Strangers Episode Guide
82 - Almost Live from Chicago
First Air Date:
December 1, 1989
Filmed on: July 28, 1989
Nielsen Rating: 13.2 HH
TV Guide Description: Larry
has a plan to bolster Lydia's confidence -- and also spare her the pain of
missed opportunity and a life of regret -- as she nervously prepares to tape a
pilot for the TV version of her advice column.
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Barry OíBrien & Cheryl Alu
Directed by: Joel Zwick
Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton
Rebeca Arthur: Mary Anne
Melanie Wilson: Jennifer Lyons
Belita Moreno: Lydia Markham
Zane Lasky: Stage Manager
Dimitri is not seen in this episode
"TGIF. Two goats in Fresno!"
"I just see them little babies and I just get the hobie jobies."
"You tell your Uncle Balki and your Uncle Cousin."
"In other words, thatís a Ďdonít doí on the TV show and a Ďdo
doí on the column."
"Cousin, whatís wrong with our couch? The salesman said it had my name on
it. I never did find it."
"Be that as that may be . . . "
"Well, I forgave you for taping me up like King Toot."
"Weíre back to Binky McDinky, arenít we?"
"Cousin, I think itís time you said bye bye to Boinki."
Donít be ridiculous: Said once in this episode.
used in this episode:
"You can say that again!"
"Where do I come up with them?"
Lydiaís pronunciation of Lar-ry
Other running jokes
used in this episode:
Balki laughs at his own joke
Lydia has a crippling fear of something
Balki is flattered and acts humble
Larry has a plan
Larry responds to something Balki has said with a lie just to move on
Alliteration focusing on the letter ĎBí
Mary Anne says something amazingly profound and then explains it in a bizarre
Tree" - sung by Balki as heís polishing his work table with lemon-scented
"There's No Business Like Show Business" - hummed by Lydia after she
decides to do the television show
- While this show aired as the 10th episode for the
season, it was actually the second episode that was filmed that fall.
- Itís probably no small coincidence that Balki and Larry have a
discussion about TGIF at the beginning of this episode, Larry finally having to
explain it means "Thank God itís Friday." ABCís lineup on
Friday nights had been dubbed TGIF at the start of the season, although most
people donít seem to remember that their TGIF actually stood for "Thank
goodness itís funny."
- Balki informs Larry that the show Thatís
Incredible! had already been canceled. The ABC program which featured
stories of amazing and unusual people and situations ran from 1980 to 1984 and
was hosted by Cathy Lee Crosby, Fran Tarkenton and John Davidson, who would also
be mentioned during the first scene of this episode.
- Lydiaís fear of cameras was one of many phobias
she displayed over the course of the show. Her fear of cameras would come
up again in the very next episode, Home Movies.
- While trying to encourage Lydia to go ahead with
the idea of the TV show, he mentions meeting Barbara Walters at The Pump Room,
which is a historical restaurant at the Ambassador East Hotel opened in 1938 by
Ernie Byfield, known for being frequented by celebrities. As of February
2011 the restaurant has been closed.
- Also mentioned in this episode is the ABC news
magazine 20/20. Originally in the script it was to be the 60
Minutes news team. Obviously ABC execs felt it would make more sense to
promote their own news magazine instead of rival CBSí show. To see this
and more changes from the original script, scroll to the Script Variations at
the bottom of this page!
- The reason Balki uses McLean Stevenson as an
example of someone who shouldnít have their own television show stems from the
fact that after the end of M*A*S*H he starred in no less than four
separate sitcoms which failed miserably, namely The McLean Stevenson Show, In
the Beginning, Condo and most notably Hello, Larry.
- Just a note for anyone who may by interested,
after Lydia makes the crack about realizing she couldnít be in her apartment
and adds, "Not with that couch," the last and loudest female laugh
heard after that line is yours truly.
- This is the first time Larry mentions his high
school nemesis, Bunky McDermott, but it would certainly not be the last!
Bunky would come up again in subsequent episodes and even show up in the flesh
in the season six episode, The Sunshine Boys.
- Larry complains about Bunky meeting and marrying
Bryn Bramwell and how her father made him the head of Bramwell Industries.
mentions a rich family named Bramwell. It should be noted that this
episode was edited by Robert Bramwell.
There appears to be a little tribute to Laverne & Shirley in
this episode. Lydia Live! is being filmed at the Phister Theater. In
Laverne & Shirley, references to the Pfister family of Milwaukee were
made often. Even though the name is spelled differently, the establishing
shot of the theater appears to have been done as a period piece, since the cars
appear to be older and even the clothing on the two men walking into the theater
appear dated. It's hard to say what this establishing shot was originally
- In this episode Lydia says sheís had a fear of cameras since she was
six years old. Yet in the third season episode, To Be or Not to Be she
is desperately trying to get a part in the Chronicleís upcoming television
episode begins in the basement of the Chicago Chronicle. We can hear Balki
singing the song "Lemon Tree" over the establishing shot of the
building. Once inside, we see Balki is polishing his work table with
lemon-scented wax cleaner. Larry is standing at the file cabinet behind
Balki and approaches, saying, "Whew! What a day!" Larry
attempts to sit on the edge of Balkiís table and slips right off to the floor.
"Wwowww!" Balki comments. Larry picks himself up off the floor
and continues, "Well, as I was about to say . . . 'T.G.I.F.' You know
what that means?" "Well, of course I do, donít be
ridiculous," Balki scoffs, "'T.G.I.F.' Two goats in
Fresno!" "Thank God itís Friday," Larry corrects.
"You can say that again," Balki agrees, then asks, "What does
that have to do with two goats in Fresno?"
