Perfect Strangers Episode Guide

EPISODE 74 - Lie-Ability

First Air Date: September 29, 1989
Nielsen Rating: 12.8 HH

TV Guide Description: A superstitious Balki predicts that Larry will suffer a tragic fate if he goes ahead with his plan to bilk an insurance company.

Co-Producer: James OíKeefe
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Robert Griffard & Howard Adler
Directed by: Joel Zwick

Cast:
Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton
Rebeca Arthur: Mary Anne
Melanie Wilson: Jennifer Lyons
Belita Moreno: Miss Lydia Markham
Sam Anderson: Mr. Sam Gorpley

Guest Cast:
Allen Williams: Mr. Joseph Garber, the Insurance Agent

Dimitri Appearances: Dimitri can be seen sitting on the bookcase wearing his bullet hat and a neck brace.

Balki-isms:
"We have a lot of rehab ahead of us before you even think about mixing any doubles with Jennifer."
"You just sit there and leave the striving to us!"
"Iím not even renting it!"
"He could make the sheep dip!"
"I beg to take issue . . . "

Donít be ridiculous: Said once in this episode.

Other catchphrases used in this episode:
Balkiís "Oh!
"Where do I come up with them?"

Other running jokes used in this episode:
Larryís bad back
Larry grabs Balkiís shirt
Larry has a plan
Balki laughs at his own joke
Larryís breathy laugh
Balki tells a Myposian story to try to convey a lesson to Larry, in this case the story of noted Mypos accordion player Oompo Mousikako

Notable Moment:
Larry indicates he is going to sell his car

Myposian Rituals:
The Myposian Litany of Truth

The Myposian Litany of Hope

Interesting facts:
lieabilitygrab02.jpg (50485 bytes)-
When this episode first aired on ABC prime time it was sponsored by Cascade Dishwasher soap.
- This is the first time Larry has mentioned his sister, Elaine, since her appearance in the second season episode, Hello, Elaine.  She had come to visit Larry and Balki in Chicago before going on to New York to pursue her career as a pianist.  The writers stay true to that storyline in this episode by showing that Elaine has progressed enough to win a partial scholarship to The Juilliard School, a very prestigious school of music located in New York City.  You can visit the schoolís website by clicking here.
- The attention to canon continues with Larryís back going out.  Larry has suffered with back problems since episode five of the series, Check This, when he hurt his back trying to close the broken sofa bed.  In that episode, Balki also attempted to "fix" Larryís back with this Myposian methods, only in that case he left Larry unable to move his arms.  Larryís back was also a major part of the fourth season episode Piano Movers, when he worried about hurting his back moving a piano up several flights of stairs for Miss Lydia (and consequently does!)
- If this episode is any indication, Larry should always have Balki dunk his cookies!  Balki is able to successfully dunk a cookie into milk and feed it to Larry.  As we well know, Larry canít do this himself to save his life.
- Notable in this outing is Larryís incredible pantomime tennis game which he performs when he thinks Balki has left the apartment.  It should be noted that Mark used to perform a one-man mime act while at Yale.
- Balkiís mention of Roseanne Barr gets a huge response from the audience.  Her show, Roseanne, had debuted on ABC the previous year and was a huge hit.
- Prolific actor Allen Williams, who plays the insurance agent Joseph Garber in this episode, had previously appeared in the drama series Lou Grant (for which he also directed several episodes) and then played a regular character on the prime time soap opera Knotís Landing.  He continues to work regularly to this day.
- This is the second time we see Balki wearing a Chicago Blackhawks hockey team t-shirt.  This first time was in the season three opener, All the News That Fits, when he had attended a hockey game alone after being "stood up" by Larry.  The shirt is even more striking in this episode, since Balki is wearing it with his bizarre Myposian Litany of Truth and Litany of Hope outfit.
- Near the end of the episode, Larry notes that Balki bought his car for only $600. It was never clear how much Balki eventually paid for his car in the previous seasonís episode Car Wars until now.
- Larry also makes reference to selling his Mustang to be able to help Elaine afford Juilliard.  Larryís mustang is not referred to in any subsequent episodes, but when Balki and Larry are driving to Larryís wedding in the season seven episode The Wedding, they are driving a blue Mustang.  Since we know Balkiís car is supposedly red, this must be Larryís new car.  But nothing specific was ever said to explain when or how Larry bought this new Mustang.  Whatís woefully underplayed is the depth of this sacrifice on Larryís part . . . we all know how much he dearly loves his car.


Synopsis:
The episode begins with Larryís voice saying, "Now donít worry . . . everything is gonna be all right," over the establishing shot of the apartment building.  Inside the apartment, we see Larry is sitting at the counter, talking on the phone.  "No, no, I promise," he continues, "Iíll call you back in a couple of days.  Bye, bye."  Larry hangs up the phone, looking somewhat worried.  Balki enters from his bedroom, hiding something behind his back as he approaches the counter.  "Cousin Larry," he begins, then switches into his announcerís voice, "You and your date, Jennifer Lyons, will be the hit of the airline tennis tournament.  Why?  Because, surprise!  Iíve decorated your tennis racket!"  Balki holds out the tennis racket heís been hiding behind his back.  It is covered with tassels.  "Thanks, Balki," Larry says flatly, still worried.  "Well, you donít seem too jazzed," Balki notes, "Did I go over the top with the kri-kri tassels?"  "No, no . . . I love the kri-kri tassels," Larry assures him, "But I just got a call from my sister, Elaine.  She got a scholarship to go to the Juilliard School of Music."  "Thatís wonderful!" Balki exclaims.  "Not quite," Larry continues, "She only got a partial scholarship."

