Strangers Episode Guide
31 - Sexual Harassment in Chicago
First Air Date:
October 7, 1987
Nielsen Rating: 17.0 HH
TV Guide Description: Balki
has a lot to learn about American women, especially the worldly Olivia Crawford,
editor of the paper's Sunday magazine section, who's pursuing the free-spirited
Created by: Dale McRaven
Paula A. Roth
Directed by: Joel Zwick
Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton
Jo Marie Payton-France: Harriette Winslow
Gerald Gordon: Jack Flynn, Managing Editor
Special Guest Star:
Holland Taylor: Olivia Crawford
Dimitri does not appear in this episode but is mentioned.
"Well, be that as that may be . . . "
"Get out of the city!"
"When do you think Olivia will hit the fan?"
ridiculous: Said once
used in this episode:
"Oh, go on with you!"
"Get out of the city!"
Other running jokes
used in this episode:
Balki playfully shoves someone a bit too hard
In this episode we learn both Balki and Larry are both virgins.
- Balki shouting "Come on down!" is a reference to Johnny
Olsenís (and later Rod Roddyís) common call on the long-running television
game show The Price is Right, from which host Bob Barker just recently
It was exciting to see Holland Taylor make a one-time special guest
appearance on the show. Fans knew her best from her previous star turn as
Ruth Dunbar on the Miller/Boyett show, Bosom Buddies. She would
become a regular on another short-lived Miller/Boyett program for TGIF entitled Going
Places. She has made countless television and movie appearances and
currently can be seen on the hit CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men.
- During one television interview Bronson explained
that he felt it was important that at some point in the series it be established
that both Balki and Larry are still virgins, which was accomplished quite
uniquely in this episode in a way that got the point across in a tactful manner.
- When Larry opens the door to reveal Olivia
striking a seductive pose, the director uses a soft filter on Camera C (the
camera to the far right of the set). Filters such as these were typically
used to make women look sexy. However the filter remains on the
camera, so all shots in the scene taken with that camera have a softer look than
the rest of the footage.
- Gerald Gordon made a one-time appearance in this
episode as the Chronicle managing editor, Jack (IMDb lists his name as Flynn,
which may well be the characterís last name but is not mentioned in the show
itself). This character would not recur in the series. He also made
some appearances on the Miller/Boyett series Valerie. Sadly Mr.
Gordon passed away in 2001.
- Balki gives their address in this episode as 535 Wilson, Apt. 207.
Their address was never really given out consistently the same throughout the
series, but the most common one as the series progressed was 711 Caldwell
Avenue, Apt. 209.
- Balki tells Olivia Crawford that he has a
tapestry from home which his sister Yanna made. However the tapestry he
shows her is the same one he made for Larry for the Christmas episode the
previous year! Also in later episodes Balki would have no sister Yanna . .
. in fact he would say he is an only child!
As the episode begins we see Larry and Balki working in the basement of The
Chronicle; Larry is filing something and Balki is sorting papers. An
older, sophisticated-looking woman appears at the top of the stairway and loudly
announces in a grand manner, "Well hello darlings, here I am!"
"Well, come on down!" Balki calls back just as loudly. Balki
looks at Larry and asks, "Who is that?" "Thatís Olivia
Crawford, editor of the Sunday Magazine," Larry explains.
Larry is immediately fawning at Olivia
Crawfordís side, offering his hand and saying heís always wanted to meet
her. "Of course you have!" she smiles vainly, "And you are
. . . . ?" "Larry Appleton." She says he is exactly
the person sheís come to see. "This paper has a rather tiresome
policy of asking new people to write something for the
Sunday Magazine. And you, I understand, are new." Larry says he
loves the Sunday Magazine. Olivia suggests he come up with a couple of
ideas and theyíll see if somethingís suitable. "Thank you!"
Larry says enthusiastically, "Iíll do my best! This means a lot to
me! Itís a dream come true! I . . . Iím sorry . . . I . . . I donít
mean to gush." "Too late!" Olivia scolds teasingly.
Balki calls "Miss Crawford!" and
steps forward, handing her a bundle of letters. "Hereís your
mail." "Uh, thatís Olivia, darling," she corrects.
