Perfect Strangers Episode Guide

EPISODE 68 - Car Wars

First Air Date: March 17, 1989
Nielsen Rating: 14.0 HH

TV Guide Description: Balki doesn't look forward to the task of buying a car, but Larry insists that the Appleton Used-Car Rating System will guarantee Balki the trouble-free car of his dreams.

Co-Producer: James OíKeefe
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: William Bickley and Michael Warren
Directed by: Joel Zwick

Cast:
Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton
Belita Moreno: Miss Lydia Markham

Guest Cast:
Jo Marie Payton-France: Harriette Winslow

Dimitri Appearances: Dimitri can be seen in the bookshelf sitting next to a little red plastic toy car.

Balki-isms:
"Heís a cannibal?"
Iím sure your father was wise behind his ears . . . "
"This Mypiot didnít just fall off the turnip train, you know."
"I donít want your death on my head and shoulders."
"My second choice is ĎEat my rust.í"
"Well, thatís what you said when you stripped the threads on the car-burrito."
" . . . eight of one, half a dozen of another."
"First thing in the morning you should call up your Papa and get that piece of your mind off your chest."

Donít be ridiculous: Not said in this episode.

Other catchphrases used in this episode:
"Oh, God!"
"Huh?"

Other running jokes used in this episode:
Larry attempts to dunk a cookie but it breaks off into his cup before he can eat it
Larry follows the advice of his father, in this case touting the "Appleton Used Car Rating System"
Larry suggests they "look into the future" and sets up some horrible scenario to manipulate Balki into doing something his way
Balki looks into Larryís mouth when Larry is telling him how to properly pronounce something

Notable Moment: Balki buys his first car.

Interesting facts:
-
Once again, Larryís relies on things he learned from his father, insisting they are the right way to do them despite the fact they seldom work well.  In this case, the Appleton Used Car Rating System was developed by Larryís father and he inflicted it upon his kids to find them reliable (and ugly) cars.
- When Balki says he wants a personalize license plate and explains he wants it to say, "Make the world a better place by being nice to everyone you meet," Larry doesnít want to have to explain that most license plates only include six or seven letters and numbers at the most.
- Balki refers to a Garfield stuck in the window of the car he wants to buy.  In the 80's, these plush Garfield toys, based on the comic strip cat created by cartoonist Jim Davis, were all the rage, adorning car windows around the world.
- This is the only episode where we actually get to see the Chronicleís parking garage, which is just feet from Larry and carwarsgrab03.jpg (55064 bytes) Balkiís basement (although the part we see is at least one floor down from them).
- In the script, itís stated that the little red car is to be a red Volkswagen convertible.  But the make and model of the clunker car was never specified.  And all the identifiable logos on both cars have been removed, probably to avoid any complaints from the automakers (especially when the one is supposed to be such a dud).  Cousin John has informed us that the old "clunker" is in fact a 1963 Chevrolet Impala Sports Sedan.  And Cousin TorinoKitty let us know that the red car appears to be a convertible Volkswagen Golf.
carwarsgrab04.jpg (47290 bytes)- The passage of time in this episode is a bit unclear, but according to the script the action actually takes place in just under a weekís time.
- Balki refers to Mr. Wizard, who was the host of the popular childrenís science series Watch Mr. Wizard that ran from 1951 until 1965 and starred Don Herbert.  The comment was more topical than that, however, because in 1983, the show was revived and recreated as Mr. Wizardís World for the cable channel Nickelodeon and Don Herbert returned as Mr. Wizard, teaching children about science through very simple but fun to watch and recreate experiments.
- We never do get to see what kind of car Balki buys.  The only thing we know about it is red.

Bloopers and Inconsistencies:
-
I feel sorry for the employees of the Chronicle when it comes to parking.  There is absolutely no floor indicators anywhere near the elevator, and on the same level the pillars are marked both B and C with two different colors.  Good luck trying to remember or figure out which level and section your car is parked on!  And if the two cars shown are any indication, people seem to like to back up into the spaces, something not generally encouraged in such underground garages.


