Strangers Episode Guide
91 - He's the Boss
First Air Date:
February 23, 1990
Filming Date: January 25, 1990
Nielsen Rating: 13.0 HH
TV Guide Description: A
reorganization at the newspaper has Balki on a meteoric rise from the mail room
to an executive office, but he's unaware it's only a token job for immigrant
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Robert Griffard & Howard Adler
Directed by: Joel Zwick
Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton
Rebeca Arthur: Mary Anne
Melanie Wilson: Jennifer Lyons
Belita Moreno: Lydia Markham
Sam Anderson: Mr. Sam Gorpley
F.J. OíNeil: Mr. R.T. Wainwright
Sanford Jensen: Morgan Glover
Gina Minervini: Maria, Balkiís Secretary
Appearances: Dimitri can be seen in a large photograph behind Balkiís
giant, humongous desk in his new office at the Chronicle.
"Iím sure it is. I . . . I returned my copy this morning."
"Why would Mr. Wainwright give him carte blanche when more businesses
worldwide accept Visa and Mastercard?"
"Maybe youíll get two columns!"
"Cousin! Maybe your ship has finally hit the fan!"
"Iím trying to dress for excess."
"I am the happiest Mypiot in the entire solar plexus!"
"Iím living the life of Pat Riley."
"Iím starting to get flashbulb burn."
"English is not my motherís tongue."
"Well, we know our way around guts, Mr. Wainwright."
ridiculous: Said once in this episode.
used in this episode:
"Get out of the city!"
Other running jokes
used in this episode:
Balki hugs someone in greeting
The Dance of Joy
"The Candy Man" - sung by Balki as "The Balki Man" as he
stamps letters at his work table in the Chronicle basement
- The title of this episode is a joke on another popular ABC sitcom, Whoís
the Boss? When Perfect Strangers first aired in the spring of
1986, it's lead-in show on Tuesday night was Who's the Boss?
The woman who has been a regular background extra throughout the series
and has played a background worker in the basement of the Chronicle for the past
several seasons gets a brief moment here when Mr. Glover callously fires her
while walking to the loading dock.
- This wouldnít be the last time Dimitri was
represented in a photograph on the show. In the last two seasons, after
the couples moved into the big house, a smaller photo of Dimitri could be seen
on the fireplace mantel.
- Once again Balki wears his Myposian tuxedo in
this episode. The suit was utilized more in the fifth season than it had
been since season two!
- Balki's comment about Mr. Glover using him being
the best news he's heard since they brought back The Munsters refers to
the spin-off series, The Munsters Today, which ran on syndicated
television from 1988 to 1991.
Gina Minervini, who appeared as Maria in this episode, now works behind the
cameras. She founded Asti-Trevi Productions, which produced her own film Through
the Eyes of the Sculptor, which she also narrated. You can read more
about Gina and this project by clicking here,
and you can also visit her YouTube
- At the end of this episode, Mr. Wainwright
instructs Larry to train Balki as an investigative reporter. It's clear
that the series producers were looking to eventually make Larry and Balki work
together as reporters, which could have led to some very interesting plot
developments. As it was, Balki never became a reporter and continued to
work in the mailroom until he began to draw the comic strip, Dimitri's World and
was later promoted as a result of that work.
- At the beginning of the episode when Balki is singing "The Balki
Man" and licking stamps, Mr. Gorpley walks up to him and Balki sings the
last line, then licks a stamp three times. If you look closely, on the
third pass the stamp doesn't actually
leave his tongue. Originally, when Balki stood up to talk to Mr. Gorpley,
he mumbled and then realized the stamp was still in his mouth. But this
part was cut from the final episode. To read about more segments cut from
the final show, read the Script Variations below!
- When Balki places a leaf of lettuce into the
shredder to shred it into salad, the shredded lettuce comes out, but look
closely . . . the lettuce leaf above doesnít go anywhere, itís still sitting
where Balki placed it!
The episode begins in the basement of the Chicago Chronicle. Balki is at
his worktable, licking stamps and placing them on envelopes as he sings a
personalized version of "The Candy Man." "Who can take a
mail bag?" "Mail bag . . . mail bag," Larry echoes as he walks
away from a filing cabinet. "Dump it on his desk?" Balki sings.
"Dump it on his desk?" Lydia repeats as she walks away from the cubby
holes where sheís gotten her mail. "Stamp each letter twice before
he has to take a rest? The Balki man . . . oh, the Balki man can,"
Balki continues to sing. Mr. Gorpley has exited his office and walks up to
the table, saying, "Bartokomous . . . " "The Balki man can
Ďcause he wets it with his tongue to make the stamp stay on," Balki
sings, then licks a stamp. "Bartokomous, where is Mr. Gloverís
mail?" Mr. Gorpley asks. "Iím proud to say that the mail for
the new executive vice president was delivered first thing this morning by
sincerely yours," Balki announces happily.
"Oh, darn it," Gorpley curses,
"I wanted to deliver Mr. Gloverís mail myself. Never mind.
Iíll send him a gift. Oh, heíll like that. Something
classy. I wonder if Bambiís available?" "Iím sure it
is," Balki offers, "I . . . I returned my copy this morning."
Mr. Gorpley gives Balki a strange look and goes back to his office.
"Itís kind of fun watching Gorpley grovel," Miss Lydia smiles.
