Strangers Episode Guide
70 - Seven Card Studs
First Air Date:
April 14, 1989
Nielsen Rating: 13.2 HH
Filming Date: March 21, 1989
TV Guide Description: The
chips are down for Balki, who's lost a bundle in Gorpley's poker game, but Larry
comes through with a plan to recoup his cousin's losses.
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Paula A. Roth
Directed by: Joel Zwick
Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton
Melanie Wilson: Jennifer Lyons
Sam Anderson: Mr. Sam Gorpley
Guy Christopher: Walt
Appearances: Dimitri can be seen in the apartment scenes sitting on the
bookshelf with a dealerís visor on and some poker chips in front of him.
"Other than that it was really a great way to experience male
"Mr. Gorpley is quite the aardvark."
"In fact, I doubt if in the whole history of card playing there have ever
been two more rank-smelling amateurs."
"Fold, spindle, mutilate!"
"Itís my mad money. If you lose it, Iím gonna be real mad!"
"You canít bet my ball of wax! Iíve been collecting it for
"I spent the whole evening on an emotional roller derby."
ridiculous: Not said in this episode.
used in this episode:
"Funny, funny thing . . . "
"Well, Iíll be snookered."
"What was the question?"
"I donít think so!"
"Well, tell me something I donít know!"
Other running jokes
used in this episode:
Balki looks into Larryís mouth as Larry pronounces a word for him
Balki laughs at his own joke
Larry has a plan
Larry and Balki have a quick word exchange, in this case "Do you?"
Larry and Balki talk at the same time in a mumbling way, then finish by saying
something at the same time
- The title of the episode is a pun on the poker variant called
seven-card stud, although the type of poker they are playing in
the episode is actually five-card stud.
- This is the first time we've seen Balki wear his
bullet hat since the second season episode Can I Get a Witness?
- When Larry announces he has a plan in this
episode, Balki responds with "Oh golly!" This will be the
precursor for the more common, "Oh God!" reaction Balki has to
- The background character who was formerly known
as Paul when he was on Gorpleyís bowling team in the episode, Blind Alley,
appears in this episode as Gorpleyís poker buddy, only now his name is Andre.
Guy Christopher, who plays Walt in this episode, would again appear as a
Chronicle employee in the season five episode Here Comes the Judge.
He had previously appeared on General Hospital and later he made
appearances in the series Knots Landing and provided the voice of Earl
Eccchhh on the animated series Galaxy High School.
- This is the second episode in a row in which
Jennifer appears and Mary Anne doesnít.
- Itís also the second episode in a row in which
Larry has a plan that actually works!
- At the end of this episode, Larry tries to play a joke on Balki when he
points to Balkiís shirt and asks "Whatís that?" then touches the
end of Balkiís nose with his finger. Balki doesnít understand the joke
at all. But when the cousins were playing Boochi Tag, Balki actually
played this same joke on Larry!
The episode begins in the apartment one morning. Larry has poured himself
a cup of coffee and walks to the counter in
the kitchen, sipping it. He is surprised when the front door opens and
Balki sneaks in, carrying his shoes and trying not to make any noise.
Larry watches Balki slowly close the front door and start to tiptoe toward the
bedroom. "Balki?" Larry asks, startling Balki who didnít
realize Larry was already up. "Hi, Cousin," Balki offers, trying
to act like nothing is wrong. "Are you just getting home?" Larry
asks. "Well . . . yes," Balki admits with a smile, then says,
"Bye bye!" and tries to escape to his bedroom. "Balki?"
Larry calls, stopping him, "Were you working all night?"
"Well, no," Balki confesses, "We were playing poker. Bye
bye!" Balki again tries to hurry into his bedroom. "W . .
. w . . . wait a minute! Wait a minute! Wait a minute!" Larry
calls, "Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa. You were playing
Balki laughs nervously, walking over to
the kitchen as he says, "Yeah. Funny, funny thing . . . um . . . I
wasnít really even
supposed to play but one of the regular players in Mr. Gorpleyís game was sick
and Mr. Gorpley graciously allowed me to sit in." "How much
money did you lose?" Larry asks. Balki breaks down sobbing, mumbling
something incoherent into Larryís shirt sleeve. "What?" Larry
asks. "Oh Cousin . . . " Balki sobs again, again mumbling his
words. "What?" Larry repeats. Balki lifts his head and
says clearly, "Oh Cousin, I lost a hundred dollars." "You
lost a hundred dollars?" Larry shouts. "Cousin, donít yell at
me," Balki asks, "Iím feeling quite vulnerable. I lost a
hundred dollars." "Balki . . . itís all right. Iím not
mad at you," Larry explains. "You yelled at me," Balki
points out. "I am mad at Mr. Gorpley," Larry continues, "I
canít believe he took advantage of you." "Well, Cousin,
donít get mad at Mr. Gorpley," Balki counters, "It wasnít his
fault. He was trying to help me. He sat down right next to me so he
could help me by looking at my cards."
"Looking at your cards is against the
rules," Larry points out. "It is?" Balki asks with
surprise. "Yes, it is." "Well, Iíll be
snookered," Balki says, "I . . . I was wondering why he wouldnít let
me look at his cards. You think thatís why I lost each and every
hand?" "Yes, yes, I think so," Larry agrees.