"What does that mean?" Balki asks, "She can only go to part of the school?"  "No," Larry says, "No, it means theyíll only give her part of the money for tuition."  Larry gets up and walks around the counter to the living room.  "And she wonít be able to go to the school at all if she doesnít come up with the other three thousand eight hundred seventy-five dollars."  Larry gets his briefcase, which is sitting on the couch.  "Does Cousin Elaine have that kind of money?" Balki asks.  "Of course not," Larry says, "Thatís why she called me."  "Oh!" Balki says, then asks, "Do you have that kind of money?"  "Of course not," Larry answers, "But I promised her Iíd come up with the money and Iím not gonna let her down.  I just have to think of a way to raise it."  "Cousin, Cousin!"  Balki says excitedly as he gets his jacket from the hook on the door, "You know, on Mypos . . . on Mypos a sure-fire way to raise money has always been the goat spleen and pig snout breakfast.  All you can eat for fifty-thousand digdas . . . limit ten per family."  "Let me give that some thought," Larry finally says, and they head out the door to work.

At the Chronicle building, over the establishing shot we hear Larry saying, "Ow!  Ow!" Then Lydiaís voice asking, "Balki, what happened?"  Inside the basement, Balki and Lydia are on either side of Larry, helping him as he slowly walks across the floor to Balkiís work table.  Their steps are timed perfectly to Larryís.  "After we left the bank, we had a car accident."  Larry motions for Lydia to clear the mail bags off Balkiís table, which she does.  "We stopped at a red light but the car behind us didnít and we got rear-ended right in our rear end."  Larry stands next to the table and Balki gets behind him, grabbing him by his back belt loop and pushing him roughly down on the table so Larry is laying face down on it with his legs off the edge.  Balki then takes Larryís ankles and pushes him fully onto the table.  "Now, Cousin, I can fix this," Balki promises, "I used to take care of sheep with lower back spasm."

Balki instructs Lydia, "Take the head, please."  Larry has rolled over onto his back with his knees up as Lydia walks over and takes his head in her hands.  Balki cracks his fingers over his own head in preparation.  "Balki, please . . . " Larry says, but Balki takes his knees and pushes them one way while Lydia turns Larryís head the other way.  Larry screams in pain.  Balki and Lydia return Larry to his original position.  "Balki, please . . . " Larry begs.  Balki and Lydia do the same, only both in the opposite direction.  Larry screams again.  They return to the first position again.  "Balki, please . . . "  This time Balki lifts Larryís knees and Lydia pushes Larryís head upward.  Larry grabs Balkiís shirt and pulls Balki down to face him.  "Please . . . donít help me . . . " Larry insists, " . . . Please, donít help me!"  Mr. Gorpley exits his office and observes the odd scene.  "Excuse me," he says.  Balki and Lydia drop Larryís knees and head, and they hit the table hard.

"Appleton, Bartokomous has to sort the mail," Gorpley says impatiently, "If you want to rest, sleep on your own desk."  "He is not resting!  Heís in pain!" Lydia insists.  Larry has lifted his head and Lydia pushes it back down again, hard.  "The boys were just in a car accident and Larry hurt his back," Lydia continues.  "Yeah, and I hurt my little finger, right there," Balki says, holding his pinky in Gorpleyís face to show him.  "Pretend youíve got a heart, Sam," Lydia says sharply.  "Oh, thatís terrible," Gorpley says in mock sympathy, then motions to her like "who cares?"  "Get off the table," he says to Larry, "Weíve got mail to deliver."  Gorpley heads back to his office.  "Iíll be off in a minute," Larry assures him, "Iíll be fine."  "Cousin, let me help you," Balki says, starting to move Larry.  Larry grabs him by the little finger and cries, "No!  No, no, please . . . donít help me."  Balki is wincing.  "That would be my hurt finger," he points out.  "I know," Larry says, then squeezes Balkiís pinky extra hard before letting it go.  Balki turns away, sucking his pinky.

"Larry," Lydia begins, pushing Larryís head back down on the table hard again, "I have seen some backs go out in my time . . . in fact, Iíve put a few backs out in my time!"  She smiles at Balki, who just looks confused.  Lydia gives up and addresses Larry again.  "So take my advice and go to the hospital and have your back looked at."  "Itís nothing," Larry insists, "I throw my back out all the time.  Help me sit up."  They help him into a sitting position.  "Much better," Larry says, "Look, I appreciate your concern but I know how to handle this.  A little ice, a heating pad . . . Iím sure itíll snap right back into place."  "I have got a heating pad in my desk drawer," Lydia says, "I wonít be needing it Ďtil the, uh . . . "  She thinks a moment.  " . . . 26th."  She runs off to get it.  "And Cousin, Iíll go get the ice," Balki says, "Do you prefer the wet or the dry?"  "Wet," Larry answers.  "Excellent choice," Balki smiles, "Smokeless and it donít stick to your skin."  Balki runs off to get the ice.

After everyone is gone, Larry turns onto his side in pain and then twists himself over, crying "Ow!" and then letting out a sigh of relief.  He slowly scoots off the table, still saying, "Ow," then drops off the edge with an "Oh!"  He hangs on to the edge of the table and slowly lowers himself into a squatted position.  As he lets himself down the last distance, there is a cracking sound and he cries "Ah!" before sighing, "Much better."  He stands up and turns several times.  Gorpley enters from his office and starts placing envelopes into the baskets at the front of the table.  "So, you got a lawyer yet?" Gorpley asks Larry.  "What?" Larry asks.  "Got a lawyer yet?" Gorpley repeats, "Appleton, you were rear-ended.  You could claim whiplash and sue the pants off the guy."  "But my back popped into place," Larry explains, "Iím fine."  "So?" Gorpley asks.  "So I donít believe in making somebody pay for an injury I donít have," Larry says.  Gorpley sighs with disgust.  "Appleton, the guy wouldnít pay a thing.  His insurance company would.  Itís no big deal to them.  I mean, weíre only talking about four or five thousand."  "Four or five thousand dollars?" Larry asks.  "Yeah," Gorpley confirms, "But hey, maybe you have no use for that kind of money."  Gorpley drops the rest of the envelopes into one basket and walks back to his office, leaving Larry to think.  "Four or five thousand dollars?" Larry repeats to himself.