Synopsis:
The episode begins one evening in the apartment.  Larry is sitting in the kitchen at the counter.  He is dunking a cookie into a cup of milk.  When itís nice and soaked, he lifts it up to bite it, but the soggy half breaks off and falls into the milk.  Larry throws down the other half of the cookie in frustration.  Balki rushes into the apartment excitedly, carrying a decorative bag.  "Cousin!  Cousin!  I did it!  I did it!  I did it!  I cashed my paycheck, I withdraw all my savings, and I recycled all our aluminum cans and I have enough money to buy a car!" Balki slams the bag onto the counter happily.  "Well, congratulations, Balki!" Larry offers.  "Well, thanks!  Come on, letís go buy me a car right now!"  Balki grabs Larry by the wrist and pulls him right over the counter until Larry is hanging off the edge, held up by Balki on one end and his legs barely over the counter on the other.

"Balki, you canít just go out and buy a car," Larry points out.  "No?" Balki asks.  "No," Larry insists, "Youíve got to do some research first."  "Research?" Balki asks distastefully.  "Yes," Larry continues, still hanging in midair, "Youíve got to read Consumer Reports about the makes and models youíre interested in.  You got to check around . . . shop around the various dealers, see what they have to offer."  "No, no, Cousin," Balki argues, lifting Larry around his chest to take him down from the counter, "No need for that.  Iím gonna go right down to Honest Akmedís Used Car Caravan."  "Honest Akmed?" Larry asks.  "Yeah, you know, the guy on television who says heíll kiss a camel to sell a car."  "Uh, Balki, sit down," Larry encourages.  They both move over to the couch.  "Now, how can I say this tactfully?"  "I wouldnít know," Balki says.  They sit down.  "If you try to buy a car from Honest Akmed, heíll eat you alive."  Balki looks horrified, and gasps, "Heís a cannibal?"

"No, no," Larry tries again, "What Iím trying to say is that Honest Akmed isnít honest.  He isnít even Akmed.  His real name is Bert Williams and he probably stole that camel he kisses."  "Cousin, why would he lie?" Balki asks.  "To make money," Larry answers, "You know, Balki . . . my father had a system for finding reliable cars.  He called it the Appleton Used Car Rating System.  I think it might be just what you need."  "Well, well, Cousin, come on . . . Iím sure your father was wise behind his ears but I donít think I need his system.  You know this, uh . . . this Mypiot didnít just fall off the turnip train, you know."  "Well, I know you didnít," Larry says, "But, uh . . . suppose you buy a car without the Appleton Used Car Rating System.  What would happen?"  Balki shrugs.  "Well, letís look into the future," Larry suggests, motioning somewhere off in the distance, "Look, itís a dark and stormy night.  I wake up with terrible pains!"  "Cousin, where does it hurt?" Balki asks, looking at Larry stomach.  "Well, theyíre right there, right there," Larry directs Balkiís attention back into the future.  "I think itís my appendix!" Larry continues, "And, oh, Balki!  Youíve got to get me to the hospital!"

"Cousin, itís no problem, I drive you in my new car!" Balki says, getting caught up in the story.  "Oh good!  Good!" Larry smiles, then says, "But when we get into your car it wonít start!  Youíve got to get me to the hospital!"  "Cousin, Iím trying but my car wonít start!" Balki cries, "Help!  Help!  Help!"  "But itís two in the morning," Larry points out, "Thereís no one around.  Oops.  My appendix just burst.  Iím dead.  And all because you wouldnít use the Appleton Used Car Rating System and bought a bad, bad car."  "Oh Cousin," Balki cries, "I donít want your death on my head and shoulders.  Give me the Appleton Used Car Rating System."  "Only if youíre sure," Larry hesitates.  "Cousin, Iím sure, Iím sure, Iím sure!" Balki insists, "What do I do?"  "Well, first give me all your money," Larry says.  "Who are you kidding?" Balki asks, pulling his money tighter to himself.  "Give me your money," Larry says again.  Balki eyes Larry for a moment, then hands over the bag and says, "Okay."  "Now, donít worry," Larry assures him, "Iíll use the Appleton system to get you the right car at the right price."  "Thank you, Cousin," Balki smiles, "And after you pick out my car can I get a personalized license plate?"  "Well, sure, why not?" Larry shrugs.  "I want one that says ĎMake the world a better place by being nice to everyone you meet.í  You think that one is taken?"  "Weíll have to check," Larry answers flippantly.  "My second choice is ĎEat my rust,í" Balki smiles.