"Cousin, you think if I go to Mr. Gorpley and ask him real nice heíd give
me my money back?" "Balki, youíre dreaming," Larry
scoffs. "I am?" Balki asks excitedly, "Well, you mean I didnít
play poker all night and I didnít lose a hundred dollars? Cousin,
it seemed so real." "Balki, it is real," Larry
assures him, "What I mean is Gorpley is a serious card player. The
only way to get your money back is to beat him at his own game."
"Well, Cousin, Iíd love to get my money back," Balki says, "In
fact, losing the hundred dollars was the only part of the game I didnít enjoy.
Other than that it was really a great way to experience male bondage."
Larry gives Balki a shocked look then thinks about it.
"Bonding," he corrects, "Male bonding. Bonding."
Balki looks into Larryís mouth to see how heís pronouncing the word.
That evening, Larry carries a case from
the living room to the kitchen table, calling, "Balki? Would you come
out here, please?" Larry
opens the case to reveal a card set complete with racks and chips. Balki
exits his bedroom, wearing his bullet hat and a towel which he has tucked under
the back of his shirt like a cape. He walks to the kitchen table where
Larry eyes him in confusion. "Did I catch you at a bad time?"
Larry asks. "No," Balki answers simply. "I was just
wondering why youíre wearing your bullet hat," Larry says.
"Oh!" Balki smiles, "I figured out a way to make back that
hundred dollars that I lost. Iím going to hire myself out on weekends as
a human cannonball." Balki holds his arms straight out for a moment
as if he were flying through the air. "Balki," Larry sighs,
motioning him to step closer so he can take off his hat and the towel,
"Forget about that. It wonít be necessary. I told Gorpley
weíd play in his poker game tomorrow night. Iím going to win your
money back." "Really, Cousin?" Balki asks, "But you
got to be careful. Mr. Gorpley is quite the aardvark." Larry
thinks about this a moment, then asks, "Perhaps you mean card shark?"
Balki nods his confirmation.
"But, Balki, I happen to be a great
poker player," Larry informs him, "In the poker world I was known as
Appleton.í" "Well, in the goat-milking world I was known as
ĎCool Hand Balki.í" Balki mimes milking a goat, looking cool as
he does so. "Are you going to pay attention now?" Larry asks
impatiently. "Yes, I am," Balki assures him, "Iím going
to . . . focus." "First thing I have to do is to teach you to
play poker," Larry explains, picking up a notepad from the table,
"Iíve written down a few simple rules so youíll know how to play your
cards. As you can see, two pair beat one pair, three of a kind beat two
pair, a full house, which is three of a kind and a pair, beat three of a kind,
and four of a kind beat a full house. Any questions?" "Wwowww,"
Balki says, overwhelmed, "You make it all seem so complicated. All
Mr. Gorpley did was deal me five cards and we both look at them and . . . he
take my money." "Well, this is gonna be different," Larry
promises, "Sit down, Balki." They both sit at the table.
"This time," Larry continues as
he takes a stack of chips from a rack and splits it in two, "we are going
to take Gorpleyís money." Larry
deals them each five cards. "Now, it is very important that nobody
know what the cards in your hand are. All right?" Balki is
about to look at his cards but Larry stops him, saying, "Watch me first.
Iím picking up my cards. They may be good . . . they may be bad. I
am looking at my cards. What do you see on my face?" Balki
looks closely at Larryís face, finally pointing to the corner of his mouth and
saying, "Thereís a tiny little bit of ketchup right there. And also
a . . . . " "All right, thatís enough!" Larry says in
frustration, "Thatís enough. What I mean is your face should not
reveal anything about the cards in your hand. That is called having a
poker face . . . a poker face." "Oh, well, thatís a
relief!" Balki smiles, "I thought it meant being hit in the face with
a poker." Balki laughs quietly at his own joke. "Do you
want me to win your money back?" Larry asks impatiently. "Yes I
do!" Balki assures him. "Do you?" "Yes, I
do!" "Oh, you do?" Larry asks, "All right then . . .
pay attention!" "Okay, okay," Balki backs down.
"All right," Larry continues,
"Look at your cards. Remember your face should not reveal anything
about the cards in your hand." Balki
moves his hand over his face as if wiping off his expression as he takes on a
blank look. He looks at his cards, then at Larry, flashing a quick smile
before going blank again. He studies his cards then looks at the list of
winning hands Larry has given him. He runs his finger down the list,
stopping at a one hand, checks his cards, and his eyes widen for a moment before
he remembers to look blank again. Balki again checks the next hand down on
the list and his eyes open really wide, as does his mouth. He struggles to
blank his expression again, then checks further on the list. This time he
canít contain his excitement, as he gasps deeply and fights back his
enthusiasm. He lets out excited noises even though heís trying really
hard to refrain from showing his emotions. Finally he looks at Larry again
with a blank expression. "Good hand?" Larry asks.
"How did you know?" Balki asks with amazement. Larry takes
Balkiís cards and puts them back into the deck.
"Balki, I donít want to take up
your whole night teaching you how to play poker," Larry says.
"No, Cousin, I want to know how to
play poker!" Balki begs, "Please, Cousin!" "All right,
all right!" Larry agrees, "All right, Iíll teach you later, but
first we are going to go over the plan." "Thereís a
plan?" Balki asks. "Yes!" Larry confirms. "Oh
golly!" Balki says worriedly, "There goes all the fun."
"Balki, tomorrow night we play Gorpley," Larry begins, "First
weíre going to lose a few hands on purpose so heíll think Iím a beginner,
too. Then Iíll suggest that we pool our money and I play for both of us.