"Well, I think weíve all been a little nervous ever since Mr. Wainwright
gave Glover carte blanche to to re-organize the newspaper," Larry points
out. "Question, Cousin," Balki says, walking over to them,
"Why would Mr. Wainwright give him carte blanche when more businesses
worldwide accept Visa and Mastercard?" "No, Balki, carte blanche
means Glover can make any changes he wants to," Larry explains, "and
that includes hiring and firing." "Well, at least I can rest
easy," Lydia says, "When your advice column is syndicated in over
eight hundred newspapers you donít have to worry about your job."
walks to the elevator and the door opens. Mr. Wainwright and a man step
out, talking to one another. "Well, I got rid of some of the dead
wood in advertising, Mr. Wainwright," the man says. "Thatís .
. . thatís him," Balki points out to Larry, "Thatís Mr.
Glover." "And thereís a bright, young reporter in the
financial department," Mr. Glover continues, "Craig Howard, who should
have his own column if thatís all right with you, sir."
"Whatever you thinkís best, Glover," Mr. Wainwright replies,
"If you can do for us what you did for the St. Louis Examiner Iíll be a
happy man." "You can count on it, Mr. Wainwright," Glover
promises, "You just enjoy your week at the publisherís conference."
"Have a nice trip, Mr. Wainwright," Larry offers. "Thank
you, Appleton," Mr. Wainwright nods. "Appleton," Mr. Glover
notes, turning to Larry, "Appleton. Oh, so you wrote the
article on corruption in the sanitation department?" Larry looks
worried. "Good job," Mr. Glover states. "Thank you,
Mr. Glover, thank you," Larry says with relief.
"Oh, uh, Mr. Wainwright," Lydia
says, walking to him, "If you run into Rupert Murdoch at the conference be
sure and tell him Lydia
Markham says hello." She turns to make sure Mr. Glover is listening.
"Weíre . . . weíre old friends," she smiles. "Oh, so you
are Lydia Markham," Mr. Glover notes, stepping to her, "I wanted to
talk to you about your readers." "Oh, why yes," Lydia
smiles, "There are a lot of them, arenít there?" "Yes,
but unfortunately theyíre all over forty," Mr. Glover states coldly,
"Weíre trying to appeal to a younger crowd now Lydia and youíre not
helping. Be in my office at two." Mr. Glover walks to the
parking garage with Mr. Wainwright. Lydia is stunned and sickened.
Balki walks to her and asks, "Miss Lydia? Are . . . are you okay?
You want to . . . you want to sit down?" "Sit down?" Lydia
cries, "Whoís got time to sit down? If I donít start writing
about pimples, petting and puberty Iím history!" Lydia presses the
button for the elevator and steps inside when the door opens.
Balki walks back to Larry.
"Cousin . . . Miss Lydia seemed really upset." "Yeah,
upset, too bad," Larry says quickly, then smiles
and asks, "Did you hear what Glover said about my article? Balki,
this could be it. I know Craig Howard in financial. Iím twice the writer
he is and heís getting his own column!" "Maybe youíll get
two columns!" Balki suggests. "Balki, the point is if Glover
moved him up, I canít be far behind," Larry explains. "Cousin!
Maybe your ship has finally hit the fan!" Balki says excitedly. Larry
looks at Balki strangely. Mr. Glover enters from the parking garage and
says, "Oh, good. Iím glad youíre still here. I wanted to
talk to you about a promotion. Iíve created a new department here called
Editorial Services and I think the most qualified person to head up that
department is you." "Thank you, sir," Larry smiles.
"Not you, I was talking to him," Mr. Glover points to Balki, then
shakes his hand. "Congratulations, Bartokomous. Youíre an
executive." Mr. Glover walks to the loading dock and addresses a
woman as he passes, saying, "You! Youíre fired!" The
woman looks shocked. So do Balki and Larry.
That night at the apartment, Balki is
telling Jennifer and Mary Anne about his new job as Larry listens.
"But why did Mr. Glover
give you such a big office?" Mary Anne asks. "Because he had
to," Balki explains, "Itís the only place they could fit my giant,
humongous desk." "Have you seen his desk, Larry?" Mary Anne
asks. "No, I was busy working all day at my little desk in the . . .
in the giant, humongous basement," Larry replies bitterly. "Tell
me about the chair again, Balki," Mary Anne asks. "Well, itís
a rolling chair and itís just like Cousin Larryís only it has all its
wheels," Balki begins, "and itís covered with leather . . . "
"Before we get into fabrics, does anybody want some more coffee?"
Larry interrupts. Everyone checks their cups and says, "No
thanks." "Well, Iíll make some anyway Ďcause I want to be
alert when we discuss the carpeting," Larry notes, getting up and going to
the kitchen. Jennifer follows him as Balki tells Mary Anne, "Oh, the
carpeting! Iím pretty sure itís an Anso 4 thread nylon and, uh, did I
mention itís wear dated?"
Larry . . . is Balkiís promotion bothering you?" Jennifer asks.
"Well, I . . . I just donít get it," Larry admits, "I mean,
this morning he was working in the mail room and this afternoon heís got a
huge office on the executive floor." "Well, maybe youíre a
little jealous of Balki," Jennifer suggests. "Oh, Jennifer,
please! Please!" Larry laughs, "I mean, do you think Iíd be
jealous of Balki just because he has his own office?" "Well, I .
. . " Jennifer begins to answer. "Deep pile carpeting and a huge
desk?" Larry adds. "Larry, I just felt that there was a . . .
" "A window that looks out over the Chicago skyline so he can
sit in his Corinthian leather chair and enjoy the sunset . . . I mean, you think
that would make me jealous?" Larry laughs. "Yes," Jennifer
answers straight. "Okay, youíre right," Larry admits,
"But I am not gonna let any petty jealousy stop me from being happy for my
on the couch, Mary Anne tells Balki, "You know, I think powerful men are
very sexy." "You do?" Balki asks, feeling the chemistry.
"I do," Mary answers, and they lean toward one another to kiss.
