Strangers Episode Guide
90 - A Blast from the Past
First Air Date:
February 16, 1990
Filming Date: February 8, 1990
Nielsen Rating: 14.1 HH
TV Guide Description: A
CPA (George Wyner) being hunted by the mob enjoys his last night of freedom with
Balki and Larry before going into a witness-protection program.
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
George Wyner: Marvin Berman
John Welsh: Dr. Shore
Lawrence E. Mintz: Phone Man
Richard Hoyt-Miller: Federal Agent
Dimitri is not seen in this episode.
"Hot diggity donuts!"
"Because Iíve got some news thatís
gonna blow your nose!"
"Cousin, first of all . . . Marvin is not a certified homicidal
"For keeping him from being blown to figurines."
"I canít believe what my eyes are hearing!"
"Cousin, your imagination is playing trick-or-treat with your mind."
"But donít worry because if we can hold on Ďtil tomorrow, Marvin will
be in the Witness Projectile Program."
"Marvin, Iím gonna miss ya, ya big lugnut!"
ridiculous: Said once in this episode.
used in this episode:
"Oh my Lord!"
"Oh po po po . . . "
Other running jokes
used in this episode:
Larry grabs Balki by the shirt front
Larry tries to put the chain on the door but keeps failing, then gives up
Larry speaks in a Mexican accent, a la Jose Vasquez
"Ghostbusters" - sung by Balki as "Dirtbusters" as heís
vacuuming the living room furniture.
Once again Balki and Larry hosted the night of TGIF
episodes for the evening, introducing episodes of Full House, Family Matters
and Just the Ten of Us, as well as this episode of their own series.
You can now view these spots on our YouTube
- The title of the episode is a popular expression, usually referring to
something that brings back a wave of nostalgia.
The week this episode was filmed, the description for it was already
listed in the next week's edition of TV Guide!
- George Wyner reprises his role as the off-balance
Marvin Berman whose penchant for dynamite nearly got Balki and Larry killed in
the episode Dog Day Midafternoon which aired earlier in the season.
A long-time character actor, George Wyner is still racking up credits, appearing
this year in episodes of Bones and Boston Legal as well as the
upcoming film How to Be a Serial Killer.
- This is the second time a criminal would come
back into Balki and Larryís lives after a run-in which led to the personís
arrest or, as in this case, evaluation. In the second season, Balki and
Larry were instrumental in putting away Vince Lucas, who later returned to stay
with them in their apartment after his release. In both cases, Balki was
the one who maintained a friendly relationship with the criminals, much to
- John Welsh, who played Dr. Shore in this episode,
also appeared in the film My Favorite Year as Cubby Brown. He also
had a recurring roles in the series What's Happening!! as "Big
Earl" Barnett and in Night Court as Dr. Friedman.
Lawrence E. Mintz is actually a prolific writer, having working on the series What's
Happening!!, Step by Step and Going Places, not to mention Family
Matters, where he also worked as a supervising producer. He has
written several books on comedy and also works as a teacher.
- One would almost except to see the series Doogie
Howser M.D. in the credits of actor Richard Hoyt-Miller after Balki comments
that he looks like the neighbor from that series and the audience reacts so
strongly. But in fact that joke was written before the role was even cast
and his name is not listed in that series at all. He has appeared in many
other series, such as Falcon Crest, Hill Street Blues, Highway to Heaven,
Murder, She Wrote and more recently The Bold and the Beautiful.
Bloopers and Inconsistencies:
- As in the flashback
within the episode The Pen Pal, the flashback shown within this episode
from its precursor, Dog Day Midafternoon, includes footage that wasn't
originally seen in that episode. The different scenes were shot
specifically for this episode with the crew recreating the setup from Dog Day
Midafternoon for the new "flashback" footage.
The episode begins one evening in the apartment. Balki is vacuuming the
living room furniture and singing his own version of the song
"Ghostbusters." "If thereís something strange in your
neighborhood, who ya gonna call? Dirtbusters!" Balki dances
around as he sings as Larry enters through the front door. " . . .
and it donít look good," Balki continues singing, "Who ya gonna
call? Dirtbusters!" Balki shoots the hose of the vacuum like a
proton pack as Larry hangs up his jacket and walks to Balki, carrying a white
paper bag. "I ainít Ďfraid of no dirt!" Balki finishes, then
points to Larryís mouth and says, "Oh, Cousin! I see you ate a
donut on the way home!" Balki turns off the vacuum cleaner and sets
down the hose.
brought you your favorite," Larry tells Balki, "Chocolate
covered." "Hot diggity donuts!" Balki says happily, taking
the bag and setting it on the coffee table, "But I canít eat them right
now and Iíll tell you why." He pushes Larry back to sit on the
couch and sits next to him. "Because Iíve got some news thatís
gonna blow your nose," Balki continues. "Whatís that?"
Larry asks. "Cousin, Marvin is on his way over here to take us out to
dinner," Balki answers. "Marvin? Marvin who?" Larry
asks. "Marvin Berman," Balki explains, "Donít you
remember him?" "Marvin Berman . . . " Larry thinks, trying
to remember, " . . . Marvin Berman . . . " Suddenly Larryís
eyes open wide in horror and he screams, "Marvin Berman?" The
scene fades into a flashback from the episode "Dog Day Midafternoon."
is standing between the guys and the parking garage exit. "All right,
you stay. Weíre leaving," Larry says. "Nobody is going
anywhere," Marvin states. "Oh, and how are you going to stop
us?" Larry asks. "With this," Marvin answers, opening his
coat to reveal a vest made of dynamite sticks with a timer strapped to his
chest. "Oh my Lord!" Larry cries, "Heís wearing a
dynamite vest!" The scene wipe dissolves to a later time when Larry
and Balki are tied to a rolling chair. "Marvin, why are you doing
this over a silly article?" Larry cries. "Because it gave all
the credit to that idiot boss of mine," Marvin complains, "when the
real mastermind behind the money laundering scheme . . . was me."