When he agrees to that just leave everything to me and Iíll win your money
back." "Thank you, Cousin," Balki smiles, "But are you
sure you can beat Mr. Gorpley?" "Balki, you are talking to
ĎSmooth Larry Appleton.í I can beat anybody! There is magic in
these hands." Larry flicks the deck, intending to catch the cards in
his other hand, but instead they fly in all directions. Balki doesnít
look too confident, but Larry strongly shows the one card still in his hand as a
show of defiance, then slaps it down on the table.
The next night in the basement of the
Chicago Chronicle, the poker game is in progress. Mr. Gorpley is playing
with Larry, Balki and two other men named Andre and Walt at a card table set up
between Larryís desk and Balkiís work table. Balki is dealing the
second set of cards for their hand. "Hereís your two," he
tells Walt, "Dealer takes three." "Iíd say these were
worth five bucks," Gorpley says off his hand, putting in one blue chip,
"Andre?" Andre folds by throwing his cards down.
"Walt?" Gorpley asks. "Iím out," Walt says, throwing
his cards down as well. "Up to you, Bartokomous," Gorpley says,
"Are ya in?" Balki looks at his cards and gets excited.
"Whoa. Whoooaaa! Whooooaaaaaa! Am I in??" Balki
cries. "Balki," Larry says under his breath. "I got
nothing," Balki announces, putting down his cards. "How Ďbout
you, Appleton?" Gorpley asks. "Well . . . Iím in," Larry
says, placing a blue chip in the pot, "Read Ďem and weep. A pair of
threes." Larry places his cards face up to show everyone his hand,
smiling proudly. "Whoa, tough hand!" Gorpley says sarcastically,
placing his cards down, "Pair of sixes." "A pair of
sixes?" Larry asks, sounding shocked. Gorpley laughs and gathers in
the pot. "Well, of all the luck," Larry sighs.
"Cousin, you and me must be the two worst poker players in the whole
world," Balki states, overplaying his part, "In fact, I doubt if in
the whole history of card playing there have ever been two more rank-smelling
"Oh say, I have an idea," Larry
says. "You do?" Balki asks. "Why yes, I do.
Well, I didnít plan on this but what if Balki and I pool our money so that
just one of us plays? And then if we raise the stakes we might have a
better chance of winning our money back." "Cousin, thatís a
great plan!" Balki says, still overacting, "Even though itís not a
plan but something you just now thought
of." "You want to raise the stakes?" Gorpley asks, then
laughs maliciously. "Only if itís okay with you," Larry
smiles. "Hey, Sam, these guys are just beginners," Walt points
out, "Címon. It doesnít seem fair." "You want
fair? Go coach Little League," Gorpley snaps, then smiles at Larry,
"Okay. No limit. Which one of youís gonna play?"
Larry and Balki start talking to each other quickly, mumbling over each other.
Finally they look at Mr. Gorpley and ask, "What was the question?"
"Which one of you is going to play?" Gorpley asks again.
"Oh!" they both say, then Larry says "I will" as Balki says,
"He will." "Weíve decided that Cousin Larry is going to
play, even though that wasnít the plan but something we just now thought
of," Balki offers. "Now, what díya say we play some real
poker?" Larry asks. He shuffles the cards from one hand to the other,
not dropping any this time. Balki looks surprised and Larry raises his
eyebrows knowingly at Balki as the scene fades to black.
Act two begins some time later. The
poker game is still going on, with Larry looking stressed and Balki looking
worried. "Okay, Iíll
see your five and raise you twenty," Gorpley says, throwing the appropriate
number of chips into the pot. "Andre?" Gorpley asks. Andre
folds. "Walt?" Walt folds. "Fold, Cousin,"
Balki urges. "Balki," Larry hisses under his breath.
"Fold, spindle, mutilate!" Balki cries, "Just donít lose any
more of our money!" "I am trying to play poker," Larry
snaps, then to Gorpley he says, "Iíll see your twenty and raise you
another twenty." "Okay," Gorpley says, tossing in his
chips, "I call. What díya got?" Larry looks at Gorpley
seriously, then throws down his hand and says, "Three jacks. Beat Ďem."
"Okay, three kings," Gorpley smiles, showing his hand.
"Cousin, I got to talk to you privately," Balki urges, grabbing Larry
by the arm and pulling him away, "Excuse us!" "Iíll be
back," Larry promises, following Balki. They pass Larryís desk and
Balki turns to Larry.
remember that plan where ĎSmooth Larry Appletoní was supposed to win back my
hundred dollars?" Balki asks, "Well, I canít help but notice that
weíre down to our last twenty dollars. Now when does the smooth plan
kick in?" "Everythingís working perfectly," Larry assures
Balki, "Gorpley thinks heís winning." "Well, what a
coincidence," Balki says, "I think heís winning, too!"
"I am in total control of the situation," Larry says, "Now give
me the rest of your money." "I donít think so!" Balki
counters, "I keep giving you money and you keep giving it to Mr. Gorpley.
I could do that!" "Balki, your money is safe with
me," Larry insists, "Now hand it over." Balki pulls a bill
out of his pocket and holds it up, saying, "Cousin, this is my last twenty
dollars. Itís my mad money. If you lose it, Iím gonna be real
mad!" Larry snatches the money from Balkiís hand, saying,
"Thanks. Trust me." "Okay," Balki sighs, and
they return to the table, Larry announcing, "Iím in!"
