Perfect Strangers Episode Guide

EPISODE 75 - The Newsletter

First Air Date: October 6, 1989
Nielsen Rating: 13.9 HH

TV Guide Description: As editor of the Chronicle's newsletter, Balki gets some practical advice from Larry on digging deeper into the who - what - where - when - why of office gossip.

Co-Producer: James OíKeefe
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Tom Devanney
Directed by: Joel Zwick

Cast:
Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton
Belita Moreno: Miss Lydia Markham
Sam Anderson: Mr. Sam Gorpley

Guest Cast:
F.J. OíNeil: Mr. R.T. Wainwright
Curtis Taylor: Matt Miner

Dimitri Appearances: Dimitri has a notable appearance in this episode, giving Balkiís newsletter a "stamp of approval."

Balki-isms:
"Cousin Larry, hold on to your hat because what Iím gonna tell you is gonna knock your socks off!"
"I donít even know what my next question is going to be and you already know the answer!  Do you have ESPN?  HBO?  PMS?"
"Well, throw acid rain on my parade!"
"Well, Cousin, Iíve got some leads but every time I try to dig deeper I wind up shoveling alone."
"Well, I put on a clean pair this morning."
"I donít care much for Mexican food. It always gives me Monty Hallís revenge."
"Well, youíre lookiní right through him."
"Sam Gorpley, looking very handsome in a pickled herring bone suit . . . "
"You mean if I write everyone I offended a verbal apology Iíd be okay?"

Donít be ridiculous: Said once in this episode.

Other catchphrases used in this episode:
"Wwowww!!"
Balkiís "Huh?"
Balkiís understanding, "Oh!"

Other running jokes used in this episode:
Larry tries to pull the page out of his typewriter quickly and rips it in half
Mr. Wainwright appears and calls "Appleton!" to which Larry replies, "Yes, sir, Mr. Wainwright!"
The Dance of Joy
Balki gets frustrated and says "I was . . . " doing something then Larry came in and he ended up all confused
Balki tells someone "You big kidder!" and playfully pinches their nose
Larryís breathy laugh (in the script, this is referred to as his "schmuck laugh")
Larry babbles to Mr. Wainwright

Songs:
"Dance to the Music" - sung by Balki as he tries to encourage Larry to celebrate with him

Myposian Punishment:
The Myposian Mantle of One Thousand Itches

Interesting facts:
-
Larry really is psychic!  He tells Balki the answer to his next question will be "no."  Heís referring to Balki asking for help with the Chronicle newsletter, but in fact Balkiís next question is "Do you have ESPN?" to which Larry replies, "No."
- The segment about who, what, where, when and why, the five Wís of journalism, is a classic word-play routine in the style of the classic "Whoís on First?" sketch performed by Abbott & Costello.
- It was in this episode that Balki drawing a "Dimitri the Sheep" cartoon was first mentioned.  His cartoon feature for the Chronicle Chatter would later develop into a major plot point when Mr. Wainwright asks him to draw the cartoon to replace Kangaroo Cowboy on the comics page.  This would eventually lead to Balki become editor of the Sunday Childrenís Magazine.  Also, in another interesting development, the very first Dimitri the Sheep cartoon in the fan club newsletter would be based on Dimitriís appearance in this episode.
- Curtis Taylor, who played sports editor Matt Miner in this episode, also had a recurring role in the prime time soap opera Knottís Landing.
- Balkiís mention of a "seven year itch" is a reference to the 1955 Billy Wilder movie by the same name that starred Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell.  The phrase actually predates both the movie and the play it was based on, referring not only to the urge for infidelity after seven years of marriage but the skin irritation which supposedly followed such infidelity.
- At the end of this episode, Balki explains to Larry how he was able to spy on Mr. Gorpley and Maggie Miner by showing how he went undercover by acting like a waiter with an American accent.  He introduces himself as Bart and proceeds to do a waiterís introduction with a hilarious California surfer-dude voice.  This, undoubtedly, was the first glimpse of what would become Balkiís cousin Bartok (who wanted to be called Bart).  Bartok would make his appearance in an episode called Because They're Cousins later in this same season.
- Two actors had their parts cut from this episode.  Mary OíConnor was to play a character named Mrs. Wilkie and Eric Poppick played a character named Mr. Thomas.  To find out what their brief roles were like, read the Script Variations below!