The elevator door opens and Lydia steps
out, walking over to Larry and Balki. "Hi guys," she says,
"Well, all I can say after a
week like this is 'T.G.I.F.'" "Thank God itís Friday,"
Larry says to Balki, trying to help him make the connection.
"Oh!" Balki exclaims, finally getting it. He then runs to the
cubby holes with sorted mail, saying, "Oh well then, in that case Miss
Lydia . . . uh, all I can say is . . . " He returns carrying a stack
of mail and thinks hard to work out what he wants to say. " . . . 'H.A.Y.M.'
Hereís all your mail!" Balki laughs at his own joke, then asks
Lydia, "Where do I come up with them?" "I donít
know," Lydia smiles, humoring him. She starts to look through her
letters. "Oh look," she shows Balki, "another letter from
Channel 8. These people just never give up. Theyíre still trying
to get me to do my own television show." Larry overhears this and is
immediately interested. "Youíve been offered your own TV show?
Thatís Incredible!" "No, Cousin, ĎThatís Incredible!í
was canceled," Balki says, "Try to keep up."
"Channel 8 wants me to do a pilot for
a TV version of my advice column," Lydia explains, "but I turned Ďem
down." She heads
toward Larryís desk. "You turned Ďem down?" Balki asks,
following her. "Why?" Larry asks. "Well, I have one
tiny little fear," she begins. "It doesnít have anything to do
with wool chiggers, does it?" Balki asks, looking nervous, "I just see
them little babies and I just . . . I just get the hobie jobies."
Balki wriggles uncomfortably. "Uh, no no," Lydia assures Balki,
"I am terrified of television caaa . . . ameras. When I was six years
old my mother forced me to appear on a TV show with Miss Terryís Tapping
Tulips. I was fine until they rolled out the . . . . cameras. All I
remember is that lens moving closer and closer . . . an unfeeling, unblinking
eye staring deeper and deeper into my brain . . . !" She clasps a
hand to her forehead and Larry has to give her support, assuring her,
"Itís okay!" "Okay?" she asks. "Itís
okay," Larry repeats. "Okay," she sighs, "Sorry."
"Itís okay," Balki assures her, although he looks startled by her
"Anyway," Lydia continues,
"my knees locked, my face froze . . . and Herbie the Clown had to carry my
teeny weeny little body
from the stage." "I . . . I canít believe this!" Balki
gasps. "Itís true," Lydia assures him. "You met
Herbie the Clown?" Balki asks in disbelief. "Lydia, you canít
pass up the opportunity to have your very own TV show because of something that
happened a long, long, long time ago," Larry insists. "It
wasnít that long ago, Larry," Lydia smirks, "To this day I am
deathly afraid of . . . . " "Cameras," Balki fills in for
her. "I canít even face the security monitor at the bank,"
Lydia explains, "I always have to use the drive-up teller."
"Well, Miss Lydia, they have cameras there, too," Balki informs her.
"They do?" Lydia asks in shock. "Well . . . well,
yeah," Balki says, "They put them way up high but they can zooooom in
on you . . . " Balki motions with his hand the camera zooming in on
Lydia and she screams and whimpers, leaning into Larry. "Itís
okay," Larry assures her. "Okay?" she asks.
"Itís okay." "Okay? Okay," Lydia sighs,
am gonna call Channel 8 and tell them to stop bothering me and then . . . "
Lydia walks to the elevator, " . . . Iím gonna learn how to bank by
mail." "Whoa, whoa, wait a minute," Larry says, "Wait
wait wait wait wait wait wait wait. Your own TV show? Fame?
Fortune? Picture it, Lydia. You start with a local television show.
It catches on in Chicago like wildfire. Everyone wants to talk to you.
Youíre meeting Barbara Walters for dinner at the Pump Room to discuss your
upcoming interview." "Barbara Walters?" Miss Lydia asks,
intrigued. "The Maitre dí recognizes you immediately and gives you
the best table. Youíre sitting next to celebrities." "Is
John Davidson there?" Balki asks excitedly. "Maybe," Larry
says. Balki gasps happily.
the room," Larry continues, "The rest of the 20/20 news team . . .
they smile, wave you over. They want to do an entire show about you, and
do you know why?" "Because sheís sitting next to John
Davidson!" Balki announces energetically. Larry ignores Balki and
continues. "Because you didnít pass up the opportunity to have your
very own television show." The elevator door opens. "I am
gonna call the station now and tell them theyíve got themselves a deal,"
Lydia smiles. Lydia steps into the elevator, humming the song
"Thereís No Business Like Show Business." Larry turns to Balki
and looks smug. "I am going to make that woman a star!" he
announces. "I got that part," Balki says, "but what I
really want to know is . . . when is this dinner with John Davidson?"
Larry eyes Balki strangely.
Some time later, it is the middle of the
night and there is a knock at the apartmentís front door. Larry stumbles
into the living
room in his bathrobe and turns on the light. He is about to walk to the
door when Balkiís bedroom door opens and Balki emerges, wearing long john
style pajamas and a tall nightcap. He is also wearing slippers with curled
toes. He is dragging his robe beside him and puts it on before they
sleepily go to answer the door. Lydia rushes in, crying, "Balki,
Larry, I canít do it! I canít do it! Donít make me do it!
Please, please, donít make me do it!" She pauses, staring at
Balkiís nightcap. "Are you on your way to a party?" she asks.
"Lydia, itís three a.m.," Larry notes, "Is something
wrong?" "Yes, there is something wrong," she answers.
