Strangers Episode Guide
79 - Father Knows Best??? - Part One
First Air Date:
November 10, 1989
Nielsen Rating: 12.7 HH
TV Guide Description: Larry
is understandably anxious over a visit from his perfectionist father (James
Noble), but in his haste to prove a point, father, son and Cousin Balki get
trapped in the basement -- which is filling up with water. Part 1 of two.
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: John B. Collins
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
James Noble: Mr. Walter Appleton
Dimitri is not seen in this episode
"Iíve been looking forward to seeing you for a sheepdogís age!"
"I thought the bat boy was Batmanís son."
"Well, then Euriki!"
ridiculous: Not said in this episode.
used in this episode:
"I beg to take issue . . . "
"Will you stop it?"
"Oh po po po . . . "
"That is correct."
"Well . . . "
Other running jokes
used in this episode:
Balki laughs at his own joke
Larry asks how many times Balki has done something in his lifetime and Balki
hems until Larry gets him to admit "None," then responds with
"None, as in zero, as in never ever have you . . . " to which Balki
admits "That is correct." This is done later in the same episode
by Larryís dad to Balki as well, so we know now where Larry got this from!
Larry says that Wisconsin is the "something" state to suit his needs,
in this case the Cheese Wheel State
Balki tries to warn Larry about something but Larry refuses to listen
Balki rants in Myposian to vent his frustration
Notable Moment: We
meet Larryís father, Walter Appleton
"Singing in the Rain" - sung by Balki while dancing around in the
- The title is based on the longtime, classic radio and television
series, Father Knows Best, which starred Robert Young. The series
ran on radio from 1949 to 1954 and the television series ran from 1954 to 1960,
and then enjoyed great success in syndication for many years afterward.
At the beginning of the episode, Larry is adjusting two trophies on the
fireplace mantel. One is the trophy he won managing the Ritz Discount
Royals softball team back in the season two episode The Unnatural, and
the other is the trophy he won with his bowling league team, Strike Force, in
the fourth season episode Blind Alley. (Note: while the other
trophy on the mantel appears to be a bowling trophy, it is much smaller than the
trophy seen in that episode.)
- Larry mimes showing his father his newspaper
article scrapbook. The scrapbooking was started back when he put his very
first article in it at the end of the third season opener All the News That
Fits, when Balki and Larry first got their jobs at the Chicago Chronicle and
Larry has his first article published.
Actor James Noble is hilarious in his role as Larryís father in this
two part appearance. Television fans would likely best remember him as
Governor Gatling in the popular Soap spin-off, Benson. He
also made notable appearances in the movies 1776, 10 and Being There.
He co-produced and starred in the short film, Glacier Bay in 2006.
- Balki makes a rare reference to his father in
this episode, calling him "father" and not "Papa."
Balkiís references to his father would become fewer and farther between over
the years until he was not mentioned at all.
- Jennifer mentions that her father would take her
to the golf course (among other places) when she was little. In fact her
father would appear in the episode following this two-parter, Hello, Ball,
in which playing golf with Jenniferís dad was the main theme.
- Balkiís jumping into Larry and his fatherís
argument with "Tastes great! Less filling!" was a reference to
the very popular Miller Lite beer commercials which began in the late 1970's and
are still very much part of the television reference lexicon.
- This is the second time Larry managed to break
something while swinging a baseball bat indoors. In the second season
episode, The Unnatural, Larry broke the orange lamp in the living room
(the lamp somehow reappeared in later episodes).
- This episode also includes what has to be one of
the funniest bits of Myposian complaining ever! After Larry breaks the
pipe and Mr. Appleton says it doesnít look like it will be hard to fix, Balki
undoubtedly has bad flashbacks of the last time he tried to do plumbing with
Larry in the third season episode Pipe Dreams. Ranting to himself
in Myposian, Balki cries, "Appletoniki plumbing . . . oxymoroniki!"
An oxymoron is a phrase or expression which combines two words which appear to
be contradictory, such as "jumbo shrimp" or "deafening
silence." Truly, Appleton plumbing would be an oxymoron!
- Also from the aforementioned episode, Pipe
Dreams, Larry used a hammer and noted that in the Appleton household the
hammer was considered a plumberís helper. This is confirmed when
Larryís father quizzes Larry on the best way of removing rust from a pipe . .
. knocking it off with a hammer.
- Balkiís musical number is a tribute to the
classic Gene Kelly dance number Singing in the Rain from the 1952 film of
the same name. Bronson copies Kellyís steps quite faithfully as he
dances around Larry, using him as his "lamp post."
- Jennifer comments that the drain in the basement
was sealed over when Mr. Winslow spilled a load of cement down there. If
youíll recall, Harriette and Carl Winslow moved into the cousinís apartment
building during season four (before being spun off on a series of their own,
Family Matters). Sounds like Carl was having some messy difficulties
on his own
before Urkel ever even showed up!
- The basement set was built entirely within a huge
water tank on the MGM Studio lot. The tank had been formerly used to film
Esther Williamsí aquatic dance routines in many classic MGM movies! You
can visit Esther Williamsí official website here.
- This is one of only six two part episodes made
during the seriesí run. Seasons one and three was the only seasons which
didnít include a two part episode.
- In the first episode, Balki mentions that Larryís fatherís name was
George, but in this episode his name is Walter. As a matter of fact, Balki
acts like heís meeting Larryís dad for the first time, but in reality they
met before Balki had met Larry! Balki originally went to Madison,
Wisconsin and it was Larryís father who told Balki to go to stay with his son,
Larry, in Chicago. Oddly enough, in the first draft of the script, John B.
Collins did write Larry saying to his father, "You remember Balki?"
You can read more script variations below!
- When Larryís dad offers to show the girls how
to fold napkins, Larry gets a cup and grabs the ladle, preparing to pour himself
some punch. When the shot cuts to another angle, though, Larry already has
the cup poured and is drinking from it.