Synopsis:
The episode begins in the basement of the Chicago Chronicle.  Lydia walks out of the elevator and approaches Larryís desk, where he is typing while talking on the phone.  "Yes sir.  Yeah, yes sir, Mr. Walpole, I will get to it as soon as I get a chance."  Larry gets a look of shock on his face.  "Yes, sir, I do enjoy working here.  Iíll get to it right now. Goodbye, sir."  Larry hangs up the phone.  "Copy!" Larry calls, as he tries to pull the paper from his typewrite but only rips it in half.  "Never mind!" he calls.  "They have really got you hopping today," Lydia notes.  "Oh, you wouldnít believe it, Lydia," Larry complains, "I have to interview an alderman and research a six-part series on money laundering.  I just hope nobody dies because Iím way behind updating the obituaries."  Lydia shakes her head.  "Thatís why I like writing an advice column.  When the pressure starts building I do what Iím doing this weekend.  Go to the Bahamas, print a bunch of my old columns and call it ĎThe Best of Lydia.í"  "Well, Iím afraid they wonít run a ĎBest of the Obituaries,í" Larry points out, "Which reminds me, if I donít get all this research done for Mr. Walpole I am a dead man."

"Oh, face it, Larry, when they say jump you ask Ďhow high?í"  "Yeah, well the next person who asks me for something is gonna get an earful from Larry Appleton," Larry replies adamantly.  Mr. Wainwright enters from the loading dock and calls, "Appleton?"  "Yes, sir, Mr. Wainwright!" Larry answers, running to his boss.  "I need a thousand word background story on the Burgess murder trial," Wainwright explains.  "Yes, sir!  Iím your man, Mr. Wainwright.  But it might take a while because Iím already researching the money laundering scandal and I have to interview Alderman Bennett."  "Appleton," Mr. Wainwright holds up his hands to stop him, "If youíd learn to budget your time youíd be able to get through all this.  Now get on it!"  "Yes, sir," Larry calls after him, "Thanks for the tip, sir!"  He returns to his desk.  "Guess you told him!" Lydia smiles, then rolls her eyes and starts to walk away.

Balki appears at the top of the stairs and starts running down.  "Cousin Larry, hold on to your hat because what Iím gonna tell you is gonna knock your socks off!  I was just put in charge of the Chronicle newsletter!"  "Thatís nice," Larry hums as he continues working.  "Balki, congratulations!" Lydia offers.  "Thank you, Miss Lydia," Balki says, running to her for a hug.  "I love reading The Chronicle Chatter," Lydia continues, "It is so fascinating reading about people I see every day but would never socialize with."  Lydia walks into the parking garage and Balki turns back to Larry, who is still working.  "Cousin?  Cousin?  Isnít that great news?" Balki asks, following Larry to a filing cabinet, "Donít it make you just want to sing and shout and throw your body to the floor?"  "Uh huh," Larry smiles, walking back to his desk.  "Come on, Cousin!  Celebrate!" Balki insists, then starts singing, "Dance to the music . . . "  Balki then asks, "How Ďbout it?"  "Thatís wonderful," Larry says absent-mindedly.  Balki reaches over and grabs Larryís face with both hands.  "Cousin, I am very excited about this and I would like you to share that excitement, and I would like that now," Balki demands.