"You?" Larry says with surprise. "Yes!" Marvin
confirms, "I set up the dummy corporations . . . I set up the
fake bank accounts . . . I picked out the office furniture."
scene wipe dissolves again to when Marvin has untied Larry and Balki and is
frantically trying to turn off the timer on the bomb. "Guys . . .
guys, I canít turn off the timer!" Marvin cries, "Oh God . . . Iím
no good under pressure. Oh! I . . . I . . . I . . . I . . . I . . .
Iím . . . Iím a fainter." Marvin faints backwards onto Balkiís
worktable. "No! No, no, Marvin! Marvin!" Larry
cries, running with Balki to the prone would-be bomber to try to revive him,
"Marvin, wake up!" Balki looks at the timer. "Cousin,
weíd better do something soon. Weíve only got twenty seconds
left." "Twenty seconds?" Larry gasps. Balki look at
the timer again and reads the countdown, "Eighteen . . . seventeen . . .
sixteen . . . fifteen . . . " Larry grabs Balki by the shirt and
starts shaking him. "Balki! Weíre gonna die! Weíre
gonna die! Weíre going to die!" The scene then dissolves back
to the present where Larry has Balki down across the couch and is throttling him
in a similar fashion.
could you do this to me?" Larry screams, "How could you invite a
certified homicidal maniac into our home?" "I canít talk while
youíre doing that," Balki croaks. Larry releases his grip.
"Thank you," Balki offers. They both sit up. "Cousin,
first of all . . . Marvin is not a certified homicidal mechanic," Balki
explains, "Heís a certified public accountant." "Balki,
he tried to blow us up," Larry reminds him. "Oh, is that
what youíre worried about?" Balki asks, "Marvin has kicked the
dynamite habit. His therapist says heís completely cured and he just
wants to come over and take us out to dinner as a way of saying thanks."
"Thanks for what?" Larry asks. "For keeping him from being
blown to figurines," Balki explains. "Balki, I really need some
time to think about this," Larry says. "Well, of course you do,
donít be ridiculous," Balki agrees, "Take all the time you
is a knock at the door. "Timeís up, thatís Marvin," Balki
says, leading Larry to get up from the couch with him and walk to the front
door. Balki opens the door to reveal Marvin Berman standing in the
doorway. "Marvin!" Balki says, giving the man a hug.
"Hello, Balki!" Marvin says happily, then turns to Larry and holds his
arms open, saying, "Hi, Larry!" "Hi, Marvin," Larry
waved cordially and from a distance. "Oh, itís good to see you
guys," Marvin sighs. "Oh boy, itís good to see you, too,"
Balki replies, closing the front door. "Listen guys, I have something
I have to show you," Marvin says, reaching up to grab the lapels of his
coat, "I am wearing . . . a dynamite vest!" Marvin pulls the
coat open and Larry screams, "Oh! Oh!" then looks closer and
says, "Oh." Marvin is simply wearing a nicely decorated vest
like one of Balkiís. "Gotcha," Marvin smiles. "Oh,
Marvin, you are some kidder!" Balki laughs.
Dr. Shore at the hospital told me if I could laugh at my problems Iíd be able
to handle them better," Marvin explains. "Well, it kind of makes
it rough on the rest of us, Marvin," a still-shaken Larry points out.
"Oh hey, Iím sorry, Larry," Marvin offers, "Listen, if it
werenít for you two guys I . . . Iíd still be trying to solve my problems by
blowing people up." "Oh, Marvin, po po po po," Balki sighs,
walking over and patting him on the back, "Iím sure after you exploded
one bomb on your chest youíd see it wasnít a solution."
"Maybe," Marvin sighs. Larry looks incredulous. "But
you guys changed my life!" Marvin says, "You got me to give myself up,
get psychiatric help, testify against my boss . . . who took all the credit for
that money laundering scheme that was actually my idea!"
"Marvin," Larry checks him. "Iím over that now!"
Marvin smiles, then says, "Listen, I owe you guys a lot and the least I can
do is take you out for a night on the town."
"Oh, Cousin, isnít that nice?"
Balki asks, pulling Larry and Marvin into his arms. "Charming,"
Larry says, forcing a smile. "Wait a
minute," Marvin suddenly says, pulling a stick of dynamite out of his
pocket, "Whatís this?" "Dynamite!" Larry screams,
"Hit the deck!" Larry grabs Balki and hurls them both to the
floor behind the couch. "Gotcha again!" Marvin smiles,
"Itís chocolate." Larry and Balki pop up behind the couch and
Marvin leans over to show them. "See? Shtick of Dynamite.
The candy store also had a butterscotch hand grenade but I thought this was
funnier." Balki gets up and joins Marvin while Larry remains behind
the couch. "Oh, I tell you, the doctor was right," Marvin sighs,
"Having a sense of humor makes life a blast." Marvin laughs at
his own pun. "Oh, makes life a blast!" he chortles. Balki
doesnít get it. "Life . . . a . . . blast," Marvin spells out.
