Strangers Episode Guide
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
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Robert Griffard & Howard Adler
Directed by: Joel Zwick
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
Allen Williams: Mr. Joseph Garber, the Insurance Agent
Appearances: Dimitri can be seen sitting on the bookcase wearing his
bullet hat and a neck brace.
"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 . . . "
ridiculous: Said once in this episode.
used in this episode:
"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
Larry indicates he is going to sell his car
The Myposian Litany of Truth
The Myposian Litany of Hope
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
- 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
- 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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!"
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.
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
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.
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!"
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
There were some
notable differences between the revised first draft script dated July 18, 1989
and the aired episode:
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?"
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.
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:
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.
- 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.
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.
- Balki says he nicked his little
finger to Mr. Gorpley instead of just hurting it.
- 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,"
- 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.
- 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.
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!)
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"
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,
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
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!"
on to the next episode . . .