"Iím sorry, Balki," Larry says, his face smashed between Balkiís hands, "Thatís great news!  And a great opportunity for you!"  Balki releases Larryís face.  "If you do a good job you could become a real reporter and get out of this basement," Larry continues.  "Well, Cousin, youíre a real reporter and youíre still in this basement," Balki points out.  "But Iím working very hard to get out of it," Larry notes, "So, unfortunately, the answer to your next question is no."  "Wwowww!" Balki gasps, "I donít even know what my next question is going to be and you already know the answer!  Do you have ESPN?"  "No," Larry answers.  "HBO?"  "No."  "PMS?" Balki tries.  "No. No, no no no no," Larry sighs, "Balki, the point I am trying to make as quickly as possible is that I know you would like the advice of someone who has had a lot of experience in journalism."  "Oh, Cousin, I would!  I would!" Balki agrees, "Could you . . . introduce me to someone like that?"  "No, I mean Iím the one who could help you!" Larry explains.  "Thank you, Cousin!" Balki exclaims.  "But Iím just too busy," Larry adds.  "Well, throw acid rain on my parade!" Balki replies.

At the apartment a few days later, Balki is working on the newsletter on the kitchen table.  Dimitri is sitting next to him.  "Okay, Dimitri," Balki says, using rubber cement to paste down some copy, "This part of the newsletter is finished.  Wouldnít have done it without your help.  Now, would you like to give it your stamp of approval?"  Balki makes Dimitri walk across the table and then picks him up and turns him upside down, slamming him onto the newsletter repeatedly.  Balki looks at Dimitri and says, "Take five, babe," setting him on the counter behind him.  Larry walks in the door and says, "Hi, Balki."  "Cousin!" Balki says, running to greet him.  "Howís it goiní?" Larry asks.  "Cousin, itís going fantastic!  I finished all my articles for the Chronicle newsletter."  He pulls Larry across the apartment toward the kitchen.  "Well, thatís terrific!" Larry offers.  "Now we are so happy, we do the Dance of Joy!" Balki announces.  They do the Dance of Joy.  When Larry jumps into Balkiís arms, Balki carries him over to the kitchen table so Larry can see his work before setting him down.

"Well, letís see what youíve got here," Larry says as they both sit at the table.  "Cousin, I think youíre really gonna like this," Balki begins, "I . . . I feel Iíve developed my own unique style.  Some may liken it to Hemmingway while others cite Kafka, but . . . you decide."  He hands Larry the page.  Larry starts to read aloud, "The Chronicleís favorite advice-columnist, Lydia Markham, looks well rested after her vacation in the Bahamas."  Larry pauses, then asks, "Is that it?"  "Pretty good, huh?" Balki asks.  Larry reads another article.  "Mr. Gorpley has been looking pretty snazzy all week setting a good example for the rest of us."  "Oh, I editorialized a little toward the end of that one," Balki comments, "I donít know, I thought it needed a little color . . . a little something . . . a little snap."  "Balki, this is all fluff," Larry notes.  "Oh, thank you, Cousin!" Balki hugs Larryís arms, "That was my goal, you know, but you donít know, you lose perspective on a project like this.  You know, itís all this . . . "

"No, no," Larry interrupts, "I mean, where is the real story?"  Balki points to the page.  "No, who cares if Lydia looks well-rested or what Gorpley is wearing?  Balki, Iím afraid this just isnít good enough."  "But, I write it just like they told me to," Balki counters.  "If they told you to jump, would you ask how high?" Larry asks.  "Well, of course not, donít be ridiculous!" Balki scoffs, "Iíd simply jump as high as I possibly could and hope it was good enough."  "Good enough doesnít sound like you," Larry says.  "Who does it sound like?" Balki asks.  "The Balki I know wouldnít settle for good enough," Larry explains, "The Balki I know would want to do his best!  The Balki I know would want to make this the best newsletter in the history of newsletters!"  "I want to be like the Balki you know!" Balki says.  "You are the Balki I know!" Larry says, "Now Balki, if you want to make this newsletter something worth reading then youíve got to tell the story behind the story.  Youíve got to dig deeper.  Telling your readers that Gorpley is well-dressed isnít enough.  Youíve got to tell them why he is suddenly so well-dressed."