Three days later, in the basement of the Chicago Chronicle, Larry is at his desk surrounded by print-outs and paperwork.  The elevator door opens and Harriette steps out with Lydia.  "Come on, I want you to see this," Harriette urges Lydia, and they walk over to Larryís desk.  "Hi, Harriette . . . Lydia," Larry greets them.  "Just keep up what youíre doing," Harriette urges, "I want Lydia to watch you for a while."  "Oh, so Harrietteís told you about the Appleton Used Car Rating System?" Larry asks Lydia proudly.  "Uh huh," Lydia smiles.  "You know, it was developed by my dad to make sure we kids bought used cars that would run trouble-free for years," Larry continues, "This is a computer print-out of every used car for sale in the Chicago-land area."  "Oh, there certainly are a lot of them!" Lydia comments.  "Fourteen thousand two hundred and twenty-seven," Larry explains, "Before computers it used to take my dad forever to do this.  He started shopping for my first car when I was twelve years old."

"Ask him how he plans to narrow that down," Harriette tells Lydia.  Lydia starts to ask but Larry begins to answer before she can speak.  "Well, using another computer program Iíve eliminated all the trucks, four-wheel-drive vehicles, RVs and everything costing more than twenty-five hundred dollars."  "But donít you find that . . . ?" Lydia tries to interrupt, but Larry is on a roll.  "Then the cars themselves are rated according to such things as mileage, previous service record, co-efficient of drag . . . "  "Do you feel that with the . . . ?" Lydia tries again, but thereís no stopping Larry now.  " . . . and then the ratings are factored against the sales prices of the cars, which reduces the list even further down to the one car in Chicago most likely to give Balki worry-free driving well into the next century."  Lydia eyes Larry for a moment, then speculates, "Were you a bed wetter?"  Larry pauses a moment, then says, "Iím just trying to help the guy."  "Mmm hmmm," Harriette says skeptically, "What if your computer doesnít find a car that Balki likes?"  "Well, what does like have to do with it?" Larry asks, "I didnít like the car my father got for me.  But it is still running."  "Well, what díya think?" Harriette asks Lydia.  "Youíre right," Lydia nods, patting Larryís shoulder, "He is a sick man."  "Thatís what I thought," Harriette agrees, "I just wanted a professional opinion."  Lydia and Harriette head back to the elevator.  "Dad always said people wouldnít understand," Larry says after them.  They smile at him and close the elevator door.

Balki races into the basement from the parking garage, crying, "Cousin!  Cousin!  I found it!  I found it!  I found the car of my dreams!  And itís right here in our parking garage!  Come on!"  Balki runs out to the garage again, then rushes back in because Larry hasnít followed him.  Balki grabs Larry around the middle and tries to pull him toward the garage, but Larry stands firm.  "And what is it, Balki, that makes this the car of your dreams?" Larry asks.  "Itís red!" Balki answers, "Come on!"  Balki again runs out to the garage, then runs back in and grabs Larry around the middle again, saying, "Cousin, you canít see it from there!"  "Balki, Balki," Larry stops him, "Youíre gonna have to have better reasons for buying a car other than the fact that itís red."  "Oh, I do, I do," Balki assures him.  "You do?" Larry asks.  "Yes, I do," Balki repeats.  Larry picks up a notepad and a pencil.  "Well, letís list your reasons."  "List them?" Balki asks, not prepared for this, so he thinks, "Well, uh, its . . . uh, itís got those little flaps that keep the mud from getting up on the fender."  Larry hovers the pencil over the pad but doesnít write anything, saying, "Uh huh?"