Larry and Jennifer sit down on the couch and Larry slaps Balki on the knee,
interrupting the moment. "Balki, buddy," Larry says, "I
just want you to know that no one is happier for you than I am."
"Oh, thank you, Cousin," Balki replies. "Youíre a very
hard worker and if anybody deserves a break, you do." "Oh,
Cousin, thank you," Balki smiles, "Listen . . . I know I donít need
to say this but I want you to know that my new executive lifestyle is not going
to change our friendship in any way." "I know that," Larry
says, "And to celebrate your promotion Iíd like to take you to lunch
tomorrow." "Tomorrowís no good for me," Balki replies.
Larry looks a bit hurt.
The next day we see the Chronicle building
and hear Balkiís secretary, Maria, announcing, "Thereís a Mr. Appleton
here to see
you." She shows Larry into Balkiís new office. "Cousin
Larry!" Balki cries happily, running to hug Larry, "Oh, Iím so glad
you come to visit me!" "Well, my pleasure," Larry smiles,
then he eyes the extravagant Myposian shirt Balki is wearing.
"Interesting outfit." "Oh, thank you," Balki says,
"Iím trying to dress for excess." "Well, youíre
succeeding," Larry confirms. He looks around and notes, "Well,
Balki, this place is incredible." "Oh, thank you, Cousin,"
Balki replies, "Cousin, you . . . come . . . look at this, look at
this." Balki leads Larry over to a credenza. "They are so
generous, they give me a refrigerator and a microwave. Iím
conducting an experiment to see how fast I can boil water and then freeze it.
My personal best is eighteen minutes." "Well, I guess the
fifteen minute barrier is right around the corner," Larry notes.
"And Cousin, as if all of this
werenít enough . . . " Balki reaches into the refrigerator and
pulls out a head of lettuce, then leads Larry over to some equipment by the
window. "Look at this. Look at this! They gave me . . .
my very own . . . salad maker!" Balki
places a leaf of lettuce into the shredding machine and holds a bowl beneath it
to catch the shredded lettuce that comes out. "Balki, thatís a
paper shredder," Larry explains. Balki look confused and asks,
"A paper salad? Interesting concept. I guess with a light
vinaigrette and some croutons, why not?" "Well, it sounds tasty
but actually Iím here on business," Larry says, "Mr. Glover assigned
me to interview you for the newspaper." "Get out of the
city!" Balki exclaims. "No, Iím serious," Larry assures
him, "He wants me to trace what he calls your meteoric rise from the mail
room to head of editorial services." "Well, why donít why step
on over here to what I like to call my sitting down and talking area . . . and
get up close and personal." Balki leads Larry to a lounge area with a
couch and chair and they sit down.
Larry says, "Uh, maybe you can tell me what the head of editorial services
does on a typical day?" "Oh! Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh . . . so
many things," Balki answers, "I . . . I just . . . I donít know
where to begin. Iím as busy as a mosquito in a nudist colony."
Balki gets up and runs to his desk saying, "Iíve got to read you from my
book." He reaches into a desk drawer and pulls out an appointment
book, showing it to Larry. He opens it and thumbs through the pages, then
reads. "One oíclock . . . get my picture taken. Two oíclock
. . . get my picture taken. Three oíclock . . . . . . get my picture
taken." "Balki, is that all you do?" Larry asks, "Get
your picture taken?" "Well, of course not. Donít be
ridiculous," Balki scoffs, "Three-thirty . . . meet with Cousin
Larry." Balki motions to Larry and smiles. "But we better
wrap this up quick because at four oíclock Iíve got to . . . "
" . . . get my picture taken," Balki says with Larry saying it at the
There is a knock at the door and Mr.
Glover enters. "Mr. Bartokomous?" he begins. "Mr.
Glover!" Balki greets him happily,
running over to hug the man. "Uh, Mr. Bartokomous, some members of
the Chamber of Commerce are outside. Would you mind having your picture
taken?" "Would I mind?" Balki asks, "Does Miss Mypos
have a mustache? I . . . Iíll be right back." Balki walks
out, closing the door behind him. "Mr. Glover?" Larry asks,
"Iím glad youíre here. I . . . Iím having a little trouble with
this assignment. Uh, maybe you can clear some things up for me."
"Iíd be happy to," Mr. Glover offers. "What exactly does
the head of editorial services do?" Larry asks. "Well, heís a
liaison between editorial operations and management, providing a vital source of
input to reduce friction and enhance efficiency," Mr. Glover answers.
"And how precisely does Balki do that?" Larry asks. "Well,
in a, uh, variety of ways," Mr. Glover continues, "by, uh, networking
within the infrastructure and interfacing with the private sector."
"Iím sorry, Mr. Glover, but . . .
that sounds like a lot of double-talk for somebody whoís got no job at
all," Larry notes. "Okay,
Appleton . . . okay," Mr. Glover sighs, "Let me clear something up for
you. Have you ever heard of a government program called American
Dream?" "Well, sure, itís a training program for immigrants .
. . helps them acquire the skills necessary to advance in the business
community," Larry answers. "Mmm, thatís the one," Glover
confirms, "Well, I promoted Bartokomous as a part of that program."
"As far as I can tell youíre not training Balki to do anything,"
Larry points out. "Itís a waste of time," Mr. Glover scoffs,
"No, itís much easier to have you write the article that makes it look
like I trained him." "Well, Mr. Glover, what youíre doing is .
. . tokenism," Larry states, "I . . . I canít write a story to help
you do that." "Well . . . okay. If you canít write it .