The episode begins in the apartment. Larry is alone, placing a scrapbook
on the coffee table with care. He then moves to the fireplace mantel where
he adjusts two trophies. He anxiously steps toward the front door,
surveying the room to make sure everything is right. He then looks at the
front door before stepping forward and rapping on it softly. He mimes
surprise, acting as if someone has knocked on the door, and reaches over to open
it. "Dad!" Larry exclaims, pretending his father has arrived,
"Itís good to see you!" He mimes someone hugging him and
laughs, "Oh, put me down! Uh, Dad, this is Balki." He
motions as if Balki were standing next to him. "And this is my
apartment. Oh no, no . . . I didnít hire a decorator. I did this
all myself." During the following, Balki enters the apartment
carrying a bag and is confused to see Larry talking to no one. Balki keeps
looking around to make sure he isnít missing someone. Larry doesnít
see Balki has entered.
"Oh, this?" Larry asks,
motioning to the scrapbook on the table, "This is my scrapbook. Yeah,
I keep all my newspaper articles in
here. This is volume one. Volume two is still being bound.
Hmm? Oh! Oh, yeah, the trophies." Larry moves to the
mantel. "Yeah, well, theyíre really starting to stack up, arenít
they? Oh, this one? Yeah, this is my pride and joy. I won this
playing softball. I took a ragtag team of rank amateurs all the way to the
Park District Softball Championship." Balki has walked up behind
Larry and says, gently, "Cousin?" Larry is startled and almost
drops the baseball trophy. "I hate to interrupt your talk with your .
. . invisible friend," Balki says, "but your Papaís going to be here
any minute." "Yeah, I was just practicing what Iím gonna say
to him," Larry explains with some embarrassment. "What a great
idea!" Balki agrees, "I help you." Balki sets the bag and
his coat on the chair in front of him. "Whatís in the bag?"
"Oh, Cousin, Iíve got the biggest
cheese wheel I could find," Balki explains, taking a huge wheel of cheese
from the bag, "You
should have seen the cheese car I took it off of!" Balki laughs at
his own joke and motions his "where do I come up with them?" bit.
"Well, thatís great," Larry says, "Dad loves a good cheese
wheel." "Cousin, you know what I thought I would do?" Balki
asks, closing the front door and taking the cheese wheel into the kitchen where
he lays it on the counter, "I thought I would take this cheese wheel and
cut it up into little geometric shapes. You know, circles, rectangles . .
. maybe a trapezoid or a rhombus." "Balki, cheese wheels are
always cut in triangular wedges," Larry notes. "Well, I beg to
take issue . . . " Balki argues. "Balki, how many cheese wheels
have you cut in your lifetime?" Larry asks. "Well, I, Cousin . .
. " "How many?" "I . . . eh . . . "
"How many?" "I . . . donít . . . " "How
many cheese wheels? How many cheese wheels have you cut in your
lifetime?" "None," Balki admits. "None, as in
zero, as in never ever have you cut a cheese wheel in your lifetime?"
"This would have been my first," Balki admits sadly.
"Well, I am from Wisconsin, the
Cheese Wheel State, and we always cut cheese wheels in triangular wedges,"
Larry insists, his
voice growing more manic as he continues, "Not circles, not rectangles, not
trapezoids and never . . . ever . . . ever . . . in a rhombus!"
Larry walks to the couch and sits down, looking stressed. Balki walks over
to sit next to him. "Cousin? Cousin, this is very disturbing.
Usually geometric discussions have a calming affect on you."
"Iím just a little tense about my Dadís visit," Larry admits,
"I want this visit to be perfect. This is my chance to show Dad
Iíve made it on my own. When he sees the life Iíve made for myself
heíll be so proud of me heíll say ĎWell done, son.í When I was a
kid I used to live for a ĎWell done, son.í I never got one.
Except for the one time I asked Dad how he wanted his steak." There
is a knock at the front door. "Oh, that must be Dad," Larry
realizes, then lets out a little "Whew!" and gets up to answer the
door with Balki following him. Larry stops at the door in nervous
anticipation. "This is it!" he smiles.
Larry opens the door revealing a tall,
gray-haired gentleman carrying a bag. "Dad!" Larry smiles.
"Lawrence!" Larryís father
offers. Larry anticipates a hug but his Dad only holds out his hand, which
Larry shakes. "It is good to see you, son," Mr. Appleton smiles.
"Good to see you, too, Dad," Larry says happily. "Well,
this is for you," Mr. Appleton says, handing Larry the bag, "A genuine
Wisconsin cheese wheel. Donít cut it into triangular wedges, it dries
out." "Right you are, Dad," Larry agrees, then turns to
Balki, "Uh, Dad? This is Balki." "Balki!" Mr.
Appleton smiles, offering his hand. "Uncle Walter!" Balki
smiles, stepping forward and hugging him instead, "Iíve been looking
forward to seeing you for a sheepdogís age! And youíre everything I
thought you would be, only taller!" "Well, uh . . . height runs
in the family," Mr. Appleton explains, then eyes Larry when he returns from
taking the cheese into the kitchen and adds, "Usually."
"Well, so Dad, what do you think of my apartment?" Larry asks as Balki
closes the front door and Mr. Appleton looks around. "Well . . . hope
you didnít hire a decorator!" Mr. Appleton comments. "Oh no, I
didnít hire a decorator," Larry says as planned, "I did this all my
. . . myself." Larry eyes his father with a bit of a confused and
time later the apartment is decorated for a party. Jennifer and Mary Anne are
there to help with the preparations. Jennifer exits the kitchen with a
tray of food. "Where do you want these snacks, Larry?" she asks.
"On the dining room table," Larry answers. "Ah . . . finger
food goes on the coffee table," Mr. Appleton corrects. "Good
point, Dad!" Larry smiles, "Finger food goes on the coffee table,
Jennifer." Jennifer carries the tray to the coffee table where Mary
Anne is folding napkins. Mr. Appleton exits the kitchen, saying, "Ah!
Excuse me, Lawrence," and approaches them. "Ladies, let me show
you the Appleton method of folding napkins," he offers, "I can show
you the three-fold star or the Appleton tulip. Neither of Ďemís easy,
but theyíre well worth the effort." Balki comes down from the step
stool where heís hanging decorations on the bookcase and walks into the
kitchen on the opposite side of the punch bowl.
Balki begins, "I bet your Papa will say it when he tastes your onion
dip." "Say what?" Larry asks. "Well done,
son!" Balki whispers in answer. "Well, Balki, Iím sure heíll
say it when I deserve it," Larry says, "He doesnít just throw around
Ďwell donesí for the heck of it." "You know, Cousin, Iíve
noticed he is rather thrifty with his with his ĎWell done, sonsí, and so
generous with his ĎNot that way, Lawrences.í" Larry nods,
explaining, "Heís just being helpful. Dadís great that way.
