Perfect Strangers Episode Guide

EPISODE 96 - Digging Up the News

First Air Date: May 4, 1990
Filming Date: March 10, 1990
Nielsen Rating: 12.5 HH

Co-Producer: James O’Keefe
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Barry O’Brien & Cheryl Alu
Directed by: Joel Zwick

Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton

Guest Cast:
F.J. O’Neil: Mr. R.T. Wainwright
Rick Hurst: Uncle Shaggy
Lisa Raggio: Paula Silver (Producer)
Bradley Fisher: Stage Manager
Trisha Peters: Frenchie
Danny Castle: Hot Dog

Dimitri Appearances: Dimitri is not seen in this episode.

"It’s Uncle Shaggy in the fur!"
"Cousin, it’s muzak in my ears."
"Don’t tell me . . . ‘Jailhouse Rock?’"
"And if she thinks she’s going to fire Uncle Shaggy she’ll have to do it over my dumb body."
"I don’t think his age is the issue."
"The thought of never seeing Uncle Shaggy on TV again has made me lose my appetizers."

Don’t be ridiculous: Said once in this episode.

Other catchphrases used in this episode:
Balki’s "Huh?"
"Where do I come up with them?" (mouthed but not said)

Other running jokes used in this episode:
Balki hugs someone instead of shaking hands
Balki laughs at his own joke
Larry tricks Balki into doing something wrong
Balki cries to get what he wants

"Put On Your Sunday Clothes" - sung by Balki and Larry at the beginning of the episode.

Interesting facts:
The musical number at the beginning of this episode, "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" from Hello, Dolly, is undoubtedly one diggingupgrab02.jpg (38304 bytes) of the fan favorites from the entire series.  And it’s even more amazing when you consider Bronson and Mark performed it in just one take!  And for anyone who's ever wondered, brilliantine is a mixture of oil and perfume which was used as a hair grooming product, invented at the turn of the 20th century.
- Cousin Dabbzygirl pointed out this interesting fact . . . in the episode Balki says that the show Uncle Shaggy's Dog House debuted on March 10, 1980 and that it was the show's tenth anniversary.  She pointed out that the episode was filmed on March 10, 1990!  So Balki (or rather Bronson) was being very specific in his dates!
- Once again, stock footage of the Phister Theater is used as the theater where Uncle Shaggy’s Dog House is taped.  We last saw the theater being used for the pilot episode of Lydia Live! in the episode Almost Live from Chicago earlier this season.  Amazingly (or maybe not so amazingly) the same two guys in vintage clothing are seen in front of the box office.  In  fact, it must have taken them a long time to get their tickets, because during the next establishing shot which takes place days later they’re just walking into the theater (which is odd since the show doesn’t even have a live audience!)
- Television fans may recognize Rick Hurst who played Uncle Shaggy in this episode from his stint as County Deputy Cletus Hogg on several seasons of The Dukes of Hazzard.  He also appeared as Santa Claus in an episode of Family Matters entitled Christmas is Where the Heart Is.  Over his long acting career he also appeared on Sanford and Son, The Partridge Family, The Bob Newhart Show, Love, America Style, Gunsmoke, Kojak, Happy Days, Little House on the Prairie, M*A*S*H, Highway to Heaven, The Wonder Years and Melrose Place, to name but a few!
- Lisa Raggio, who played the heartless producer, also played a recurring part on Married With Children and appeared on episodes of Mike Hammer, It's a Living, Murphy Brown, Coach, ER and NYPD Blue.  She has also done quite a bit of voice work for animation over the years, including G.I. Joe, Animaniacs, Mighty Mouse, the New Adventures, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters,The Tick, The Wild Thornberrys and
Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?
- Trisha Peters, who played Frenchie, has gone on to become quite a notable stunt woman and was the main stunt double for Michele Pfeifer in Batman Returns.  Danny Castle, who played Hot Dog, also continues to do stunts for film and television and appeared in a trapeze act in Batman Forever.
- This episode is very reminiscent of a classic Happy Days episode in which Richie Cunningham strives for a chance to interview Buffalo Bob Smith of The Howdy Doody Show and ends up taking a photograph of Clarabelle the Clown without makeup, which Life magazine subsequently wants to purchase.  Richie has to battle with his conscience when he realizes what such a photograph could do to Clarabelle’s career.
diggingupgrab33.jpg (53465 bytes)-
This was one of the rare instances where a photo appeared underneath the end credits which was taken from a scene cut from the show itself. It shows Balki and Larry wearing the dog noses Uncle Shaggy gave them at the end and howling.  This scene was indeed filmed but cut from the final show.  To read some of the edited scenes, go to the Script Variations below.  And to read a complete report on the filming of this episode, check out our exclusive On the Scene . . . report.