"And uh . . . uh . . . itís got, itís got . . . the ariel goes at an angle so you feel like youíre driving fast all the time."  Again Larry writes nothing and hums, "Uh huh."  "Ooh!" Balki remembers, "And this is what really sold me!  Itís got one of those Garfields stuck to the window."  Balki mimics the Garfield against the window.  Larry is not impressed.  "Balki . . . I thought that car might catch your eye."  "You saw it, too?" Balki asks.  "Yeah, so I ran it through the Appleton system," Larry explains, thumbing through his papers.  "How did it do?" Balki asks worriedly.  "It didnít measure up," Larry answers.  "Cousin, you know, I . . . I had a silly idea that buying a car would be fun," Balki says with disappointment.  "Balki, buying a car is not supposed to be fun.  The fun comes years from now when you look back and see you were a good consumer."  Balki eyes Larry for a moment, then speculates, "You werenít breast fed, were you?"  Larry ignores this, saying, "Years from now youíll thank me."  Balki walks to his worktable, saying, "Years from now Iíll buy a red car."

It is some later time that day at The Chronicle and we see level B of the parking garage.  The doors of an elevator marked "Chronicle Employee Entrance" open and Larry leads Balki out.  Balki has his hands over his eyes.  "Donít look, donít look!" Larry urges, as he leads Balki forward where two cars are sitting.  One is a beautiful, shiny red Volkswagen convertible, the other is a full green old-style sedan.  "Cousin, I canít stand it!  I canít stand it!" Balki cries, keeping his eyes covered.  "I got you the most reliable used car in Chicago!" Larry promises, "Okay . . . open your eyes."  Balki uncovers his eyes as Larry look at the old clunker.  Balki immediately sees the shiny red car but Larry doesnít notice that Balki is looking the wrong way.  "Oh, Cousin, itís beautiful!" Balki gasps.  "I think so, too," Larry smiles.  "Oh!" Balki cries with joy, throwing himself onto the red car.  Larry turns and realizes Balki has seen the wrong car.  "Uh, Balki, Balki," Larry stutters, walking over to him.

"Cousin, you are the best there ever was!" Balki cries, hugging Larry tightly, "Cousin . . . Iím sorry I thought all those terrible things about you.  I mean, never, never in my wildest dreams . . !  Itís a convertible!  Itís a convertible!"  Balki runs to the back of the car and Larry runs after him, but Balki just hugs him again.  Balki runs to the driverís side door and opens it to get in but Larry stops him.  Balki then leans into the hood and Larry tries to push him away, rolling him across the top of the hood.  "Balki, Balki!" Larry cries, pulling Balki up by his shirt, "This isnít your car."  "It isnít?" Balki asks.  "No," Larry confirms, then turns to the older car, "This is your car!"  "Oh God!" Balki gasps in horror.  "I knew youíd like it," Larry smiles, not noticing the horrified expression on Balkiís face, "And, thanks to the Appleton System, this car is so reliable you could be driving it forever."  Balkiís face twists with even more horror.  "That long?" he asks.  "So, what díya say," Larry asks, fishing the keys out of his pocket, "we start this baby up and take her for a spin?"

Larry tosses the keys to Balki but they fall to the ground, Balki not even attempting to catch them.  Larry looks down at the keys then at Balkiís face.  "I was just as excited when I got my first car," Larry smiles, reaching down to get the keys, "Come on!  Come on!"  Larry giggles as he pushes Balki toward the car.  "Donít be shy!"  Larry continues to giggle excitedly as he leaves Balki at the driverís side door and runs around to the passenger side door.  He stops and smiles at Balki over the roof, Balki returning a forced half-smiled response.  They both climb into the car.  Balki puts the key in the ignition and gives Larry an uncertain look before turning it on.  The engine starts up, loud but steady.  "Huh?" Larry asks, "Listen to that engine purr!  That is the sound of the Appleton System at work."  Smoke starts to come out from the engine, floating over the hood towards them.  Balki eyes the smoke in shock, looking at Larry in disbelief.  The smile starts to leave Larryís face as Balki leans back nervously as the smoke approaches and envelops the windshield.