Balki laughs with Marvin, then turns to Larry and mouths, "I donít get
it," before laughing again.
that evening, Balki, Larry and Marvin return to the apartment. They are
all laughing and having a good time. "Wait a minute! Wait a
minute!" Balki says, "I havenít . . . I havenít even told you the
punch line yet. So the guy turns around to the kangaroo and he says
ĎDonít look at me. Youíre the one with the pouch!" They
laugh hysterically over the punch line. "I love marsupial
humor," Balki sighs. "Boy, am I glad I didnít blow you guys
up," Marvin says. "Oh boy, I am, too," Balki agrees,
"Hey . . . to celebrate the fact that weíre still alive, Iím gonna make
some cocoa." Balki runs to the kitchen. Marvin hands his coat
to Larry to hang up. "Oh, ya know, Marvin, I . . . I gotta tell ya,"
Larry begins as they walk to the kitchen counter, "I . . . I was a little
nervous at first." "Oh," Marvin sighs. "You are
an okay guy," Larry continues. "Aw!" Marvin scoffs, walking
around to sit inside the kitchen.
this evening has been a lot of fun!" Larry assures him. "It sure
has!" Marvin agrees, "You know, a lot of people told me I . . . I
shouldnít go out in public because they figured Iíd be gunned down."
Larry is still laughing but stops suddenly. "Marvin, you want
marshmallows?" Balki asks. "Two please," Marvin answers.
Balki drops two marshmallows into Marvinís cup. "Marvin, what do
you mean you might be Ďgunned down?í" Larry asks. "Oh,
donít worry about me," Marvin assures Larry, "Tomorrow I go into the
government Witness Protection Program." "Congratulations,
Marvin," Balki smiles, then asks Larry, "Cousin, you want
marshmallows?" "One," Larry answers. Balki tosses him
a marshmallow which he catches. "Thanks," Larry offer, then
asks, "Marvin, who do you need to be protected from? I thought all
the people you testified against were sent to prison."
except two," Marvin corrects, "They couldnít make a case against
them." He laughs then turns to Balki and asks, "Balki, which do
you prefer? The big marshmallows or the minis?" "Oh, I
like the big ones," Balki answers, "They last longer and every once in
a while you come across one that looks like Tip OíNeill."
"Marvin, these two guys that you didnít send to prison . . . arenít
they kind of upset with you?" Larry asks. "Oh yeah," Marvin
confirms, "But who cares? Theyíre just a couple of enforcers."
Larry looks shocked but Marvin turns and talks to Balki again. "Balki,
just a suggestion . . . nutmeg." "Love it!" Balki smiles,
reaching into the cupboard to get the nutmeg. "Enforcers?" Larry
asks. "Yeah," Marvin answers, "You know . . . gangsters . .
. hit men who kill people." Balki carries the pan of hot chocolate
over to Marvin and begins to pour it into his cup. "Who wants Sweet
'n Low?" Balki asks. "Me!" Marvin answers.
Marvin, you shouldnít be out in public!" Larry notes. "Larry,
there is nothing to worry about!" Marvin insists, "I have
contacts." "Contacts? You mean you know people who will
protect you from the mob?" Larry asks. "No, I mean Iím wearing
contacts," Marvin explains, "They change the color of my eyes.
Nobody will recognize me!" Marvin turns to show Balki.
"Changes my whole appearance," he adds. Larry jumps up from his seat
and runs around to Marvin, pulling him off his stool and leading him to the
front door. "Well, Marvin, you know, uh . . . itís been very nice
seeing you again and good luck in all your endeavors." "Wait a
minute! I . . . I havenít had my cocoa yet!" Marvin points out.
"Weíll mail it to you," Larry says, giving Marvin his coat and
pushing him out the door.
. . . I donít believe what my eyes are hearing!" Balki cries. Larry
turns to Balki with exasperation. Marvin pokes his head back in the door.
"Was it the nutmeg remark?" he asks, "Iím not married to the
nutmeg!" Larry closes the door on him again.
"Cousin!" Balki cries, reaching for the door, but Larry stops him.
"No, Balki, donít you get it? The mob is after this man! They
want to kill him and if we are with him they might want to kill us, too."
Marvin pops back in through the door. "Are you saying you want me to
leave?" he asks, "Because if you want me to leave just say you want me
to leave." "I want you to leave," Larry says.
"What are you saying?" Marvin asks. Balki moves Larry away from
the doorway and leads Marvin back inside to the counter. "Weíre
saying we . . . we donít want you to leave," Balki says, "Cousin . .
. Cousin, your imagination is playing trick-or-treat with your mind. We
havenít seen anyone that looks like they want to hurt Marvin."
course, you wouldnít see them," Marvin says, "No, no, no.
Theyíre professionals." "Thatís right!" Larry says,
closing the door, "For all we know they could have been following us all
night. We . . . we donít know if theyíre watching us right now.
Oh my Lord! The . . . the blinds are wide open!" Larry runs to
the windows and starts to try to lower the blinds but Balki walks after him and
stops him. Marvin follows to the window as well. "Cousin,
Cousin, Cousin, you are making a mountain out of a mohawk!" Balki scolds,
pulling Larry away and looking out the window, "The next thing youíre
going to say is that that big, humongous man standing across the street is a
killer." "Oh my God!" Marvin cries, "That looks like
Max the Terminator!" "Itís Arnold Schwarzenegger?" Balki
cries, throwing open the window and calling, "Arnold! Loved you in
ĎTwins!í" Larry pulls Balki back and shuts the window.
"No, no, no, no," Marvin says,
"Max is the mobís top hit man! Heís the best! This is
really quite an honor." "Well, you deserve it," Balki
assures him. "Weíve got to call the police!" Larry says, and
he runs to the phone on the counter. He picks up the receiver
and tries to dial, calling, "Hello? Hello?" Larry looks
shocked. "The phoneís dead! They cut the wires!"
