Strangers Episode Guide
40 - To Be or Not To Be
First Air Date:
January 6, 1988
Nielsen Rating: 17.3 HH
TV Guide Description: Balki
and Larry are chosen over other staffers to appear in a Chronicle TV commercial,
but the actor who finally ends up with the choice part comes as a complete
surprise to them both.
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Robert Blair
Directed by: Joel Zwick
Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton
Rebeca Arthur: Mary Anne
Melanie Wilson: Jennifer Lyons
Belita Moreno: Lydia Markham
Jo Marie Payton-France: Harriette Winslow
Steve Vinovich: Joel Berry, Director
Don Woodard: Miles, Assistant Director
Appearances: Dimitri can be seen on the bookcase dressed as a Hollywood
star with sunglasses and even some gold bling around his neck.
"Cousin Larry is thinking of becoming a professional lesbian!"
"Cousin, youíre at least a two-bit player!"
ridiculous: Said once.
used in this episode:
"Balki, Balki, Balki . . . "
Other running jokes
used in this episode:
Joking about Larryís lack of an upper lip
Larry drinking antacid from the bottle
"Together (Wherever We Go)" - sung by Harriette and Lydia as they
audition for the director, Joel Berry.
"Tomorrow" - sung by Balki when he accidentally mistakes the song from
Annie for the song "Tonight" from West Side Story.
- The title of the episode is a line from
Shakespeare's Hamlet, a quintessential piece for any actor. It is
also the title of a classic Jack Benny movie directed by Ernst Lubitsh which was
remade in 1983 by Mel Brooks.
- This is the first episode in which Harriette and Lydia get into a fight
with each other. They would verbally spar in many episodes to come.
- We are treated to Bronsonís hilarious
impersonation of Robin Leach in this episode. Balki would again do Robin
Leach in the much later episode This New House. Bronson also played
Robin Leach in one of his many Pepsi taste test commercials.
- One funny in-joke in this episode is the
characters of the director and first assistant director shooting the commercial
are named Joel and Miles, after regular series director Joel Zwick and First
Assistant Director Miles Kristman.
- When the director, Joel, proclaims theyíre not
shooting a Bekins commercial, he is referring to Bekins Van Lines which is a
well-known moving company.
- Balki again refers to Wayne Newton, suggesting
that possibly the commercial director might know him.
- The song "Together (Wherever We Go) was
originally written for the musical play Gypsy.
Steve Vinovich, who played Joel, the director, in this episode made an
appearance in the very first episode of the series as a customer in the Ritz
- The final shot of the show involves an
on-location shot of a Chicago city bus with Balki and Larryís Chronicle ad on
the side driving past the Chicago Sun-Times building. While this shot was
obviously taken on location, the other shot of Balki and Larry running up the
street to catch sight of the bus was likely filmed on a Los Angeles street,
possibly even in Culver City near the studios. A door behind them with the
lettering "901 E. Wacker - Chicago Film Professionals" was probably
set up to lend
credence to their actually being in Chicago (a newsstand is also nearby for one
of the Chicago newspapers). The shot before this that pans down to the
street in Chicago clearly shows the Hotel Wacker (which is located on West Huron
Street). Oddly enough the website TV
Acres lists 901 E. Wacker as being the address for the Chicago Chronicle
itself . . . this episode may be where they got that address (although the
lettering on the door makes it clear theyíre not in front of the Chronicle at
that point). The Chicago Chronicle building was in reality the London
Guarantee & Accident Building at 360 North Michigan Avenue (now known as the
Crain Communications building) which is located at the termination of
- A very short and quick outtake from this episode can be seen during the
"Friendship" commercial (it shows Balki and Larry while rehearsing the
commercial, only Bronson apparently falls over laughing, landing in Markís
lap). This commercial can be seen on our YouTube
The episode begins in the basement of The Chronicle building. Lydia, who is
wearing a very fancy crushed velvet, burgundy dress
and jewelry, runs in from the parking garage to where Balki and Larry are
standing near Larryís desk. "Where is he? Has he been down
here yet?" she asks anxiously. "Who are you talking about?"
Balki asks. "Who am I talking about?" Lydia asks incredulously.
"Well, if you donít know, how can I help you?" Balki asks.
"I am talking about the director, Joel Berry," Lydia explains,
"Heís making the television commercial for The Chronicle!"