He spots what Iím doing wrong and shows me how to do it his way."
"Like . . . like the same way you help me!" Balki realizes.
"Exactly!" Larry confirms. They share a look of understanding.
"Come on, letís go sit down," Larry suggests. They walk over
to the couch where Mr. Appleton has finished folding his sample napkin and sit
down. "You must be very proud of Larry, Mr. Appleton," Jennifer
says, "You know, the Chronicle doesnít pick just anybody for its
investigative reporting team."
"Oh, I was very impressed with
that!" Mr. Appleton confirms. "You were?" Larry asks
hopefully. "Oh, you bet!" Mr. Appleton
adds, "Of course, when it comes to reporting, televisionís the place to
be." "Television, right," Larry says, bravely covering his
disappointment, "Thanks for the advice, Dad." "Well, I
try," Mr. Appleton shrugs, "After all, whatís a father for?"
"You know, my father was for higher mutton prices," Balki notes.
"I just remember all the fun I had with my father," Jennifer smiles,
"He used to take me everywhere . . . to the lake . . . to the golf course .
. . to ball games . . . " "Oh, I did the same thing with
Lawrence," Mr. Appleton says, "Do you remember that time the Yankees
played the White Sox and we drove down to Chicago. I got us box seats
right behind the Yankee dugout." "How could I forget?"
Larry asks, "I still have the bat Mickey Mantle autographed."
"We had such fun that day," Mr. Appleton smiles, then corrects,
"It wasnít Mickey Mantle, it was Roger Maris. Oh! Remember
the time I took you to the circus in Milwaukee?" "Oh, I love the
circus!" Balki cries, "Show me fifty clowns in a flaming Volkswagen
and Iím a happy Mypiot!"
"No, Dad," Larry says, not
letting go of the dispute, "It was Mickey Mantle. And I can prove it.
I have the bat right here in the
closet." Larry sets down his cup of punch and walks to the closet.
Balki gets up and follows him. "Uh . . . Cousin, Cousin . . . the
batís in the basement." "No, Balki, the batís in the
closet," Larry insists. "The batís in the basement."
"The batís in the closet." "The batís in the
basement," Balki argues softly. "The batís in the
closet," Larry replies softly, then he steps into the closet to search.
There is the sound of rummaging and finally Larry steps out and admits,
"The batís in the basement." Larry and Balki walk back to the
couch. "Lawrence, it doesnít matter who signed the bat," Mr.
Appleton insists, getting up and heading for the kitchen, "Letís get
ready for the party." He turns back and adds, "But it was Roger
Maris." "Mickey Mantle," Larry repeats, "Dad, you
taught me that being right is important, and Iím right about this."
"All right, letís go down to the basement and find out," Mr.
Appleton suggests. "Good idea," Larry agrees, "If anybody
comes while weíre gone, just tell them weíll be right back." They
head for the door. "Come on, Balki," Mr. Appleton suggests,
"You seem to be the only one who knows where this bat is."
The next scene sees Larry, Mr. Appleton
and Balki entering the basement of the apartment building and walking down the
wooden steps. "Lawrence, I remember it distinctly," Mr. Appleton
argues, "Roger Maris was standing by the dugout. You didnít even
see him. I had to tell you to have Roger Maris sign your bat."
"Mickey Mantle," Larry insists, unlocking a wired off storage area at
the foot of the stairs. "Roger Maris," Mr. Appleton insists.
"Mickey Mantle." "Roger Maris." "Mickey
Mantle." "Roger Maris." "Tastes great!
Less filling! Tastes great! Less filling!" Balki chants,
copying their cadence. They both look at Balki strangely. "I
just got caught up in the rhythm," Balki explains. Larry gets the
door open and walks inside, announcing, "All right, here it is."
"Roger Maris, right?" Mr. Appleton says, certain heís correct.
Larry walks out carrying a baseball bat and a baseball. He tosses the ball
to Balki then reads the inscription on the bat. "No . . . Joey
Joey Dolan?" Mr. Appleton asks. "Look, he autographed the ball,
too," Balki points out, "ĎJoey Dolan, bat boy.í"
"You thought the bat boy was Roger Maris?" Mr. Appleton asks Larry.
"No, I thought the bat boy was Mickey Mantle," Larry corrects.
"I thought the bat boy was Batmanís son," Balki admits.
"Itís an easy mistake, son," Mr. Appleton assures Larry,
"Baseball never was your sport." "Oh, I donít know about
that," Balki says, tossing the baseball to Larry and taking the bat from
him, "Cousin Larry knows an awful lot about baseball. He taught me
how to swing this old hickory stick so I could just knock that horsehide right
into the next county." Balki demonstrates his batting stance for
them. "You show a lot of natural ability, Balki," Mr. Appleton
offers. "Oh, thank you, Uncle Walter," Balki replies.
"But whoever taught you that stance didnít know what he was doing,"
Mr. Appleton adds.
taught him that stance," Larry points out, "and you taught it to
me." Larry walks over and tosses Balki the ball and takes the bat
again. "Here you . . . you crouch like Stan Musial, squint like Ted
Williams, stride like Mickey Mantle." Larry swings the bat.
"Swing like Grandma Moses," Mr. Appleton remarks. "Well,
you know, Dad, Iíve done pretty well with that swing," Larry points out,
"To prove it Iíve got that trophy on my mantel." "Maris,"
Balki counters. "Mantel," Larry insists. "Maris."
"Mantel . . . will you stop it?" Larry shouts. "Uh, no
offense, son," Mr. Appleton begin, "but with that swing I bet even I
could throw the ball by you." "Well, thereís the ball right
there," Larry points out, "If you feel lucky, Dad, letís see what
you can do." Mr. Appleton takes the ball from Balki with fire in his
eye and says, "Youíre on." Balki excitedly takes a seat on an
old crate while Mr. Appleton and Larry get into their positions on opposite
sides of the basement.
you know, Cousin Larry," Balki says, getting up from the crate, "I
think . . . I just . . . " "Balki, Balki, Balki," Larry
stops him, "You can bat next." "No, thatís not it . . . I
just want . . . I want to tell you . . . " "Balki?"