"Well, theyíre in big trouble now," Balki says, "Theyíll have
to answer to the phone company for this." "Weíve gotta make a
run for it," Larry says. They head for the front door and run outside
in a line, then immediately run back inside in the same line. Larry closes
the door and tries to lock the chain but fails. "Cousin, why did we
come back in?" Balki asks. "Because thereís a man blocking the
stairs," Larry explains. "He must be one of the killers,"
Marvin adds, "Heís wearing a shoulder holster." "Well,
just because the man is a fashion maverick donít mean heís a bad
person," Balki notes. "A gun!" Larry cries, "He has a
gun in the shoulder holster!" "Weíre trapped!"
Marvin gasps, "Weíre all gonna die!" On their looks of panic
the scene fades to black.
Act two begins exactly where act one left
off. "Thereís a hit man on the street, another on the stairs . . .
" Marvin notes, then he
panics and mumbles, "I donít wanna die. I donít wanna die.
I donít wanna die." "No, Marvin! Marvin!
Marvin!" Larry grabs him and tries to calm him down, "Pull
yourself together!" "Whoa!" Marvin cries, looking faint,
"Oh, I donít feel too good. Iíd better lie down. Iím a
fainter, you know." Marvin lies down on the couch. "Itís
gonna be all right! Itís gonna be all right!" Larry tells him,
"We just have to find a way to get a message out of here."
"Cousin, if . . . if we were outdoors we could make a fire and send up
smoke signals," Balki says. "Yeah, well weíre not outdoors so
. . . " Larry begins, then looks inspired and cries, "Signals!
Yes!" "Iíll get the matches!" Balki shouts, running to
the kitchen. "You want me to start breaking up furniture?"
Marvin cries, jumping off the couch and sweeping the coffee table clear in one
motion, then acting as if he is going to start breaking it.
"No! No!" Larry stops him,
then calls, "Balki!" and motions for Balki to come back next to him,
which Balki does. Larry grabs both
of them by the shirt and pulls them closer to him. "Not smoke
signals," he says, then releases them, "Weíll tap out a distress
signal in Morse Code on the ceiling. Jennifer and Mary Anne will hear it
and call the police." Larry starts to run to the closet but Balki and
Marvin are still staring at the ceiling. "Letís go!" Larry
insists, and they follow him. "Jennifer and Mary Anne know Morse
Code?" Marvin asks as Larry rummages in the closet. "Theyíre
flight attendants," Larry explains, emerging with a brook in his hand,
"They learn all the codes . . . Morse, area, zip. Now, weíll send
an SOS. ĎSí is dot-dash-dot." "No, Cousin, itís
dot-dot-dot," Balki corrects. "No, itís dot-dash-dot,"
Larry insists. "Itís dot-dot-dot."
"Dot-dash-dot." "Cousin, Cousin . . . I used to work for
Mypos Western Union, okay?" Balki says, taking the broom from Larry,
right," Larry says, motioning for Balki to begin. "Oh,
wait," Larry says, eyeing the ceiling, and he steps back away from Balki
and motions for him to proceed. Balki taps three times on the ceiling.
On the third tap, a piece of plaster breaks off the ceiling above Larryís head
and lands on his face. Larry gives Balki a look and Balki cringes at the
sight of plaster dust on Larryís face. "Sorry," Balki offers,
"I guess I overtapped." There is a knock at the front door.
"Wow," Balki says, "That was quick. I must be good."
Larry look worried and warns, "All right, careful . . . this could be a
trick." They walk to the door and Larry leans over and speaks in his
Jose Vasquez voice, asking, "Who is it?" "Larry, stop
clowning around!" Jenniferís voice calls through the closed door.
Larry opens the door and pulls Mary Anne and Jennifer inside.
"Jennifer! Mary Anne! Get in here quick!" he urges,
closing the door behind them. "Whatís all the screaming
about?" Jennifer asks.
"Girls, go back upstairs," Balki
says, "Weíre trying to send you a message to call the police."
"Well, itís too late now!" Larry
points out. "No, it isnít, Cousin," Balki argues, "The
police are open all night." "Larry, whatís all this about the
police?" Jennifer asks. "Jennifer, I donít want to alarm you
but we are surrounded by killers," Larry replies. "Youíre
kidding, right?" Jennifer asks. "No, heís serious,"
Marvin assures her. "Who are you?" Jennifer asks.
"Iím Marvin Berman. The man the killers are trying to kill,"
he smiles, "How do you do?" "Iím Mary Anne," Mary
Anne smiles, shaking hands with Marvin, "Nice to meet you."
"Someoneís trying to kill you?" Jennifer asks. "Well, I
think . . . I think I can clear this up," Balki offers, "You see,
Marvin was a witness against the mob and theyíre not taking it well, so they
sent Arnold Schwarzenegger and the fashion victim down the hall to kill him.
But donít worry because if we can hold on Ďtil tomorrow, Marvin will be in
the Witness Projectile Program."
"Marvin Berman!" Jennifer gasps,
"Well, youíre the guy who tried to blow up Larry and Balki!"
"Guilty as charged," Marvin smiles
with his arm around Balkiís shoulder and Balki gives him a playful punch to
the stomach. "Why donít we just call the police?" Jennifer
suggests. "The phone lines have been cut," Larry answers.