Act two begins in the parking garage two hours later, still during the day.  The hood is open on the car and Larry is holding a wrench.  Larry has taken off his coat and tie.  Balki is in the driverís seat.  There is a large tool chest on wheels off to the side.  "Okay, Balki, start it up," Larry calls.  Balki tries turning on the ignition but nothing happens.  "ĎKay, Balki, start the engine," Larry calls again.  Balki tries again but nothing happens.  "Balki, turn the key.  Start it up."  Balki gets out of the car and walks up to Larry.  "Balki, start Ďer up!"  Balki stands behind Larry, leaning to look over his shoulder.  "Balki, turn it . . . ooh!"  Larry is startled to see Balki standing next to him.  "What are you doing out here?" Larry asks.  "Just hanginí out," Balki answers.  "I told you to start the car."  "Yeah, well, I tried.  Nothing happened," Balki explains.  "Well, Iím sure itís just a simple problem," Larry sighs.  "Well, I have a simple solution," Balki offers, "Why donít we take this thing back and get another one?  Possibly a red one."  "Balki, we are not taking it back," Larry says, "There is nothing wrong with it."  "Well, there is one thing wrong with it," Balki points out, "It wonít start."

"Iím sure itís just a small adjustment," Larry insists, "It passed the Appleton System with flying colors."  "Well, maybe the Appleton System should take a flying leap!"  Balki lets slip.  Larry looks at him with shock.  "Cousin, Iím sorry, Iím sorry.  It just slipped out," Balki offers.  "Balki, have a little faith.  Even as kids, some of us had our doubts about Dadís system."  "I can see why," Balki notes.  "But it never, ever let us down!" Larry continues, "Now come on, give me a hand here.  The problem seems to be with the electrical system, so . . . we have to check and see if the battery is still delivering sufficient power."  Larry leads Balki to the other side of the engine and says, "Okay, grab a screwdriver.  All we have to do is touch these screwdrivers to the battery terminals and see if thereís any electricity."  With their backs to the camera, they touch their screwdrivers to the separate terminals, but nothing happens.  "Cousin, uh . . . it seems that the battery is dead.  You know, Mr. Wizard once said that electricity wonít flow unless there is a complete circuit.  Wonder what he meant by that?"  While they still have their screwdrivers touching the terminals, Balki places a friendly hand on Larryís back.  They immediately scream and start convulsing, until finally they can throw the screwdrivers away.  Slowly they turn back around to face the camera as they continue to twitch.  "Batteryís fine," Larry notes.

Two days later, it is late at night and they are still working on the car in the garage.  Balki and Larry are both wearing coveralls.  There are car parts strewn everywhere (even the back seat is leaning up against the car!).  Balki is holding a little wrench and makes a little playful motion like he is going to tap Larry on the head with it as Larry is leaning down over the engine.  "Eh, okay," Larry says, standing straight and brushing off his hands, "I think now weíre getting somewhere."  "Well, thatís what you said when you stripped the threads on the car-burrito," Balki points out.  "Thatís carburetor," Larry corrects, letting Balki watch his mouth as he repeats, "Carburetor.  And it was an accident.  What?  You never made a mistake in your life?"  "Not of this magnitude," Balki answers.  "You know, Balki, I am doing all this for you.  I found the car for you.  I made the deal for you.  And I am trying to fix it for you."  "Youíre right there, Cousin," Balki nods, "We wouldnít be here if it wasnít for you."  "Okay, Balki," Larry says, losing his patience, "tell you what . . . if you donít want to help, why donít you just go home?"  "Cousin, I would love to go home, but my car donít work," Balki counters.