"Guys, guys, guys," Mr. Gorpley
shakes his head, "Why donít you just give me your last twenty bucks and
go home? You canít
beat me. Iíve been playing poker since I was in high school. They
used to call me ĎSlick Sam Gorpley.í" "Cousin, letís get
out of here," Balki urges, "Heís got a better nickname."
"Balki!" Larry says, staying put, "I can take him. I can do
it. Why donít you go see a movie?" "Iíd love to but
you have all my money," Balki points out. Larry gives the money to
Gorpley and says, "Give me another twenty dollars in chips."
Jennifer suddenly enters from the parking garage. "Larry, I was
afraid Iíd find you here!" she says worriedly.
"Jennifer!" Balki gasps in surprise. "Whoa, whoís the
blonde?" Walt asks excitedly. "Appletonís girlfriend,"
Gorpley explains, "Why Iíll never know." Larry gives Gorpley a
hurt look. "Larry, could I talk to you for a minute, please?"
Jennifer asks. "Not now. Itís my deal," Larry answers.
"Balki, we have to talk," Jennifer urges. "Yeah,
okay," Balki agrees, getting up from the table.
Jennifer and Balki move a ways behind
Gorpley to talk. "Balki, we have to get Larry out of here,"
Jennifer says softly. "Well, tell
me something I donít know!" Balki replies. "Howís he
doing?" Jennifer asks. "Well, he says heís doing great but Mr.
Gorpley has all of our money," Balki answers. Mr. Gorpley is
listening intently to every word they say. "If we donít get Larry
out of here right now heíll start writing IOUís. Heíll bet his car.
Heíll bet everything he owns," Jennifer says. "Iíll raise
you twenty dollars," Gorpley tells Larry, smiling wickedly. "But
how can that be?" Balki cries, "Heís supposed to be ĎSmooth Larry
Appleton.í" "He was ĎSmooth Larry Appletoní years
ago," Jennifer explains, "but thatís before he got the fever.
It got so bad he finally vowed to quit and never pick up the cards again.
I told him not to take this chance but, Balki, he said he had to do it for
you." Balki places a hand over his heart in shock. "But .
. . but . . . but . . . do you think he has any control left?"
"All right, hereís your twenty," Larry tells Gorpley, putting in his
chips, "And Iíll throw in the blonde." Jennifer and Balki look
shocked. "Apparently not," Balki answers his own question.
"Come on, Jennifer, weíve got to
get him out of here," Balki says, and he and Jennifer walk to Larry and
start trying to pull him away from the table. "Cousin, come on,"
Balki says, "Weíre getting out of here." "Balki, Iím
not going anywhere!" Larry insists. "Larry, please, you know
youíve got the fever," Jennifer says, "You canít win!"
Larry doesnít move. "Cousin, Iím sorry," Balki
says, "but this is for your own good." Balki grabs Larry around
the middle and lifts him as Jennifer grabs his legs and they both hold Larry up,
pulling him from the table. Larry hangs on to the edge of the table.
"No, no, no!" Larry yells. "Mr. Gorpley, tell him that the
game is over," Balki begs. "Please, you have to let us take him
home," Jennifer agrees, "Heís lost control." "Heís
got twenty dollars on the table," Gorpley points out. "Yeah, not
to mention the blonde!" Walt adds. "Iím not on the
table!" Jennifer says indignantly. "Oh," Walt sighs,
"then Iím out." He folds. "All right, Balki!"
Larry says. "What?" Balki asks. "Put me down!"
Larry insists. "No, Cousin!" Balki cries. "Put me
down!" "No!" "Put me down! Put me down!
Put me down now!" Larry shouts. "All right, if you think itíll
help," Balki says sadly, "Youíre short, you dress funny and you walk
like a duck!" Larry thinks for a moment, then understands.
"Oh! Oh! No, no, no, no, no, no. Set me
down." "Okay," Balki agrees, and he and Jennifer set Larry
Larry picks up his cards which are face
down on the table and turns them over. "Pair of eights," he
announces. "Pair of jacks,"
Gorpley smiles, "You lose again, Appleton." Gorpley rakes in the
pot and Larry looks like heís at the end of his rope. "All right,
Gorpley," Larry says, "What díya say? One more hand for the
whole ball of wax." "No, Cousin!" Balki cries, "You
canít bet my ball of wax! Iíve been collecting it for years!"
"Okay," Gorpley agrees, "Iíll play one more hand with ya.
But what are you gonna bet with?" "Iíll bet next weekís
paycheck against everything we lost tonight plus the hundred Balki lost,"
Larry says. "Ooh, you are a serious card player!" Gorpley says,
pushing his winnings back to the middle of the table. "Cousin,
Cousin, itís your paycheck!" Balki says worriedly. Gorpley deals
out the cards. "Donít worry, Balki," Larry says, picking up
his cards, "Iím not gonna lose." Larry looks at his cards,
then tells Gorpley, "Iíll take three." Gorpley gives Larry
three new cards and takes back the three Larry gives up, then looks at his own
cards. "And Iíll take . . . one," Gorpley smirks.
"I tell you what," Larry says,
"Letís, uh . . . sweeten the pot." He digs into his pocket and
pulls out his car keys. "Iíll raise you . . .
my car." Larry throws his keys into the pot. Gorpley eyes Walt
and Andre with amazement. "No, Cousin, donít do that!" Balki
cries, trying to take Larryís keys back, but Larry throws them out again.