. . well, uh, I can find someone else who can while you look for another
job," Mr. Glover threatens, "Think about it." On Larryís
startled look the scene fades to black.
two begins one evening later that week in the apartment. Larry is sitting
on the couch talking with Jennifer. "Jennifer, itís just not
right," Larry complains, "What Glover has done is take a valuable
program that helps people who could use a break and turn it into a meaningless
showcase." "Larry, you have to tell Balki whatís
happening," Jennifer says. "Well, I tried to every day this week
but heís so happy," Larry sighs, "I just hate to burst his
bubble." "Well, maybe heís not as happy as you think he
is," Jennifer suggests. Balki enters through the front door, wearing
his Myposian tuxedo, and tosses his briefcase and jacket aside before
exclaiming, "I am the happiest Mypiot in the entire solar plexus!" as
he performs a cartwheel across the living room, ending up in the kitchen.
"Then again, what do I know?" Jennifer asks, "I have to go.
Iíll see you later."
Jennifer gets up to leave but Balki runs
to cut her off, taking her hand. "Jennifer . . . Jennifer . . . we
donít see enough of each
other any more. Have your people call my people and weíll do
lunch?" "Iíll do that," Jennifer smiles, then pats
Balkiís hand and says, "Bye." "Bye," Balki replies
as Jennifer leaves. "Well, Balki," Larry smiles, "It seems
youíre really happy with your new job." "Oh, come on, Cousin,
get real!" Balki beams, "Iím living the life of Pat Riley. How
could I not be happy?" Larry smiles and nods. "I mean, how
could I not be happy?" Balki asks again. "I guess you got
everything," Larry agrees. "I sure do," Balki smiles, then
he bursts into tears and cries, "So how can I not be happy?"
Balki throws himself into Larryís arms. "Balki! Balki, you
mean . . . youíre not happy?" Larry asks. "No Iím not,"
Balki cries. "Well . . . well, why not?" Larry asks, as he and
Balki sit on the couch. "I donít know," Balki sighs, "I
know I should be. I know Iíve got everything a Mypiot could wish for
bbssssmmmmttgggg mmmmssnnggg." Balki cries out this last line so that
Larry asks. "Ssssmmmmttgggg mmmmssnnggg," Balki repeats, no
clearer than the first time. "What?" Larry asks again.
Balki lifts his head and speaks clearly to say, "Somethingís
missing." "Oh, somethingís missing," Larry understands,
"Well, yes, Balki . . . whatís missing is a real job."
"But I have a real job," Balki points out, "Iím head of
editorial services." "And what exactly does the head of
editorial services do?" Larry asks. "I donít know," Balki
admits, crying again, "Every time I ask Mr. Glover what my job is I get my
picture taken. Iím beginning to feel like the Christie Brinkley of the
Chronicle." "Well, Balki, Iím afraid thatís exactly what you
are," Larry confirms. Balki looks at Larry with surprise.
"I am?" Balki gasps, "Oh Cousin, I hope they donít have a
swimsuit issue." Balki covers his body with his arms nervously.
"No, Balki, what I mean is . . .
Glover has created this job so itíll look like the Chronicle is complying with
a government program
that helps immigrants. But there really is no job at all. Itís a
fake. A sham. And . . . and youíre just a . . . a puppet in
Gloverís sleazy scheme." "Oh, Cousin, that is the best news
Iíve heard since they brought back ĎThe Munstersí," Balki says.
"It is?" Larry asks, surprised by Balkiís happy reaction.
"Yes!" Balki says, "I thought that everyone knew what my job was
but me. Now I can quit this sleazy puppet show and go back to the mail
room!" Balki gets up and starts doing the Dance of Joy by himself,
but Larry stands up and stops him. "No, Balki . . . Balki, if you do
that Glover will just replace you with somebody else." "Well,
that wonít solve the problem," Balki realizes. "No, it
wonít," Larry agrees, "What we have to do is find a way to get rid
of Glover so the program will work the way itís supposed to."
"How we do that?" Balki asks. "Well . . . I think if we
give Glover enough rope, he just might hang himself," Larry says.
Balki cringes, saying, "Iíd prefer non-violence."
The next day at the Chronicle, Larry and
Balki lead Mr. Wainwright into Balkiís office. "Appleton, Iíve
just gotten off the plane,"
Mr. Wainwright complains, "Iíve got jetlag and Iíve eaten airline food.
What is so important that I come here before I go to my office?"
"Mr. Wainwright, we thought you might be interested in some of the changes
Mr. Glover has made," Larry explains, "So Iíd like you to meet the
new head of editorial services." "Fine. Have him call
me," Mr. Wainwright says, "Weíll have lunch." He turns to
leave, facing Balki. "Mr. Wainwright . . . itís me," Balki
says, "Balki Bartokomous." "You?" Mr. Wainwright asks
skeptically, then he shrugs and sighs, "Well, I . . . Iím sure Glover
knows what heís doing." "He knows what heís doing,
but we thought you should know what heís doing," Larry says.
Balkiís secretary, Maria, peeks in the door and informs them, "Mr.
Gloverís on his way up." "Okay, okay," Balki tells her,
and she withdraws.
Wainwright, thereís no time to explain," Larry says, "but what
Glover is doing is wrong and youíre the only person with the power to stop
him." "So we were wondering if youíd mind very much hiding
under the desk," Balki finishes. "What?" Mr. Wainwright
asks. Balki motions to Larry to try to explain. "Look, I know
itís a strange request," Larry admits, "but itís the only way we
can prove our case against Glover." "You want me to get under
the desk?" Mr. Wainwright asks in disbelief. "Yes, sir,"
Larry confirms meekly, then adds, "If Iím wrong, you can fire me."
"Thatís a given," Mr. Wainwright says seriously. Balkiís
secretary pops back in to say, "Mr. Gloverís here!"