"Cousin, I want do that!" Balki agrees.  "Good!" Larry says.  "How I do that?" Balki asks.  "Iím gonna tell you how to do that," Larry continues.  "I canít wait!" Balki says.  "Okay," Larry begins, "Now, to be a good reporter youíve got to know how to use who, what, when, where and why, the five Wís of journalism."  "What?" Balki asks.  "Thatís one," Larry nods.  "Whatís one?" Balki asks.  "Exactly," Larry confirms.  "Exactly what?"  "Good," Larry smiles, "And who is another."  "I donít know," Balki says, "Who is another?"  "Right," Larry nods, "And donít forget where."  "Where what?"  "Thatís two."  "Whatís two?"  "No, whatís one.  Who is another.  And you know where."  "I donít know where," Balki says.  "Sure you do," Larry assures him, "Whatís giving you trouble."  "I donít know whatís giving me trouble," Balki says, "but I know who is giving me trouble."

"No, who youíve got," Larry argues.  "Who Iíve got?"  "And you know where."  "Where?"  "Exactly!"  "Exactly what?"  "Perfect!" Larry encourages, "Just a couple more and weíll be done soon!"  "When?" Balki asks.  "Hey, youíre getting pretty good at this!" Larry notes.  "Ww . . . wwwww . . . wwwowwww!" Balki cries, clutching his head as if he has a headache.  "No, no . . . why," Larry corrects.  "I donít know why!" Balki says emphatically.  "Well, you knew all the others."  "When?"  "And where."  "Where what?"  "And why."  "I donít know why!" Balki cries, losing it, "All I know is I was sitting here glueing, you came in, we did the Dance of Joy, you make some false promise about another Balki and now Iím totally confused and emotionally drained."  "Okay, calm down," Larry urges, "Calm down."  He waits while Balki gathers himself.  "Are you all right?" Larry asks.  "Yes, Iím . . . Iím fine, thank you," Balki answers, much more relaxed.  "All right, letís start over again," Larry suggests.  "With what?" Balki asks.  "Yes," Larry answers enthusiastically.  Balki look as if he will lose it again.

A couple of days later at the Chronicle, Balki standing by the elevator holding a pencil and notepad.  "Bartokomous!" Mr. Gorpley calls as he comes out of his office, wearing a nice suit. Balki runs to him.  "Itís almost noon, Iím going to lunch, Iíll be back at four."  "Uh, Mr. Gorpley, Mr. Gorpley," Balki stops him, "Would you please tell me how come youíre so dressed up this week?"  "Thatís for me to know and you to find out," Gorpley answers.  "Oh, I love guessing games as much as the next guy, you big kidder," Balki smiles, "But . . . but Iím working against a deadline."  "And Iím working with an idiot," Gorpley remarks, then walks away.  Balki thinks about this.  "Mr. Gorpley hires new employee," Balki notes, writing it down, then looks at his notes and adds, "Check it out!"  Larry enters from the archives carrying a pile of folders.  "Howís it goiní, Balki?" he asks.  "Well, Cousin, Iíve got some leads but every time I try to dig deeper I wind up shoveling alone."  "Well, if reporting were easy everybody would be doing it," Larry points out, "If you want to be a good reporter youíre gonna have to change your tactics."  "Well, I put on a clean pair this morning," Balki notes.

"No, I mean, youíre going to have to find new ways of getting your information," Larry explains, "If someone wonít talk to you, talk to their friends . . . talk to their wives . . . talk to their ex-wives!"  "Well, what if theyíre not married and they donít have any friends?" Balki asks.  "Well, then you have to hang out in places where you think you can pick up information.  Uh . . . water cooler, the lobby, the snack bar.  Who knows?  You might have to go incognito."  "Oh, I donít know, Cousin," Balki says worriedly, "I donít care much for Mexican food.  It always gives me Monty Hallís revenge."  "No, I mean, you might have to wear a disguise," Larry explains.  "But, but Cousin . . . that sounds an awful lot like snooping," Balki realizes.  "Itís not snooping if youíre writing it down," Larry explains, "Then . . . itís journalism!"  "Oh!" Balki understands.  "Well, Iíve got to get this up to Mr. Wainwrightís office," Larry says, holding up a paper, "Good luck with your newsletter."