At the apartment some time later, Larry is sitting in the chair to the right of the couch.  He is wearing a neck brace and holding a book.  Balki is sitting on the end table next to him and Jennifer and Mary Anne are sitting on the couch.  "Doctor Volvo say that the best thing for Cousin Larry to do is nothing, and Iím here to make sure he do it," Balki explains.  "Well, heís been a prince through all this," Larry smiles, patting Balkiís knee.  Balki takes the hand Larry is patting him with and sets it back on the book in his lap.  "But the toughest part is the mental anguish," Larry says, handing Balki the book.  "You done?" Balki asks.  Larry holds up his hand and Balki immediately runs to the bookshelf to put the book away then returns to Larryís side.  "I mean, uh . . . when youíre used to being an active, vital, independent member of society . . . "  Larry leans forward and Balki takes a pillow from the couch and puts it behind Larryís back.  " . . . itís tough to sit back and not be able to do things for yourself."  Larry lifts his legs and Balki immediately pulls the coffee table closer so Larry can rest his feet on it.  Larry then motions to his legs and Balki lifts Larryís left leg and crosses it over his right for him.

"Even the simplest things . . . uh, picking up a magazine . . . "  Balki moves as if he is going to get a magazine and Larry motions for him not to.  " . . . tying my shoes . . . "  Balki moves toward Larryís shoes but again Larry motions no.  " . . . turning on the TV . . . "  Balki moves forward but Larry pushes him back.  " . . . are impossible."  Larry pats his stomach and Balki jumps up and runs to the kitchen.  "And uh . . . of course, the pain is unbearable at times.  But really, itís . . . itís the helplessness."  Balki returns from the kitchen with a cookie and a glass of milk.  Larry reaches out and Balki places the cookie in his hand.  "The complete dependence on someone else . . . "  Balki places the glass of milk in Larryís other hand.  " . . . that I think is the . . . the toughest pill to swallow."  Balki takes the cookies from Larry and dunks it into the milk, then feeds it to him, holding a napkin beneath to catch any drips.  Larry then leans toward Balki, who wipes his mouth for him.  "It must be pure hell!" Mary Anne comments.

"Oh, girls . . . heís . . . heís exhausted," Balki says, "Iím afraid visiting hours are over."  He sets the cookie and milk on the end table.  The girls stand up.  "Oh uh, well, weíll come back tomorrow, Larry," Jennifer says, "Now donít worry about the tennis tournament.  We can play in the next one."  "Oh Jennifer, thatís too bad," Mary Anne sighs, "And you bought that cute little outfit, too."  "Well, donít cancel yet!" Larry cries, raising his hand.  Balki pushes his arm back down and shushes him to urge him to relax.  "I mean, miracles can happen!"  Jennifer walks over and kisses Larry on the lips.  Larry is all smiles.  A moment later, Balki wipes Larryís mouth with the napkin again.  Jennifer eyes Balki with a hurt, confused look.  "Uh, feel better, Larry," Jennifer offers, then turns to Mary Anne and motions to her mouth as if to ask if thereís something on it.  Mary Anne shakes her head no and the girls walk to the door.  "Bye!" Mary Anne calls.  "Bye, bye," Larry says.  "Feel better," Mary Anne offers.  "Bye, girls," Balki offers. The girls leave.

"No way am I missing that tennis tournament!" Larry insists.  "Cousin Larry, you get those thoughts of tennis right out of your curly little mind!" Balki scolds, "We have a lot of rehab ahead of us before you even think about mixing any doubles with Jennifer."  "Well, youíre probably right, Balki," Larry agrees, "But it gives me a goal.  Something to strive for."  Larry motions with his arm but Balki shushes him again and sets his arm back down.  Balki then dabs at Larryís brow with the napkin.  "Now listen, Iím going to go to the market to pick up some high fiber items," Balki says, "You just sit there and leave the striving to us!"  Balki falls over, laughing at his own joke.  He gets up and asks, "Where do I come up with them?"  "I donít know," Larry fakes a smile.  Balki gets his jacket and walks out the front door.

As soon as heís gone, Larry pulls off his neck brace and gets up, announcing, "And it is triple set point for the mixed doubles championship."  Larry mimes a tennis game as announces it.  "Appleton begins his picture-perfect serve . . . (he makes a popping noise that sounds exactly like a racquet hitting a ball) . . . deep into the corner.  But itís returned!  Jenniferís cute little outfit billows in the breeze . . . as she watches Appleton send a screaming passing shot down the line . . . pop! . . . oh no!  Top spin lob!"  As Larry continues the game, Balki walks back in the door and watches Larry with scorn.  "Appleton backpedals, sets, and smashes it overhead . . . pop!"  Larry is now right next to Balki but doesnít see him.  "Onto the chalk for the winner!"  Larry hops up and down with excitement.  "Game!  Set!  Match!  Listen to that crowd!"  Larry turns and see Balki and immediately grabs his back in pain and bends back, crying "Ow!"

"Balki, did you see that?" Larry asks.  "I sure did," Balki assures him.  "It was a miracle!" Larry continues, "For a moment I was completely healed . . . completely!  But, alas . . . that moment is gone."  "Alas," Balki notes in a voice that says he isnít fooled for a minute.  "I thought you were going to the store," Larry says.  "I forgot my car keys," Balki explains.  "Oh, lucky for me," Larry says, and he laughs, "Could you just help me over to the couch here?"  Larry leans over with his elbow out to be taken, only Balki doesnít take it and Larry falls to the floor behind the chair.  "All right, youíre right," Larry says, his face hidden by the chair and his arm motioning as he talks, "Iíve got to start doing these things for myself.  I got it!"  Larry gets up, saying "Ow" as he pretends to struggle.  Finally he stops and asks, "Youíre not buying this any more, are you?"  "Iím not even renting it!" Balki says angrily, as he walks into the apartment and closes the front door behind him.

