." They open the paper with a gasp together, scanning all
four corners before ripping open the next page with the same gasp and same four
corner scanning. They repeat this with each turn of the page, going faster
and faster until they are both left breathless and dizzy.
Larry rifles through towards the back of the paper until he finally finds the
article. Balki offers to read it but does so very slowly so Larry takes
the paper and reads it aloud. "Students at the Kinsey Youth Center
staged a demonstration to protest the building of a parking lot over their ball
field. A spokesman for the builders of the parking facility promised to
meet with the students to discuss their grievances." Larry basks in
the moment as Balki is moved to tears. "That was beautiful!"
Larry points out that the article
wouldnít have made it into the paper if Balki hadnít fished it out of the
trash. Balki points out that Larry helped him with his work when he was on
a deadline, and Larry insists that he just saw Balki was in trouble.
"But you risked your job for
me!" Balki says, going to get a photo album from the cupboard, as well as a
bottle of rubber cement. "Aw, it was instinct," Larry explains,
"You know, Balki, I think working together at the newspaper is going to be
great!" Balki agrees as he opens the scrapbook and opens the rubber
cement then looks down at the article which Larry has cut out of the paper.
"Cousin, your first newspaper article!" Balki moves to take it
but Larry does a little more trimming. "The first of many!"
Balki adds, as Larry does still more trimming and so Balki applies a large
amount of rubber cement to the scrapbook page in preparation. "And
you know what? Youíre going to have to buy a bigger scrapbook!"
Larry finally hands Balki the article, which is a tiny square of newspaper, even
smaller than the area of rubber cement Balki has slathered on the blank
scrapbook page. "But not for a long, long time," Balki adds,
placing the little article on the big page.
There are some major
differences between the shooting script dated May 21, 1987 and the episode which
character of Lance was originally referred to as just "Passenger."
The first scene is essentially the same.
At the start of the second scene the Chronicle mailroom is described this way:
"Chronicle employees are returning from or hurrying out to lunch. A
mailman wheels in a small shopping cart of letters and manila envelopes and
dumps it on the mailroom counter. He exits. Larry is at his desk
hurriedly going through some reference books and old newspaper clippings.
An elderly man (Mr. Feldman) comes out of the archives room carrying an armload
of books. He crosses the room, passing Larry. "How are you
today, Mr. Feldman?" Larry asks. "Not dead," Mr. Feldman
replies. "Better than yesterday," Larry responds. (Mr.
Feldman is not credited in the script)
When Mr. Burns first addresses Larry he calls him "Appleman" instead
of "Applegate." Larry also responds by saying, "That's
Appleton, Mr. Burns," naming him earlier than would appear in the show.
When Mr. Burns tells Larry to find out if the Governor drives a foreign car,
Larry asks, "How do I do that, sir?" "Call the
Governor," Mr. Burns answers. "I can call the Governor?"
Larry asks with surprise. "You work for the Chronicle, son," Mr.
Burns explains, "You can call anyone you want." "What
should I say?" Larry asks. "How about, 'What kind of car do you
drive? Foreign or domestic?' These are the easy assignments,
son," Mr. Burn says. Then Larry says he'll get right on it.
Originally the mail person was supposed to re-enter and dump more letters on the
mail desk at this point, prompting Mr. Burns to ask where Gorpley is.
After Mr. Gorpley points out that he gets to decide if Balki stays he simple
exits and Balki comments to Larry, "I don't understand. Mr. Gorpley
doesn't seem to like me." "He doesn't," Harriette
interjects, and then she explains how Balki took the job from Gorpley's nephew.
Balki asks Harriette is the basement is her office, too (either that or he's
referring to the elevator.)
After Balki jokes about Harriette's job having its ups and downs, Harriette
warns, "Don't do that." Larry explains, "Harriette doesn't
like elevator jokes." "Oh, sorry," Balki apologizes.
After the man approaches and asks if this elevator is going up, Harriette
responds, "No, this week it's going sideways. First time in an
When Gorpley returns it's with a large stack of colored paper. "Okay,
Bartokomous, I want these newsletters collated. Think you can handle
that?" "Well, of course I can. Don't be ridiculous,"
Balki scoffs, then he adds, "How long should I let them collate?"
Gorpley smirks and says, "Excuse me, I'm going to call my nephew and give
him the good news," then he exits. This was the end of Act One.
At the beginning of Act Two, Balki is described as a "flurry of activity,
singing "Return to Sender." He has "Post-Its" stuck to
After Larry says he's in trouble before going to work on the news story, he
heads for the parking lot. "Good luck, Cousin," Balki offers.
Larry exits. Harriette walks over to his desk, picks up his notebook and
heads for the door. Larry re-enters and sees the notebook in her hands and
grabs it. Harriette tells him, as if he were a child, "Who, what,
when, where and why." "Right, thanks," Larry says.
Larry exits, writing the five W's in his notebook. To himself he mumbles,
"Who? What? Where? When? Why?"
After finishing the 400 Christmas cards, Balki tries to put his pen down but
can't let go of it. He grabs a ruler with his left hand and pries his
right one open, releasing the pen (although, as we know, Balki was left handed!)
Larry is seen typing with confidence before he stops, looks at the paper and
then rips it out of the typewriter (this instead of throwing down the pencils.)
When Larry is yelling, "The plug, the plug," Balki is confused and
asks, "The 'pug?' The 'pug?' What's a 'pug?'"
The rest of the script is pretty much the same.
on to the next episode . . .