"Oh well, if youíre Olivia Darling this is not you mail," Balki
says, taking the letters back. Olivia takes her letters back and says she
is Olivia Crawford, "And you are a delight!" "Well,
actually Iím a Mypiot," Balki says. "Whatís your name,
dear?" Olivia asks. "Balki Bartokomous." "Ah,
from the Mediterranean, right?" she asks. "Well, actually you go
to the Mediterranean and turn left," Balki explains. "Well of
course you do," Olivia says with a twinkle in her eye, "With a face
like that you can turn any way you want! Welcome to the Chronicle,
darling." Balki thanks her as she heads back upstairs.
When Olivia is out of earshot Larry leaps
up and runs to Balkiís table, excitedly exclaiming, "This is great!
Iím going to write an article for the Sunday magazine section! Do you
know what that means?" "No, I donít!" Balki says just as
enthusiastically. "Iíll tell you what that means . . . it means I
get byline! It means people will take notice! It means Iím on my
way to the big time!" "The big time?" Balki asks with
surprise, "Well, why would you want to leave your job and join the
circus?" "Thatís the big top," Larry answers.
next day we see Larry and Balki working again in the basement; Larry is writing
on a pad of paper and Balki is sorting mail. Larry looks at the writing he
has done and exclaims, "Yes! Yes! Ooh, I am good!"
"Did you finally beat yourself at tic-tac-toe?" Balki asks.
Larry gets up from his desk and hurries to Balki, explaining that he finally
thought of a title for his article for the Sunday Magazine. "Itís
about how a lot of neighborhoods in this town are losing their ethnic
character," Larry says, then asks, "What do you think . . . Is
Chicago Disappearing?" Larry waits for Balkiís reaction, as Balki
thinks about this. "Well, I . . . I donít know," Balki finally
offers, adding, "When you work in a basement you miss so much."
Larry stares at Balki incredulously.
elevator door opens and Harriette steps aside as people pile out.
Oliviaís voice can be heard from the back, telling people to "Move along,
please!" Finally a harried Olivia exits last. "Harriette,
from now on I prefer to travel alone!" she snarls. "That makes
two of us, baby!" Harriette smirks as she goes back to work.
Olivia approaches Larry and asks how his
article is coming. "Great!" Larry informs her, "I think I
finally came up with a title." Before he can finish reading the title
Olivia interrupts while she digs into her purse, "Oh, for heavenís sakes,
I have gone and left my car keys on my desk . . . Larry, would you be a dear and
run up and get them for me?" Larry is surprised by this request but
complies, saying heíll run the article idea by her later. "Of
course!" she smiles. Larry hurries up the stairs.
is lifting mailbags onto his work table as Olivia approaches him.
"My, my, my . . . how very easily you lift those big heavy bags onto the
table," she fawns, "Iím impressed!" Balki gives her a
playful (and strong) shove, throwing her off balance, as he says, "Oh, go
on with you!" Olivia insists that she means it, asking "Where did you
get such marvelous muscles?" "Lifting sheep, I suppose,"
Balki answers. "Ah yes, of course . . . you were a sheepherder back
on Mypos, werenít you? Ah, that must have been so peaceful!"
"Oh yes, yes," Balki confirms, "sitting on the hillside . . .
listening to the goat bells in the distance . . . watching papa sheep eat the
grass. They have four stomachs you know. And when one of them
stomach goes bad everything just backs up and backs up . . . . "
Balki away from that particular topic, Olivia asks, "But youíre so very
far from home, Balki, donít you get homesick sometimes?"
"Well, sometimes," Balki admits, "but I bring some things with me
that remind me of home. I have Dimitri, of course . . . heís my stuffed
sheep. And I have a beautiful tapestry that my sister Yanna made . . . .
" "You donít mean it!" Olivia interrupts, "What an
extraordinary coincidence . . . I just happen to have a rather extensive
collection myself!" "Get out of the city!" Balki gasps,
"You collect stuffed sheep, too?" "No, tapestries,
Olivia suggests that she come over to see
his tapestry, that sheíll be right in his neighborhood that evening.
Balki agrees that would be wonderful as Olivia takes out a little black book and
says, "Now where exactly is it that you live?" Balki gives her
his address and then asks if she will be driving herself. When she says
she is Balki says he can save her fifteen minutes and begins to tell her how to
go to avoid construction on Holstead, but he has to turn around to get his
bearings to give her the proper directions.
his back is turned to Olivia she begins to blow seductively on his neck.