"Oh well come on, Miss Lydia," Balki offers, taking her by the
shoulders and leading her to the couch, "You come sit down and tell us all
about it. You tell your Uncle Balki and your Uncle Cousin."
They sit down and Larry joins them.
have been up all night worrying," Lydia begins, "I want to do the show
tomorrow night but I canít. I just canít face the caa . . . ameras,
Larry." "Well then, donít do it," Balki states,
"Goodnight, Miss Lydia." He leads her to stand up.
"Wait a minute," Larry stops them, "Wait wait wait wait wait wait
wait. This is just a case of nerves. Youíll get over it."
Lydia shakes her head. "I donít think so. I know me.
Once I see the caa . . . ameras my mind will go blank. And when the
audience asks me questions I wonít be able to think of anything to say . . .
Iíll be humiliated." "Cousin, you know, she has a point,"
Balki says, "Not everyone should have their own television show. Look
at McLean Stevenson. Miss Lydia, if people want your advice they just have
to read your column." "Balki, thatís it!" Larry exclaims,
"Thatís a great idea!" "Well, itís not like coming up
with the cordless shaver," Balki sighs, "I simply stated the
"And stated it beautifully,"
Larry flatters. "Oh, I donít know," Balki says.
"Beautifully!" "Well, really?" Balki asks humbly.
you did!" Larry insists. "No, I didnít," Balki says
bashfully. "Yes, you did! Balki and I can memorize questions
from your old columns and ask them from the audience! That way you wonít
have to think of the answers, youíll already know them. And thatíll
give you the confidence to forget about the cameras and get through the rest of
the show on your own." "No, I didnít say that," Balki
argues, "I . . . I was saying ĎDonít do the TV show, do do the
column. In other words, thatís a Ďdonít doí on the TV show and a
Ďdo doí on the column." Lydia looks confused. "Okay,
it wasnít your idea," Larry admits, "It was mine. What do you
think of my plan, Lydia?" "I think itís wonderful!" Lydia
smiles, "You know, I donít think I say his often enough, Larry, but you
are brilliant!" Larry swells with pride. "I donít think
youíve ever said that," Balki points out.
takes Larry and Balki by the arms and leads them to the door, sighing, "I
feel calmer and more relaxed already. Thanks so much for dropping
by." She opens the door for them and they start to walk out, when
Larry stops. "Uh, Lydia? We live here."
"Oh, of course you do," Lydia realizes, "This couldnít be my
place. Not with that couch. Goodnight, boys." She
leaves and they close the door behind her. Balki walks to the couch and
asks, "Cousin, whatís wrong with our couch? The salesman said it
had my name on it. I never did find it." "Itís hidden in
the pattern," Larry replies flippantly. "Cousin . . . now, Miss
Lydia keeps saying that she donít want to do the TV show and you keep changing
her mind. Why you do that?" "Balki, I canít let her miss
this opportunity," Larry insists, "I am not going to let her end up
regretting what would have been, could have been, should have been while
that Bunky McDermott is out there living a life that should have been mine!"
talking about you now, arenít we?" Balki asks. "Yes!"
Larry confirms. "Yes," Balki echoes. "Yes! We
are talking about me! And do you know why?" Balki shakes
his head no at Larryís manic expression. Larry rushes off to his bedroom
as Balki motions to a higher power "Why?" As Larry returns,
Balki motions above to shush. Larry holds up a pair of his pants and
cries, "Because of this!" "Your pants?" Balki
asks. "No, no," Larry says, taking his wallet out of his pants
pocket and pulling out a small piece of newspaper, "Not the pants.
This! I have been carrying this since 1985." He motions to the
paper and reads. "ĎYoung Man on the Move.í But not just any
young man on the move! Bunky McDermott, young man on the
move!" "Question," Balki interrupts. "Yes?"
"Who is Bunky McDermott and why do we care how he moves?"
McDermott was the president of my high school chess club," Larry explains, "I
should have been president! I was elected! But I declined
because I was afraid of the responsibility. So Bunky took over. And
then, at the convention of the chess club presidents, he met the beautiful Bryn
Bramwell. He married her. Her father made him president of Bramwell
Industries. Today he is one of the wealthiest men in the country."
"You mean Bunky and Bryn are basking in the bosom of Bramwellís big
bucks?" Balki asks. "Basically," Larry replies, "But
if I had Bunkyís bravado Iíd be basking with Bryn in the bosom of
those big Bramwell bucks, buddy!" "Boy," Balki comments,
looking at the article again. "Now do you see why Lydia has to
do this?" Larry asks. "Cousin, I donít see why she has to do a
TV show let alone play chess," Balki says. Larry holds a hand to his
pained head. "She doesnít have to play chess," he explains.
"Well, at least youíre letting that go," Balki sighs.
Larry is at the end of his rope.
"Oh, why me?" "Thatís progress," Balki encourages.
"Why me?" Larry moans. "Thatís
progress," Balki repeats. "Balki, Lydia wants to do a TV
show!" "Oh, is that so?" Balki asks, "Then how come
every time she talks about it she gets so upset?"
"Jitters," Larry explains. Balki tenses up and starts to shake,
crying, "Where? Where? I hate those little bugs!"
"Balki, Balki, Balki, Balki," Larry tries to calm him, "Not
chiggers." "No?" Balki asks. "No.
Jitters." Balki sighs with relief. "Sheíll get over
it!" Larry assures him. "Well, even if she do get over it, I
donít think she want to do it. I think youíre just making her do it
because of this Bunky in your pants." "I am doing this because I
donít want her to make the same mistake I did," Larry explains.