"Let me just say something . . . Cousin!" "Balki.
Balki. Get out of the way. Get out of the way." Balki
starts to step aside and then gives up completely, walking back to the crate.
"Okay," Mr. Appleton says, "Here it comes. Nothing fancy.
Just smoke." Balki tries once again, stepping between them.
"Cousin, just listen to me . . . " "Balki!"
"Cousin, just let me say one thing . . . " "Balki!"
"Let me just tell you one thing!" "Balki!
Later!" Larry insists, then says, "Let Ďer rip, Dad."
Once again Balki gives up and walks to the wooden stairs. Mr. Appleton
pitches the ball and Larry swings at it, missing the ball but hitting a huge
water pipe against the wall instead. The pipe cracks open and water starts
spilling out into the basement.
Balki and Mr. Appleton walk over to the
pipe. "What did you want to say, Balki?" Larry asks.
"Well, I wanted to say ĎCousin Larry,
youíre standing too close to the water pipe,í but now that seems rather
obvious." "Oh, I donít think itís very serious," Mr.
Appleton says, examining the pipe, "Just a simple repair job."
"Oh God," Balki sighs. "Well, we better go tell the janitor
anyway," Larry suggests. "Oh po po po . . . po po po,"
Balki sighs, then begins muttering in Myposian, "Appletoniki plumbing!
Appletoniki plumbing! Oxymoroniki!" Balki continues to complain
in Myposian as they make their way up the wooden stairs to the door. Balki
tries to open the door several times but it wonít budge. "Balki,
open the door," Larry says. "Cousin, I would love to,"
Balki assures him, "but thereís one little difficulty. The door is
locked. We canít get out." They look at each other as we see
the water continuing to gush from the pipe and the scene fades to black.
two begins where act on left off. Larry and Balki are pounding on the door
and shouting for help. Larry keeps yelling "Help!" loud and
long, directly into Balkiís ear, much to Balkiís annoyance.
"Itís no use," Larry sighs, "The door is solid. No one
can hear us." "Donít worry, Lawrence," Mr. Appleton hooks
an arm around his sonís shoulders, "Youíve gotten us into bigger jams
than this one." "When we donít come back, Jennifer and Mary
Anne will come down and let us out," Larry states, "So thereís no
harm done." "Well, you know, I think we can count on some water
damage," Balki notes. "No problem," Mr. Appleton assures
them, leading them back down the stairs, "All we have to do to stop the
leak is turn off the valve and, presto, no more leak." "Well,
Iíll do it, Dad," Larry offers, hurrying to the pipe. Larry takes
hold of the wheel valve and tries to turn it but it doesnít move.
"It . . . it wonít turn, Dad,"
Larry reports. "Well, no wonder. Itís rusted," Mr.
Appleton observes, "And how do we get rid of rust,
son?" "We knock it off with a hammer!" Larry answers.
"Right!" Mr. Appleton confirms. "Iíll get one,"
Larry offers, hurrying to the storage area. "Uh, uh, Cousin!
Cousin," Balki says, following him, then he turns to Larryís father.
"Uncle Walter?" "Yes?" "Hitting it with a
hammer?" Balki asks, "Doesn't that seem like a rather violent way to
deal with rust?" "Oh? You think so?" Mr. Appleton
asks, crossing his arms defiantly. "Yes, I do," Balki confirms.
"Tell me, Balki," Mr. Appleton begins, "How many leaks have you
fixed in your lifetime?" "Oh . . . " "How
many?" "Well . . . " "How many?"
"Well, well, I . . . " "How many leaks? How many
leaks have you fixed in your lifetime?" "Um . . . none,"
Balki admits. "None? As in zero? As in never ever have
you fixed a leak in your lifetime?"
arrives with the hammer. "That is correct," Balki admits,
"You see, Iíve always worked with an Appleton." "Letís
listen to Dad, Balki," Larry suggests, "He taught me everything I know
about plumbing." "Thatís what worries me," Balki says.
Larry hands his dad the hammer and they step back over to the pipe.
"Weíre in good hands," Larry assures Balki, "Dad uses tools
like a surgeon." Mr. Appleton taps at the valve several times as
Larry and Balki lean in to watch. Finally he hits the valve hard with the
hammer and the whole valve section breaks off, water shooting out and hitting
Larry and Balki in the face. Now the water is coming out faster than ever.
"Looks like the surgeon lost a patient," Balki notes, laughing at his
in the apartment, Jennifer and Mary Anne are in the kitchen talking to Lydia and
Mr. Gorpley, who are sitting at the counter. Mary Anne is still trying to
figure out how to fold the napkins. " . . . and then, after Larryís
father separated the crackers by size, shape and flavor, he counted the
toothpicks, separating the round ones from the flat ones," Jennifer
finishes reporting, "Anyway, next he and Larry got into some fight about a
silly bat and they went down to the basement to find it." "Where
are they?" Mary Anne asks, "It shouldnít take this long to find a
baseball bat." "Youíve got two compulsives and an idiot down
there," Mr. Gorpley points out, "For all we know they could be
tunneling to China." Gorpley and Lydia laugh at his joke.
"I think Iíll go downstairs and see whatís taking them so long,"
Jennifer decides. "Well, you donít have to hurry on my
account," Mr. Gorpley assures her, eating some of the snacks.
Jennifer heads for the door.
in the basement, Balki, Larry and Mr. Appleton are ankle deep in water.
"Now letís analyze the problem," Mr. Appleton thinks aloud,
"What is causing the flooding?" Balki raises his hand.
"Balki," Mr. Appleton calls on him. "My guess would be . .
. water," Balki offers. "Good, Balki! Good!" Mr.
Appleton praises, "All right, letís think." Everyone gets a
look of intense thought on their faces. "All basements have
drains," Mr. Appleton states. "Right," Larry agrees.
"But the water isnít running off," Mr. Appleton continues,
"which means . . . a stopped up drain." "Right!" Larry
agrees, then turns to Balki and says, "You are listening to the
master." Balki is still looking deep in thought and shushes Larry,
saying, "Iím listening." "All we have to do is find it,
free it and, presto, no more flood! Lawrence, you look over there.