"Okay, okay," Balki says, and she backs out again. Larry and
Balki shuffle Mr. Wainwright to Balkiís desk and proceed to push him
underneath it to hide. "I donít believe Iím doing this," Mr.
Glover enters the office holding several pieces of paper.
"Appleton!" he barks, "They told me I would find you here. This
is not the article I told you to write! Now you do it over and you do it
my way." "Well, I just told the truth about the way youíre
implementing the American Dream program," Larry says innocently, "and
I merely pointed out that Balki isnít getting the real opportunities that the
program is designed to give." "Oh well, why donít we ask Balki
about that?" Mr. Glover snaps, "Balki? Are you unhappy in
your new position here?" "Well, Iím not one to complain but
all I do is get my picture taken," Balki points out, "Iím starting
to get flashbulb burn." "Mr. Glover, doesnít the program have
something to do with training immigrants?" Larry asks. "Oh
sure," Mr. Glover says, "Sure, I could train him but then heíd go to
lunch and Iíd have to train him again!"
Mr. Glover turns to leave but Balki steps
in front of him. "Eh, forgive me, Mr. . . . Mr. Glover . . . Iím .
. . Iím just a poor, ignorant
immigrant. English is not my motherís tongue." Balki looks
over Mr. Gloverís shoulder to share a look with Larry before continuing.
"But are you saying you never had any intention of giving me anything to
do?" "No, youíre doing something, Bartokomous," Mr.
Glover says, "Youíre taking a job away from a real American who deserves
it." "Oh, I see," Balki says, "So . . . so youíre
saying that if a person is not born here then he has no right to work
here." "No, no, no, no," Mr. Glover corrects, "You
foreigners can work here but the good jobs should go to real Americans.
Now am I talking too fast for you?" Balki shakes his head no.
"Mr. Glover, you may have been born in America, but youíre not much of an
American," Larry states, "Youíre too small and narrow-minded to know
the meaning of the word." "Oh really?" Glover asks,
"Well, maybe you know the meaning of these words . . . youíre
do the firing around here!" Mr. Wainwright intervenes, crawling out from
beneath the desk. "Uh . . . uh . . . Mr. Wainwright," Mr. Glover
stammers, "How . . . how was your trip, sir?" "Save it,
Glover. Clean out your desk," Mr. Wainwright orders.
"Clean out my desk?" Mr. Glover asks in disbelief, "Iím doing a
great job here. Your costs are down. Your circulation is up."
"There are more important things than lower costs and higher
circulation," Mr. Wainwright explains, "Iím not firing you because
youíre doing a bad job. Iím firing you because youíre a bigot, and
thereís no room in the Chronicle for bigots." "Mr. Glover, I
know youíre not wild about government programs but you might want look into
unemployment," Larry suggests. "Goodbye, Mr. Glover," Mr.
Wainwright states. Mr. Glover turns to leave. "Mr.
Glover," Balki says after him. Mr. Glover stops at the door.
"On your way out you can have Maria validate your parking," Balki
smiles. Mr. Glover leaves in a huff.
Mr. Wainwright steps between Balki and
Larry. "That was a gutsy thing you two did." "Well .
. . we know our way around guts, Mr.
Wainwright," Balki nods, "I donít know if youíve ever made sausage
from scratch but you have to get right up in there . . . " "Balki,
Balki," Larry stops him, "Balki, Balki . . . Balki . . . Mr.
Wainwright is saying weíre brave." "And I still want you to be
part of the American Dream program, Balki," Mr. Wainwright says.
"Does that mean I have to stay in this job?" Balki asks worriedly.
"Not at all," Mr. Wainwright answers, "Iím sending you back to
the mail room for the time being. But Appleton . . . I want you to take
Bartokomous under your wing and train him. Show him what itís like to be
an investigative reporter." "My pleasure, sir," Larry
smiles. "Thank you, Mr. Wainwright," Balki says, giving the man
a hug. "Oh!" Mr. Wainwright laughs uncomfortably. He
breaks away and says, "Keep up the good work, boys." After Mr.
Wainwright leaves, Larry asks, "Balki, did you hear that? You are
gonna get a chance to become a real reporter!" "Cousin, now we
are so happy, we do the Dance of Joy!" Balki announces. They perform
the Dance of Joy and the episode ends.
There were some major
differences between the Revised First Draft script dated January 22, 1990 and
the final episode:
you can see by the production schedule shown here, it was a pretty regular week
- The episode begins with Balki singing,
"Mailed in the U.S.A." to the tune of "Born in the U.S.A."
over and over as he stamps his letters. Mr. Gorpley enters and asks,
"Bartokomous, did you sort the mail into piles, arrange them by zip code,
and send out those memos?" "Batched, matched and
dispatched," Balki replies, "Anything else, Mr. Gorpley?"
"Yeah," Mr. Gorpley replies, "Knock off the singing. You're
making my fillings hurt." Gorpley exits to his office. Balki is
sad, and says to Larry, "Cousin, I didn't mean to hurt his feelings."
"Forget about it," Larry says, "He's just being a jerk, as
usual." "Actually, he's being a bigger jerk than usual,"
Lydia adds, "And that's not easy to do. He sets such a high standard
for himself." "I think he's a little nervous because the new
executive vice president has been spending so much time in the basement,"
Larry notes. "I think Morgan Glover's a hunk," Lydia says,
"I wish he'd spend more time in my office." "Well, not
everybody feels the way you do," Larry argues, "In fact a lot of
people are very nervous because Wainwright gave him 'carte blanche' to
reorganize the newspaper." "Question, Cousin: why would he give
him Carte Blanche when Mastercard and Visa are accepted at more retail
outlets?" Balki asks. "Balki, 'carte blanche' means that Glover
can make any changes he wants to," Larry explains, "And that includes
hiring and firing. He's already fired fourteen people."