"Well, be that as that may be, Iím going down to that studio with her and
the first time I hear her say ĎI donít want to do this, Lar-ry!í
Iím taking her home," Balki insists. The scene fades to black.
Act two begins at the Phister Theater
where the marquee reads, "Lydia Live! Taping today."
Inside, a studio has been set up
and audience members are being seated. Lydia is on the stage having her
makeup touched up. Balki, Larry, Jennifer and Mary Anne are taking their
seats in the audience. "I still donít understand," Mary Anne
says, "If itís called Lydia Live, why isnít it live?"
"Mary Anne, this is a pilot for a television show," Jennifer explains,
"Now that means if this goes well then the real show will be live."
"Oh," Mary Anne says, "You mean if it tests well and the
demographics are good theyíll give it a short order with a series of options
and Lydia could find herself in the middle of a very handsome syndication
package." Everyone looks at her with surprise. "I was once
in an elevator with Ted Turner," she explains. "Iím gonna go
make sure Lydia is okay before the show," Larry excuses himself.
Balki also gets up and says, "Iím going to go make sure Lydia is okay
after she talks to Cousin Larry." They head for the stage.
Larry and Balki approach Lydia, who is
sitting in a chair on the stage intently reading over some index cards.
asks, startling her, "You look great! Howís everything going?"
"Fine," Lydia says in a stilted voice but with a smile on her face,
"Fine. Iím fine. Everythingís fine." "She
sounds a little too fine, Cousin," Balki notes. "Donít be
silly, sheís loving every minute of it!" Larry winks to Lydia. The
stage manager walks onto the stage and leans over to tell Lydia, "Weíre
ready when you are, Ms. Markham." "Am I ready Larry?" Lydia
asks worriedly. "Yes, you are," Larry assures her. She
smiles as the stage manager fastens the microphone around her neck.
"Weíd better take our seats," Larry says, then adds, "Lydia?
Have fun with it." She smiles but doesnít look very confident.
Larry and Balki walk back to the audience. "Tape is rolling,"
the stage manager announces. Theme music starts to play as an
announcerís voice begins the introduction as the camera swings from the
audience to Lydia standing on the stage.
"Live from our studios in the Phister
Building in downtown Chicago, itís time for your favorite advice columnist,
the lady whoís
never at a loss for words . . . heeeeereís Lydia!" The audience
applauds. Lydia is smiling and looking very calm and collected.
"Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Lydia Markham and welcome to Lydia
Live." The audience applauds again. "What did I tell you?
Sheís a natural," Larry says to Jennifer. "Iím gonna start
off todayís show by saaaayinnngg . . . " The camera starts
advancing on Lydia and she starts to panic. "By sayiiiiinnnggg . . .
" The camera keeps coming closer. "Get away from me!"
she cries, "Go on! Get away! Get!" She shoos at the
camera, then loses it completely. She screams and throws the microphone
cord over her shoulder to run off the stage, but it is still attached around her
neck and when it tightens it pulls her off her feet so she ends up flat on the
stage. The stage manager runs to her assistance. "Wow, she does
her own stunts!" Mary Anne comments.
Some time later, Lydia is sitting on her
chair on the stage, bent over and breathing into a paper bag. Larry and
manager are with her. "Miss Markham? Are you okay?" the
stage manager asks. "Am I okay?" she snaps, "Iím
breathing in a bag!" "Sheís fine," Larry assures the man,
"Sheís fine. Itís just an acting technique. She uses it to
clear her head." "Okay, uh . . . weíll start as soon as
youíre ready," the stage manager says and he walks away. Balki
appears from backstage with Lydiaís case and hurries to her, saying,
"Come on, Miss Lydia, I packed all your things. Weíre going home
now. Come on." She stands up and starts to follow Balki, still
keeping the bag over her face. "Whoa, wait a minute . . . wait wait
wait wait wait wait wait," Larry stops them, "Nobodyís going
anywhere." "Cousin, you said that if Miss Lydia didnít want to
do the show we could take her home," Balki reminds him. "I
promised if she said ĎI donít want to do the show, Lar-ry!í then
Iíd take her home," Larry corrects as he pulls Lydia toward him,
"But she still wants to do the show, donít you, Lydia?"
pulls her head from the bag and says, "I donít want to do the show Lar-ry!"
"Ah ha!" Balki exclaims. "She didnít mean it," Larry
insists, "Sheís fine!" "Cousin, how can you say sheís
fine?" Balki asks, pulling Lydia back toward himself, "Look at her.
Her eyes are bloodshot, her face is losing color and sheís retaining
water." "Itís just a minor case of stage fright," Larry
says, pulling Lydia back toward himself roughly, "She can get through
it!" "No she canít, and she donít have to!" Balki
argues, pulling Lydia back again roughly. "Yes, she does!" Larry
yanks Lydia toward him. "No, she donít!" Balki pulls her back.
"Yes, she does!" "No, she donít!" "Yes,
she does!" "No, she donít!" Lydia is being jerked
back and forth like a rag doll. "Okay, she donít," Larry
finally agrees. "She donít?" Balki asks. "No, she
donít," Larry says. Lydia slumps to her knees at their feet.
shouldnít have to do it if she doesnít want to do it," Larry agrees,
"Come on, Lydia, why donít you sit down over here while Balki and I go
get the car?" He directs Lydia to sit in the chair as he tries to
pull Balki away to the right. "Come on, Balki." "No,
Cousin I . . . " "Letís go get the car," Larry urges.
"Cousin, I . . . " "Letís go get the car."
"Well, but Cousin, the parking lot is over that way," Balki points
out. "Yes, but I know a secret shortcut," Larry says
mysteriously. "I like secrets!" Balki smiles. "I know
you do!" Larry smiles wickedly, "Come on, itís over here."