"Balki!" "Cousin, you donít have a pair of
anything!" Balki cries. "Balki!" Larry says in shock.
"Gee, I got a feeliní youíre bluffiní," Gorpley laughs, then
fishes into his own pocket, "You wanna bet cars?" He throws his
car keys into the pot and says, "I call." "What díya
got?" Larry asks worriedly. Gorpley shows his hand. "Full
house . . . kings and aces." Gorpley laughs in triumph.
"Uh, you can just leave your car here and take the bus home. Itíll
be a nice lesson in humility." Gorpley reaches for the pot, but Larry
shoots out a hand and grabs Gorpleyís arm. "Whoa, not so quick,
Slick," Larry warns, "When I sat down you thought you had a pigeon you
could take to the cleaners." "Cousin, cut through the
metaphors!" Balki cries, "I donít know what youíre talking about
and Iím dying to know if weíve won or lost!"
"He thought I didnít know how to
play and that he could take everything I had," Larry explains.
"Oh," Balki sighs. Larry turns
back to Gorpley. "Then when you overheard Jennifer say that I was out
of control, you thought it was Christmas." "Cousin!"
"He thought he could take all our money," Larry explains to Balki,
"Well, it was all a trap and you walked right into it."
"The blonde was in on it?" Walt cries. "I have a
name," Jennifer points out. "Do you have a phone number?"
Walt asks her. "Walt, shut up," Gorpley sneers. "Balkiís
right," Larry continues, "I donít have a pair of anything. I
got a straight flush." Larry lays his cards out on the table to show
everyone. "You lose, Gorpley!" Larry smiles. Balki cries
with happiness and hugs Jennifer and Larry. Larry pulls the pot in and
stands, picking out the car keys. "I canít believe I lost my
car," Gorpley says in shock. "Well, I donít want your
car," Larry explains, "I just came to win back what Balki lost."
Larry tosses a set of keys to Gorpley. "Nice gesture, Cousin,"
Balki says, "but those are your car keys."
at their apartment, Balki is sitting on the couch and Larry walks over to sit
down next to him. "Cousin, you mean to tell me that Jennifer knew
that you were pretending to be out of control the whole time?" Balki asks.
"Yes, she did," Larry admits. "Cousin, why you didnít
tell me what you were going to do?" Balki asks, "I was really worried.
I spent the whole evening on an emotional roller derby." "Iím
sorry, Balki, but I had no choice," Larry explains, "I knew you
couldnít keep my secret. Youíre just not a devious person."
"Well, Iím sorry. We all have our shortcomings," Balki sighs.
"No, no, Balki. Thatís a good thing in life," Larry assures
him, "Oh, uh . . . hereís your hundred dollars." Larry fishes
in his pocket and hands Balki the money. "Thanks, Cousin," Balki
says, "Thank you for winning my money back."
"I think you would have done the same
for me," Larry smiles. "You know I would," Balki confirms,
"You know, Cousin, this has
been quite a week. Mr. Gorpley fooled me. You fooled me.
Jennifer fooled me. Iím beginning to think . . . Iím . . .
easily fooled." "You?" Larry asks, "You? No,
Balki, you are not easily fooled," Larry assures him.
"Really?" Balki smiles, "Well, thank you. Thatís a load
off my mind." "Oh! Whatís that?" Larry asks,
pointing to a spot on Balkiís shirt below his chin. Balki looks down and
Larry touches the tip of Balkiís nose with his finger as a joke. Balki
looks at Larry and asks, "Whatís what?" "Whatís
that?" Larry tries again, pointing at Balkiís shirt and again touching
Balkiís nose when he looks down. "Whatís what?" Balki asks
again in confusion. "Whatís that?" Larry asks, pointing and
touching Balkiís nose again. Balki just doesnít get it. Larry
tries one last time but Balki keeps trying to find whatís wrong with his
shirt, and finally Larry just gives up.
There are some huge
differences between the first draft script dated March 16, 1989 and the final
episode begins in the apartment. Balki is in the kitchen making a bowl of
cereal as Larry enters from his bedroom. They are dressed for work.
Larry comments, "You got in awfully late last night. Gorpley must
have had a ton of work for you." "Oh, I wasn't working
late," Balki explains, "I was learning the Great American
pastime." "But, you already know how to play baseball,"
Larry says, confused. "Oh, not that Great American pastime. The
other one. Poker." "You played poker?" Larry asks
worriedly. "I know what you're thinking but rest assured it doesn't
involve any poking at all," Balki says, "Mr. Gorpley pointed that out
right away." "Wait a minute, you played poker with Gorpley?"
Larry asks with surprise. "Yes," Balki answers, "One of the
players in Mr. Gorpley's regular game was sick, and Mr. Gorpley graciously
allowed me to 'sit in.' That's a poker term. Although, it was used
in the sixties in a totally different context." "So after you
'sat in,' what happened?" Larry asks. "Well, I told Mr. Gorpley
that I had never played poker before, so he offered to sit next to me and teach
me everything I needed to know," Balki answers. "Did this
'teaching' happen to include looking at your cards?" "Well of
course it did. Don't be ridiculous. How else would Mr. Gorpley know
if I should increase my bet or 'drop out?' Another term poker shares with
the sixties." "Balki, how much money did you lose?" Larry
asks. "A hundred dollars," Balki answers, "How'd you know I
lost money?" "You lost a hundred dollars?" "But
Cousin, it was a learning experience. And Mr. Gorpley said, 'There's no
free lunch.' Although he did serve some chips and a very interesting dip
that was dark on top but became progressively lighter as you dug down . . .