"Okay, okay," Larry says, following Balki behind the couch, "I can see how from your point of view it looks kinda bad."  "Kinda bad?" Balki asks.  "You have got to understand that I am only doing this for Elaine!" Larry insists.  "Youíre only doing this for Elaine?" Balki cries, "Cousin, youíre up to your belly button in babasticki!"  "No, no!" Larry cries, "I really am doing this for Elaine!  See, the guy who hit me has insurance and I can get money from his insurance company for my back injury."  "You mean your back injury that you donít have," Balki asks.  "Yes, thatís the one," Larry nods, "And I am going to take that money and give it to Elaine for Juilliard, and nothing you can do or say will make me change my mind!"  Larry breaths in deeply and gives Balki a defiant face.  "Oh really?" Balki asks, "Well, how about liar, liar, pants on fire?!"  Larry looks shocked.  "Nope!" Larry finally says.  "Well, then let me tell you this, Mr. Hot Pants . . . it ainít over until Roseanne Barr sings!"  Balki walks proudly to his room as Larry stands, looking confused and the scene fades to black.

Act two begins in the apartment.  There is a knock at the front door.  Larry is sitting in a wheelchair with the neck brace on.  "Come in!" he calls.  A tall man enters with a briefcase.  "Mr. Appleton?" he says, "Iím Joseph Garber from the insurance company."  He walks over to shake Larryís hand.  "Oh, please . . . sit down," Larry motions to the couch.  "A wheelchair," Mr. Garber notes as he pulls a file folder from his briefcase, "Nice touch."  The man sits on the couch.  "Iíve been going over your accident report . . . "  Before he can continue, the door to Balkiís room opens and Balki jumps out, wearing a bizarre outfit that includes his wool shorts and suspenders, a Chicago Black Hawks t-shirt and a hat with rope hanging down from it.  He squats on the floor in the hallway, holding a short broom-type stick.  Mr. Garber spots him then does a startled double-take.  Larry, who is in the wheelchair, canít see whatís going on.

Balki starts to dance into the room, singing a bizarre Myposian chant that goes something like this: "Bamba stiki ekta kiki iki eke bakoom, oh baby; Eeni pini epapepopokono hodgi bodgi bam boom, your mama . . . "  "Excuse me," Larry says to Mr. Garber and he wheels over to where Balki is squatted down by the fireplace, chanting.  Balki holds up his broom as if keeping Larry at bay.  "What are you doing?" Larry asks.  "Iím preparing to chant the Epapepopokono Hodgi Bodgi Bam Boom," Balki explains, "The Myposian Litany of Truth."  "Do you have to do that now?" Larry asks.  "Yes, I do, Cousin," Balki nods, "while there might still be a small glimmer of honesty left in you.  And if there is that glimmer, that small ember, the Epapepopokono Hodgi Bodgi Bam Boom will fan it into a flame."  "Okay, fine, but chant quietly," Larry warns, "Iím negotiating here."

Larry wheels himself back to the couch as Balki continues to chant.  "The things some people will do for rain," Larry smiles to the man in embarrassment, "Now, uh . . . where were we?"  "Based on the accident report and your medical file, weíre prepared to offer you a very handsome settlement of two thousand dollars for your pain and suffering," Mr. Garber explains.  "Two thousand dollars?" Larry asks, "That barely covers my pain, let alone my suffering.  I was thinking more along the lines of say . . . three thousand eight hundred and seventy-five dollars," Larry tries.  Balki overhears this with concern.  "Well, you drive a hard bargain, Mr. Appleton, but you got yourself a deal," Mr. Garber says as he shakes Larryís hand, "Iíll get the paperwork ready."  Balki lets out a bizarre yell and then starts a new chant, hitting himself with the broom at the end of every line.  "Elefday, ho hoo ho ho hoo ho, Elefday, ho hoo ho ho hoo ho . . . "  Larry rolls away from the couch and over to Balki, grabs his broom away and hits him over the head with it, while Balki replaces "ho hoo ho ho hoo ho" with "ow ooh ow ow ooh ow!"

"Stop it!" Larry snaps, "Stop it!  Stop it!  Itís over!  You can knock off the Litany of Truth!"  Larry gives Balki back the broom.  "I already did, Cousin," Balki informs him, "The Litany of Truth failed, as we have seen.  Now Iím chanting the Elefday, ho hoo ho ho hoo ho, The Myposian Litany of Hope, for Elaine.  I only hope you have not doomed her with the same fate as that great Myposian accordion player Oompo Mousikako."  "Oompo Mousikako?" Larry asks.  Balki nods.  "I never heard of him," Larry states.  "So few people have," Balki sighs, "And do you know why?  Because he, too, began a very promising career in music with . . . tainted money."  "Tragic," Larry says in a flat voice, "Youíll have to tell me about it later."  Larry starts to wheel away but Balki grabs him by the shirt and pulls him back.  "I think Iíll tell you about it now."  "Now would be good," Larry resigns himself.  Balki sits down on one of the chairs to begin his story.

"You see, Cousin, when Oompo was very young his brother, Bimbo, gave him some money to buy his very first accordion.  And for years Oompo made the most beautiful music in all of Mypos.  In fact, it was said of him he could make the sheep dance.  What am I saying?  Make the sheep dance?  He could make the sheep dip!  And then one day Oompo discovered that the money his brother Bimbo had given him was stolen.  He began to play badly which, on an accordion, can be fairly irritating.  His brother Bimboís dishonesty robbed him of the most beautiful joy in his life . . . his music.  And I only hope you have not doomed Cousin Elaine to the same fate."  Larry stares at Balki with wide eyes.  "Mr. Appleton, I think Iíve got everything in order," Mr. Garber announces.  Balki turns the wheelchair around to face the couch.  "Cousin, I think Mr. Garber wants to see you."  He leans in close behind Larry and speaks in his ear.  "Listen . . . we both know that this is a dishonest thing.  And we also both know that deep down inside you are an honest man and not a Bimbo."  Larry turns his head to eye Balki in disbelief.  Balki pushes the wheelchair over toward the couch.