"You mean weíre trapped?" Jennifer asks in horror. "No
weíre not," Mary Anne counters, "Someone could go up the fire
escape, across the roof to the next building. You could get help
there." "That might work," Marvin agrees, "Even if Max
shoots, the falling body will draw attention." "Well,
somebodyís got to do something," Larry states, then after a moment he
says, "Iím going." "Be careful, Larry," Jennifer
urges him. Larry takes Jenniferís hand and says, "Jennifer . . . if
I donít come back . . . promise me youíll never marry."
"Gee, Larry," Jennifer sighs uncomfortably, "Never is a long
time. Iíll have to think about it." "Thatís good
enough for me," Larry says, then takes a breath and adds, "Well, I
guess this is it."
bravely walks across the apartment to the kitchen window. "There goes
a brave man," Balki states, as Larry opens the window and steps out onto
the fire escape, "A man who is willing to risk his life for his friends.
A man who is willing to fight any foe. A man . . . who is coming back in
the window." Larry scrambles back through the window, looking
panicked. He runs to them, out of breath. "Thereís another
man on the roof," Larry reports, "Thereís no way out."
"Boy, I bet they wouldnít treat me like this if I was wearing
dynamite," Marvin growls. There is a knock at the door.
Everyone cowers together. "Anybody home? Itís the phone
man," a voice calls through the door. "Oh, thank goodness itís
the phone man!" Mary Anne sighs, and she starts for the door.
"No, no, no!" Larry and Balki stop her. "Mary Anne, itís
the oldest trick in the book," Larry explains, "They cut the phone
lines and then they send in a killer posing as a repairman."
The man knocks on the door again.
"Well, what are we going to do?" Jennifer asks. "All right,
look," Larry suggests, "Weíll take
him by surprise. When he comes in, weíll throw a blanket over him and
tie him up. Balki, you get the tape." "Good idea, Cousin!
Weíll record the capture!" Balki agrees, turning away but Larry stops
him. "Not that kind of tape. Get tape to tie him up."
Balki runs to the bookcase to get a roll of duct tape. "All right,
Jennifer and Mary Anne, donít open the door Ďtil I give you the
signal," Larry instructs, "Marvin, stick with me." Jennifer
and Mary Anne stand by the door as Larry gets some blankets out of the closet.
The man outside the door knocks again and calls, "Anybody home?
Itís the phone man." Larry carries the blankets over by the
fireplace with Marvin and takes one, holding it open. Balki stands a ways
back from the doorway. Jennifer and Mary Anne prepare themselves.
"Ready?" Larry asks. They nod. "Now," Larry says
unlocks the door and opens it and she and Mary Anne step back.
"Wonít you come in?" Balki asks nicely. "Iím here to
eliminate a problem," the scary-looking man says as he steps through the
doorway. Larry and Marvin lunge at the man with a scream, throwing the
blanket over him. They hold the blanket on him as Balki uses the duct tape
to tie him up as Larry and Marvin spin the man around. "Balki, quick!
In the closet!" Larry yells. Balki turns and runs into the closet,
closing the door behind him. Larry walks over to the closet and opens the
door, reaching in to pull Balki out. "Not you! Him!
Him!" Larry snarls. Larry and Balki help Marvin push the man into
the closet and close the door. "Now all we have to do is do that
every time someone knocks on the door and weíre home free," Larry
explains. "I hope we donít run out of blankets," Balki says.
is another knock at the door and everyone again cowers together. Larry
grunts instructions to everyone and they take their positions once more.
Larry and Marvin grab another blanket and hold it up. Larry nods, saying,
"Right." Jennifer opens the door, revealing an older man in a
business suit. "Wonít you come in?" Balki asks. The man
enters, saying, "Hello, Iím looking for Mr. Marvin . . . "
Larry and Marvin scream and jump at the man, throwing the blanket over his head.
Balki starts taping him up when two men enter behind them and draw their guns
and hold up badges. "Freeze! FBI!" one of the men shouts.
Everyone stops in their tracks. "Cousin, itís the oldest trick in
the book," Balki says, "They pose as FBI agents and then they come in
and fix your phone." The man pushes the blanket off of himself.
"Dr. Shore!" Marvin exclaims. "You know him?" Larry
asks. "Shore? Sure!" Marvin confirms. The FBI men
lower their guns.
a psychiatrist," Dr. Shore explains, "Iíve been working with Marvin
for the past six months." "So, these really are FBI
agents," Marvin realizes, "You know, in this light he doesnít look
like Max the Terminator at all." "But he does kind of look like
the neighbor on Doogie Howser," Balki notes. "A lot of people
tell me that," the man smiles. "Marvin ran away from the hotel
where he was being held in protective custody," Dr. Shore explains,
"and given his rather explosive past the FBI thought it would be wise if I
talk him into coming back." "You didnít have to go to all that
trouble," Marvin smiles. "Marvin, donít you think it would be
nice if you went with these gentlemen and got a head start on your new
life?" Dr. Shore asks. "Sure, Dr. Shore," Marvin agrees as
he picks up his coat from the back of the couch, "Aw, Balki . . . Larry . .
. itís really been an exciting evening." "Marvin, Iím gonna
miss ya, ya big lugnut!" Balki says, giving Marvin a hug.
"Iím gonna miss you, too,"
Marvin smiles, "Listen, if youíre ever in Topeka, Kansas look me up.
My new name is Orville Purdue." "Marvin!
Youíre not supposed to tell people that!" the FBI man moans.