" "Balki. You were 'taken,'" Larry explains,
"You were 'set up.' You were a 'pigeon.' Several timeless
expressions, all meaning you were cheated." "Mr. Gorpley
wouldn't do that to me," Balki argues, "We're card-playing buddies and
I don't want you talking about him that way." Larry decides to change
his tact. "Maybe you're right. He probably just forgot it's
traditional that your first poker lesson is free. I'll just go down to the
paper and remind him in no uncertain terms." They head for the door.
"That would be great, Cousin," Balki says. Then he makes the
male bondage comment.
- The next scene takes place at the
newspaper, where Larry is talking to Harriette. "Now let me get this
straight, baby," Harriette says, "You're saying that Gorpley took
Balki for a hundred dollars. And you're going to ask him to give it
back." "Right," Larry answers. "Are you going to
do this with a baseball bat in your hand?" Harriette asks. "I'm
going to reason with him," Larry says, "Maybe he'll realize it's the
right thing to do." "And maybe pigs will fly," Harriette
comments, and walks into the elevator. Balki enters from the loading dock.
"Cousin, I've been talking to poker players all over the building and
nobody ever heard of this 'first lesson free' tradition. Most of them seem
to think I got off pretty cheap." Larry gets angry and says,
"Well, you didn't. The man took your money. He cheated you and
I'm not going to let him get away with it." "I may be way off
base here, Cousin," Balki says, "but I think if you talk to Mr.
Gorpley that way, I could be out a hundred dollars and a job. And I'll
never be able to afford lesson number two." "You're right,"
Larry agrees, "I lost it there for a second. But I'm all right now.
Don't worry. I'm going to explain calmly and rationally to Gorpley why you
deserve to get your money back." Gorpley enters from the garage.
"Well, good morning, boys. Like my new shoes? They cost me a
hundred bucks." Balki is genuinely impressed and says,
"Nice." "I guess what you meant to say is they cost Balki a
hundred dollars," Larry remarks. "Cousin," Balki says
worriedly. "You got a problem, Appleton?" Gorpley asks.
Larry stays calm, but is firm. "Yes, I've got a problem. Look,
we both know that Balki doesn't know anything about poker, and that he believes
anything that people tell him, and that he wants very much for you to like him.
Now the combination of these things has cost him a lot of money. I think
you'll have to agree that the decent thing to do would be to give him back the
money he lost." "Nice going, Cousin," Balki compliments
Larry, "Very calm, very rational. This is a big step for you."
"Thank you," Larry replies. "Is it my turn to talk
now?" Gorpley asks. "Of course," Larry answers.
"He played, he lost, tough luck," Gorpley smirks and walks into his
office. Larry goes for him but Balki grabs Larry up off the ground so
Larry's legs spin in the air. "Let me at him," Larry snarls,
calling after Gorpley, "You haven't hard the last of me! This isn't
- The scene at night in the apartment
starts with a segment that includes Jennifer. Larry is pacing in the
apartment when there is a knock at the door. Larry opens it and Jennifer
enters, holding a wooden box. "Good. You brought it,"
Larry says, taking the box, "Thanks a lot, Jennifer."
"Larry, I don't like this," Jennifer says, "When you asked me to
keep this box you said you hoped you'd never have to use it again."
"I know, I know," Larry answers, "But this is the only way to get
Balki's money back from Gorpley." "But, Larry, you know what
happens to you when you play poker," Jennifer says worriedly.
"Jennifer, it's for Balki," Larry explains, "I've got to take the
chance." Jennifer gives Larry "a Miss Kitty to Matt Dillon"
look. "I understand," she says, "Be careful."
"I will," Larry promises. Jennifer gives Larry a kiss.
"Remember, no matter what happens, I'll still be here for you," she
says. She leaves. Larry knocks on Balki's door. "Balki,
could you come out here, please?" Balki comes out of his room and
follows Larry to the kitchen table. "Cousin, I've been thinking.
Since Mr. Gorpley said he really 'took me to school' last night, perhaps my
gambling loss is a tax deduction." "Balki, you don't have to
worry about that because I told Gorpley we'd play in his poker game tomorrow
night. We're going to win your money back." "Cousin, I
didn't know you could play poker," Balki comments. "There's a
lot about me you don't know, Balki," Larry begins, "You see . . .
" "Well, there's a lot about me you don't know, too," Balki
responds. "I'm sure there is," Larry agrees, "But . . .
" "I'll bet you didn't know that I can stick out my tongue and
touch the end of my nose. Watch." Balki sticks out his tongue
and touches his nose with his fingers. "Boy, where do I come up with
them?" Balki laughs. "Do you want to win your money back?
Do you?" Larry asks. "Sorry, Cousin," Balki apologizes,
"As you were saying." "I don't just play poker," Larry
continues, "I've been blessed with that magic combination of skill and luck
which, at one time, made me virtually unbeatable." Larry takes a
carousel of poker chips and decks of cards out of the box. "In the
poker world, I was known as 'Smooth Larry Appleton.'" "Well, in
the goat milking world, I was known as 'Cool Hand Balki,'" Balki counters.
"Balki, what we have here is a failure to communicate," Larry notes.
(Editor's note: this is a reference to the Paul Newman movie Cool Hand Luke).