Mr. Garber holds some papers and a pen out to Larry.  "If youíll just sign this here my company will send you a check for thirty-eight hundred and seventy-five dollars."  Larry takes the papers and pen, then looks back at Balki, who is eyeing him worriedly.  Larry hesitates, the pen hovering over the paper.  He stops and rubs his eye.  "Something wrong?" Mr. Garber asks.  "Well . . . yes," Larry hems, "I just remembered that I suffered a similar injury when I was in Little League . . . and if thereís the slightest chance that this is just a recurrence of that injury . . . I, uh . . . well, I . . . " Balki smiles.  "Letís just say that my conscience wonít allow me to take your companyís money."  He holds the paper and pen out to Mr. Garber, who laughs.  He stops and eyes Larry in disbelief.  "Youíre joking, right?"  "I beg to take issue," Balki says as he walks over to them, "Cousin Larry donít joke when it comes to matters of conscience."  Mr. Garber grabs the papers back and says, "Well, great!  Um . . . in that case, if youíll just sign this release form here . . . "  Larry signs it, much to Mr. Garberís pleasure.  ". . . Iíll be on my way," Mr. Garber finishes, putting together his briefcase and heading for the door.  He stops and looks back, saying, "The guys at the office arenít going to believe this."  He exits.

Balki hugs Larry from behind.  "Cousin, you did it!  You did it!  Iím proud of you!"  "Thanks, Balki," Larry sighs, taking off the neck brace and getting up from the wheelchair to sit on the couch, "But I wouldnít have had to do the right thing if I hadnít been doing the wrong thing for the past five days."  "Oh well, Cousin," Balki sighs, putting his feet up on the coffee table (we can now see heís wearing pointy shoes), "You know, it usually takes a while for your conscience to kick in.  For you, five days is pretty good."  "I suppose it is," Larry muses, "But I wasted the last five days when I should have been thinking of a way to raise money for Elaineís tuition."  "Well, maybe we could sell something," Balki thinks, "I know!  Iíll sell my car!"

"Balki, you paid six hundred dollars for that car," Larry reminds him, "I donít think we could get three thousand eight hundred and seventy-five.  Even if we threw in the fuzzy dice."  Balki looks at Larry in shock.  "Which we wouldnít!" Larry quickly assures him, "We wouldnít.  Well, sheís my sister . . . thereís only one thing to do.  Iíll sell my car."  "Oh Cousin . . . I think your sister is very lucky to have you for a brother," Balki notes.  "Thanks, Balki," Larry replies, "Come on.  Letís go hit the used car lots."  They both get up from the couch and walk to the front door.  "Uh, Balki," Larry stops, "Youíre not going out like that, are you?"  "Well, of course not, donít be ridiculous," Balki scoffs, "Iíd look silly like this!"  He tosses down the broom heís been carrying and announces, "Come on, Cousin, letís go make a deal."


Script Variations:
There were some notable differences between the revised first draft script dated July 18, 1989 and the aired episode:
The script indicates that while Larry is talking to Elaine on the phone he is trying to dunk a cookie into his coffee.  His dialogue before this is "No, no, Elaine, I'm glad you called.  That's what big brothers are for.  Now, don't worry.  Everything's going to be all right."  This is where he was supposed to lose the cookie half.
-
When Balki comes out with something behind his back, he says, "Good news, Cousin, I restrung your tennis racquet.  I'm not finished with it yet.  I'm planning to add your initials, so no one else will use it by mistake."  (There is no description of what the racquet is supposed to look like).  "Thanks, Balki," Larry says in an unenthused manner.  "Well, I didn't expect a parade, but I thought you'd be a little more excited.  I know how much you're looking forward to playing in that tennis tournament with Jennifer."  "I've got bigger things on my mind than tennis," Larry explains, the tells Balki about Elaine.  It's the same until Larry tells Balki how much she needs.  He says it as "thirty-eight seventy-five."  "Well, never fear, Balki is here," Balki says, and takes out his wallet to pull out two twenties.  "Here's forty, Cousin.  Tell her, don't sweat the change."  "No, Balki, not thirty-eight dollars and seventy-five cents, it's thirty-eight-hundred and seventy-five dollars."  "Oh, well, that's a bird of a different feather," Balki says, and stuffs the money back into his pocket.  This is where he asks, "Does Cousin Elaine have that kind of money?"
- After Balki suggests the goat spleen and pig snout breakfast, Larry says, "Balki, here in America, snout and spleen are traditionally thought of as . . . dinner items."  "Hog wash!" Balki cries.  "Okay, they're not thought about at all," Larry admits.  "No, Cousin, I mean a hog wash.  People could bring in their dirty hogs, and we could hose them down."  "Let me give that some thought," Larry says.
- The second scene at the Chicago Chronicle was different in the beginning.  Originally, Lydia is standing at Balki's table looking through her mail when Balki and Larry enter, Larry holding his back.  "Ow, ow, ow," Larry cries.  "Larry, are you okay?" Lydia asks.  "Ow, ow, ow.  I'm fine," Larry assures her, "Ow, ow, ow."  They walk together.  "Balki, what happened?" Lydia asks.  "Well, this is the deal," Balki explains, "First, Cousin Larry went to the bank to get a personal loan for his sister Elaine.  But they turned him down."  "They turned him down and beat him up?" Lydia asks with confusion.  This is when Balki says his line about them leaving the bank and getting rear-ended.
- When Gorpley sees Larry laying on the table he says, "If you want to rest, rent a room."  He later tells Larry, "You got five minutes to get off the table."  "Five minutes is all I need," Larry assures him, "I'll be fine."  After Lydia advises Larry to go to the hospital and have his back checked and Larry says his back goes out all the time, Balki says, "Cousin, Miss Lydia's right.  These soft tissue injuries can be very tricky.  Just ask my Uncle Mugli.  He learned the hard way.  One day, his oxcart was sideswiped by a ram who failed to yield the right of way.  Uncle Mugli also thought it was nothing, but pretty soon it was hurting so bad he could no longer work and was forced to go on Myposian disability."  "Mypos has disability?" Lydia asks.  "Yes, it's quite a unique program," Balki says proudly, "On the first of every month, the king sends you a very handsome get-well card."  Larry interrupts to say he's sure his back will snap back into place.
- After Balki and Lydia leave and Larry gets his back to snap into place, Gorpley comes out and says sarcastically, "A miracle!  He can walk again.  Too bad."  "Sorry to spoil your fun, Gorpley," Larry says, "But my back has popped back into place.  I'm fine."  "That's too bad," Gorpley says, "You could have made some serious money."  "Excuse me?" Larry asks.  "Appleton, you were rear ended.  You could claim whiplash and sue the pants off the guy."  "Sorry, Gorpley," Larry sighs, "I don't believe in making somebody pay for an injury I don't have."  "What the matter, Appleton?" Gorpley asks, "Your halo's so tight it's cutting off the circulation to your brain?"  Gorpley then explains how the insurance would pay the money.  After Gorpley exits, Balki enters, carrying a large soft drink cup.  "Got the ice, Cousin," he reports, "I had to drink four Cokes to get it.  "Thanks, Balki," Larry says, grabbing his back, "Ow, ow, ow.  You know, just to play it safe, maybe I'd better go to the hospital and get this checked out."  "Now you're talking with gas, Cousin," Balki agrees, "Come on."  Balki helps Larry to the parking lot.