"I heard something about that," Larry realizes. "He has
been scouring the building look for the perfect Chronicle employee to star in
it," Lydia continues, "but he hasnít found me yet."
"Well, in that dress I donít see how he can miss you!" Balki
"Do you like it?" Lydia asks,
"Oh, I hope Mr. Berry does! I followed him around all morning but I
wasnít able to catch his eye. You
would think that a nationally syndicated columnist would be able to attract his
attention, but no! So I ran out and got this dress. Itís an
original . . . one of a kind!" As she backs up so they can see it the
elevator door opens and Harriette steps out, wearing the exact same dress and
jewelry. As the women eye each other in shock, Harriette snaps,
"Iíd better be looking at a mirror!" "They told me mine was the
only one like this!" Lydia cries. "In your size, maybe!"
Harriette counters. Turning sweet, Lydia tries another approach.
"Uh, Harriette . . . just between you and me, I donít think thatís your
color." "Today it is!" Harriette smiles back. The
buzzer for the elevator rings. "That could be Mr. Berry!"
Harriette realizes aloud, then she points down at Lydiaís dress, exclaiming,
"Oh, look at that stain!" As Lydia looks down to check Harriette
runs into the elevator and closes the door. "Damn . . . sheís
good," Lydia swears, before running to the stairs and hurrying up them
turns to Larry excitedly. "Maybe the director will notice you and
then he will put you in the commercial, and you will become a star and start
living the lifestyle of the rich and famous! And then that guy will say
about you . . . " Balki breaks into a perfect impersonation of Robin
Leach, " . . . ĎExperts said it couldnít be done, impossible! Oh,
yeah? A man with no upper lip at all parlayed it into spectacular screen
success and a fabulous dream villa in pulsating Puerto Vallarta! Has
success ruined him? Well, of course not, donít be ridiculous!í"
Larry shouts at Balki to make him stop, then dismissed the notion by saying,
"Heís not gonna pick me. Heíll probably find whoever heís
looking for on one of the upper floors. Thatís where all the glamour
men, the director Joel Berry and his assistant, enter from the door under the
stairs, as one is saying, "What is the matter with you, Miles?
Showing me a loading dock? Now weíre not shooting a Bekins commercial,
Miles!" The director stops and realizes where he is, saying in
frustration, "Well, what is this place? I mean, it looks like a
basement!" "It is a basement," Miles answers.
"Oh!" the man says in surprise. Balki looks at Larry, asking,
"Is that the director?" "I think it is!" Larry
confirms. "Well, if heís a director he might know Wayne
Newton!" Balki says excitedly, turning to approach the men, but Larry stops
him. "Balki, heís a very busy man. Iím sure he doesnít
want to be bothered. Why donít we just go about our business and pretend
heís not here."
Sadly Balki starts back toward his table
just as the director is looking through his hands to frame possible shots.
He spots Balki
and "frames" him, causing Balki to look confused before continuing
toward his work table. Larry watches this with interest as the director
pushes his hands toward Balki suddenly, making Balki jump back. Trying to
ignore the men, Balki takes a few letters over to Larry, saying, "Hereís
your mail, Cousin." Larry thanks him and Balki goes back to his table
to continue working. "I donít believe it, Miles," the director
says, "Two people who are actually working instead of auditioning."
The director steps toward Balki, asking,
"Can I see that again?" "Can you see what again?"
Balki asks. "Uh, give him the mail." "I just
did," Balki says. "I know, but would you just mind going through
the motions again?" the director
asks, positioning himself in a kneeling position before Balki and
"framing" him again with his hands. Balki makes the motions as
if heís handing mail to someone. "No, no," the director sighs,
"Just walk to the desk." He indicates he wants Balki to walk to
Larryís desk, which Balki does as the director follows, imagining the shot.
"Stop!" the director cries, "Thatís it! Miles, I have
found the person for my commercial!" "Balki, did you hear
that?" Larry asks excitedly, standing up, "I think youíre going to
be in the commercial!" "Oh well, heís going to be in it,
too," the director explains, "But you!" He points to Larry.
"Youíre my star!" At this moment Harriette and Lydia appear at
the top of the stairs, spotting Joel Berry below. They break into a duo of
the classic song, "Together (Wherever We Go)" as Balki and Larry stare
up at them in wonder.