"Thanks," Balki says, then run to the elevator asking "Can I push the button?"  "All right, you push the button," Larry agrees, letting Balki push it.  "Oh!  Oh!  And donít forget . . . "  Larry holds up his hands and makes the sign for "quotes."  Balki holds up his fingers and makes the same motion, saying, "Bye bye!"  "No . . . no, not bye bye," Larry corrects, "Quotes.  Quotes.  Always get exact quotes."  "Oh, right right right right," Balki understands, "Quotes.  Quotes."  Lydia enters from the parking garage and sees them at the elevator.  "Oh, hi guys," she offers.  They greet her.  "Wainwrightís still running you around like a madman, Larry?" Lydia asks.  "Lydia, would you believe this is the third time heís had me rewrite this murder story?" Larry asks, "He said I mentioned murder too many times."  The elevator door opens and Larry and Lydia step inside.  "If you ask me, Mr. Wainwright is not playing with a full deck," Larry sighs as he pushes the button and the door closes.  "Mr. Wainwright is not playing with a full deck," Balki repeats to himself, then adds, "What a great . . . "  He mimics "quote" as the scene fades to black.

Act two begins at the Chicago Chronicle a couple of days later.  Larry is working at his desk, surrounded by books.  Balki enters from the loading dock, wearing a canvas bag full of newsletters over his shoulders.  He has folded another newsletter into a paper hat heís wearing on his head.  "Extra!  Extra!  Read all about it!" Balki shouts, "Get your copy of the Chronicle Chatter, under new management."  He sets one in front of Larry and smiles, "Here you go, Cousin."  "Thank you, Balki," Larry offers, looking at it a moment then setting it aside.  "Itís hot off the presses!" Balki says, putting it back in front of Larry.  "Iíll get to it later," Larry promises, setting it aside again.  "Read it before they wrap fish in it," Balki insists, putting it back in front of Larry.  "I guess you want me to read this now," Larry deduces.  "Only if you have time," Balki replies.  "Iíll make the time," Larry decides, setting his pencil down, "I was hoping to read this before you went to press but Iíve been so busy . . . "  "Eh, Cousin, itís okay," Balki assures him, "Itís okay.  We both had papers to put out."

Mr. Gorply exits his office holding a copy of the newsletter and laughing hysterically.  "Oh Bartokomous, I have got to admit it . . . this is the best thing I have seen in years."  "Thank you, Mr. Gorpley," Balki says.  "Well, didnít I tell you people would love it?" Larry asks.  "Well, Iím overcome!" Balki cries with emotion, "But I canít take all the credit.  Cousin Larry helped, too."  "Well, whoever wrote the story about Lydia did a great job!" Mr. Gorpley smirks.  "Well, youíre lookiní right through him," Balki smiles.  "I mean, everybody thought she went to the Bahamas," Gorpley continues, "But you found out she really went to Milwaukee to have an eyelid tuck."  Gorpley laughs again, saying, "Nice going, Bartokomous!"  "Excuse me?" Larry asks, standing up.  "Yeah, well, itís right next to the Dimitri the Sheep cartoon," Gorpley explains.  "Oh, thatís going to be a regular feature," Balki explains, "I thought maybe later on I could give it a political angle."

Larry is reading the article about Lydia aloud.  "If youíre wondering who had what done where the answer is Miss Lydia, the paperís favorite advice columnist, went to Milwaukee to get her eyelids tucked.  When?  Over the weekend.  So if you get a chance, compliment her on her new peeper-covers."  Gorpley laughs again.  "How many of these have you given out?" Larry asks nervously.  "One to every employee in the building, and I left a complimentary pile in the lobby," Balki answers.  "Okay, get your coat!" Larry says hurriedly, "Weíre getting out of here!"  "What?" Balki asks.  "Come on!" Larry snaps, gathering his things as the elevator door opens.  "Huh?" Balki asks.  Lydia steps out, wearing sunglasses and looking furious.  She heads off their escape.  "I want some answers and I want them now!" Lydia insists.  "Lydia, Iím sure everything can be explained," Larry says.  "I have been humiliated!" Lydia cries, "Held up to ridicule in front of everyone in the building!"