Uh, Balki, you look around in there and Iíll look over here."
spread out around the basement and feel down under the dirty water for the
drain. Instead of looking, Balki starts doing a Gene Kelly impersonation
of ĎSinging in the Rain.í "Iím singing in the rain, just
singing in the rain . . . " He splashes over to Larry and then starts
jumping up and down, singing, " . . . what a glorious feeling . . . "
then uses Larry as the "lamp post" for " . . . Iím happy
again." "Balki," Larry tries to stop him. "The
clouds in the sky, so high up . . . " Balki keeps singing. "Balki.
Balki," Larry says seriously, "We can play later."
"Well, I . . . I . . . " "Later," Larry insists,
"After we find the drain." Balki looks like a scolded child,
then when Larry turns his back Balki mimes singing some more until Larry turns
and looks at him and Balki quickly stops.
They continue the search, each feeling the
floor beneath the murky water. Larry nears the crate by the wooden stairs
is a sudden loud snap. "Ow!" Larry cries, pulling his hand out
of the water to reveal his fingers have been caught in a rat trap, "Ow!
Ow! Ow! Get it off!" "Oh my goodness," Balki
says. "Get it off!" Larry cries. "Does that hurt
much?" Balki asks. "Get it off!" Larry screams.
Balki pulls the trap off Larryís fingers, causing Larry to cry "Ow!"
Balki and Larryís father shake their heads with concern.
"Well," Larry sighs, "We know the drainís not over there."
Balki offers Larry the rat trap and Larry snatches it away from him. The
door above them opens and Jennifer enters, asking, "Larry, whatís taking
so long?" She is about to close the door behind her when Larry
shouts, "Donít let the door close!" "The door locks from
the outside," Mr. Appleton explains. Jennifer takes a fire
extinguisher off the wall in the hallway outside and uses it to hold the door
open. "Letís get out of here," Larry says as they head for the
"Larry, what happened here?"
Jennifer asks, coming down the stairs to meet them. "Dad hit the
valve with a hammer," Larry
explains. "Only after Lawrence hit the pipe with the bat," Mr.
Appleton counters. "You were playing some kind of game?"
Jennifer asks. "Yeah, baseball," Balki answers, "Appleton
style." They turn to walk up the stairs when the door opens again and
Mary Anne enters. "Wow, I didnít know there was a pool down
here," she says, then, "This is a dangerous place for a fire
extinguisher." "No! No!" everyone cries, but Mary
Anne pulls the fire extinguisher though the door, which shuts. "Mary
Anne, the fire extinguisher was holding the door open," Larry explains,
"Now weíre locked in." "Well, gee, tell a person,"
Mary Anne sulks. "Itís all right," Jennifer says, "When
we donít come back, Lydia and Mr. Gorpley will come down here and let us
out." "In the meantime, letís get back to work," Mr.
Appleton suggests, rolling up his sleeves as he and Balki and Larry return to
their search for the drain.
Jennifer and Mary Anne stand on the stairs and watch, the guys search with their
hands beneath the water again. "I think I found it!" Balki
suddenly cries as Mr. Appleton hurries to him, "Is it usually about a foot
wide?" "Yes," Mr. Appleton answers. "Does it
have a grating on top?" Balki asks. "Yes! Yes!!"
Larry cries excitedly. "Well, then, Euriki!" Balki cries,
holding up a small grill. "Oh, thereís my hibachi!" Mary Anne
smiles. "Why are you guys looking for a hibachi?" Jennifer asks.
"Weíre not," Larry explains, "Weíre looking for the
drain." "Well, you can forget it, Larry," Jennifer says,
"The drain was sealed over when Mr. Winslow spilled a load of cement down
here." The door opens again and Lydia calls, "Balki?
Larry? Are you . . . ? What in the world?" She enters the
basement, staring in shock at the water. Gorpley is behind her, holding
the door open.
Everyone starts to shout at them to hold
the door open at the same time. "The door! The door!"
Larry shouts. "Hold it! Hold it!" Balki
cries. "Don't let it go!" Mr. Appleton urges. "Keep
it open!" Jennifer yells. "Get the fire extinguisher," Mary
Anne calls. "Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey!" Mr. Gorpley cries,
stepping inside and holding his hands up to quiet everyone, letting the
door slam shut behind him, "If youíve got something to say to me, say it
one at a time." "You just locked us all in," Balki
explains. "Okay," Mr. Gorpley realizes. Mary Anne,
Jennifer and Balki all start yelling at Mr. Gorpley at the same time.
"All right, everybody!" Larry yells, "Calm down! Hey,
everybody? Everybody? Calm down. Calm down. Whatís
done is done." "Well, I donít know if anyoneís noticed but
this water is rising awfully fast," Jennifer notes worriedly, "Larry,
there isnít a chance we could drown, is there?" "Nobodyís
going to drown," Larry assures them as Balki hugs his arm, "When our
other guests start wondering where we are theyíll come down and let us
would be true, Appleton, if any other guests had arrived," Mr. Gorpley
states. "You invite people for seven oíclock, youíd think
theyíd have the common decency to show up on time." "Wait a
minute," Lydia gasps, "This place is gonna fill up with water. I
donít want to drown!" "Now hold it, hold it," Mr.
Appleton urges, starting up the stairs, "Lawrence is right.
Nobodyís gonna drown." "Thanks, Dad," Larry says.
Mr. Appleton stops in the middle of the staircase and puts his hand on a red,
metal box attached to the wall. "By the time the water reaches this
fuse box . . . weíll all be electrocuted." Everyone looks shocked,
except for Balki, who smiles, obviously not understanding whatís happening.
We see the water continue to gush out of the pipe as the words "To Be
Continued . . . " come on the screen and the episode ends.
Part One and Two were
both included in one large script, but still broken into two distinct parts.
We will break up the scripts into their respective halves for these outlines.
The first draft script dated September 13, 1989 contained several differences:
episode begins the same, with Larry alone and arranging his bowling and baseball
trophies on the mantle. Once done, he poses between them. "Yes,
Dad. This is home. To me and Balki and a few of my trophies,"
Larry says to his "dad" in practice, "Baseball. Bowling.
Someday maybe a Pulitzer." Larry rests his arm on the mantlepiece.