- Larry gives Balki the rules of
poker. "Cousin, are you sure this is the same game I was playing with
Mr. Gorpley? The way he explained it the rules changed with every
hand." "I'll bet they did," Larry sighs, "Trust me,
Balki. These are the correct rules." "Gosh, if the rules
never change, this game will be a lot easier. Let's play," Balki
says. Balki sits at the table and starts playing with the chips.
"First of all we have to ante up," Larry explains. "Bad
news, Cousin. I don't have an Auntie Up. I do have an Auntie Ursula.
She'd a rather large woman with those eyebrows that sort of meet over the bridge
of her nose." "'Ante up' means to put some money on the table so
we can play the game," Larry explains. Larry picks up a chip and puts
it in the middle of the table. Balki does the same. Larry starts to
explain about having a "poker face." After Balki points out the
ketchup in the corner of his mouth, Larry clarifies, "I mean, does my face
give you any idea whether I have a good hand or not?" "How can I
tell from your face is you have good hands?" Balki asks. Larry
explains what it means to have a poker face. "Boy, for a hundred
dollars Mr. Gorpley left out a lot of stuff," Balki notes. After
Balki tries to do a poker face and Larry guesses he has a good hand, Balki asks,
"How did you know?" "It's written all over your face,"
Larry answers. Balki tries to read his own face, asking, "It's not in
ink, is it?" Larry has Balki try it again, telling him not to have
any expression on his face. Balki holds his face so tightly that nothing
can move. He then puts his cards on the table face down in three stacks of
two, two and one. "Okay, let me guess," Larry sighs, "You
have two pair." "Wwowww, Cousin, you are smooth!" Balki
says in amazement. Larry then says he doesn't want to take up Balki's
whole evening teaching him to play poker and that they should go over the plan.
(In this version, Balki doesn't make any comment about Larry having a plan).
After Larry explain the plan, Balki asks, "Well, Cousin why don't you play
for both of us right away?" "No, no, he'd get suspicious,"
Larry answers, "But if he thinks I'm new he'll be happy to let me raise the
stakes. And then I could win back what you lost." "We're
playing for steaks?" Balki asks, "Boy, this game is getting more and
more complicated." "'Stakes' means money," Larry explains.
"Oh, good," Balki says, "Because I'm trying to cut back on my
consumption of red meat." "Now, let's run over the basic rules.
What does a full house beat?" Larry asks. "It beats the pants
off whatever's on CBS!" Balki answers. (!!!!) This was to be
the end of Act One.
- At the poker game, Andre's name
is Louie. When we first see the poker game in progress and Balki has a
good hand but folds anyway, he puts his cards down and says, "I bend."
"That's fold," Gorpley corrects, "How about you, Appleton?"
"How much would I have to bet?" Larry asks. "Five
dollars," Gorpley answers. "That would be one of the blue
chips?" Larry asks. "Yes," Mr. Gorpley says impatiently,
"Will you see the bet or not?" "I can bet more than five
dollars, can't I?" Larry asks. "Yes!" Mr. Gorpley cries,
losing it. "And that's called a raise?" Larry asks.
"Yes! Are you raising?" Gorpley asks. "No, I was just
asking," Larry explains, "Fascinating game, isn't it, Balki?"
"Oh, yes," Balki replies, "And quite challenging, too."
"Appleton, see the bet, raise, fold, get out of the game. Do
something, anything!" Gorpley cries. Larry shows Balki his hand.
"What do you think I should do?" "That's hard to say,
Cousin," Balki answers, then asks Gorpley, "What were his choices
again?" "Bet, raise or fold," Gorpley snarls through
clenched teeth. "Fold," Larry and Balki say together.
Gorpley rakes in his chips. "You know, you two seem to be getting low
on chips," Gorpley notes, "I'd be happy to let you write a
check." "That's very nice of you, Mr. Gorpley," Balki
smiles. "But I have a better idea," Larry says quickly.
"You do?" Balki asks. "Yes, I do. I didn't plan
on this, but how about pooling our funds and letting one of us play for both of
us. If we raise the stakes, at least we'd have a chance at winning our
money back." "Cousin, that's a great plan," Balki sauys,
"Even though it wasn't a plan but something you just thought of."
"How about it, Gorpley?" Larry asks. "Fine with me,"
Gorpley agrees, "Who's going to play? Tweedledum or Tweedledumber?"
Gorpley, Walt and Louie laugh. "Since it's my turn to deal anyway,
why don't I play?" Larry suggests, then does an elaborate shuffle and adds,
"Now what do you say we play some real poker?"
- Two hours later all the players are
still there. Only Gorpley and Larry are playing. Balki is standing
behind Larry and massaging his shoulders. Larry appears to be very
nervous. "It's just you and me, Appleton," Gorpley taunts,
"Let's see, the way your luck's been running, I think I'll do you a favor
and just bet three dollars." Gorpley puts his chips in the pot.
"I've just had a couple of bad hands," Larry explains, "It
happens to everybody." "Actually you've had seventeen bad
hands," Balki points out. "It doesn't matter," Larry
insists, "My luck with change. I feel it. I'll see your three
dollars and raise you five more." Larry puts his chips in.
"Hey, it's your funeral," Gorpley says, "What have you got?"
"Three jacks," Larry says, showing his hand, "Let's see you beat
that." "Read 'em and sleep," Balki remarks to Gorpley.
"Gee, all I have is two little pair," Gorpley sighs.