Bloopers and Inconsistencies:
diggingupgrab06.jpg (50526 bytes)-
When we see the cover of the entertainment section of the newspaper, it includes a photo of Uncle Shaggy and the headline "Uncle Shaggy Unmasked," but the story is apparently inside the section.  However there’s nothing on the cover that indicates the story is inside.  And it’s odd there is nothing on the front of the section to indicate it is the Chicago Chronicle.  Don’t most newspapers include their names throughout the paper?

The episode begins in the basement of the Chicago Chronicle.  Balki is sitting at his worktable, singing "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" from Hello, Dolly with great energy as he sorts the mail.  "Put on your Sunday clothes, there’s lots of world out there!  Get out your brilliantine and dime cigars!  We’re going to find adventure in the evening air . . . "  Larry comes out of the elevator and hurries to Balki’s desk, trying to tell him something.  "Balki, I have great news!"  Balki holds out his hand and then jumps up and continues singing.  "Girls in white in the perfumed night . . . "  Larry finally joins in, and he and Balki perform the rest of the song like a Broadway number, dancing around the basement.  " . . . where the lights are bright as the stars!  Put on your Sunday clothes, we're gonna ride through town in one of those new horse drawn open cars.  We'll see the shows at Delmonicos and we'll close the town in a whirl, and we won't come home . . . and we won’t come home . . . and we won’t come home until we've kissed a girl!"

They end with a flourish on the staircase.  "That was fun, huh?" Balki asks.  "Well, at least we’re not doing ‘Cats’ any more," Larry sighs.  Balki starts down the staircase and heads back to his table, humming the song, when Larry suddenly remembers he had something to tell him.  "Oh, Balki!  Balki . . . I have great news.  My name was mentioned at the weekly editors’ meeting.  I’m not sure but I think they’re going to give me a big assignment."  "Cousin, that’s wonderful!" Balki says, "How you did get into the editor’s meeting?"  "Well, I wasn’t exactly in the meeting," Larry admits, "I was near the meeting."  "Cousin, you were listening through the vent in the men’s room again, weren’t you?" Balki guesses.  "You’re right," Larry agrees, "I shouldn’t do that.  When somebody turns on the hand dryer you can’t hear a thing."  Mr. Wainwright enters the basement and calls, "Appleton!"  "Yes, sir, Mr. Wainwright?" Larry asks, hurrying to his boss with Balki following.  "Your name was mentioned at the editors’ meeting," Mr. Wainwright says.  "He knows that," Balki interrupts, "and he would know why if you would just get rid of that noisy hand dryer."

"I have a special assignment for you," Mr. Wainwright continues.  "A special assignment?  That’s great, sir!" Larry replies, "You can count on me!"  "I want you to interview . . . Uncle Shaggy," Mr. Wainwright smiles.  Larry looks confused but Balki looks amazed.  "Uncle Shaggy?" Balki gasps.  "Uncle Shaggy?" Larry asks.  "He’s the host on that kids’ TV show," Mr. Wainwright explains.  "Uncle Shaggy’s Dog House!" Balki states.  "It’s the show’s tenth anniversary," Mr. Wainwright adds.  "First aired March 10th, 1980," Balki informs them.  "Appleton, Bartokomous seems to know more about this than you do," Mr. Wainwright notes, "You’d better take him with you."  "Yes!  Yes!" Balki cries, grabbing Larry’s shoulders, "Take him with you!"  Mr. Wainwright checks his watch and says, "And you’re expected at the TV show in two hours."  He walks away.  "Cousin, you . . . you were right," Balki smiles, "He is give you the best assignment you ever had."  "The best assignment I ever had?" Larry sighs unhappily, "Balki, I’m interviewing a man who wears a dog suit."