Balki enters carrying a bag. He is excited. Larry quickly drops his
posing. "Cousin, Cousin, is he here yet? Did your father
come?" Balki asks. "Balki, relax. It's not one o'clock
yet," Larry points out, "When Dad says he'll be here at one, he'll be
here at one. He's always on time." Balki pulls a cheese wheel
out of the bag. "Well, I hope he's hungry. I got the biggest
cheese wheel I could find. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a cracker big
enough to put it on." Larry says his dad loves a good cheese wheel.
"Now, I thought I'd cut it up in little geometric shapes," Balki
suggests, "Circles, squares, parallelograms and maybe a trapezoid or
two." Larry points out that cheese wheels are always cut in
triangular wedges. "Well, I thought we might break new ground,"
Balki says. Larry proceeds to ask Balki how many cheese wheels he's cut in
his lifetime. After Larry insists that cheese wheels are cut into
triangular wedges, Balki notes, "Cousin, I've noticed that you've been a
little tense about your father's visit." Larry explains how he's
always wanted to hear "Well done, son." "I never got a
'Well done, son,' either," Balki says, "However, my father did give me
the annual 'Son Appreciation Parade.'" "You got a parade?"
Larry asks. "And the complimentary tote bag," Balki adds,
"But on Mypos every father gives his son a parade. There was one
almost every day. The richest man on Mypos is the leader of the marching
band: John Phillip Souvlaki." "Well, in this country things are
different," Larry explains, "Fathers withhold praise for fear their
sons will become lazy, complacent and well adjusted."
- There is a knock at
the door. Larry checks his watch. "One o'clock. That must
be Dad." Larry opens the door and he and his father greet each other.
They want to hug but can't bring themselves to it, so Mr. Appleton pats Larry on
the shoulder. Mr. Appleton gives Larry the bag with a cheese wheel in it
and reminds him not to cut it into wedges or it will dry out. "Right
you are, Dad," Larry says, "Oh, Dad, you remember Balki."
Balki hugs Mr. Appleton and then offers him the armchair, calling it the chair
of honor. "So this is where you live, Lawrence?" Mr. Appleton
asks. Larry poses by the mantlepiece, saying, "Yes, Dad, this is home
to me and Balki and a few of my . . . " Larry casually attempts to
rest his arm on the mantlepiece. It slips off, causing him to lose his
balance. He grabs onto the baseball trophy to steady himself. "
. . . trophies. Did I show you the trophy my baseball team won?"
"Oh, look at that cute little trophy," Mr. Appleton jokes, "What
did the runner up get? A keychain?" Larry laughs at the joke
and says to Balki, "Keychain. Dad's great, isn't he?"
"Cousin Larry is going to show you filmed highlights of the championship
game at the party tonight," Balki says. "A party?" Mr
Appleton asks, "Great. Well, we better get ready. Now you're
going to need . . . " "Relax, Dad," Larry insists, "Balki
and I have taken care of everything." "I don't see any
decorations," Mr. Appleton notes. "Wow. What a keen
eye," Balki comments. "Food? Drinks? Party
favors?" Mr. Appleton asks. "Well, Dad, it's just an informal
get-together," Larry explains. "Poor planning, Lawrence,"
Mr. Appleton scolds, "Very poor planning. Come on, I'll show you the
proper way to put a party together." Mr. Appleton goes into the
kitchen. Larry and Balki start to follow. "Isn't Dad
great?" Larry asks again, "We're in for a fun weekend."
"I'll say," Balki agrees, "We've got two cheese wheels."
- In the next scene the apartment is
decorated for the party. Balki is hanging a balloon on the bookcase area
as Larry watches. "How's that, Cousin?" Balki asks.
"Perfect," Larry replies, "Looks great, doesn't it, Dad?"
Mr. Appleton comes out of the kitchen with Jennifer and Mary Anne who are
carrying plates of snacks. "More to the left, Lawrence," Mr.
Appleton says. "More to the left, Balki," Larry relates.
Balki hangs the balloon to the left. "Where's the sign that says,
'Welcome, Dad?'" Mr. Appleton asks. "Oh, I didn't get one,"
Larry answers. "That's okay," Mr. Appleton says, "Next time
I'll give more than a month's notice." Mary Anne then asks where
Larry wants the snacks and Larry says on the coffee table. "There's
more room on the dining room table, Lawrence," Mr. Appleton points out.
Larry agrees and tells Mary Anne to put them on the dining room table instead.
Jennifer and Mary Anne start to take the food to the table and Mr. Appleton
follows. "Let me show you the Appleton method of folding
napkins," Mr. Appleton offers the girls, "It might help you in your
work as stewardesses." "You know, Mr. Appleton, since meeting
you, I feel I know Larry a whole lot better," Jennifer states. Balki
and Larry have the discussion about the 'Well done, sons.' After Balki
notes that he's generous with his "not that way, Lawrences," Larry
says, "Balki, you're exaggerating." "Cousin, he made you
repark your car," Balki notes. Larry then tells Balki his father is
just trying to help by spotting what he's doing wrong and telling him how to do
it his way. In this version they don't make the connection between this
and Larry doing the same to Balki.
- Mr. Appleton,
Jennifer and Mary Anne cross to Balki and Larry. "Everything's
set," Mr. Appleton reports, "Now you can have a proper party,
Lawrence." Jennifer comments about Mr. Appleton being proud of Larry
working on the investigative reporting team and Mr. Appleton admits he was very
impressed with that. "Did you hear that, Balki?" Larry asks,
"Dad was very impressed." Then Mr. Appleton makes the remark
about television being the place to be.
- After Balki says,
"My father was for higher mutton prices," Mary Anne adds, "And
mine was for world peace." "My father was for fun,"
Jennifer says, then explains how he used to take her everywhere. When Mr.
Appleton reminisces about the baseball game he asks Larry, "Remember that
time I got us box seats right behind the Braves dugout?" "How
could I forget?" Larry asks, "I still have the bat Warren Spahn
autographed." "Yes, we had fun that day," Mr. Appleton
agrees, "But it wasn't Warren Spahn. It was Eddie Matthews."
As they argue about this, Balki tells Mr. Appleton, "Cousin Larry must be
right, Mr. Appleton. He has a very good memory." Larry says the
bat is in the closet and he and Balki argue about the bat being in the closet or
the basement. Larry only looks briefly into the closet before agreeing,
"It's in the basement." "The basement," Balki repeats,
"Who would have guessed the basement?" Jennifer is the one to
suggest they go down to the basement and find the bat. "If any of
your guests come while you're gone, Mary Anne and I will entertain them."