At the guysí apartment, Balki and Larry
are sitting on the couch with Jennifer and Mary Anne. There is an array of
Chinese take out cartons on the coffee table. "Too bad weíre going
to miss you film your commercial, it sounds exciting!"
Jennifer offers. "Yeah, we have to fly to boring old Paris,"
Mary Anne sighs. "Iíd love to see you act," Jennifer adds.
"Well, you may get your chance!" Balki interrupts, "Cousin Larry
is thinking of becoming a professional lesbian!" "What?"
Jennifer asks in confusion. "Thespian," Larry corrects.
"What?" Mary Anne asks in confusion. "Actor!" Larry
clarifies, "I was just kicking around the idea of doing some theater, you
know, local stuff. Then, who knows? Maybe Tinseltown?"
"Cousin, youíre going to Santaís Village?" Balki asks excitedly.
"Hollywood," Larry explains.
have to get to the airport early," Jennifer says, and they get up.
"Good luck," Jennifer offers, kissing Larry on the cheek. Larry thanks
her, smiling. "Good night, Balki," Mary Anne offers, and Balki takes
her hand and shakes it gently, saying, "Good night, Mary Anne." Balki,
Mary Anne and Jennifer start for the door, then stop while Larry says, "And
donít worry! If this all works out like I think it might, I wonít forget the
little people." They start for the door again but Larry continues,
"The people who believed in me. The people who said, ĎLarry . . .
youíve got a dream . . . go out and live it.í The people . . . . "
"Larry . . . I have to do my hair in the morning," Jennifer
interrupts. "Sorry," Larry apologizes, "See you when you get
back?" Balki sees the girls out.
Balki leans against the front door,
sighing, "Well, big day tomorrow. Guess Iíll turn in."
He starts for his bedroom but Larry stops
him. "Balki, come here," Larry motions, "We have got a lot
of work to do. I wanna prepare you for the commercial. So, letís
rehearse your part." "What is there to rehearse?" Balki
asks, "I just walk up to you like this and say ĎHereís your mail, Mr.
Appletoní and . . . . " "Thatís how youíre going to do it
tomorrow?" Larry asks. "Thatís how I do it every day."
"Balki, every day youíre a person delivering the mail," Larry
explains, "but tomorrow youíll be an actor playing the part of a person
delivering the mail. Two completely different things. One is a job,
the other is acting." "No, Cousin," Balki contradicts,
"one is delivering the mail and the other is . . . delivering the
"Balki, Balki, Balki," Larry
sighs, "I know a little bit about acting . . . oh, why be modest? I
know a lot about acting. In high school I
built the sets for West Side Story." "I love that
one," Balki smiles, then starts singing the song "Tomorrow" from Annie.
"Balki, and uh . . . speaking of tomorrow, I wouldnít want you to be
embarrassed tomorrow because you wouldnít let me help you tonight."
"I donít want to be embarrassed tomorrow," Balki says nervously.
"No, I didnít think you would," Larry sighs, "Here, letís get
started." He positions Balki to his left and pulls the coffee table
closer to the couch. "Letís pretend that this is my desk."
He then pulls Balki toward the kitchen, saying, "your workspace is over
here. You cross to me and have me the mail." He gives Balki a
cloth napkin to use as the mail. "Okay, ready?" Larry walks back
to the couch to sit down, "Go!"
Balki starts to walk toward the couch
normally, but barely gets two steps before Larry shouts out, "Wrong!"
"But I havenít done anything yet," Balki points out. "Balki,
my high school drama teacher always said ĎActing is just concentration and
Larry coaches, "So when you walk, concentrate on relaxing."
Larry runs through the words again with Balki mimicking the concentration and
then the relaxation alternately. "Okay, ready? Letís try
it." Larry goes back to his position, then says, "Go!"
Balki starts to walk forward very laboriously, with jerky motions.
"Relax your feet!" Larry encourages. Balki tries, walking even
more awkwardly. "Relax your knees!" Larry says, and Balkiís
knees go rubbery. "Relax your hips!" Balkiís hips swing, out
of sync with the rest of his body as he continues forward. "Swing
those arms!" Balki swings his arms, jerking in all directions now.
"Head up! Shoulders back!" Balki puts his shoulders back
so far he stumbles backward several steps. "Not that far back!"