Each time she does so Balki stops talking and looks around, trying to figure out
where the apparent draft is coming from. Balki tells her that she will
make a hard right and turns around as Olivia steps forward and kisses him on the
lips, much to his shock. He looks embarrassed, mumbling, "Miss
Crawford . . . !" "Call me Olivia!" she says passionately
as she locks her arms around him and kisses him, throwing him down onto the
worktable as she does so. Once done, she stands up, saying, "I should
be there about seven!" She heads to the parking garage, pulling her
car keys out of her purse as she walks and saying, "Oh would you look at
that? I had my keys the whole time! See you later, dear boy!"
On Balkiís shocked and frazzled look the scene fades.
two opens with Balki still lying across his worktable. Larry appears at
the top of the stairs, running down as he apologizes to Olivia Crawford for not
being able to find her keys. He realizes that Olivia isnít there and
then sees Balki on his table and walks over. "Did Ms. Crawford
leave?" he asks. "Yes," Balki answers, still in shock.
"Did she find her keys?" "Oh, yes!" "Are
you feeling okay?" "Oh, no."
Larry asks Balki what happened.
"Cousin, something just happened that I donít understand," Balki
begins, "When youíre alone with a woman and she say that she want to come
over to your house to see your tapestry, does that mean what I think it
means?" "Welllll . . . " Larry hums, "could mean
sheís just interested in tapestries." "Okay," Balki tries
again, "what about if youíre alone with a woman and she kiss you so hard
that your eyeballs roll back up into your head?" "That means
what you think it means," Larry replies.
wants to know who the girl is. "Is this Laura from classified?"
he asks. "No," Balki answers, "Olivia."
"Olivia Crawford?" Larry asks in disbelief. "No, Olivia
Newton-John!" Balki says sarcastically, "Of course Olivia
Crawford!" Larry laughs in a condescending manner, saying, "Balki,
I donít mean to hurt your feelings . . . . " "But youíre
going to," Balki interrupts. "Olivia is an executive and you are
just a lowly little mail boy. Come on, letís go home."
As Larry starts to pack his briefcase and
Balki climbs off the table, Larry continues by saying, "People like her
donít get involved with people like us." "Well, be that as
that may be," Balki starts, "but sheís coming over tonight."
"She is?" Larry asks in surprise, asking why. "She says she
wants to see my tapestry," Balki answers, "what should I do?"
"Show her your
tapestry," Larry suggests. "But what if she wants to see
more?" Balki asks.
Larry says heís sure that itís
nothing. "And even if it were, you can take care of yourself!
Youíve been with women before." Off Balkiís expression, Larry
offers, "I mean on Mypos! Iím sure the milkmaids were all over you!
You probably had to beat Ďem off with a crook! Am I right? Huh?
Huh?" When Balki doesnít answer, Larry realizes, "Youíre as
pure as the driven snow, arenít you?" Balki eyes Larry, then asks,
"Arenít you?" Larry thinks a moment, trying to decide whether
or not to answer that question, then responds with, "If itíll make you
feel better, Iíll stay home with you tonight." Balki thanks him and
they leave work.
the apartment that night Balki and Larry are standing near the kitchen when
there is a knock at the door. "Thatís Olivia," Balki says
worriedly, "What should I do?" "Maybe we should open the
door," Larry suggests. Larry walks to the door to open it with Balki
right behind him. As the door swings open we see Olivia "posed"
in a sexy manner in the doorway, but when she sees Larry she falters then tries
to compose herself.
"Hello, Larry, I wasnít expecting
you here," Olivia says. "I live here," Larry explains, "Balki
and I are cousins." "Oh," Olivia sighs, not hiding her
disappointment, "How nice." Balki asks Olivia if she wonít
come in, which she does as she explains, "Actually I was supposed to be at
the mayorís for cocktails fifteen minutes ago. I wonder if you would
mind terribly if I just took a quick look at the tapestry and then hit the
road." A relieved Balki replies, "Well, you should have called!
I would have run it down to your car!" He heads for his bedroom to
get it as Olivia sits down on the couch.
follows Balki back to the bedroom and stops him to talk. "Balki, I
think Ms. Crawford just wants to look at the tapestry." "Color
me embarrassed," Balki sighs, "I did not understand why she came.
I have so much to learn about American women." "Reams!"
Larry agrees. Larry says that if he leaves now he can still get some
research done at the library and asks Balki if he can go. Balki says of
course and thanks Larry for showing him how wrong he was. "Hey,
itís why Iím here!" Larry smiles.