-
There is an entire scene which did not appear on the show.  It takes place in the apartment after they have been to the hospital.  The front door opens to reveal Larry in a wheelchair and wearing a neck brace.  Balki pushes him into the room.  "Remember, Cousin, please keep your arms and legs inside at all times while the wheelchair is in motion."  Balki pushes Larry to the couch.  "Thanks, Balki," Larry offers, "Looks like you were right about those soft tissue injuries.  They can be murder.  Do you think you could help me onto the couch?"  "No problem," Balki assures him.  Balki gets in front of Larry and tries to lift him up out of his chair.  No good.  Balki gets in back of Larry and tries to lift him again.  Still no good.  Balki rolls the wheelchair upstage so that it's back to back with the couch.  Then he stands on the couch behind Larry and lifts him out of the wheelchair so that Larry is sitting on the back of the couch, still facing upstage.  Balki gets off the couch and turns Larry around so that Larry is facing downstage.  He then lowers Larry carefully onto the couch.  "Well, that was easy," Larry comments.  "Now, Cousin," Balki says, "the doctor said to take aspirin and get plenty of rest.  I'll go to the drug store and get the aspirin, you stay here and get the rest."  "It's a deal," Larry agrees, "Maybe I'll watch some TV."  Larry reaches for the remote on the table.  "Freeze!" Balki orders.  Larry freezes.  "Now, what did I just tell you?" Balki asks.  "Uh . . . that I should get some rest," Larry says.  "That is correct.  And straining to pick up a solid state, cable-ready remote control is your idea of rest?"  "Well . . . "  Balki picks up the remote and gives it to Larry.  "Now, can you think of anything else you'll need before I go?"  Larry tests the water, "Maybe a magazine."  Balki picks up a magazine from the coffee table and hands it to Larry.  Larry looks at it, then asks, "Is there a Newsweek over there?"  Balki picks up a stack of magazines from the coffee table and places them next to Larry.  "We've got Newsweek, People, Sports Illustrated, Time and Sheepherder's Monthly."  "Thanks, Balki," Larry says.  "You're welcome, Cousin," Balki smiles, "Now promise me you won't move a muscle group until I get back."  "Promise."  Balki exits.  When Larry is sure Balki is gone, he takes off the collar and goes to the phone and dials.  He is singing "We're in the Money . . . Hello, Elaine?  Congratulations!  You're going to Juilliard!  This was to be where the commercial break was to be.  It's not known if this scene was actually filmed or not.
-
The next scene started a little earlier than seen in the show.  Larry is soaking up the attention from Balki, Jennifer and Mary Anne.  "Well, first it was a dull, throbbing pain right in the middle of my back, then it worked its way up my spine 'til I could barely move my neck."  "Oh, you poor thing," Jennifer sympathizes.  Balki's line is slightly different when he says the doctor said the best thing for Cousin Larry to do is not to do anything, " . . . and I'm here to make sure he don't do it."
-
After Larry says the tennis tournament gives him something to strive for, Balki says, "Cousin, remember the old Myposian proverb: a journey of a thousand miles begins with curbside check-in.  Now, I'm going to the market to pick up some more of those barbecue potato chips.  Do they really make your back feel better?"  "Must have something to do with the grease," Larry guesses, "It lubricates the joints."  "In that case I'll look for the thirty weight potato chips," Balki says, "See you later, Cousin."
- After Balki leaves, Larry goes to the closet and gets his tennis racquet to play his make-believe game.  The dialogue for the game is slightly different (it should also be noted that they refer to him as Bjorn Appleton for this bit): "Appleton begins his picture-perfect serve . . . deep in the corner.  Lendl returns.  Jennifer's cute little outfit billows in the breeze as she watches Appleton send a screaming passing shot down the line . . . Lendl returns and rushes the net.  Appleton returns and rushes the net.  The action is fast and furious at the net.  Lendl lobs.  And Appleton hits the chalk for a winner.  Game, set, match.  Jennifer rushes to embrace Appleton at mid-court and together they jump over the net.  And listen to that crowd . . . "
- After Larry says, "You're not buying this anymore, are you?" Balki says, "Not for all the fleas in China.  Cousin, why did you pretend to be hurt?"  "I wasn't pretending," Larry says, "I was hurt."  "For how long?" Balki asks.  "Oh . . . about five minutes," Larry says.  "You mean you were hurt for five minutes and you've been lying for five days?" Balki gasps.  After Larry says he's only doing it for Elaine, Balki says, "Only doing this for Elaine?  Oh, Cousin, you're neck brace deep in lies."  When Larry explains about the insurance scam, saying, "So, technically, I'm lying, but I'm doing it for a good cause," Balki replies, "Cousin, that's a lot of babasticki even for you."  The scene ends with Balki calling Larry "Liar, liar, pants on fire" and Larry saying, "Nope!"