"It's amazing what you can do with a credit card," Balki says.
- When Glover talks to Wainwright about the young
reporter in financial his name is Lloyd Garver. When Glover returns from
the parking garage he says, "Oh, I'm glad you're still here. I have a
little announcement to make about a promotion I think is long overdue."
Larry beams and Balki pats him on the back. "I've created a new
department here at the paper called Editorial Services. And the person I
think is most qualified to head that department is . . . Balki Bartokomous."
Larry and Balki look stunned as the scene ends.
- When the second scene begins, Larry and Jennifer
are in the kitchen washing dishes. Balki and Mary Anne are at the couch
where Balki is talking to her. "And it's a good thing my office is so
big because it's the only place they could fit my giant, humongous desk.
Oh, and I have a rolling chair just like Cousin Larry's, only it's leather and
it rocks back and forth. And you wouldn't believe the sunset I saw from my
office window today. Boy, I missed so much before I became an
executive." Larry rubs a plate so hard he breaks it. "Must
have been cracked," he covers. Jennifer talks to Larry about being
jealous and Larry assures her that he won't let his petty jealousy stop him from
being happy for his best friend. "Watch," Larry tells Jennifer,
and they cross to the living room. "So, Balki, what do you have
planned for tomorrow?" Larry asks with genuine enthusiasm. "I'm
not sure, Cousin," Balki replies, "I'll have to check with my
secretary." "Secretary?" Larry asks, really bothered,
"You've got a secretary?" "Oh, yes, Cousin," Balki
says, "Maria's been with me for, oh, six hours now. I'd be lost
without her." Larry turns to Jennifer and says, "He has a
secretary." "And you're really happy for him," Jennifer
urges. "Balki, how did you manage to land such a great job?"
Mary Anne asks. "Well, Mr. Glover said I was exactly what he was
looking for, that I fit the bill perfectly and that I had all the right stuff
for the job," Balki explains. "Wow. What a resume,"
Mary Anne comments. "The only disadvantage is that I won't be able to
talk to Cousin Larry as much," Balki says. "Balki, don't worry
about it," Larry assures him, "You're an executive now. You have
different priorities." "Cousin, even an executive needs friends,
so I want you to have this." Balki hands Larry a business card.
"It's my private phone number. Now don't be a stranger."
Larry looks to Jennifer.
- At the beginning of the third scene, Balki and
his secretary, Maria, are on either side of the desk which has a ping pong net
attached to it. They have paddles and are playing ping pong. Maria's
got the ball. "Okay, Maria, this is match point," Balki says.
"I hope I don't choke," Maria notes. "Don't worry,"
Balki assures her, "I know the Heineken maneuver. Just serve."
Maria serves. They volley. Maria wins the point. "Wow,
Maria. You really cleaned my watch," Balki says, "Want to play
again?" "No, thanks, Balki," Maria smiles, "I'd better
get back to my desk." Maria exits. Balki goes to his desk and
puts away the ping pong equipment. The intercom buzzes. Balki
answers it, asking, "Yes, Maria?" "Mr. Appleton is here to
see you," Maria says, "He's your three-thirty." "No,
he's my Cousin," Balki corrects, "Send him in." This is
when Larry enters.
- When Larry enters the office and comments how nice it is, Balki says,
"You're not just whistling Dixie Cups, Cousin. Oh, and look at
this." Balki sits down on his chair, grabs a lever on the side and
makes the chair go down. "I'm melting," Balki cries a la the
Wicked Witch of the West, "Some fun, huh, Cousin?" "Very
impressive," Larry nods.
- When Balki tells Larry that he's conducting an
experiment to see how fast he can boil water and then freeze it, Larry says,
"Something I always wanted to know." After Larry tells Balki the
machine is a paper shredder, Balki says, "Cousin, I like fiber as much as
the next executive but I think I'll stick to lettuce. You know, Cousin,
Mr. Glover says I'm a key man in the organization, and it must be true. He
gave me . . . (Balki pulls out a bunch of keys) . . . a key to the executive
washroom, a key to the computer room, a key to the executive health club,
complete with tanning booth. Why don't we go there and pump up your spare
- When Balki and Larry sit down and Balki starts to
tell him story, he says, "Well, let's see, that would be the late sixteenth
century, just after the War of the Tomatoes. A young sheepherder named
Devros Komous married an early feminist named Debbie Bartok. Since she
didn't want to take her husband's name, they combined their names and the
Bartokomous family was born. This union produced four offspring.
Devros begat Dinky . . . " "Balki, Balki," Larry stops him,
"I have a better idea. Why don't we start at the present and work our
way to the past? You tell me about your job now, and if we have enough
time we'll trace it back to Devros and Debbie." "Clever angle,
Cousin," Balki says, impressed, "Pretty soon you'll have your own key
to the executive washroom." "We can only hope," Larry
agrees, then asks what Balki does on a typical day. Balki checks his
calendar, reading, "Well, let's see. One o'clock: get picture taken.
Two o'clock: get a haircut. Three forty-five: get picture taken.
Four-thirty: check spelling on my parking space. Wow, Cousin, you were
lucky I could squeeze you in this afternoon." There is a knock at the
door and Mr. Glover enters. "Mr. Bartokomous, would you mind stepping
outside and having your picture taken with some members of he State Minority
Council?" "Yes, Mr. Glover," Balki answers, and then to
Larry he says, "An executive's work is never done. I'll be right
- After Larry notes that Glover's double-talk makes
it sound like Balki has no job at all, Mr. Glover says, "Very good,
Appleton. You have an amazing grasp of the obvious." Larry
accuses Glover of tokenism and Glover responds, "Appeton, I'm going to put
my cards on the table. The only reason that Bartokomous is up here is to
make the paper look good. You know, show people how we support minority
hiring and all that stuff. Your job is to write an article to make it
looks like Balki does have a real job. An important job. A
vital job. That way the paper looks good . . . and so do I."