Balki goes into his bedroom to get the
tapestry and Larry gets his jacket and briefcase and apologizes that he canít
stay. "Oh!" Olivia says with happy surprise, then adds a sad,
"Oh" to cover it. "I have to go to the library. I
hear the editor of the Sunday magazine is tough on people who donít make their
deadlines." "They tell me sheís hell on wheels!" Olivia
jokes, then adds, "Well, donít just stand there grinning . . . get out
there and get me a story!" "Iím gone!" Larry
laughs, and leaves, stopping at the door to smile and nod again.
Once Larry is gone Olivia digs into her
purse and pulls out some perfume, spraying it on her neck and around her head.
She tucks it away as Balki enters from the bedroom with the tapestry. As
Balki reaches the couch he stops, coughing and choking from the smell, then
comments, "Cousin Larry should go easy on the cheap cologne!"
Balki spreads out the tapestry for Olivia to look at and she says itís
exquisite. "Do you like it?" Balki asks excitedly.
"Oh yes!" Olivia enthuses.
Balki runs around to sit on the couch next to Olivia, explaining that it is a
very special tapestry. "It show the entire history of the island of
Mypos. For instance, this represent Ferdinand Mypos discovering that Mypos
is an island." "You mean this little man who appears to be
drowning?" Olivia asks. "Yes. He made the discovery when
he was trying to walk to Italy." Balki moves to Oliviaís other side
to show another part of the tapestry. "This over here . . . this
represent the Great Tomato Famine. It was terrible. Thousands and
thousands of tomatoes died!" "Fascinating!" Olivia smiles
Balki says he has to tell Olivia something
to get it off his chest. "Well, when . . . when you kissed me I
thought for just a second that maybe it wasnít a ĎHello, Balki, how are you
today?í kiss, I thought it might have been a . . . more of a . . . ĎHi,
sailor, new in town?í kind of kiss." "Well, you donít feel
bad now, do you, Balki?" Olivia asks. "Well, of course not,
donít be ridiculous!" Balki answers, giving Olivia a playful shove to the
face. "Well, tell me," Olivia starts, leaning closer to him,
"What do you feel like now?" "Well, I feel very
comfortable!" Balki assures her, "Just like Iím at home with
her best to ignore that last remark, Olivia sets the tapestry aside.
"Well, Iím very glad, Balki, because I certainly wouldnít want you to
be afraid of me. You see, itís very rare that a person such as yourself
comes into oneís life; a complete innocent, pure and unsullied. A blank
page upon which someone . . . perhaps someone like myself . . . can write a tale
of searing passion." Olivia leans over and gives Balki a soft peck on
the cheek, which Balki smiles about innocently. She then kisses him again
on the cheek and he squeals shyly. Suddenly sheís all over him, kissing
his neck, which causes Balki to be shocked. "Mama never did
that," he says nervously.
gets up and walks around to the side of the couch as Balki backs away from her,
although she leans over the couch to kiss him anyway. "Ms. Crawford .
. . I donít approve of this! You see . . . you see, I come from a
country where people believe that they should get married before they do some of
the things that you and I have already done." Undeterred, Olivia
launches herself onto the couch on top of Balki and starts kissing him
passionately as Balki struggles.
There is the sound of keys outside the
door and Olivia tries to sit innocently on the back of the couch but falls
clumsily behind it. She stands up and acts casual just as the door opens
and Larry enters. "I forgot my library card!" Larry says with a
laugh. Olivia smiles but Larry takes in the scene of Balki lying
disheveled on the couch and Olivia trying to look innocent. "Whatís
going on here?" Larry asks. Balki eyes Larry incredulously then
finally yells, "Are you blind???"
you have someplace to go?" Olivia asks Larry. "No, he
doesnít," Balki insists as he sits up. "Cousin, sheís all
over me like a wet t-shirt." "Well, this doesnít seem like a
very good time," Olivia sighs, "Oh, if I hurry I can still make it to
the Mayorís. Now, Balki, why donít we continue this some other time
and some other place . . . someplace where we can have a little privacy.
What do you say to Mickeyís Hideaway . . . Tuesday evening?"
"Mickeyís Hideaway?" Larry asks in a shocked voice, "Isnít
that the adult motel with the waterbeds and the mirrors and the movies?"
Balki and Olivia both eye Larry with surprise, causing him to explain,
"Iíve seen the ads."
Crawford," Balki says, "I donít want to hurt your feelings, but
Iím busy Tuesday nights for the rest of my life." Olivia is
obviously not happy about this answer as she gets up from the couch.
"Balki, let me try and say this in a way which even you will understand.