Larry corrects. Finally Balki stops his spastic movements in front of
Larry. "Not bad!" Larry encourages and Balki is tickled.
right, letís work on your line," Larry continues, sitting down, "Go
ahead, say it." "Hereís your mail, Mr. Appleton," Balki
says in a straight forward manner, handing Larry the napkin.
"Mail!" Larry says, standing again, "Youíve got to emphasize
Ďmail.í Thatís the important word. Now try it again."
"Hereís your mail!" Balki tries. "Mail!"
Larry corrects. "Mail," Balki tries again. "Mmmmmmail,"
Larry offers, coaxing Balki to draw the word out as heís doing. They
both start saying "Mmmaaaaaaiiiilllll!" in a long, drawn out way,
Larry trying to point out to Balki that he should be curling his tongue on the
ĎLí part of the word. Finally Larry picks up a couple of chopsticks,
using one to say "Mmaaaaiiiiillllll," while curling his tongue around
the stick on the ĎL.í He then asks Balki to do the same, shoving the
chopstick into Balkiís mouth when he reaches the ĎLí and cutting him off
abruptly. Larry pulls the chopstick out of Balkiís mouth just as
letís put it all together," Larry suggests, motioning for Balki to go
back to his spot. "All right, ready? Go!" Larry directs.
Balki starts walking forward again with the same laborious movements he used
before, looking completely ridiculous as Larry again shouts out the same
directions. "Relax the feet . . . relax the knees . . . hips . . .
swing those arms . . . head up . . . shoulders back . . . . " Balki
finally bumps into Larry, who sits down and motions for Balki to say his line.
"Hereís your MMMAAAAAIIIIIIILLLLLLLLL, Mr. Appleton!" Balki
bursts out, looking at Larry hopefully when heís done. After a pause
Larry nods, saying, "Better!"
Act two starts the next day at the
Chronicle. The commercial crew is set up in the basement ready to film the
ad. "Listen up, everybody!" Joel Berry announces, "We are
ready to roll. Uh, Balki, coming in . . . " Miles grabs Balki
away from the makeup lady who is working on him and pulls him onto the
"set" (their regular workplaces). "Now, I want a little
spontaneity in this commercial so weíre going to do it without a rehearsal.
Okay?" He hands Balki the mail as the makeup woman finishes on
Larry, who is at his desk. "This is a take!" the director
proclaims as he walks to his chair and Miles tells the camera to roll tape.
"Settle . . . everyone settle," Joel says firmly, then quietly adds,
"And . . . action."
Balki walks to Larryís desk in the same
jerky fashion they had rehearsed the night before. "Uh, cut!"
the director calls as he walks over to Balki, pulling him to one side.
"Are your legs okay?" he asks. "Well, I donít mean to
brag, but on Mypos theyíre the talk of the village," Balki says, pulling
up his pants leg slightly to show. Larry stands up, saying, "Joel,
can I have a second?" "Oh, yeah Lar," Joel says, stepping
over to him. "Donít worry, heíll get it," Larry assures him,
"Iíve been working with him myself. Just tell him less knees, more
hips. That should do it." "Less knees, more hips,"
Joel repeats, understanding the problem now, "Got it!" He starts
back to Balki as Larry says, "Thanks, babe!"
I understand youíve been working with your cousin," Joel comments.
"Oh yes, he has been very helpful!" Balki enthuses, "He taught me
the difference between just delivering the mail and being an actor who is
playing the part of a person delivering the mmaaaiillll." "I
see," Joel sighs, "Balki, just forget everything he told you, all
right, and just simply deliver the mail." He heads back to his chair.
"Roll tape," Miles tells the cameraman. "And action!"
Joel says. Balki walks to Larryís desk and says, perfectly,
"Hereís your mail, Mr. Appleton." He then cries out happily,
"I did it! I did it!" Joel has to cut again. "Balki,
you said your line very well," Larry offers, "but now you have to let
me do my part. That is why weíre here." Balki apologizes but
Joel grabs the mail from Larryís desk and takes Balki back to his original
mark, assuring him itís okay. When they get to Balkiís place Joel
turns him into his spot and slaps the mail into Balkiís hand in a fluid
Joel goes back to his chair as Larry calls
out, "Roll tape!" "Larry, thatís my job," Miles
points out. "Then letís get with it, Miles!"