"Okay," Balki giggles. "Let me show you!" Larry says,
leading Balki offstage and behind some curtains. Balki follows on tiptoe,
we next see Larry, he is making his way to his audience seat and looks beaten
up. His hair is disheveled, his clothes are a mess and heís holding a
tissue to his nose. "Larry, are you all right?" a startled
Jennifer asks. "Oh, everythingís fine!" Larry assures her.
"Whereís Balki?" Mary Anne asks. "Heís backstage . . .
resting," Larry answers. "Larry, are you sure Lydia can go
on?" Jennifer asks. "Oh, are you kidding?" Larry scoffs,
"She begged me to let her try again." "Stand by!" the
stage manager calls. "Heeeereís Lydia!" the announcer says
again. The audience applauds. "Good afternoon, ladies and
gentlemen," she greets the audience, "My name is Lydia Markham and
welcome to Lydia Live. For many years I have been annnn . . . "
The camera starts to roll in on her again and she loses it. " . . .
nationally syndicated communist." "Sheís going down,
Larry," Jennifer observes.
Lydia starts to laugh hysterically,
asking, "Where is Balki? He told me I didnít have to do this!
He told me that he would take me
home! Balki, are you out there? Itís time to take me home!"
Balki hops out from behind the curtain where heíd disappeared with Larry.
Heís been wrapped from his ankles to his shoulders with duct tape and can
barely keep his balance. His mouth has also been taped. He hops up
onto the stage as Lydia removes her microphone. She pulls the tape from
his mouth and he screams in pain, causing Lydia to scream as well.
"Miss Lydia, you donít have to do this," he assures her.
"Oh Balki, thank you, thank you, thank you," Lydia cries, leaning into
him. She pulls back, confused, and asks, "Is this what you were
wearing earlier?" Larry runs onto the stage and asks, "Balki,
what are you doing? Lydia was doing great! She was just starting to
warm up. What do you say, Lydia? One more try?"
"Drop dead, Larry," Lydia says, then she turns to Balki and says,
"Balki, I want you to take me home." Balki motions for Lydia to
take his arm and he starts to hop away.
next morning at the Chronicle, Larry is on the phone with Balki standing by.
"Iím still getting her answering machine," Larry reports, hanging up
the receiver, "All it says is ĎThis is Lydia Markham. Iím not
here right now. Iím on a remote island where there are no caaa . . .
ameras. Do you think sheíll ever forgive me?" "Well, I
forgave you for taping me up like King Toot," Balki points out. Lydia
enters from the parking garage and heads for the elevator. "Good
morning, everyone," she says coldly. Larry and Balki hurry to her.
"Oh, Lydia . . . Lydia, I am so very sorry," Larry offers, "I am
so, so sorry. I should never have forced you to do something you didnít
want to do. Can you ever forgive me?" "Larry, dear,"
Lydia says, "Please, relax! I forgive you. Iím over it,
really." "You are?" Larry asks. "Letís just
put this behind us," Lydia suggests, "It was a bad experience but
Iím stronger because of it."
elevator door opens and Lydia steps in a pushes the button. A man also
gets into the elevator holding a camera with a telephoto lens. Lydia lets
out a shriek and hurries out of the elevator. "I think Iíll take
the stairs," she says, "I need the exercise." She hurries
up the stairs. "Balki, how could I have gotten so carried away?"
Larry asks. "Well, Cousin, you do get plenty of practice at it,"
Balki notes. "But I really meant well," Larry says, "I only
wanted to spare her the pain of a missed opportunity and a life of regret.
Like mine." "Uh oh," Balki sighs, "Weíre back to
Binky McDinky, arenít we?" "Bunky McDermott became president
of my high school chess club and one of the wealthiest men in the country,"
Larry complains, "He took an opportunity that should have been mine and he
is living a life that I should be living."
"Now wait a minute," Balki
interrupts, "What is wrong with Larry Appletonís life? Arenít you
doing a job youíve always wanted to
do?" "Yes," Larry admits. "And donít you have
wonderful friends?" "Yes." "And arenít you
dating the girl of your dreams?" "Oh yes," Larry nods.
"Well, from where Iím standing you look like Larry Appleton, young man on
the move," Balki points out. "I am doing pretty well, arenít
I?" Larry asks. "Cousin, I think itís time you said bye bye to
Boinki," Balki suggests, "Come on, get him out here." Larry
takes out his wallet, sighing, "All right. Youíre right."
He takes out a piece of paper. "Bunky McDermott," Larry states,
"I wish you the best of luck in your life, but itís time to get out of
mine." Balki looks a little surprised when Larry starts tearing up
the paper into little pieces and throws them into the air. "Balki, I
feel released!" Larry exclaims, "Cleansed! Free!"
"Do you feel poor?" Balki asks. "No, why?" Larry asks.
"ĎCause you just tore up your paycheck," Balki informs him. On
Larryís startled look, the episode ends.
There were a few
notable differences in the first draft script dated July 20, 1989:
this version, the first scene starts with the conversation about TGIF and not
with Balki waxing his worktable. When Balki hands Lydia her mail he says,
"H.Y.M." for "Here's your mail" instead of H.A.Y.M.
After Balki tells Larry that 'That's Incredible!' had been canceled, he asks
Lydia, "Let me guess. You're replacing Cagney? You're replacing
Lacey? You're going to be all the Designing Women?"