"Who did this to you, Miss Lydia?" Balki asks angrily, stepping in front of her, "Theyíll have to answer to me!"  "Chill out, Lydia," Gorpley suggests, "I thought the article was hilarious.  Peeper-covers."  He laughs again and Lydia approaches him.  "You are pretty cheerful for a man who doesnít have long to live," she smirks.  "What are you talking about?" Gorpley giggles.  "The article about you and Maggie," she notes.  "The what?" Gorpley asks worriedly.  "You mean thereís another?" Larry asks.  "Oh, didnít you read the last page?" Lydia asks, "Itís equally hilarious."  "Thank you very much," Balki smiles, "I do try to accent the lighter side."  Gorpley reads from the last page.  "Sam Gorpley, looking very handsome in a pickled herring bone suit . . . was seen dining with who?  Maggie Miner . . . wife of sports editor and bodybuilder Matt Miner, thatís who.  Apparently Maggie has a sore knee because Mr. Gorpley was nice enough to rub it all during lunch."  Gorpley looks shocked.  "Iím a dead man!" he nods, "But Iím taking somebody with me!"  He and Lydia advance on Balki.

Larry shields Balki, pushing him back and laughs, saying, "Okay, okay, Balki!  They fell for it!  Letís let them in on our little joke.  There are only two copies of the newsletter and you got them."  Gorpley and Lydia donít buy it for a second.  "Theyíre all over the building," Gorpley states.  "Balki, I cannot believe that you would write stuff like this," Lydia says in a hurt tone.  "You know, I can hardly believe it myself," Balki agrees, "I was afraid my writing would be flat and pedestrian, but . . . I just followed exactly what Cousin Larry told me to do and . . . you can see the results."  Larryís eyes open wide with shock and Lydia and Gorpleyís eyes open wide with realization.  They advance on Larry now.  "But I . . . I didnít help that much," Larry assures them.  "Oh come on, Cousin, youíre being modest," Balki insists, as Larry tries to wave him off, "No, no!  Listen!  The truth must be told!"  "Oh, I donít know," Larry smiles nervously.  "You see, I was just going to write that Miss Lydia went to the Bahamas," Balki explains, "But Cousin Larry kept saying no, you got to dig a little deeper, you got to dig a little deeper."  "No, no!" Larry cries, "I didnít . . . see, he couldnít . . . he couldnít . . . I didnít . . . "

Mr. Wainwright enters from the loading dock, holding out a copy of the Chronicle Chatter and yelling, "Appleton!"  "Yes, sir, Mr. Wainwright!" Larry calls, using the distraction to escape Lydia and Gorpley.  He runs to his boss.  "Yes, sir, yes?  What can I do for you, sir?  Research?  Filing?  Out-of-town assignment?"  Mr. Wainwright is pointing to the newsletter and says, "Explain this article in the Chronicle Chatter."  "Oh no, another one?" Larry sighs, and takes the newsletter and reads.  "If youíre wondering what Mr. Wainwright might like in his Christmas stocking, might I suggest a pack of playing cards.  And why would this be the ideal gift?  Because, according to Cousin Larry Appleton, Mr. Wainwright isnít playing with a full deck."  Larry starts to laugh with embarrassment.  "Uh . . . uh . . . uh . . . a full deck . . . isnít that a nautical term?"  Balki runs to them.  "Mr. Wainwright, one less thing to ask Santa for, huh?" he asks.

"It was a mistake!" Larry insists, "It wasnít me!  I would never say anything like that about you, sir. I must have been misquoted."  "No, Cousin, I was standing right . . . no, no, no, you taught me!"  Balki makes the "quotes" sign as Larry keeps trying to motion for him to stop talking.  "I was standing right there and I caught the exact quote as it flew out of your mouth."  "It . . . it was taken out of context!" Larry insists, "It was . . . it . . . it had . . . it . . . have you lost weight?  Because thatís a very nice suit.  It matches your head.  Your hair.  The hair on your head."  "Appleton," Mr. Wainwright sighs.  "Yes, sir?"  "Youíre babbling."  "Thank you, sir," Larry says.  "Appleton, when youíre coherent . . . call me," Wainwright suggests as he leaves.  "You bet I will, sir," Larry promises.  Larry sighs with frustration as Balki runs for his pencil and notepad.  "Mr. Wainwright and Mr. Gorpley in fashion war," Balki states, "Check it out!"  The elevator door opens and a huge man steps out.  "Iím Matt Miner," he announces, "And Iím looking for Sam Gorpley."  Mr. Gorpley shrinks in his spot. Then he and Lydia both announce, "Thatís him!" and point to Larry.  Larry runs to the loading dock with Matt Miner right on his tail.