"All right, look, I tell you what," Larry tries to be calm, "Weíre both very tired, weíve been working on this all weekend.  But I think it would be best if we just put our differences aside and worked together."  "Cousin, youíre right," Balki agrees, giving Larry a hug, "Youíre right.  When youíre right, youíre right.  Okay, what can I do to help?"  "Well, well . . . to start with you could put in the oil," Larry suggests.  Balki picks up a plastic bottle of oil from the cart as Larry grabs a dolly to lay down on so he can roll under the car.  Balki laughs, saying, "Of course, we wouldnít have to put in new oil if you hadnít broken the oil filter when you were trying to fix the fuel pump, huh?"  "Well, the fuel pump wouldnít have been broken if you hadnít hit it with a hammer, huh?" Larry comments.  "Cousin, you told me to hit it with a hammer," Balki reminds him.  "I said tap," Larry corrects, "Tap it with a hammer."  "Tap . . . hit . . . eight of one, half a dozen of another," Balki shrugs.  "Just put in the oil," Larry says with cool anger.  Larry gets down on the dolly in front of the car while Balki unscrews the lid of the oil container.  As he leans over he finds something sitting on the engine and asks, "Ah . . . uh, Cousin?  When you, uh . . . when you . . . . "  "Balki," Larry says impatiently.

"Let me just ask you this . . . when you . . . "  "Balki, just put in the oil," Larry says, "Put in the oil."  "Cousin, let me just ask you, when you . . . let me just ask you . . . "  "Put in the oil.  Itís not a big deal."  Balki keeps trying to talk but Larry has lost all patience.  "Put in the oil.  Put in the oil.  Put in the oil!  Now!  Now!  Now!" Larry screams.  "Oookay," Balki says timidly.  Larry scoots under the car on the dolly.  Balki cringes, then tries one more time, speaking very quickly.  "Uh . . . Cousin, I just want to ask you one little question . . . "  "Balki, put in the oil, NOW!" Larryís voice roars from under the car.  Balki hesitates, then says, "Ooh!" worriedly and reaches over and starts pouring in the oil, squeezing the bottle to make sure it all goes out.  After a moment, Larry reaches out from under the car to slowly grab the fender and push himself out from under the car.  His face is completely covered with motor oil.  He sits up and oil drips slowly down from his face.  Balki waves a hand in front of Larry, who doesnít see it.  Balki is holding the cap he found sitting on the engine and asks, "Cousin, was this what you were . . . ?"  Larry holds his hand out and says, "Thank you."  Balki places the cap in his hand and Larry motions as if he were looking at it, then scoots back under the car.

Some hours later it is daylight, and Larry and Balki have everything put back together and are cleaning their hands on a couple of rags.  They are both filthy all over.  "Well, Balki," Larry says, closing the hood of the car, "We did it."  "Yep," Balki agrees, "We took apart everything in my car and put it back together again."  "You have to do that sometimes," Larry comments.  "The amazing thing is we donít have any parts left over," Balki notes.  "Always a good sign," Larry agrees, "Well, Balki, why donít we start it up and take this baby for a spin?"  They get into the car, Balki in the driverís seat and Larry in the passenger seat.  Balki pauses for a moment, then tries the ignition.  The car starts right up.  "Cousin, it started!" Balki says in surprise.  "Chalk up one more for the Appleton System," Larry smiles.  "Why donít we turn it off and call it a victory?" Balki asks.  "No, no.  No, no," Larry says, "Put her into drive."

"That would be the ĎDí?" Balki asks.  "Yes, it would," Larry answers.  Balki shifts the transmission.  "Perfect," Larry says, "Balki, you are about to drive your very own car for the first time.  This is a moment youíll never forget."  Balki shakes Larryís hand and says, "Cousin, thank you for making it possible."  "Hey, donít thank me," Larry corrects, "Thank the Appleton Used Car Rating System.  Go ahead, Balki.  Step on the gas."  Balki hits the gas and the rear wheels immediately starts spinning . . . backwards.  The car races backwards and slams into and through the cinder block wall behind them.  Larry and Balki stare at each other calmly.  "Cousin, in the Appleton System . . . exactly when do you admit failure?" Balki asks.  The car starts smoking again, the hood pops open and the front fender falls off.  As they sit in the gather cloud of smoke, the car horn starts to honk and the headlights flash on and off.