"Ooh . . . forget that, forget that," Marvin urges, then he shakes
Larryís hand and says, "Oh, goodbye Larry." "Goodbye,
Marvin," Larry smiles. "Nice meeting you ladies," Marvin
says to Jennifer and Mary Anne as he walks to the door. He turns and asks,
"Coming, Shore?" "Sure," Dr. Shore replies. They
all leave. "Boy, how do you like that?" Larry asks, "They
werenít killers after all, they were FBI." "Larry, donít
take this personally but this is the last time I come downstairs when I hear
screaming," Jennifer states. "Perfectly understandable,"
Larry nods. "Thanks for a lovely evening, Balki," Mary Anne
offers and she kisses him on the lips. The girls turn to leave.
"I donít get it," Mary Anne says, "I thought we were gonna see
Arnold Schwarzenegger." They exit and Larry closes the door behind
"Well, why donít we clean this
place up?" Larry suggests, "Then Iím gonna turn in. Fear of
death really tires me out." Balki and
Larry pick up the blankets and walk to the closet. Upon opening the door
the man they tied up earlier and stuffed inside falls into them. "Oh!
Oh!" Balki and Larry gasp as they work to untie the man.
"Weíre sorry!" Larry offers, "Iím so sorry! We . . . we
. . . we thought you were a killer!" "Well, Iím not a killer,
Iím with the phone company!" the man cries, "The phones in this
building are out! By the way, whereís your phone?"
"Itís right over there," Larry points to the counter.
"Thanks," the man says and he walks to the counter. "While
youíre here, weíd like to talk to you about call-waiting," Balki says.
The man walks over and picks up their phone, wrapping the cord around it and
then yanking it out of the wall. He carries it over to them and hands
Balki the phone and Larry the box from the wall. "You got it!"
he states, then storms out. "Well, if thatís all it took we could
have done it ourselves!" Balki says.
There are a few
differences between the First Draft script dated January 24, 1990 and the final
four-day production schedule for the week shows that on the final day the set
for This Old House was to be completed.
- The episode starts
the same with Balki singing "Dirtbusters." Larry enters and
collapses on the couch. "What a day," Larry sighs, "I've
had to rewrite a six-part series, update obituaries and research everything from
nuclear fusion to why the Windy City is windy. I didn't even have time to
have lunch." "Little man, you've had a busy day," Balki
says sympathetically, "But I have some news that is going to perk you right
up. Marvin's taking us out to dinner." The rest is the same to
the flashback, which is written as "We see a flash back (TBA) from 'Dog Day
Mid-Afternoon' in which Marvin threatens to blow up Larry and Balki with
dynamite strapped to his chest." After the oil dissolve back, Larry
has Balki by the lapels and is shaking him like a rag doll. "How
could you do this? How could you invite a certified lunatic to our
home?" Balki says he can't talk while Larry is doing that, then
points out that Marvin is a certified public accountant. Larry reminds
Balki that Marvin tried to blow them up. "Oh, is that what you're
worried about?" Balki asks, "Let me put your mind to sleep about that.
Marvin's kicked the dynamite habit. He was discharged from the hospital
today, completely cured. He just wants to take us out to dinner as a way
of saying thanks for keeping him from being blown to figurines."
"Doesn't FTD have a little bouquet that says that?" Larry asks.
"Oh, Cousin," Balki sighs, "A man makes one tiny mistake and you
hold it against him forever." "Balki, if that bomb had gone off
we would have been dead forever," Larry points out, "I think that's
fair." "But Cousin, Marvin was in a bad place then. He had
a lot of negative feelings to work through. And he's done that. Now
his doctors and society say he's ready for a second chance. Shouldn't we
give it to him?" "I hate when you do this," Larry moans,
giving in. There is a knock at the door. "That must be
Marvin," Balki says, "Now, remember, he's very nervous about seeing us
again." "That makes two of us," Larry agrees. The
scene is pretty much the same until Marvin shows them the chocolate dynamite (he
doesn't call it a Shtick of Dynamite in this version). "The candy
store also had a hand grenade but I thought this was funnier," Marvin
explains, "You know the doctor was right. Having a sense of humor
makes life a blast." Marvin laughs at his own joke and Balki says,
"This guy kills me."
- After they come back
from their night on the town, laughing and having a good time, Balki says,
"Boy, Marvin, when you paint the town, you give it two coats."
"Well, my kind of town, Chicago is," Marvin replies. Larry tells
Marvin that he's an okay guy and then Balki offers to make them cocoa. The
rest of the scene is mostly the same, except Marvin asks Balki, "So, Balki,
you make your cocoa with milk?" and Balki replies, "Well, of couse I
do. Don't be ridiculous. You never outgrow your need for milk."
This replaces the marshmallow discussion, even though Balki still hands them
marshmallows. After Marvin points out he has contacts that change the
color of his eyes, Balki says, "You know, I knew there was something
different about you, Marvin. But I just couldn't put my finger on it.
Instead of just pushing Marvin out of the room and then telling Balki why, Larry
and Balki argue while pushing Marvin toward and away from the door. "Balki,
don't you get it?" Larry asks, "The mob is after this man. They
want to kill him and he's been showing his face all over Chicago. Along
with our faces. The mob probably knew where he was before we ordered our
appetizers." After Balki points out that they haven't seen anyone who
wants to hurt Marvin, Larry notes, "Balki, they don't put people into the
Witness Protection Program for the fun of it." "You're telling
me," Marvin sighs, "They want me to be a farmer in Nebraska.
Goodbye bright lights, big city." In this version, Balki does not
call out across the street to "Arnold Schwarzenegger." Instead
of all of them running out the door and running back in, the directions say,
"Larry races for the door, opens it and runs out. Balki and Marvin
start to follow. Just as they get to the doorway Larry reenters, pushing
them back into the apartment. He slams the door and locks it."