After Larry says he can't do it and Glover threatens to fire him, Balki enters
and Glover says, "You're doing a fine job, Bartokomous. Keep it
up." Glover exits. "I must be the luckiest Mypiot in the
whole world," Balki smiles. Larry looks concerned.
- In the beginning of Act Two when Larry tells
Jennifer what's happening, Jennifer says, "So, Balki got the job because
he's a minority? That's great. Isn't that what affirmative action is
all about?" "No," Larry replies, "Affirmative action
is giving minorities a chance to advance. What Glover has done is give
Balki a meaningless job just so the paper will look good." "So
this job isn't going Balki any good at all," Jennifer understands.
"Right," Larry confirms. "Larry, you have to tell Balki
what's happening." "I've tried every day this week," Larry
explains, "But he seems so happy I hate to burst his bubble. He
really loves the executive lifestyle. The big office, the private dining
room, the health club -- " "Larry, if positions were reversed,
you'd want him to tell you, wouldn't you?" Jennifer asks. "Did I
mention the tanning booth?" Larry asks. "Larry!"
"Alright, I'll tell him as soon as he comes in," Larry promises.
"Good," Jennifer nods, "And who knows? Maybe it won't be as
hard as you think." Balki enters carrying a red leather briefcase.
"Well, Cousin, another red leather day," Balki smiles, "I finally
got my executive briefcase. Mr. Glover says I should carry it with me at
all times." "That's very impressive, Balki," Jennifer says,
"You must have a lot of important stuff in there." "Oh,
you're not kidding, Jennifer," Balki says, "I've got my yo-yo, my ping
pong paddle, and half a Caesar's salad. Boy I love that executive dining
- When Larry notes
that Balki seems pretty happy with his new job, Balki says, "Cousin, get
real. I've got a big office, a secretary and a desk I can play ping pong
on." Then he mentions living the life of Pat Riley. Balki also
doesn't say "Something's missing" in an indecipherable voice in this
- After Larry tells Balki that Glover has created
the "job" to make the Chronicle look good, Balki says, "But
Cousin, that's wrong." "That's right," Larry agrees.
"No, that's wrong," Balki argues, "I don't want to be part of a
lie. I'm going to quit this fake job."
- When Balki tells Mr. Wainwright that he's the new
Head of Editorial Services, Mr. Wainwright asks, "Is this some kind of
joke?" "No," Balki says, "if it was a joke, it would
start out like this: 'Knock, knock.' And you would say 'Who's
there?'" "Balki," Larry says. "Balki who?"
Balki asks. "Balki!" Larry yells. Balki starts to answer
again but Larry puts his hand over Balki's mouth. "We'll do jokes
later," Larry says. "Look, I haven't got time for jokes,"
Mr. Wainwright complains, "I'm sure Glover knows what he's doing."
- After Glover storms into Balki's office and tells
Larry that this was not the article he told him to write, Larry says, "I
know, sir, but Balki had some ideas about a minority training program for the
Chronicle and I thought I should include them in the article." Glover
pounds the desk and says, "Thinking was your first mistake."
Glover circles the desk and Larry and Balki circle away. "You know,
you two seem to be a little confused about what your jobs are here at the
Chronicle." "Well, I've been asking and asking -- " Balki
points out. "Let me fill you in," Glover says. Glover
violently pushes the chair under the desk then starts circling again. The
guys keep moving away. "Bartokomous, you aren't being paid for your
stupid ideas. Your job is to sit in an office, pretend you're an executive
and fulfill the Chronicle's minority quota." Larry gently pulls the
chair away from the desk. "But this is not a real job," Balki
points out. Balki pushes the chair under the desk hitting Wainwright's
knee. "Ouch," Mr. Wainwright cries. Larry covers by
grabbing his knee and crying, "Ow! Old war injury."
"Mr. Glover, a real job gives you a chance to learn, a chance to be
trained," Balki points out, "All you have given me is a fake job so
that you and the Chronicle will look good." "Well, along with
that fake job comes a lot of executive perks," Mr. Glover points out,
"I don't hear you complaining about them." "Mr. Glover, you
gave me a lot of keys but what good are they if they don't open any doors?"
Balki asks. "Fine, Bartokomous," Glover says, "Quit.
I heard there's a Lithuanian on the loading dock who'd love a view of the
sunset." "You know, Mr. Wainwright might not like your approach
to helping minorities advance at his newspaper," Larry points out.
"Who cares?" Mr. Glover asks, "Wainwright's a jerk."
"Excuse me, Mr. Glover," Balki asks, "Could you define
jerk?" "I mean Wainwright doesn't know what he's doing,"
Mr. Glover explains, "He'll believe anything I tell him." The
chair pushes back from the desk by itself. One hand appears and grabs the
edge of the desk, then another. Wainwright appears and pulls himself up.
"Mr. Wainwright!" Mr. Glover gasps, "What are you doing under the
desk?" "Getting my kneecap broken," Wainwright says,
"And I want to tell you that you're right." "I am?"
Glover asks with surprise. "He is?" Balki and Larry also ask
with surprise. "Yes. I guess I don't know what I'm doing.
Otherwise, I wouldn't have hired you. But I can fix that. You're
fired." "Let's not be too hasty, Mr. Wainwright," Mr.