Larry says sharply. Miles and Joel share a look, then Miles says
"Roll tape." The director calls for action again. Balki
walks to Larryís desk and hands him the mail, saying, "Hereís your
mail, Mr. Appleton." "Thanks, Balki," Larry says in a deep,
stilted voice, "Here at the Chicago Chronicle, we work hard every day . . .
" "Cut!" Joel cries, walking over to Larryís desk and
asking, "What the hell was that?" "What did I do?"
Balki asks worriedly. "No, not you," Joel assures him, looking
at Larry, "Him! What was that voice? What happened to your
regular voice?" "That was my regular voice," Larry
answers, then adds, "modulated to performance level."
"Well, donít modulate," Joel says, "Just . . . just
speak!" "Okay," Larry scoffs, "If thatís what you
want." "Indulge me, hmm?" Joel asks.
director takes Balki back to his spot, turns him into it and slaps the mail into
his hand again (this is now becoming a regular rhythm with them).
Returning to his chair they start again. Balki walks to Larryís desk,
saying his line perfectly. "Thanks, Balki," Larry says, speaking
slightly more normally this time. Larry then turns to the camera.
"Here at the Chicago Chronicle, we work hard every day . . . but hey, that
doesnít mean weíre not fun people!" "Cut!" Joel cries,
getting up again and walking to Larryís desk, "Uh, where did those words
come from? You see, Ďfun peopleí isnít in my script."
"I was having trouble with lines you gave me," Larry explains,
"they didnít . . . pop!" "Just say the lines the
way theyíre written, hmmm?" Joel asks.
again the director takes Balki back to his place, turns him and slaps the mail
into his hand them returns to his chair to start again. Balki walks to
Larryís desk and says, "Thereís your mail, Mr. Appleton."
"Cut!" Larry calls out. "No! No!" Joel cries,
getting up yet again, trying hard to control his temper, "No, you canít
say cut, you see, thatís . . . thatís my job." "Yes, but he
said Ďthereís your mailí instead of Ďhereís your mailí and I thought
we were sticking to the script," Larry explains. Balki is mortified
but Joel assures him heís doing fine. "Larry . . . " the
director starts, then stops, turning to his crew and saying, "Letís take
a break. Huh? I think I need a creative meeting over here!"
The director walks over to Balkiís table
with the crew to talk when Larry steps in, saying, "I think I have a
solution!" "Lar, I think I have a solution of my own," Joel
assures him, "So we really wonít need you for this meeting."
Larry look at Miles, who shakes his
head no, as do the other members of the crew. "Okay, weíll try it
your way first," Larry smiles and walking back to Balki, who looks worried.
"The director seems upset with someone," Larry reports.
"Iím doing my best, Cousin," Balki sighs. "Donít you
worry, Balki," Larry assures him, "If they decide not to use you in
this commercial . . . I walk!"
At the apartment some time later, Balki,
Larry, Jennifer and Mary Anne are once again in the boysí living room with
take out food in front of them on the coffee table as they finish watching
something on television. "Well, Mary Anne, letís help clean up
before we go," Jennifer suggests. The guys are quick to insist they
donít have to do that, that they will do it. Some music starts playing
from the television and Jennifer points to it, saying, "Wait, isnít that
the Chronicle building?" "Cousin, itís our commercial!"
Balki realizes excitedly as he and the girls sit down to watch. "Oh,
we donít need to see that," Larry says,
turning off the television. "Oh, yes we do!" the others cry as
they turn it back on quickly.
We see the screen of the television as
Balki walks to Larryís desk and says, "Hereís your mail, Mr.
Appleton!" Balki then sits on the corner of the desk and addresses
the audience (during all this Larry is looking decidedly embarrassed, saying
nothing), "Hi! Iím Balki Bartokomous and I just delivered the mail to a
reporter here at the Chronicle, and if he were not so busy writing an article
for todayís paper he would tell you that here at the Chronicle we work hard
every day to bring you the news with a friendly touch." He touches
Larry on the shoulder with one finger. "So join our friendly family
every morning with The Chronicle." At this point an announcers voice
takes over as text comes on the screen, saying, "The Chicago Chronicle . .
. news with a friendly touch."
"Balki, you were wonderful!"
Mary Anne exclaims. "Oh . . . Cousin Larry was good!" Balki
insists, being generous. "Was Larry in
it?" Mary Anne asks with surprise. "Of course he was!"