The rest of the scene is the same.
- At the beginning of
act two, Marvin says, "There's a hit man in the street. Another on
the stairs. Guys, you have to get me out of this. You're the ones
who told me to testify. It's your fault." "Marvin, don't
worry," Balki says, "They can't kill you without killing Cousin Larry
and me." "Balki, these are criminals," Larry points out,
"They won't mind doing that." "Marvin, start
worrying," Balki sighs. After Marvin lies down on the couch, Balki
says, "Don't worry, Marvin, Cousin Larry will think of a way to get you out
of this." "Aw, thanks, Larry," Marvin smiles, "I
really appreciate it." "So, Cousin, what have you got?"
Balki asks. "What have I got?" Larry cries, "I got killers
surrounding the apartment and a dead phone. I got nothing."
"Well, that's a start," Balki says. Larry then says, "If
there was just some way to get a message out of here," and Balki suggests
smoke signals. After Marvin offers to start breaking up furniture, Larry
explains they'll tap out a distress signal on the ceiling. "Jennifer
and Mary Anne will hear it and get help. They're stewardesses. Maybe
they know Morse Code." Larry argues that "S" is dot, dot,
dash. After going back and forth, Larry says, "Balki, I was almost an
Eagle Scout. It's dot, dot, dash." Larry demonstrates by
tapping the ceiling forcefully with the broom handle. Plaster falls on
him. Balki takes the broom from Larry. "Cousin, I worked for
Mypos Western Union. It's dot, dot, dot," he explains as he taps the
ceiling. "Well, somebody send something," Marvin cries,
"The mob is not known for its patience." "Cousin, trust me
on his," Balki asks. "Okay, Balki, send this: 'Trapped by
killers. Get police.'" Larry instructs. Balki taps out the
message. After a beat, they hear pounding from above. "They
heard us," Balki says. "Keep repeating the message, Balki,"
Larry says. Balki taps, there is answering pounding from above.
Balki starts to have fun. He taps briefly. There is a brief
pounding. He does a lot of tapping. There is a lot of pounding.
He taps "shave and a haircut." The answering "two
bits" comes from above. Balki taps some more but there is no
answering pounding. "Jennifer and Mary Anne must have gone for the
police," Larry says hopefully. "Then I'm saved," Marvin
sighs, "That was a terrific idea, Larry." "You can count on
Cousin Larry to come up with ideas nobody else would think of in their wildest
dreams," Balki says. There is a knock on the door and Larry worries
it might be a trick, so he uses his "Jose Vasquez" voice to call out.
It's the girls and they open the door. "Jennifer, Mary Anne, what are
you doing here?" Larry asks. "What do you think we're doing
here?" Jennifer asks, "We want to find out what all the pounding is
about." "We were sending you a message in Morse Code,"
Larry explains. "I thought it was Morse Code," Mary Anne says,
"but it doesn't make sense. (Reading from a slip of paper) 'Sos.
Sos. Hock trum bengi pan pan glichie.'" "It makes perfect
sense, Mary Anne," Balki says, "'Sos.' S.O.S. 'Hock trum
bengi.' Trapped by killers. 'Pan pan glichie.' Get
police." Larry is angry. "Balki, you sent the message in
Myposian, didn't you? Didn't you?" "Well, of course I did.
Don't be ridiculous," Balki answers, "I don't know how to send Morse
Code in English." Larry goes for Balki but Jennifer stops him.
- Jennifer asks,
"Larry, what's all this about the police?" Then she asks Marvin,
"Are you a policeman?" Marvin introduces himself as the man the
killers are trying to kill. "Kill?" Jennifer asks.
"You see, Marvin was a witness against the mob and they're not taking it
well," Larry explains. "Well, it was nice meeting you,"
Jennifer says, "Let's go Mary Anne." "I hope to see you
again sometime. Alive," Mary Anne offers. "Jennifer, Mary
Anne, you can't go," Balki says, "The hit man on the stairs might try
to hurt you." Jennifer asks why they don't just call the police and
Larry explains that the phone lines have been cut. "You mean we're
all trapped?" Jennifer asks. "Jennifer, I'll get you out of
this. I promise," Larry says. "How?" Jennifer asks.
"I'll have to get back to you on that," Larry admits. Mary Anne
suggests that someone climb to the roof and go across to the next building.
"I'm afraid of heights," Marvin says, "I couldn't do that if my
life depended on it." "Marvin, your life does depend on
it," Larry points out. "See. I told you," Marvin
says. "Someone's got to do something," Jennifer points out.
"And someone will," Larry says, "This is a job for a man with
nerves of steel, a man who can look death in the face and laugh."
"Cousin, where are we going to find someone like that?" Balki asks.
"You're looking at him, Balki," Larry says. "I am?
Cousin, would you stand aside? You're blocking my view," Balki says.
"It's me, Balki," Larry notes, "I'm going. Jennifer, if I
don't come back, promise me . . . you'll never marry."
"Never?" Jennifer asks, "I'll think about it."
"Here's looking at you, kid," Larry offers, then goes to the window.
Balki narrates Larry's brave departure and then his return. "There's
another man on the roof," Larry reports, "A mean-looking bald guy.
There's no way out." There's a knock at the door and everyone
freezes. "They're making their move," Larry says.
"They're very polite about it," Balki notes. The man outside
says he's the phone man. Mary Anne is relieved, saying, "Thank
goodness. It's the phone man. He'll fix the phone and we can call
the police." Larry comes up with the plan to capture the killer with
a blanket and he tells Balki to get the tape. "Would you prefer
masking, electrical or Memorex?" Balki asks. "Get the electrical
tape," Larry instructs. When they open the door and throw the blanket
over the man's head, Balki accidentally tangles Larry in the tape as well.