I am Olivia Crawford. I am an extremely powerful woman at The Chronicle.
And ĎGoodbye, Oliviaí means ĎHello, unemployment!í" Larry is
shocked at his statement, stating, "You canít get away with this!"
"Youíd be surprised what I can get away with," Olivia sneers,
walking out the door with a "Ciao!" "Goodbye, Olivia,"
Balki says politely after her, then with realization he looks at Larry and adds,
"Hello, unemployment!" Larry pats Balkiís shoulder and says,
"Donít you worry, buddy. Iím not going to let you take this lying
down!" Off Balkiís look, Larry adds, "Well, you know what I
in The Chronicleís basement, Balki and Larry sit at Larryís desk, waiting.
"Cousin, do you think weíre doing the right thing?" Balki asks.
"Yes, weíre doing the right thing," Larry assures him, "She
canít get away with sexual harassment!" "I donít want you to
lose your job," Balki worries. "Balki, we built a very strong
case here. Frank Kublick from Classified lost his job because of her.
So did Tommy Dugan in Security and Jeff Maxwell on the loading dock. This
lady has got to be stopped and this is the right way to do it."
"When do you think Olivia will hit the fan?" Balki asks.
"Any minute now," Larry speculates.
The elevator door opens and Harriette
steps out, warning Balki and Larry to "Look out, baby!" as an enraged
Olivia exits behind her, holding a sheet of paper. "What do you call
this?" she demands. "Itís a copy of the a complaint I sent to
the managing editor," Larry explains, "Weíre charging you with
sexual harassment." "Ha! Youíre bluffing!" she scoffs.
steps forward, saying, "I carried it up to him in my very own muscular
arms." "Well, itís not going to work, you know!" Olivia
laughs, tearing up the paper and throwing it on Larryís desk.
The managing editor comes down the stairs,
also holding a piece of paper. He spots Olivia and says, "Olivia!
Iím glad youíre here! Appleton, I read your memo. You make some
very damaging allegations in here." "Everything I wrote is
true," Larry says confidently, "I even have photocopies of the
registration cards from Mickeyís Hideaway. Ms. Crawford has a suite
named after her." "And if you donít believe him you can dust
my body for her fingerprints," Balki adds. "I donít think that
will be necessary," the managing editor says.
what do you have to say about this?" the editor asks her. Acting
shocked and appalled, Olivia cries, "Well, look at him! You donít
seriously think Iíd throw myself at a mail boy, do you?"
"Three people say theyíve lost their jobs because of you!" the
editor points out. "Well . . . Jack, Jack, Jack!" Olivia says,
"I mean people get fired, theyíve got to blame somebody! Now these
kids, whom I scarcely know, are trying to slander me! God knows what I
ever did to them!" "I know," Balki interrupts.
The managing editor steps forward, saying,
"Olivia, give me a little credit! Iím a newspaper man! I
Appletonís sources. And they confirm the rumors Iíve been hearing
about you for years. Now Iíd like to give you the opportunity to
resign." Olivia stands aghast, saying, "I have no intention of
resigning!" "I was hoping you would say that!" the editor
beams, "That way I can say this . . . youíre fired!" He turns
to Larry and Balki and comments, "That felt good!" Olivia acts
unphased, snapping her fingers at them. "What do I need with this
two-bit paper anyway? I think itís time I took a bite out of the Big
Apple!" She turns to get into the elevator but Harriette blocks her
way. "No way, lady! Employees only!" Olivia Crawford
slinks away to the parking garage and Harriette smiles, saying "Mmm, that does
The managing editor tells Balki and Larry,
"You two should feel proud of yourselves! A lot of people wouldnít
have had the guts to blow the whistle on her. Werenít you afraid of
losing your jobs?" "We decided weíd rather not work for a
newspaper that would fire its employees for telling the truth," Larry
explains. "How about that?" the editor exclaims, "I have
Woodward and Bernstein in
my basement! Not bad!" He turns and exits into the elevator.
"Well, Balki, Olivia Crawford
didnít get away with it that time," Larry states. "Oh Cousin,
Iím sorry that helping me means you donít get an article in the Sunday
magazine," Balki sighs. Larry suddenly realizes this is true with
some disappointment. "Cousin, donít think I donít appreciate it
because I do!" Balki assures him, "And the future woman of my dreams
thanks you, too! Because thanks to you she be able to spend her wedding
night the way it was meant to be . . . with a husband who has absolutely no idea
of what heís doing."
on to the next episode . . .