"Should I get my accordion?" Mary Anne asks. "Mary Anne, I
hoped this would never come up but I sent you accordion home to your
mother," Jennifer says. "Why?" Mary Anne asks, "She
can't play." "Neither can you," Jennifer explains.
"Just keep them company," Larry tells Mary Anne, "What do you
say, Dad?" "I say let's go," Mr. Appleton agrees, "And
if you're right, Lawrence, I'll eat my hat." "You eat your hats,
too?" Balki asks as they head out the door, "I knew there was Myposian
blood in your family."
- The next scene
starts with Larry, Balki and Mr. Appleton already in the basement and Larry
rummaging through the storage area, tossing things out behind him which Balki is
catching. Larry and his father are still arguing about who signed the bat.
"Determined little fellow, isn't he?" Balki asks Mr. Appleton,
"Worthy of our admiration, no matter who's right." When Larry
finds the bat and reads who signed it, it's signed "Joey Willis."
Balki has caught a team photo and says, "He's the little guy in the front
of the team picture. What does B.B. mean?" "Batboy,"
Larry answers. "You mean you thought the batboy was Eddie
Matthews?" Mr. Appleton asks. "No, I thought he was Warren Spahn,"
Larry corrects. Balki does not make the comment about Batman's son in this
- Mr. Appleton
comments that Larry never knew much about baseball and Balki contradicts him,
showing them his batting stance and saying, "He showed me how to swing this
old hickory stick so I could knock the horsehide into the next county. The
hardest part of baseball is learning the language." "I'm not one
to criticize, but, Balki, I'm afraid you couldn't hit a ball into the next room
with that swing," Mr. Appleton notes. Larry explains that's the way
he taught him and shows the stance. The dialogue is the same until Larry
says, "I've got that trophy on the mantlepiece to prove it."
"In fact, when the players saw Cousin Larry's swing, they made him the
manager," Balki points out. "I'll bet they did," Mr.
Appleton comments. The scene plays out the same as in the show, until
Larry hits the pipe and it breaks, spewing water. "That's probably
the first thing you hit with that swing, Lawrence," Mr. Appleton notes.
After Larry asks Balki what he'd wanted to say, Balki answers, "I was going
to say you're standing too close to the water pipe. But it appears the
game has been called on account of rain." The scene plays to the end
the same as in the show, except Balki does not rant in Myposian.
- Act two begins with
Larry, Balki and Mr. Appleton pounding on the door and calling for help.
After Larry notes that it's no use, the door is solid and nobody can hear them,
Mr. Appleton says, "Nice work, Lawrence. You managed to lock us in
the basement." Larry insists Jennifer and Mary Anne will eventually
come down and open the door and that there's no harm done. "Except to
the pipe," Balki points out. "No problem," Mr. Appleton
says, "All we have to do to stop the leak is locate the cutoff valve by
tracing the inflow-outflow pipes. Balki points to the leak and says,
"I think I've found the outflow pipe." "Very good, Balki,"
Mr. Appleton offers, "Then this must be the inflow pipe. Now if we
can only find the cutoff valve." Larry spots the valve and walks over
to it, eager to please. "I found it, Dad. I found it over
here." The script is pretty much the same as in the show up until Mr.
Appleton knocks the valve off with the hammer. "It looks like your
father amputated a valve," Balki notes.
- The scene in the
apartment with Jennifer, Mary Anne, Mr. Gorpley and Lydia is mostly the same,
except after Jennifer explains about Mr. Appleton sorting the toothpicks and
then going to the basement to look for the bat with Larry and Balki, Mr. Gorpley
makes the comment, "Sounds like the Appleton didn't fall far from the
tree." "Well, I can't wait to meet him," Lydia notes,
"I love people who are more neurotic than I am." The rest of the
scene is the same.
- The next scene
starts with Larry and Balki trying to knock the door down with their shoulders.
Mr. Appleton sits on the stairs, staring at the water cascading out of the pipe.
The basement is covered with a foot of water (Level 1). Larry and Balki
hurl themselves against the door with greater force. They hurt their
shoulders. "Ow. Ow," Larry moans as he clutches his
shoulder. "Cousin, I think we're beating our shoulders against a dead
horse," Balki notes. "Well, why don't we use our time
productively and stop the flooding?" Mr. Appleton suggests.
"Ordinarily I'd agree, Dad," Larry says, "But Jennifer or Mary
Anne will be down to let us out soon." "Now what have I always
told you, Lawrence?" Mr. Appleton asks, "Never leave your fate in
someone else's hands. So we're going to attack this head on. First,
let's analyze the problem." The scene plays the same from this point
on, except Larry doesn't tell Balki he's listening to the master.
- Jennifer uses a
wastepaper basket to hold the door open instead of a fire extinguisher.
After Jennifer asks if Larry and his father were playing some kind of game,
Balki answers, "Yes. Baseball. It's America's pastime."
"I'm sorry I asked," Jennifer sighs. Mary Anne enters.
After saying she didn't know there was a pool down there, she says, "This
is a dangerous place for a basket. Someone could trip and hurt
themselves." Everyone screams "NO." "Yes, they
could," Mary Anne argues. She moves the basket and the door slams
shut. After Jennifer points out that Lydia and Mr. Gorpley will come down
to let them out, Mr. Appleton says, "In the meantime, let's get back to
work. Remember, idle hands . . . " " . . . are the Devil's
giftshop," Balki finishes.
- After finding the
hibachi and explaining they are looking for the drain, Jennifer says, "Oh,
you can forget that. Mr. Twinkacetti spilled a load of cement on it three
years ago." (So they are in the same building as before???)
- After Lydia and Mr. Gorpley come
down and everyone shouts at them, Mr. Gorpley holds up his hands to quiet them,
letting the door close, and says, "If you have something to say to me, do
it one at a time. You first, Bartokomous." "You've just
locked us in," Balki explains. Mr. Gorpley doesn't like that answer
and says, "Okay. Appleton." The rest of the scene is
essentially the same as in the final episode.