Back at the apartment that night, Balki and Larry enter, Balki turning on the lights.  Larry looks depressed.  Balki says, "Cousin, thank you for helping me buy my first car."  "Well, actually it was your second," Larry smiles painfully.  "No, I donít count the first one," Balki argues, "I never actually drove it . . . forward."  "Well, Iím just glad Honest Akmed gave you a good deal on the trade-in," Larry sighs, as he walks to the couch.  "Yeah.  One hundred and fifty dollars for a car that only drives backwards ainít bad," Balki agrees, "And Iím really happy with the red car I just bought."  They sit on the couch.  "Balki, I owe you an apology," Larry says, "I thought the Appleton Sytsem was foolproof and thatís why I couldnít admit that . . . your car was a lemon."  "No, Cousin, it was a sedan," Balki corrects, "And it was just about the ugliest one Iíve ever seen in my life.  Except for that picture you showed me of your first car."  "Hey, hey!  Hey hey hey!" Larry says defensively, "My dad picked that car out!  That car was reliable.  That car was fuel efficient.  That car was ugly!"  "Ew!  Hoo boy!" Balki agrees.  "You know something, I hated that . . . I hated that car!  But I could never tell my Dad."  "Cousin, you know what I think?" Balki asks, "First thing in the morning you should call up your Papa and get that piece of your mind off your chest."  Larry nods.  "Youíre right, I will.  I will.  And Balki?  Tomorrow, when we go into work . . . we donít know anything about that hole in the wall."  Balki motions heís all for keeping their mouths shut on that one.