"Alright!" Larry says happily, "See I told you, Balki. This
is the beginning of the end for you, Gorpley. You're mine."
Larry starts to rake in the chips but Gorpley stops him, showing his hand.
"Oh, forgive me. I forgot to mention that I have two little pair --
of threes." "Cousin, he has four threes," Balki realizes.
"No. He can't!" Larry cries in disbelief. "Now does
that beat three jacks?" Balki asks. "Yes, it does," Larry
answers. This is when Balki pulls Larry aside to ask him when he's
supposed to start winning their money back. Larry just says his luck's
gotta change and goes back to the table. "What were you doing,
revising your strategy?" Gorpley asks, "You can't beat me, you know.
I was on to your little game right from the beginning." To Walt and
Louie, Gorpley explains, "Appleton thought he could make me believe he was
no good, so he could raise the stakes and win back the Mypiot's money."
"Wow," Balki says, impressed, "How did you figure that out, Mr.
Gorpley?" "Hey, I've been playing poker since I was in high
school. They used to call me 'Slick Sam Gorpley.'" Balki asks
Larry, "Question. In the rules of poker, does a 'Slick' beat a
'Smooth?'" "Balki, we can't stop now," Larry says
desperately, "We're in too deep." "It's getting late,"
Walt announces, "Bubbles said I have to be home by two. I'm going to
hit the road. Come on, Lou." Walt and Louie exit.
"You're going to miss the fun of seeing me clean Appleton out!"
Gorpley calls after them, then says to Larry, "Unless, of course, you'd
like to quit, too." "Maybe you should, Cousin," Balki
suggests. "I'm not quitting until I win back your money," Larry
says, then tells Gorpley to deal.
- This is when Jennifer runs in and
tries to talk to Larry, then talks to Balki and asks how Larry is doing.
"Well, I hate to criticize, but if you ask me, he's going down in flames
and he's got a bad attitude about it," Balki answers. Jennifer then
explains how Larry has a gambling problem but said he had to do it for Balki.
"We've got to get him out of here before he bets the big one," Balki
says worriedly. "You lose again," Gorpley tells Larry,
"Looks like you're busted." "Well, I guess that means we
can go now," Balki says, "Come on, Cousin." Balki tries to
get Larry to stand up but he won't move. Then Balki and Jennifer try to
pick Larry up. Larry suggests one more hand for the whole ball of wax, to
which Balki cries, "Cousin, you can't bet my ball of wax. I've been
collecting it for years. Next you'll be betting my string
collection." Larry tells Balki to put him down and Balki says,
"Okay, Cousin. If it will help. That's the ugliest shirt I've
ever seen." "No, I mean set me down," Larry explains.
They set him down. "I'm a grown man," Larry states, "If I
want to play poker, I'll play poker. Now deal, 'Slick.'"
Gorpley deals, saying, "That's the spirit, Appleton. Don't let them
tell you what to do." "All right, I'll bet my car against
everything we lost tonight plus the hundred Balki lost," Larry says.
"Oh. You are a serious poker player," Gorpley smiles, pushing a
huge stack of chips on the table. "But, Cousin, you love that
car," Balki points out. "I'm not going to lose," Larry
assures them, then looks at his hand and says, "I'll take three."
Gorpley deals three cards. Larry puts them in his hand. He looks
worried. "Does he have a chance?" Jennifer asks Balki.
"It doesn't look good," Balki says, looking at Larry's hand, "He
doesn't have a pair of anything." "Balki, be quiet," Larry
scolds. "Well, I might as well just play these," Gorpley smiles.
"What do you have?" Larry asks. "I've got a pair of
aces," Gorpley explains, "You want to bring the title to your car in
tomorrow? Sorry I can't give you a ride home." Larry stops
Gorpley. "Not so fast, Gorpley," Larry warns. "Too
bad, Cousin," Balki sighs, "You've just got all those red cards."
Larry shows his hand. "Balki, this is called a straight flush."
"Well, that's a good name for it since everything we've got is going down
the toilet," Balki sighs. "A straight flush is a good
thing," Larry explains, "I win." Larry rakes in all the
chips. "Boy, talk about dumb luck," Gorpley smirks.
"It wasn't just luck," Larry assures him, "The hard part was
letting you win all those other hands. Come on, Balki, Jennifer."
- In the apartment a short time later,
Balki, Larry and Jennifer are talking. "You mean all along you were
pretending to be out of control?" Balki asks. "Yes, it was all a
set up," Larry explains, "I know Gorpley was expecting a trick.
That's why I let him think he was on to me. But, the real plan was to let
Jennifer come in and make everyone think I was out of control so Gorpley would
think I was an easy victim." "Wow, a 'Smooth' does beat a
'Slick!'" Balki states. "I'd better be going," Jennifer
says, "Mary Anne probably realizes by now that I didn't really go out for
hairspray at two in the morning." "Thanks for your help,
Jennifer," Larry smiles. Jennifer exits. Balki then asks why
Larry didn't let him in on the plan and Larry tells Balki he's just not a
devious person and assures him it's a good thing. Balki thanks Larry for
winning his money back. "I kind of enjoyed that," Larry admits.
"Cousin, is there anything else you're hiding about your past?" Balki
asks. "You mean any other skeletons in my closet?" Larry asks.
Balki is shocked, saying, "You have skeletons in your closet? I don't
want to hear about this." Balki backs away from Larry as the scene
fades out and the show ends.
on to the next episode . . .