After Larry asks why Lydia turned down the TV show, she explains, "I know
people regard me as a pillar of stability, but I have this little emotional
problem." "Wait, don't tell me," Balki interrupts,
"You have a Cinderella complex? A Peter Pan complex? A Donald
Trump duplex?" "Oh, I have an idea," Larry says, "why
don't we stop guessing and let her tell us." After Lydia tells how
Herbie the Clown has to carry her "stiff little body" off the stage,
Balki comments, "Well, it's a good thing you're not doing the show.
Herbie might not be in town to carry you off stage." Balki tells
Lydia they have cameras at the drive-thru tellers as well but doesn't
demonstrate how they zoom in. He then says, "Well, Cousin, it sounds
like Miss Lydia made the right decision. Well, 'H.A.N.E.'"
Larry and Lydia look confused. "Have a nice evening," Balki
explains. After Larry mentions fame and fortune, Lydia points out,
"Larry, I'm already rich." "Okay, fame," Larry says,
"You could be bigger than Oprah." "Is that before or after
she lost the weight?" Balki asks. During Larry's explanation of
Lydia's fame he cites the entire 60 Minutes new team is there instead of
the 20/20 news team. He finishes by saying, "They want to do a show
about you. And you know why?" "Why?" Balki asks.
"Because you're the biggest thing to hit talk television since Geraldo
caught a chair with his nose," Larry replies. After Lydia agrees to
do the show and exits, Balki says, "Cousin, that was amazing. You got
Miss Lydia to do something she doesn't want to do. I thought you could
only do that with me. How do you do that?" "It's a
gift," Larry explains.
- At the beginning of
the second scene, it describes the action as "There is a loud pounding at
the door. Balki and Larry come stumbling out, half asleep, in pajamas and
robes. Each thinking the other is going to answer it, they both turn and
start back to their rooms. Then, realizing no one is answering it they
both head back to the door. Lydia cries, "Balki, I've got to talk to
you. Larry, I've got to talk to you. I've got to talk to both of
you." Realizing they are in their pajamas, she comments, "I
didn't wake you, did I?" "Of course not. Don't be
ridiculous," Balki answers, "Who could sleep with all that
pounding?" After explaining she's been up all night worrying and
doesn't think she can face the cameras, Balki tells her not to do it.
Larry assures her it's just case of opening night jitters and that she'll
get over it. "I don't think so," Lydia says, "It's not just
the camera, I'm not good in front of people. I need time to think before I
give advice. That's why I write my column." After Balki says he
simply stated the obvious, Larry says, "What I mean is: Lydia's problem is
that she's uncomfortable in front of an audience, but she's very relaxed writing
her column. So all we have to do is make the television show just like
writing her column." "How do we do that?" Lydia asks.
"Cousin, let me take this one," Balki suggests, then says to Lydia,
"We'll bring the audience to your office and let them watch you write your
column." "Or . . . " Larry says and then suggests he and
Balki memorize questions from her old columns and ask them from the audience.
After Lydia says she doesn't say often enough that Larry is brilliant and Balki
points out "I don't think you've ever said that," Lydia replies,
"Well, then I was right. You know all my other friends said I
shouldn't do the talk show so I'm depending on you to make sure I don't lose my
nerve." "You're leaning on the right guy," Larry assures
her. After Lydia leads them to the door and Larry points out it's their
apartment, Lydia says, "Oh, of course you do. I guess I'm not as calm
as I thought." Then she makes the crack about the couch. After
she exits, Balki does not talk about the couch at all. Larry says,
"Get dressed. We're going down to the newspaper right now and spend
the rest of the night going through Lydia's old columns. I want to find
some questions that show her at her best." "Cousin, can't it
wait until the morning?" Balki asks. "No! We got to do
this now. We can't let her miss this opportunity." He then goes
on about regret and brings up Bunky McDermott. After Balki realizes
Larry's talking about himself, Larry admits, "Alright, you want to know why
I know so much about missed opportunities." Larry picks up his wallet
from the coffee table and takes out a crumpled magazine ad. "Look at
this," Larry insists. Balki looks at it. 'Because Jim Palmer
wears jockey shorts?" Balki asks. "Not that! The
article!" Larry says, turning the magazine page over. Larry's story
about Bunky and Bryn is the same except her name is Bryn Boswell instead of
Bramwell. In the middle of his story, Balki notes, "Cousin, I'm
afraid you're hyperventilating." "Thanks, buddy," Larry
offers and composes himself to continue. After telling the story, Larry
says, "You see, every opportunity is a gateway to other, bigger
opportunities. That's why I'm not going to let Lydia down. Would you
want it on your head that you let a friend down?" "Not without
protective head gear," Balki replies. "Alright then. Let's
get down to the paper and start going through those columns for Lydia,"
Larry says. "Right. Let's go comb some columns, Cousin!"
Balki agrees. They exit. A beat. They enter. "But
first we get dressed," Balki says.
- At the start of act
two, after Mary Anne asks why the show isn't live, Balki says, "You know,
Mary Anne, I had the same question. Larry gave me a rather unsatisfying
answer, 'Shut up.'" After Mary Anne talks about syndication so
knowledgably, she explains it, "My great grandfather invented the coaxial
cable." Larry tells Jennifer to "Stay with her and don't let her
raise her hand." After Balki and Larry go on stage and ask how
Lydia's doing, to which she answers "Fine" repeatedly, Balki says,
"I'm guessing she's fine, Cousin." "Do you think maybe we
could have another quick little rehearsal?" Lydia asks.
"Excellent idea, Lydia," Larry says, "Go ahead, Balki, ask your
question." "Miss Lydia, if you'll excuse us for a minute.
I need to talk to Cousin Larry." Balki takes Larry aside.