Script Variations:
There are some differences between the shooting script dated March 6, 1989 and the final episode:
The description of Larry dunking his cookie says he is dunking it into coffee (it is apparent from the film that they decided to go with milk) and the description of the act reads as: "Larry is at the kitchen counter, dunking a cookie in a cup of coffee.  (Dream on)."
-
After Balki describes Honest Akmed as "that guy on television who'll kiss a camel to sell a car," Larry says, "Oh, that Honest Akmed."  "Yes, he's my new friend," Balki explains, "We hit it off from the start.  He saw me looking at the cars on his lot and said, 'Balki, my friend, I want to sell you your first car.  When you're ready, being me all your money.  I'll make you a deal.'"  Larry then wonders how he can tell Balki what he has to tell him tactfully and Balki says, "I wouldn't know."  "You remember how upset you were when I told you that Santa Claus doesn't deliver all those toys himself?" Larry asks.  Balki is apprehensive, saying, "This isn't some awful news about the Easter Bunny, is it?"  "No, but brace yourself," Larry warns, and then he tells Balki that Honest Akmed will eat him alive.
-
After Balki says he didn't just fall off the turnip train and doesn't need the Appleton Used Car Rating System, Larry says, "Suit yourself.  I was just afraid some crooked salesman would convince you to buy a car just because it looked good.  You know the kind of car I mean.  Long and sleek and shiny.  With lots of chrome.  Bumper guards.  Curb feelers."  "Cousin, does it have a radio?" Balki asks excitedly.  "AM and FM," Larry answers, "With pushbuttons."  "I'll take it!  I'll take it!" Balki cries.  "It's yours, Balki," Larry says.  "You see, Cousin," Balki brags, "I don't need the Appleton Used Car Rating System."  This is when Larry has him look into the future.
-
When Balki says, "I had a silly idea buying a car would be fun," he adds, "How wrong I was."  Then later when Balki says, "Years from now I'll buy a red car," Larry says, "Don't lose heart, Balki.  I just have a few more calculations to make, a couple of calls to Detroit and I think I might get you behind the wheel of your own car by this weekend."  "Oh, Cousin," Balki says excitedly, "I can't wait.  I just hope when I'm behind the wheel you don't back up."  Larry pauses a beat then says, "I'll be careful."
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When Larry takes Balki into the parking garage with his eyes covered, Balki says, "Cousin, even though I can't see you, you stand tall in my eyes."  "Glad to do it for you, Balki," Larry replies.  After Balki sees he red car he says, "Cousin!  It's beautiful!"  "I think so, too," Larry says.  "I love this car!" Balki cries.  "Of course you do," Larry smiles.  Balki throws himself across the hood of the red sports car and says, "Cousin, I'm sorry I thought all those terrible things about you.  You are a fun person."
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After Larry says even as kids some of them had their doubts about their Dad's system and Balki says he can see why, Larry asks Balki to give him a hand with the car and Balki says, "If you don't mind, Cousin, I'd like to just stand here and pretend this car is mine."  Balki walks over to the red car and looks longingly at it.  "Balki, I'm shocked," Larry says, "This is not the Balki Bartokomous I thought I knew.  You're making a judgment based on appearance alone?  Would you judge people that way?  Would you only deliver mail to people who were attractive?"  "No, Cousin, I wouldn't do that," Balki assures him.  "I'm not so sure," Larry says, "You know, in America the way you treat your car says a lot about the way you treat people."  "But I love all kinds of people," Balki points out.  "Talk is cheap, Balki," Larry snaps, "Why don't you stay here with this . . . (with disdain) red car.  I'm going to go help a friend."  Larry goes back to the sedan and Balki follows.  "Oh, let me help, Cousin," Balki asks.  "No, no, no.  You've got your priorities."  "Can I help?" Balki asks.  "Well," Larry thinks.  "Oh, please, I want to help," Balki begs.  "Well," Larry thinks.  "Please, please!  I want to help!" Balki cries.  "Are you sure you want to leave . . . (indicates red car) her?"  "Yes, I do," Balki assures him, "She's not for me.  It was just one of those things."  "Well, okay, you can help," Larry agrees, then suggests the problem is in the electrical system.  Balki says, "Shouldn't we take it to a car doctor?  Perhaps a battery specialist?" Balki asks.  Larry then explains how they'll use the screwdrivers instead.  After they are electrocuted, Larry says, "That . . . is a complete circuit."
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When they cut back to the parking garage two days later, are looking in the engine.  "Okay, I've got this on tight," Larry says, "Connect the red wire."  "Connecting the red wire," Balki says.  They both lean under the hood as Balki connects the wire.  The horn suddenly blares, making Larry and Balki jump and hit their heads on the hood.  Larry grabs the wire Balki connected and pulls it out, cutting off the horn.  "The red wire!" Larry points out, "That's a blue wire."  "Well, it was a reddish blue," Balki notes.  "Okay.  I think that was the problem all along," Larry says.  That's when Balki says Larry said the same thing when he stripped the threads on the car-burrito.
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After Balki says he's never made a mistake of that magnitude, he asks, "Cousin, why we don't just put all these parts in a garbage bag, take them to a mechanic and admit the Appleton System failed?"  Larry is defensive, saying, "It's not the system.  It can't be the system.  It's us.  We're doing something wrong."  "Well, I know what I did wrong, I listened to you," Balki sighs.  "Look, I know this has taken longer than my original estimate," Larry says.  "Your original estimate was fifteen minutes," Balki points out, "It's been two days."  This is when Larry says he's doing it all for Balki.
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When Larry tells Balki he said to "tap" the fuel pump, Balki says, "Tap, hit . . . I thought you were talking about the new Gregory Hines movie."
- After Balki turns the car on the puts it in drive, he revs the engine and it makes a loud grinding sound.  Balki asks Larry, "Are you sure you put the transmission back together correctly?"  "Yes, I'm sure," Larry answers, "Just give it a little more gas."  "I don't know, Cousin," Balki says, "It doesn't sound right."  "It's fine," Larry assures him, "Just step on the gas."  Balki does and they smash into the wall.
- After Larry says he's glad Honest Akmed gave Balki a good trade-in, he admits, "He's pretty honest after all."  "I guess you were wrong about that, too," Balki says.  After Larry says he could never admit to his dad how much he hated his first car, Balki says, "Cousin . . . someday you and your father should sit down and have a long talk."  "Yeah, you're right," Larry agrees, "A long talk.  And I have a few questions I want to ask him about the Appleton Dating System.  I think my relationship with Jennifer is moving at a snail's pace."  Balki then suggests Larry call him first thing in the morning and the rest is the same.

Continue on to the next episode . . .