Glover says, "I hope you're not firing me because I called you a
jerk." "Well, of course he isn't. Don't be
ridiculous," Balki says, "He's not firing Cousin Larry and sometime he
. . . " "Balki, don't help," Larry urges. "That
has nothing to do with it," Mr. Wainwright insists, then tells Glover he's
being fired for being a bigot.
- After Glover leaves and Wainwright says it was a
gutsy thing they did (and Balki makes the sausage reference), Wainwright says,
"I want you to know that the paper feels a real responsibility to help
minorities and I'm going to see that we live up to it." Wainwright
tells Larry to train Balki as an investigative reporter. "Did you
hear that, Balki?" Larry asks, "It looks like we're really going to be
working together." They do the Dance of Joy. Balki then says,
"Come on, Cousin, let's get back to the mailroom. I feel naked
without a paper cut." Balki starts to go but Larry stops him.
"Uh, Balki, before we go . . . do you think I could sit in your chair just
once?" "Knock yourself out, Cousin," Balki offers.
Larry sits in the chair, spins a little and puts his feet up on the desk.
He leans back, folds his hands behind his head and falls backward.
"Cousin, it was just an expression," Balki says. As Larry rubs
his head the episode ends.
There were some things in
the Shooting Draft script dated January 24, 1990 that didn't make it into the
on Thursday that a specially scheduled cast & crew picture has been added to
the schedule. This was likely the annual photo shoot in which the entire
cast and crew gathered on the apartment set to have their picture taken.
- In the script, at the beginning of the episode
Larry was supposed to be at his desk instead of by the filing cabinets and no
one sings back up for Balki, although he is now singing "The Balki
- The part cut from the show with Balki getting the
stamp stuck on his tongue was also not in this script.
- In the second scene when Balki is describing his
office to Mary Anne, he talks about his chair. "Well, it's a rolling
chair just like Cousin Larry's, only it's got all its wheels and it's covered
with real leather and it goes up and down, up and down. Boy, I have to
make sure I don't eat before I sit in it." "What kind of
curtains does your office have?" Mary Anne asks. This is when Larry
interrupts and says "Before we get into fabrics . . . "
- The last part of the previous script, where Larry
says, "Hey, I understand. You're an executive now. You have
different priorities," and Balki gives him a business card with his
personal phone number is still in this version.
- The ping pong scene is still in the script, and
instead of saying, "You really cleaned my watch," Balki says,
"Wow, Maria. You lulled me to sleep and burned me deep."
After Maria goes back to her desk and buzzes Balki on the intercom, Balki looks
around and can't figure where the buzzing is coming from. He sees the
intercom and starts pushing buttons. "Hello? Hello?
Hello?" Balki calls. Balki continues pushing buttons as Maria enters
and crosses to him. "Balki." Balki jumps. "Mr.
Appleton is here to see you," Maria says, "He's your
three-thirty." "No, he's my Cousin," Balki corrects,
"Where do I come up with them? Send him in."
- After Larry notes how incredible Balki's office
is, Balki says, "You're not just whistling Dixie Carter. Oh, and look
at this, Cousin." Balki makes the chair go down but his dialogue as
the Wicked Witch of the West has been expanded. "Don't throw the
water. You cursed brat, look what you've done. I'm melting.
- After Balki takes Larry to the sitting down and
talking area, he says, "I'll start from the beginning. The island of
Mypos was discovered in 1582 by the explorer Ferdinand Mypos." "Balki,
I know the history of your people and it's fascinating," Larry offers,
"I can't wait for the Time-Life series to come out. But why don't we
start from the present and work back." This is when he asks what
Balki does on a typical day.
- After Balki agrees to have his picture taken with
the Chamber of Commerce members he says to Larry, "See, Cousin, an
executive's work is never done. I'll be right back."
- After Mr. Glover says that it's easier for Larry
to write an article that makes it look like he trained Balki, he adds, "If
Bartokomous looks like he has a real job, an important job, a vital job, then
the paper's happy, I'm happy and the government's off my back." After
Mr. Glover threatens Larry's job, he turns to exit just as Balki is coming back
in, calling to the people in the outer office, "Drop by anytime."
We see a flash go off in Balki's face which blinds him. He turns and bumps
into Mr. Glover. "Excuse me . . . " Balki feels Glover's
face. " . . . Mr. Glover." "You're doing a fine job,
Bartokomous," Mr. Glover assures him, "Keep it up." Glover
exits. "Cousin, can you add something to me schedule?" Balki
asks, "Three forty-five: buy sunglasses." On Larry's concerned
look the scene fades.
- Balki still mentions his big office, secretary
and big desk before saying he's living the life of Pat Riley. But as in
the previous version, the line about bringing back "The Munsters" is
not in this script.
- When Mr. Wainwright tells Larry to have the head
of editorial services call him later to do lunch, then turns to Balki and Balki
says, "But, Mr. Wainwright. It's me, Balki Bartokomous."
"I know who you are," Mr. Wainwright assures Balki. "I
mean, I'm the new Head of Editorial Services," Balki explains.
- After Larry and Balki push Mr. Wainwright under
the desk, Larry says to Balki, "Okay, Balki, let's get him" about
Glover. After Mr. Glover is angry and tells Larry he needs to write the
article again his way, Larry asks, "Excuse me, Mr. Glover, what exactly
didn't you like about it?" "Everything," Glover answers.
This is when Larry says he simply told the truth about how Mr. Glover is
implementing the American Dream program.
- After Balki states that Mr. Glover feels that
people who weren't both in America have no right to work here, Mr. Glover says,
"Oh, you foreigners can work here, but at the bottom of the ladder.
The real jobs should go to real Americans. Am I coming through loud and
clear?" Behind Glover's back, Larry gives Balki a high-five.
The rest of the episode is the same.
on to the next episode . . .