There were a few different
variations in the shooting draft dated September 20, 1989:
- The episode
starts the same as what aired, except after Balki offers to help Larry practice
what he'll say to his father, he adds, "I'll be your Papa, you be Cousin
Larry." (THEN) "Oh, that doesn't leave much of a role for
your invisible friend." "It'll be fine," Larry assures him,
"I have it down." He then asks Balki what's in the bag.
- After Larry tells
Balki that cheese wheels are always cut in triangular wedges, Balki says,
"Oh, I don't believe that's true. I can't document it, but I'm sure
I've seen a trapezoid or at least a rhombus." Then Larry asks Balki
how many cheese wheels he's cut in his lifetime.
- After Balki says
that geometric discussions usually have a calming affect on Larry, he asks,
"Are you and your invisible friend having problems?" "I'm
not talking to my invisible friend," Larry insists. "No wonder
you're having problems," Balki notes. Balki's explanation about the
"Son Appreciation Parade" is still in this script. After Larry
explains, "Fathers withhold praise for fear their sons will become lazy,
complacent, and well adjusted," Balki says, "Well, Cousin, your
father's done a good job. You've avoided all those things."
- In this script Balki
tells Mr. Appleton he's been looking forward to meeting him for a "dog's
age." After Mr. Appleton says, "I hope you didn't hire a
decorator" and Larry says he did it all himself, Balki adds, "I picked
out the throw pillows." "I like the throw pillows," Mr.
Appleton comments. "Oh Dad, maybe you would like to look at my
scrapbook?" Larry asks. Mr. Appleton walks toward the mantle.
"Well, sure. Are these your trophies, Lawrence?" "Oh,
yes," Balki answers, "Cousin Larry won this one when he took a ragtag
team of cranky amateurs . . . " "Balki, Balki," Larry
interrupts, "He's my Dad." Larry then repeats his practiced
speech about the softball playoffs. "Oh, isn't that a cute little
trophy?" Mr. Appleton asks, then reads the inscription as, "Larry
Apple?" "There wasn't enough room on there for my full
name," Larry explains, "But it's mine." "Cousin Larry
has witnesses," Balki adds, "They'll all be at the party
tonight." "A party? Great," Mr. Appleton says,
"Well, we better get ready. Now you're going to need . . . "
"Relax, Dad," Larry says, "Balki and I have taken care of
everything." "I don't see any decorations," Mr. Appleton
notes. "You know I said the same thing," Balki agrees, "I
said, 'Balki, how can you have a party without decorations?' And then it
came to me, you can't." "You should listen to Balki," Mr.
Appleton tells Larry, "Come on, you two. I'll show you how to throw a
party." Mr. Appleton goes into the kitchen followed by Balki.
"You got a punch bowl?" he asks. Larry picks up a scrapbook,
saying, "I once wrote a story about how to throw a party. I think
it's in my scrapbook. You want to take a look at it? I hope it's not
in volume two. That one's at the binders. Dad?"
- At the start of the
next scene, Balki is hanging a balloon as in the first draft script. After
Mr. Appleton tells Larry and then Larry tells Balki "More to the left,
Balki," Balki moves to the left. Larry indicates the balloon and
Balki climbs the ladder to move the balloon instead.
- In this script, Mr.
Appleton offers to show Jennifer and Mary Anne the three-fold star or the
Appleton duck, instead of the Appleton tulip. Jennifer's line about
feeling she knows Larry better after meeting his father is still in this draft.
- In this version,
after Balki says, "My father was for higher mutton prices," Mary Anne
says, "My father was for world peace. But I'm sure he would have been
for higher mutton prices if he hadn't joined the Marines."
- After Larry concedes
that the "bat's in the basement," Balki says, "Well, bust my
buttons. The bat's in the basement. Boy, who would have bet on the
basement?" Larry tells Jennifer and Mary Anne to tell anyone who
comes that they'll be right back as they're walking out the door. Balki
pauses at the door and adds, "If someone shows up that you can't see, don't
turn them away. That's Cousin Larry's invisible friend."
- Balki's comment
"The hardest part of baseball is learning the language" is still in
this version. Same with Balki's line "When the players saw Cousin
Larry's swing, they made him manager."
- After Mr. Appleton
says, "You've gotten us into bigger jams than this," Balki adds,
"Oh, I'll say. There was the time he got us trapped skiing.
There was the time he got us trapped on the river. There was the time he
got us trapped . . . "
- The scene in the
apartment is the same as in the first draft script, with Gorpley's line about
the Appleton not falling far from the tree and Lydia's line about loving people
who are more neurotic than she is still intact. At the end of the scene
after Jennifer exits and Mr. Gorpley is eating the hors d'oeuvres, Mary Anne
shows the napkin she folded successfully and says, "I did it. I did
an Appleton duck." "That's great," Mr. Gorpley says, taking
the napkin from her and shaking it out to wipe his mouth with it.
- Larry and Balki try
to open the door with their shoulders as in the first draft script, except after
Balki says he's beating his shoulder against a dead horse he says,
"However, I do have another idea." He picks up Larry sideways
and aims his head at the door. "No, wait, hold it," Larry cries.
Mr. Appleton suggests they use their time more productively. Larry says
Jennifer and Mary Anne will be down to let them out soon. "Now what
have I always told you, Lawrence?" Mr. Appleton asks. Larry thinks a
beat. "Always wear white at night? Don't run with scissors in
your hand? Count you change before leaving the box office?"
"Never leave your fate in someone else's hands," Mr. Appleton says.
"Oooh, tough one," Balki notes.
- Balki doesn't sing
"Singing in the Rain" in this first draft script or this one, but in
this version he is supposed to walk through the water like a kid playing in a
- Mary Anne comments
about the fire extinguisher as she did about the waste basket, that someone
could trip and hurt themselves. When everyone yells, "NO!" she
argues, "Yes, they could."
- Gorpley asks Balki
to go first in telling him what everyone was trying to say, then asks for
Larry's answer after Balki says he locked them in, just like in the first draft
- After Gorpley informs them that none
of the other guests had arrived, Balki says, "This is awful."
"I know," Mary Anne agrees. This is when Balki says, "You
invite people for seven o'clock, you'd think they'd have the common courtesy to
show up on time."
- The rest of the
script is the same as what aired.
on to the next episode . . .