Jennifer insists, "And you were very good, too! I mean . . . itís
hard to just sit there and not say anything!" Realizing sheís
making it worse, Jennifer tries again, "I mean, from what we could see in
your face expressed a whole kind of range of emotion. And . . . and the
way you took the mail! You made it look so easy!" "Do you
think we should go now?" Mary Anne asks. "Yes, I do!"
Jennifer says emphatically as they get up to leave. Jennifer continues to
try to be encouraging as she leaves, saying, "Thanks for a great evening.
It was a great night and Larry you were . . . great!" Mary Anne
wishes them good night and the girls leave.
Larry gets up and goes to the kitchen to
get his bottle of antacid out of the cupboard while Balki turns off the
television. As Larry chugs some, Balki approaches the counter.
"Cousin, youíre upset," Balki notes. "No, Iím
fine," Larry insists, drinking again. "Now
Cousin, ever since we finished making that commercial youíve been on an
antacid binge," Balki says, "Donít you think it would make you feel
better to talk about it?" "When Jennifer and Mary Anne left for
Paris I was Larry Appleton, star! By the time they got back I was Larry
Appleton, bit player." "Cousin, youíre at least a two-bit
player!" Balki insists.
"Balki, I told everyone I was gonna
be a big star!" Larry whines, "I even practiced my autograph . . .
Love ya, Larry A. I lost my part in the first five minutes."
"But Cousin, thatís just because they Ďwent a different way with
it,í" Balki says. "Balki, thatís Hollywood talk for getting
fired. Now when my friends look at me all theyíll see is Larry Appleton,
the jerk." "Cousin, you underestimate your friends!" Balki
sighs, "We donít see that ridiculous Larry Appleton! Not for
a second!" "You donít?" Larry asks hopefully.
"Well . . . maybe for a second," Balki reconsiders, "but Cousin,
when your friends look at you we see Larry Appleton, the good friend . . . and
Larry Appleton, the kind person . . . and Larry Appleton, who is always there
when you need him . . . and Larry Appleton, who never tears the tags off of
mattresses . . . and Larry Appleton . . . . " "Thanks, Balki, I
feel better," Larry stops him.
"You know, I have to admit you were
pretty good in that commercial," Larry says, as Balki scoffs.
"No, I mean it!" Larry insists, "You were sensational! Even
just the way you said ĎHereís the mail.í" "Mailll,"
Balki corrects. "Thatís what I said," Larry insists.
"No, you said Ďmail.í Itís mailll." "Mailll,"
Larry tries again. "Better!" Balki notes playfully.
"What Iím trying to say is, Iím proud of you," Larry offers,
"and Iíll bet you get a kick out of seeing your picture on every
bus in Chicago!" "Well . . . youíve got a surprise coming your
way, Cousin," Balki teases. "What is it?" Larry asks.
Balki walks away, not saying anything, as Larry follows him asking what the
We cut to an exterior establishing shot of
Chicago, then pan down to one of the streets. The scene then cuts to a
shot of Balki and Larry running up the street and stopping at an intersection
where Balki points across from them. We see a bus going down the street
and stopping with a big advertisement for the Chicago Chronicle on its side,
featuring pictures of both Larry and Balki. As the bus pulls away, the
cousins lean to one side to watch its progress as it pulls away to pass in front
of the Chicago Sun-Times building.
There are a few
differences between the shooting script dated October 27, 1987 and the final
script begins with Larry at his desk clipping coupons out of the paper.
Balki crosses over from his worktable. "What are you doing,
Cousin?" Balki asks. "Balki, look at these," Larry says,
holding up the coupons for Balki. Balki reads one aloud, "Can you
really afford hair loss?" Larry grabs the coupon from Balki.
"No, no this one. For twelve dollars and this coupon we can take home
Hop Sing's Mandarin dinner for four. We'll invite the girls over.
Create a romantic mood right in our own apartment. Dinner will be
intimate, yet inexpensive." Balki looks at Larry with admiration and
says, "Cousin, they don't call you King of the cheapskates for
nothing." This is when Lydia comes in asking about Joel Berry.
This would of course explain the takeout Chinese food they had with the girls at
- Balki's line after Lydia says "Who am I talk
about?" is "Well, if you don't know it's going to be hard as heck to
find him." While Lydia is losing it about how she hasn't been able to
catch the director's eye she also says, "He's too busy looking at tall
women with their long legs and tiny waists and those bras that lift and
separate. Sorry." Then she explains how she picked out the
dress she's wearing.