That night, at the apartment.  Larry is on the phone in the kitchen.  "Yes, sir, Mr. Wainwright.  Totally . . . totally, totally uncalled for.  Yes . . . yes . . . I really meant that about the weight loss, though.  Youíre . . . youíre looking . . . youíre looking very very . . . hello?  Hello?  Hello?"  Larry hangs up the phone.  "Balki, good news!" Larry calls out, "Iím off the hook with Wainwright.  He was very gracious."  The door to Balkiís bedroom opens and he walks into the living room, wearing a very uncomfortable basket-like mantle around his arms and a headband made of rope with frayed ropes sticking out of it.  Balki walks as if in great pain, and Larry watches him with a pained expression as Balki makes his way to the couch and sits down.  "Balki, how long do you plan on wearing the Myposian Mantle of a Thousand Itches?" Larry asks.  "Well, Myposian law states I must wear it one year for every person I offended, and let me see . . . I offended seven people, so . . . I think weíre looking at a seven year itch."

Larry walks over to the couch and sits next to Balki.  "Balki, I really think youíre carrying this a little too far."  "No, no, Cousin," Balki insists, "If I was carrying this too far Iíd be wearing the Boxer Shorts of Eternal Chafing."  "Balki, in America when you offend someone a verbal apology is sufficient," Larry explains, "Unless you offend a large segment of the population . . . then you get a Presidential pardon."  "You mean if I write everyone I offended a verbal apology Iíd be okay?" Balki asks.  "In a manner of speaking," Larry confirms.  "Well then I think Iíll do that," Balki states.  "Letís take this off," Larry says, helping Balki to remove the mantle.  Balki pulls the rope off his head and leans back on the couch, then grimaces.  He reaches for one of his vests which he slips on and immediately looks more comfortable.  "Wool," he explains, then says, "After I deliver all my apologies, Iíll resign from the newsletter."

"Balki, you donít have to do that," Larry argues, "You did a good job!"  "I did?" Balki asks.  "The first newsletter you wrote was pretty good," Larry notes, "All it needed was a little fine tuning.  And Iím sure youíll do a terrific job if I stay out of your way."  "Cousin, would you do that for me?" Balki asks.  "You bet I would," Larry confirms.  "Thank you, Cousin."  "I just have one question," Larry says, "How did you find out about Gorpleyís lunch date with Maggie Miner?"  "Oh!" Balki begins, "I followed your suggestion and I went undercover."  Balki stands up and affects a California accent.  "Hi, my nameís Bart, Iíll be your waiter today.  Uh . . . let me just put your drink order in real quick and then Iíll be back to explain our specials and get you started on our salad bar!"  Balki skips away to the kitchen and Larry looks impressed.