-
At the beginning of the next scene, Larry is wearing his neck brace and pacing the living room.  There is a knock at the door.  Larry sits in the wheelchair and calls "Come in."  None of Balki's chanting is written out, it's all just indicated as chanting.  It is indicated that Balki should be wearing a long, purple robe and a fez type hat with a four foot tassel hanging from it.  When Larry asks if he has to do that now, and Balki talks about fanning the ember, Larry says, "Okay, fine, but fan quietly."  When he returns to Mr. Garber he explains, "He has to chant every day about this time.  The things some people do for rain."  As Larry and Mr. Garber are negotiating, Mr. Garber says, "Well, I've gone over the accident report and the medical files, but, unfortunately, they're somewhat inconclusive."  Larry grimaces and says, "Well, all I'm aware of is the pain I've been in."  After Mr. Garber offers Larry two thousand dollars, and Larry says that barely covers his pain, let alone his suffering, Larry says, "I was thinking more along the lines of, say, five thousand."  Balki chants.  "Excuse me," Larry says, and wheels over to Balki and says, "Balki, I'm not doing this for me.  I'm doing it for Elaine."  "Oh really?" Balki asks, "Then why did you ask for five thousand dollars when Elaine only needs thirty-eight hundred and seventy-five?"  "I can't ask for exactly thirty-eight seventy-five," Larry says, "The guy will get suspicious."  "Why would he get suspicious, Cousin?  You're only lying in the technical sense."  "Okay, fine!" Larry gives up and wheels back to Mr. Garber.  "Okay, four thousand dollars, but that's my final offer," Mr. Garber says.  "Thirty-eight seventy-five," Larry insists.  "Alright, forty-five hundred . . . "  Mr. Garber isn't sure he's heard right.  "Thirty-eight seventy-five?"  "And not a penny more," Larry says.  "Well . . . you drive a hard bargain, Mr. Appleton, but you've got yourself a deal," Mr. Garber agrees, "I'll just get the paperwork ready."
-
In this version of the script, Oompo's brother is not named.  There was also a bit more to the story after Oompo found out about the stolen money.  "He tried to continue playing, but the thought of what his brother had done tied his fingers in knots.  He began to play badly, which, on an accordion, can be fairly irritating.  Soon Oompo could no longer find beauty in his music, so he put down the accordion and never played again.  He drifted from town to town listening to old polka bands."  When Larry goes back to the couch he says, "Mr. Garber, my conscience won't let me take your company's money."  Mr. Garber leaves without asking Larry to sign a release form.  After Balki suggests that maybe they could sell something, Larry says, "Balki, Elaine needs almost four thousand dollars.  We don't own anything worth four thousand dollars."  Balki suggests he sell his car and Larry points out Balki only paid six hundred for it and they couldn't get four thousand even if they sold the fuzzy dice.  (Interestingly enough, this part about the fuzzy dice wasn't in the shooting script below!)  Larry says he'll sell his car.  "But, Cousin, you love that car," Balki points out.  "I know, but if this is the only way Elaine can get into Juilliard, then I have no choice," Larry explains, "I mean, after all, it's just a hunk of metal.  With state of the art stereo system, sheepskin seat covers and a brand new muffler."  Balki says Elaine is lucky to have Larry as a brother and Larry suggests they go out to the used car lots.  As they get their coats, Balki says, "Don't feel bad, Cousin.  Look at the bright side.  Now we can ride to work together, go to the market together, go on double dates together - - "  "Balki, please," Larry sighs, "Don't make this harder than it is.  And if Elaine asks where we got the money, just tell her we hosed down every hog in Chicago."