- Balki's Robin Leach impersonation is written as,
"From his humble beginnings in Madison, Wisconsin, little Larry Appleton
began his spectacular screen career with a simple commercial. At the
tender age of . . . " Larry then interrupts to say he'll probably
want someone from the upper floors where the glamour jobs are.
- On copies of the script someone has noted that
Larry's line, "He's a very busy man . . . " is changed to "He
looks like he's a very busy man . . . "
- When Lydia and Harriette are performing
"Together," Balki comments, "Ooh. They're good."
- At the apartment, the takeout cartons are on the
coffee table and Jennifer and Mary Anne are sitting on the couch. Larry is
on the phone at the kitchen counter with Balki beside him. "That's
right, Mom," Larry says into the phone, "I'm starring in a
commercial." "Tell her about the buses," Balki reminds him.
"It'll be shown all over the Chicago land area," Larry continues.
"Tell her about the buses," Balki repeats. "Looks like you
got a celebrity in the family, Mom." After a beat Larry has to add,
"Me." "Tell her about the buses," Balki insists.
"That's Balki," Larry explains to him mom, "He wants me to tell
you my face is going to be on all the city buses." "Tell her
about the buses," Balki says again. "I just did," Larry
points out. "Oh, then tell her I say hello and thank her for the
socks she sent me on my birthday, and . . . " Larry moves away from
Balki and Balki falls over the counter. "Look, Mom, I'd love to talk
longer, but I've got to save my voice for tomorrow," Larry explains,
"An actor's voice is his instrument. Love you, too. Bye."
Larry starts to let Balki say goodbye but realizes Balki is upside down over the
counter. Larry hangs up and he and Balki join the girls on the couch.
"Sorry that took so long," Larry says, "Mom wanted to know every
detail." This is when Jennifer says she's sorry they're going to miss
the filming of the commercial.
- When Larry explains how he is thinking about
becoming a professional actor he says, "I was just kicking around the idea
of doing some theater. You know, local stuff. Then who knows?
Maybe Saturday Night Live." Balki chimes in with, "Why stop
there, Cousin? Why not Sunday Night Movies? Monday Night
Football?" "Balki, Balki," Larry sighs, then to the girls
he notes, "He's my biggest fan."
- When they say goodbye to the girls at the door
Larry says he won't forget the little people. After the girls leave Balki
asks "Cousin, who are these little people?" "Never mind
about that," Larry dismisses him, and suggests they rehearse Balki's lines.
Larry brags that he knows a lot about acting and that in high school he built
the sets for 'West Side Story'. Balki says, "Wow! I loved 'West
Side Story.' 'I could have been a contender, instead of a bum. Which
is what I am.'" "No. No. That's 'On the
Waterfront,'" Larry corrects. "Oh, that's right," Balki
says, "'West Side Story' is the one with Mary Poppins and all the kids
trying to escape from the singing nuns." "Yes, that's
right," Larry agrees. This is when Balki says, "I love that
one" and sings 'Tomorrow' from 'Annie'.
- At one point while trying to get Balki to say the
word "mail" properly, Larry tells him to "Feel the
- When they are getting ready to shoot the
commercial, Larry is reading the weekly entertainment industry magazine,
Variety. This is in the show but you can only see the cover briefly and
then Balki is pulled in front of it and Larry folds the magazine so the title
can't be seen. The director, Joel, says, "Settle and action."
Balki doesn't move. "Balki, that's your cue," Joel explains.
"Well of course it is, don't be ridiculous," Balki replies, then asks,
"What's a cue?" "Cue means that you do your action,"
Joel answers. "Oh, you want me to deliver the mail," Balki
understands. "Please," Joel confirms. "Now?"
Balki asks. "Yes," Joel replies. Balki then crosses with
his legs moving like jelly.
- After they all see the commercial on television
at the apartment and the girls leave, Larry says, "I've never felt so
humiliated in my life." "Cousin, just because you spilled soy
sauce on your shirt is no reason to feel humiliated," Balki offers.
Later when Balki is trying to console Larry he talks about how he's a good
friend, kind person and snappy dresser, then adds, "Cousin, it's just like
that movie 'It's a Wonderful Life.' If you hadn't ever been born, all our
lives would have a big Larry Appleton size hole in the middle."
on to the next episode . . .