Script Variations:
There were a few differences between the shooting draft dated August 23, 1989 and the final episode:
The first scene is almost exactly the same as what aired, except for the end.  Balki's last line is "Boy, talk about taking the wind out of my tires."  Gorpley then enters from the loading dock pushing a cart with mail bags in it.  "Bartokomous!" he calls, "Front and center and make it snappy."  Balki snaps his fingers.  "I want this mail sorted and delivered in the next twenty minutes," Gorpley orders.  Balki runs to him and says, "But, I was just about to go to lunch."  Mr. Gorpley replies with mock sympathy.  "Oh, gee, what can we do?  Hey, I got an idea.  Don't go to lunch."  "Thank you, Mr. Gorpley," Balki offers with admiration, "You are some kind of idea man."  "Hey, I'm looking out for you," Gorpley says.  "You're so helpful," Balki continues, "No wonder the guys on the loading dock are always saying they'd like to dance on your face."  Gorpley exits and the scene ends.
-
After Larry talks about the Balki he knows, Balki says, "I want to be like the Balki you know.  How do I be him?  More to the point, where can I meet him?"  The dialogue is a little different after Larry tells Balki to dig a little deeper, Balki says, "Cousin, I'm going to do that."  "Good," Larry replies.  "How am I going to do that?" Balki asks.  "I'm going to tell you how to do that," Larry offers.  "Please do so at once," Balki replies.  Also Balki's confusion over the five W's of journalism is a bit different, with Balki saying, "I don't know why.  All I know is I was sitting here with Dimitri, you came in and we did the dance of joy.  You started throwing 'W's' at me now I'm confused and emotionally drained."  At the very end of the scene, Balki says, "Dimitri, get your things.  We're going back to Mypos."
-
The next scene starts a bit sooner than in the episode.  Balki is at his work table and a man enters from the loading dock.  This is Mr. Thomas.  "Excuse me, Mr. Thomas," Balki asks, "Balki Bartokomous, the Chronicle Chatter.  Could you tell me how bald you are under that wig?"  "Did it ever occur to you that you're violating my person space?" Mr. Thomas asks.  "I couldn't have parked in your space," Balki argues, "I took the bus today."  "Go fly a kite," Mr. Thomas huffs and exits.  "Don't I wish I could," Balki sighs, "But I have a paper to get out today.  Catch you later."  Balki writes on his notepad, "Someone is parking in Mr. Thomas' space.  Check it out."  A woman named Mrs. Wilkie enters from the garage and goes to the elevator.  Balki follows.  "Mrs. Wilkie, would it be okay if I interviewed you?"  "Of course you can, Balki," Mrs. Wilkie smiles.  "Great.  We'll start with your age," Balki says.  The elevator door opens and Mrs. Wilkie steps in quickly, stating, "Such flagrant impertinence."  "Thank you, it's my new aftershave," Balki smiles.  This is when Mr. Gorpley enters and says he's going to lunch.
-
After Larry tells Balki he may have to wear a disguise, Balki says, "I like that."  "I thought you would," Larry smiles.  After Larry says, "It's not snooping when you're writing it down.  Then it's journalism," Balki asks, "So that makes it okay?"  "Not just okay, Balki," Larry says, "it makes it a sacred duty."  Balki swells with pride, stating, "In that case, Cousin, I accept the challenge."
-
When Larry finally says he'll look at the newsletter, he notes, "I love what you've done with the logo.  Those are little mouths, aren't they?"  "See the tongues wagging?" Balki asks, "Chronicle Chatter . . . get it?"  "Very professional, Balki," Larry smiles, "You should be proud of yourself."  "And I followed all of your advice, Cousin," Balki adds, "I used all the 'W's' and lots of  . . . "  Balki makes the quotes sign.  "Quotes, quotes," Larry says, "Then I'm sure you did a great job."  This is when Gorpley exits his office laughing about the article on Lydia.
-
After Balki steps forward saying he will defend Lydia's honor, she says, "Balki, I don't know what to say.  This really takes the cake."  "Well, I am the editor and chef," Balki smiles.  After Matt Miner chases Larry from the basement, Balki writes on his notepad, "'Miner mistakes Appleton for Gorpley.'  Check it out." Lydia crosses to Balki and takes the notebook out of his hand.  "Let's talk," she suggests.  Larry runs back through the basement chased by Matt Miner.
-
After Larry tells Balki he thinks he's carrying the punishment too far with the Mantle of One Thousand Itches, Balki says, "No, Cousin.  If I was carrying it too far, I'd be wearing the matching culottes."  The part about Balki putting on the vest after taking off the mantle is not in this script.  The rest of the script is the same, except one direction which says Balki should tuck in a dish towel in his belt before acting like Bart the waiter.

Continue on to the next episode . . .