"Cousin, I have been thinking about this." He looks at the
column. "I can't ask this question on television. I'm not
'Troubled in Toledo.'" "And I'm not 'Desperate in Denver,'"
Larry agrees, "We're just pretending." "You mean
lying," Balki states. "It's not lying," Larry assures him,
"People really did ask these questions. Lydia really did think of
these answers. We're simply . . . restaging the truth."
"You mean like 'Divorce Court?'" Balki asks.
"Exactly," Larry confirms. "Is anything wrong?" Lydia
asks with concern. "No. No," Larry says, "He can't
decide whether to do it with or without an accent. (TO BALKI) Go
with the accent." "Okay, here goes," Balki says, then
recites from memory, "To fill the lonely hours since my wife passed away,
I've started growing rare orchids. You think it's odd I sleep in a
greenhouse?" "Perhaps a better way to fill those lonely hours is
to get out of your greenhouse," Lydia recites, "There might be a few
flowers out there worth cultivating." "Lydia, that was
brilliant," Larry encourages her. "Boy, Miss Lydia, that was
great," Balki agrees, "I didn't know if it was you or memorized."
"Yes, I do have a flair for this," Lydia boasts. The stage
manager crosses to them. "We're ready when you are, Ms.
Markham," he states. "Let's go make some show business
history," Lydia says enthusiastically. "We'd better take our
seats," Larry suggests. The scene plays out the same, except that
Lydia only panics, saying, "Get that camera away from me. Somebody
help me. I can't breathe!" when the camera closes in on her and
doesn't try to run or be jerked off her feet by the microphone. The stage
manager yells "Cut" and Balki and Larry rush in to help her.
- At the start of the
next scene, the stage manager asks, "Ms. Markham, are you going to be
okay?" Lydia replies sharply, "Am I going to be okay? I'm
breathing in a bag." Larry assures him it's just an acting technique
and the manager says they'll go again as soon as she's ready. Balki is
there the whole time and says, "Cousin, how could you say she's fine?
Look at her." He points out her blood shot eyes, her colorless face
and the fact she's retaining water. "Nit-picking," Larry argues,
"Lydia, snap out of it. I promised I'd get you through this and I'm
not going to let you down." "I don't mind if you let me
down," Lydia says weakly, "In fact this might be a good time."
"Ignore the cameras," Larry says, "Just concentrate on Balki and
me in the audience. Remember, we're your friends." "If you
were really her friend you'd let her go home," Balki says. "And
if you were really her friend you'd go back in that audience and pretend you
sleep in a greenhouse," Larry counters. The stage manager comes back
in and asks, "Is she always that color?" "Don't
worry," Larry says, "She's always like this before a really
spectacular performance." Larry pats Lydia on the head and says,
"Come on, Lydia, you can do this. You're small but you're
tough." "I am. Thanks, Larry," Lydia says.
"That's the spirit," Larry smiles, "Break a leg."
"Cousin, hasn't she been through enough?" Balki asks in shock.
Balki and Larry return to the audience and join Jennifer and Mary Anne.
"Is Lydia okay?" Jennifer asks. "She's fine," Larry
insists, "She'll be fine." "Cousin, she's not fine,"
Balki argues, "She's turning a color that is not in the Crayola Box of
64." "It's just the lights," Larry insists.
"I've seen that color before," Mary Anne notes, "It's usually
before a passenger asks for an air sickness bag." "Cousin, this
is not going to make good television," Balki warns, "Set her
free." "I think he's right," Jennifer agrees, "She's
going down, Larry." "What is it with you people?" Larry
asks, "It's a good thing Lydia's got a friend like me to force her to go
through with this. It's just opening night jitters. She'll be fine.
Watch." "Stand by. Roll tape. In three, two, one . .
. " the stage manager directs. Once again they introduce Lydia and
she begins the show. As the camera moves in, her eyes glaze over.
"My name is 'Lydia Live' and welcome to my Markham." "Looks
like Miss Great isn't doing so Lydia," Balki comments. Lydia's eyes
dart nervously from side to side. She is about to panic when Larry leaps
to his feet. "I have a question!" Larry calls. There is a
beat and then Lydia asks, "Any questions?" "I can't watch
this," Balki sighs. "My girlfriend and I have been living
together for two years," Larry recites, "Next week her parents are
coming to visit. She wants me to move out while they're here. I say
we confront them with the truth. What do you think I should do?"
"How do I know what you should do?" Lydia screams, "I'm just a
small neurotic woman who was perfectly happy writing my column and taking two
hour lunches. I didn't ask to do this. You made me do
this." She points to Larry. "I don't care what you people
do. I'm getting the hell out of here." She runs from the stage
and this time she is pulled off her feet by the microphone cord.
- After Larry talks
about calling Lydia's answering machine and asking Balki if he thinks she'll
forgive him, Balki offers, "Cousin, I don't know. All you can do is
apologize from the pit of you heart and hope for the best." After
Lydia enters and Larry apologizes she assures him she's over it. "You
are?" Larry asks in surprise. "Well, in my own sick little way I
did ask you to make me do it," Lydia notes, "And in your own sick
little way you did." "You two make quite a team," Balki
compliments them. The rest is the same until Lydia gets in the elevator.
She screams when she sees the camera but the door closes on them, so she doesn't
run out and take the stairs. After Larry says he meant well and recounts
his missed opportunity that Bunky took, Balki says, "Cousin, we've got to
talk about that. On Mypos we have a saying: 'When you walk with one leg in
the past and one leg in the future, you better be wearing culottes.'"