"Balki, tie him up, not me," Larry complains. "Sorry,
Cousin," Balki offers. After Balki runs in the closet and then they
finally get the tied man in the closet, Larry says, "Now we just have to do
this two more times, and we're home free." After Dr. Shore and the
FBI men come in and everything is cleared up, Dr. Shore suggests to Marvin he go
with the FBI men to start his new life. "Yes, Dr. Shore," Marvin
agrees, "I guess running away was a crazy thing to do, huh?"
"Don't let it worry you, Marvin," Dr. Shore says, "You're not the
craziest person I've known." He eyes Larry and Balki. "In
fact, you're not even the craziest person in the room." "Balki,
Larry, thanks," Marvin offers, "It's been a really exciting evening.
I'm looking forward to Nebraska now." After they all leave, Larry
says to Jennifer, "Well, what do you know about that? They weren't
killers. They were FBI. Pretty funny when you think of it."
Larry does his "schmuck laugh." "Larry, I just want you to
know, that from now on, no matter how hard you pound on my floor, I'm not coming
down," Jennifer says. "That's perfectly understandable,"
Larry agrees, "I'm sorry I pulled you into this." "Well, I
should be used to it by now," Jennifer says, "But you really were very
brave." Larry and Jennifer kiss. She exits. "Thank
you for a lovely evening, Balki," Mary Anne says, "You have to come up
some time and I'll show you how to send Morse Code in English."
"I'll be counting the dots and dashes till then, my little telegraph
wire," Balki smiles. Mary Anne exits. "Balki, if you ever
hear from Marvin again and he wants to see us . . . " Larry begins.
"I know," Balki says, "I've learned my lesson, Cousin.
Never invite a mad bomber to dinner without asking you first." Larry
thanks Balki then suggests they clean the place up. The rest of the show
is the same except when the phone guy hands them the phone he says, "All
There are still a few
differences to be found in the Shooting Draft script dated February 7, 1990:
opening scene is closer to what aired with Balki saying to Larry after he
enters, "Hi, Cousin. Oh, I see you stopped at the croissant
place." Balki vacuums Larry's shirt. (In the final version,
Balki notes Larry has eaten a donut on the way home. It's clear that Balki
probably vacuumed Larry's lips, since Larry is moving them oddly when we see
Balki turning off the vacuum, but this part was left on the cutting room floor.)
"Thank you," Larry offers, "I brought your favorite.
Chocolate filled." "Oh, Cousin, that would be yummy in my
tummy," Balki says, then he explains he can't eat it now.
- The flashback is
still listed as TBA but the script for it is located at the back. Dated
February 5, 1990, the dialogue is pretty much the same as what aired, except
after Larry says, "Balki, he's wearing a dynamite vest," Balki says,
"He sure is, Cousin. But it really doesn't go with the pants."
- Balki's line
"Let me put your mind to sleep about that," is still in this script.
- After Balki points
out that Marvin wants to take them to dinner to thank them for keeping him from
being blown to figurines, Larry still asks, "Doesn't FTD have a little
bouquet that says that?" "I'm sure Merlin Olsen could throw
something together," Balki notes, "But Cousin, it's time to let go of
the past. Marvin was in a bad space then. He had a lot of negative
feelings to work through. Real dark stuff. And he's done that.
Shouldn't we give him a second chance?" This is when Larry says he
really needs some time to think about it.
- When Marvin says,
"Maybe," after Balki says he would have seen exploding a bomb in his
chest wasn't a solution, Larry asks, "Maybe?" The rest of the
first scene is the same.
- After Larry pushes
Marvin out the door, Balki scolds, "Cousin, mind your Miss Manners.
You're being rude to our guest." Then after Larry points out that the
killers might want to kill them, too, Balki says, "Be that as it may be.
The threat of death is no excuse for bad etiquette." The rest of the
scene is the same.
- After Larry tells
Marvin, "It's going to be all right," he says to Balki, "Boy,
he's lucky to have us to lean on." Balki starts to faint and Larry
catches him, telling him, "Don't panic. Don't panic. We just
have to find some way to get a message out of here."
- After Larry points
out that Jennifer and Mary Anne are flight attendants and know all the codes,
Balki says, "I don't think so, Cousin." "You got a better
idea?" Larry asks. "No, I don't," Balki admits.
- After the girls come
in, Balki asks, "What are you doing down here? We're trying to send
you a message to call the police.
- After Jennifer
realizes who Marvin Berman is and Marvin confirms it, Mary Anne says, "You
look different than your pictures. Are you wearing contacts?"
Balki elbows Marvin.
- When Larry
volunteers to go out the window, Balki says, "While you're out, Cousin, we
need marshmallows." After Larry goes to the window, the directions
say (Girding his loins) and he says, "Well, this is it."
- After Marvin says,
"Shore? Sure," Balki says, "Dr. Shore, I love your wife
Dinah." "I'm not married," Dr. Shore says. "Oh,
I'm sorry," Balki offers, "It was that Burt Reynolds thing, wasn't
- After Marvin says
goodbye to everyone, the FBI man complains, "Now we're going to have to
think of another name." "How about Van Halen?" Marvin asks,
"Then I could meet women. Coming, Shore?"
The scripts for the TGIF
promos which aired the night this episode aired, February 16, 1990, were filmed
after the filming of this episode. You can view the script pages for these
promos below and you can now view these spots on our YouTube
on to the next episode . . .