There were some parts cut from the show which can be relived via the shooting draft dated July 20, 1989:
The cookie drop bit is still in this draft.   In the final episode, there is a cup and a plate with what appears to be a cookie on the counter in front of Larry.  Since the beginning is abbreviated with that last line shown as a voice over, it's possible they did indeed shoot the cookie dunking attempt.
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In this version of the script, Balki asks if he didn't go over the top with the kri-kri fringe instead of tassels.  The rest of the first scene is the same.
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The start of the second scene was the same as in the first draft, except that this time Lydia is standing at the elevator when Balki and Larry enter.  Lydia's line, "Balki, what happened?" is in the show as a voice over during the establishing shot of the Chronicle building.
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Balki says he nicked his little finger to Mr. Gorpley instead of just hurting it.
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As in the revised first draft, the scene goes on after Mr. Gorpley exits and Larry thinks about the amount of money mentioned.  Balki enters, carrying a large soft drink cup.  "Got the ice, Cousin," he reports, "I had to drink four large colas to get it.  I'll be up for a week."  Balki shivers.  "What are you doing?"  "I thought I was okay," Larry answers, "but I was wrong."  Larry grabs his back.  "Ow, ow, ow.  You know, just to play it safe, maybe I'd better go to the hospital and get this checked out."  "Now you're talking with gas, Cousin," Balki agrees, "Come on."  Balki helps Larry to the parking lot.  "Maybe we can get you de-toxed," Larry suggests.
-
The missing scene from the first draft is still in this version with some changes.  This time Balki pushes Larry into the room without warning him to keep his arms and legs inside.  "Thanks, Balki," Larry offers, "I'm glad I took Lydia's advice and went to the hospital.  These soft tissue injuries can be murder."  "You're not kidding," Balki says, "Now, Dr. Volvo said to take aspirin and get plenty of rest.  What time is it?"  He looks at Larry's watch.  "Ow," Larry cries.  "I've got two minutes to get to the drug store and pick up the aspirin," Balki states, "You stay here and get some rest."  The part with the TV remote is the same, except when Balki picks up the remote and gives it to Larry he says, "Po, po, po, po, po, po, po."  After the magazine bit when Balki mentions what magazines there are, he says, "We've got Newsweek, People, Sports Illustrated, Time and (MYPOSIAN) Sheepherder's Monthly."  "Thanks, Balki," Larry says.  "You're welcome, Cousin," Balki smiles, "There's a fantastic article in there, 'Fifty Ways to Prevent Under Belly Chafing.'  Now promise me you won't move a muscle until I get back."  "I promise."  Balki exits.  When Larry is sure Balki is gone, he takes off the collar and goes to the phone and dials.  He is singing "We're in the Money.  Oh honey, honey, we've got a lot of what it takes to get along."  Into the phone he says, "Hello, Elaine?  Elaine?  It's Larry.  Congratulations!  You're going to Juilliard!  Elaine?  Elaine Appleton?  Sorry."  Larry hangs up and starts dialing again.  It's not known if this scene was actually filmed or not.
-
The next scene also started earlier as written in the revised first draft, except here Balki's line about "making sure he do it" is the same as in the show.
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Instead of saying "I'm afraid visiting hours are over," Balki says, "I'm afraid you'll have to go."  (Oddly enough, in the previous script it was "visiting hours are over."  After Jennifer kisses Larry, the script does say for Balki to wipe Larry's mouth, but Jennifer's reaction is not scripted.  Instead of saying that he's going to the market for high fiber items, Balki says he's going to pick up some fresh fruit.  Instead of saying, "You mean the back injury you don't have?" Balki says, "You mean the back injury you're lying about?"  The rest of the scene is the same.
- At the beginning of the next scene, Larry is in the kitchen when there is a knock at the door.  He grabs his neck brace and puts it on, then sits in the wheelchair before calling "Come in."  Again, none of Balki's chanting is written out.  In this version it says that Balki should be wearing a long, purple robe and a hat.
-
After Larry asks "Do you have to do that now?" and Balki answers, Larry asks, "Do you have to do that here?"  "Yes, I have to be near ashes," Balki explains, "There's a lot of shame involved here."
-
After Mr. Garber offers Larry two thousand dollars, and Larry says that barely covers his pain, let alone his suffering, Larry says, "I was thinking more along the lines of, say, five thousand."  Balki chants.  "Excuse me," Larry says, and wheels over to Balki and says, "Balki, I'm not doing this for me.  I'm doing it for Elaine."  "Oh really?" Balki asks, "Then why are you trying to steal five thousand dollars when you only need to steal three thousand eight hundred and seventy-five?"  "Because I was going to get you a really nice present," Larry explains.  Balki is seduced for a second, then changes his mind.  "Cousin, I can't be bought," he states.  "Okay, fine," Larry says, and wheels back to Mr. Garber.  "Okay, four thousand dollars, but that's my final offer," Mr. Garber says.  "Thirty-eight seventy-five," Larry insists.  "Alright, forty-five hundred . . . "  Mr. Garber isn't sure he's heard right.  "Thirty-eight seventy-five?"  "And not a penny more," Larry says.  "Well . . . you drive a hard bargain, Mr. Appleton, but you've got yourself a deal," Mr. Garber agrees, "I'll just get the paperwork ready."  (If you look at the way the show is cut, you see they go to another shot right before Larry gives the amount of three thousand eight hundred and seventy five dollars.  A clever bit of editing to get around the cut parts!)
- In this version of the script, Oompo's brother's name is Bonki.  The part of Oompo's story cut out of the last script is still in this script as well.  Otherwise, the rest of the episode is the same as seen on television.

Attached to this script are the scripts for several ABC promos.  It's not clear how many of these actually were made or aired, but here we will describe them for you.  The ones marked AIRED are the ones we know were made for certain:

PERFECT STRANGERS - "TV GUIDE" :20

The scene is the apartment at night.  Balki sits on the sofa, reading the TV Guide.  Larry enters.  "Oh Cousin, this is terrible," Balki cries.  "Balki, what is it?  What's wrong?" Larry asks.  "The TV listings . . . our show . . . it's gone!"  "No, no, Balki . . . turn the page."  "What?" Balki asks.  Larry takes the TV guide.  "We've moved.  See?  Now Perfect Strangers is on one hour later."  "Later?" Balki asks.  Balki jumps up, pulling Larry up with him, and starts to dance.  "Oh, Cousin, now we do the dance of joy."  Larry resists, saying, "Later, Balki.  One hour later."  The announcer states, "Perfect Strangers . . . Friday, at their new time, nine/eight central."

AIRED - PERFECT STRANGERS - "FAST TALK" :15

In the apartment set at night, Larry and Balki are sitting together on the sofa, facing the camera.  Balki talks very rapidly.  "Hi, I'm Balki and this is Cousin Larry.  I don't have much time so I have to talk fast."  "Balki, relax," Larry urges.  "But, Cousin . . . "Balki says frantically.  "Starting Friday, we're on a whole hour later," Larry explains.  "That's what I'm trying to tell them, but we only have five seconds left."  "Five seconds?" Larry starts to panic.  "Watch Perfect Strangers, Friday at its new time, nine o'clock . . . " Balki hurries.  "Eight o'clock, central and mountain," Larry finishes.  The same script is repeated for "Next Friday."  (In the aired version, Larry and Balki's last two lines are switched, with Balki saying "Watch Perfect Strangers . . . " and Balki saying "Eight o'clock, central . . . "

PERFECT STRANGERS - "TIME CHANGE" :20

In the apartment set at night, Balki is sitting on the sofa with an array of clocks on the coffee table in front of him, one of which he is working on diligently.  Larry enters and watches quizzically.  "Spring ahead . . . fall down," Balki says to himself.  Larry crosses to the sofa and sits next to Balki.  "Balki, what are you doing?"  "I'm setting all of our clocks ahead to P.S.T."  "P.S.T.?"  "Perfect Strangers Time," Balki explains, " . . . now it's one hour later."  "Ohhh . . . well, that's true . . . "  Larry addresses the camera.  "Starting August fourth, we'll be on one hour later, at nine o'clock . . . "  "Eight, central and mountain," Balki  adds.  "So don't miss us . . . " Larry says, grabbing the clock from Balki, "But leave the clocks alone!"

Continue on to the next episode . . .