"How true," Larry says. "Because 'If you carry yesterday's
luggage on today's voyage, you'll have no place to pack tomorrow,'" Balki
adds. "Words to live by," Larry agrees. "'If you walk
uphill looking back at yesterday's sunset, you'll miss tomorrow's sunrise.
And possibly walk into a big rock.'" "I got it, I got it,"
Larry says, "Except for the rock part." The rest of the scene
with Larry accidentally tearing up his paycheck is the same.
There are some bits in the
shooting draft dated July 26, 1989 that were filmed but cut from the final
- According to the cast sheet,
Tom Henschel did the voice of the announcer for Lydia Live. It's not known
if he actually did do the voice since he is not credited on the show.
- This version begins with Balki
cleaning the table with wax and singing Lemon Tree. After Larry slips and
falls, Balki says, "Wow. It really does wax while it cleans."
Larry pops up and notes, "Hey, I can see myself." He then goes
into the "T.G.I.F." talk.
- After Balki tells Larry "That's
Incredible!" was cancelled, he says to Lydia, "Let me guess.
You're replacing Murphy Brown?" "No," Lydia answers.
"You're replacing Molly Dodd?" Balki tries. "No."
"Work with me Miss Lydia," Balki says, "There aren't that many
meaty roles for women on television." The rest of the first scene is
- After Lydia notes that she doesn't
say often enough that Larry is brilliant and Balki points out that he doesn't
think Lydia's ever said Larry is brilliant before, she says, "Well, then I
- The dialogue about Balki's name
being on the couch is also not in this version of the script.
- Instead of Balki asking, "Then
how come every time she talks about it she gets so upset?" he asks,
"Then why is it every time she talks about it she starts vibrating?"
- After Balki makes the statement that
he's going to take Lydia home the minute he hears her say "I don't want to
do this, Larry," the scene continues. Larry says, "Hey, I'm for
that." "No, you . . . you are?" Balki asks with surprise.
"Sure. Despite what you think this is not personal. I'm over
the Bunky McDermott thing. The only reason I'm doing this is for
Lydia." "You are?" Balki asks. "Yes."
"Well, I'm glad to hear that." "Well, we might as well hit
the sack," Larry says. "I'm too tired to exercise, Cousin,"
Balki says, "I'm just going to go to bed." Balki exits.
Larry goes to the phone and looks up a number in a small phone book and dials.
Disguising his voice, Larry says into the receiver, "Bunky McDermott?
Did I wake you? Good." Larry hangs up satisfied. (This
scene was filmed but cut from the episode. If you look at the very end of
the fade out for the commercial you can see Larry as he's about to say his next
- At the beginning of Act Two, Larry
and Balki enter before Jennifer and Mary Anne. "Can you believe
it?" Balki asks, "This is the same studio where they shot 'Gone With
the Wind.'" "No, this is where they showed 'Gone With the
Wind,'" Larry corrects, "It used to be a movie theater."
"Oh. I was wondering how they got all the Munchkins in here,"
- After Mary Anne displays her
knowledge of television syndication, she explains it by saying, "My cousin
is Brandon Tartikoff." Larry tells Jennifer to stay with Mary Anne
and not let her raise her hand.
- When Larry and Balki first return to
their seats, Jennifer asks, "Is Lydia okay?" "She's fine.
She's just fine," Larry insists. "I don't know, Cousin,"
Balki notes, "If she were any whiter, she could do mime."
"It's just the lights," Larry says. The rest of the scene plays
out the same.
- The next scene is the same, except
for the end after they go behind the curtain. The script reads: A struggle
begins and the curtain moves violently. Balki's head sticks through the
curtain. Larry pulls him back by the mouth. The curtain moves again.
The curtain stops. A beat. Balki comes out as if he won the fight.
He starts to move towards Lydia. Larry reaches out from under the curtain
and grabs him by the ankle. Balki falls forward and is dragged back under
the curtain. (This scene was also filmed but not used in the final
- At the start of the next scene,
Lydia is sitting in her chair on the stage with her makeup case on her lap.
Larry comes out from behind the curtain and goes to her. "I'm ready
to go, Larry," Lydia says. Larry takes her case and tells the stage
manager, "She's ready to go." "I thought I was going
home," Lydia comments. "You are. Right after the
show," Larry states. Then Larry joins Jennifer and Mary Anne in the
- After Lydia calls herself a
"nationally syndicated communist," she says, "Did I say
communist?" She laughs maniacally. "I meant to say
communist." Jennifer notes that Lydia is going down. "I'm
not good at this," Lydia cries, "I told him I wouldn't be good at
this. But he made me do this." Lydia then calls for Balki, who
comes out from behind the curtain all taped up. Lydia asking Balki,
"Is this what you were wearing earlier?" is not in the script.
After Lydia tells Larry to drop dead she says, "Balki, I want you to take
me home." "Of course you do," Balki agrees, "But
perhaps you should drive." They head offstage. Larry looks into
the camera and says, "We'll be right back after these messages."
- In the last scene, Balki says,
"Well, I forgave you for taping me up like a mummy and sticking me in the
broom closet. But I'm family. I had no choice." Balki
doesn't call Bunky any alternative names in this script.
- When Balki is naming the good things
about Larry's life, he includes, "Don't you have wonderful friends?"
and then, "And a terrific Cousin?"
- After Larry admits that he's doing
pretty well, Balki says, "For all you know, Bunky McDermott might be
carrying a clipping of you around in his wallet." "You know,
there was a rather flattering article about me in the year book," Larry
says. The rest of the scene is the same, except at the very end Larry
tries to piece back together the pieces of his paycheck.
Here is a copy of the
production schedule for that week's filming:
on to the next episode . . .