We see the Phister theater with the marquee reading, "Uncle Shaggy’s Dog House - Taping Today."  Inside the studio we see Uncle Shaggy taping his show.  He is dressed as a dog wearing a suit and is running on a treadmill.  He jumps off the treadmill and addresses the camera.  "Well, that’s the end of our run in the park!"  Uncle Shaggy howls.  "Now it’s time to look in Uncle Shaggy’s mail box."  He reaches in and pulls out an oversized envelope and reads it.  "Today’s letter is from Ryan Douglas, age six, and he wants to know . . . "  Uncle Shaggy continues to do his show as Balki and Larry walk onto the wings of the set.  Larry is taking down notes on a pad of paper.  "Cousin!  Cousin!  It’s him!" Balki says excitedly, "It’s Uncle Shaggy in the fur!  He’s at the Magic Mailbox.  Maybe he’ll read my letter!"  "Come on, Balki!  Concentrate," Larry says, "I really need your help here.  Now, how about this for a title?  ‘Uncle Shaggy: My Life as a Dog?’"  "No," Balki says immediately, "Been done."

"Balki, this is hopeless," Larry sighs, "Sam Donaldson couldn’t find an angle on this story."  "Cousin, remember what Uncle Shaggy always says," Balki offers, then speaks in a deeper voice like Uncle Shaggy’s as he quotes, "‘A difficult task falls into place when you start that job with a smile on your face!’"  Balki then howls like Uncle Shaggy.  " . . . and that’s why we always brush our teeth!" Uncle Shaggy finishes answering the letter, and then moves to the giant prop couch on the other set, "Okay, boys and girls, one more game of leap dog then Uncle Shaggy has to say soooo long!"  He howls again.  Two other actors in dog costumes, one a dachshund and the other a pink poodle, burst through a prop dog door and do somersaults across the set, then leap over each other, back and forth.  Finally they run around to the back of the couch where they use hidden trampolines to bounce over the back and end up sitting next to Uncle Shaggy.  All three let out with a howl.

"Say goodbye, Frenchie!" Uncle Shaggy says.  The pink poodle costumed woman barks and waves at the camera.  "Say goodbye, Hot Dog!" Uncle Shaggy tells the man in the dachshund costume, and he barks and waves as well.  "Bye bye, boys and girls," Uncle Shaggy offers, and they all wave and howl at the camera.  Offstage, Balki howls and waves at them.  Uncle Shaggy looks to see who has howled and sees Balki, who is smiling broadly and still waving.  "And we’re off the air," the stage manager calls out.  A female producer with a clipboard named Paula Silver walks onto the set and calls, "Okay, everyone, that’s a wrap!"  Before the actors leave, the producer eyes the woman in costume and says, "Frenchie, you’re looking a little chunky.  Lay off the table scraps."  Frenchie growls and snaps at Paula before walking away.  Uncle Shaggy is walking off the set when Larry and Balki approach him.

"Excuse me," Larry says, offering his hand to shake, "uh, Uncle Shaggy?  My name is, uh, Larry Appleton from the Chicago Chronicle.  And this is Balki Bartokomous."  "Pleased to meet you," Uncle Shaggy smiles, offering his hand to Balki.  Balki is in awe.  "Uncle Shaggy, I . . . I . . . I can’t believe that . . . that it’s you!  I watch your show every week!"  Balki gives Uncle Shaggy a hug.  "Good dog, Uncle Shaggy!" Balki says, and he scratches Uncle Shaggy on the neck while Uncle Shaggy acts like a dog enjoying it.  Balki then scratches Uncle Shaggy’s chest and Uncle Shaggy kicks his leg the way I dog would.  Balki then starts scratching Uncle Shaggy’s ear and he and Uncle Shaggy both laugh.  Balki turns to Larry and says, "Don’t mind us.  We’re just laughin’ and scratchin’."  Balki laughs at his own joke and mouths, "Where do I come up with them?"  Balki turns back to Uncle Shaggy and asks, "Uncle Shaggy, do you mind if I sniff around your house?"

"Not at all," Uncle Shaggy assures him, "Make yourself at home."  Balki runs around the couch to explore.  "He’s your biggest fan," Larry explains.  Balki returns, carrying an oversized prop sneaker and an oversized prop frisbee.  "Cousin, look!  It’s . . . it’s Uncle Shaggy’s frisbee and his favorite sneaker!  I . . . I can’t believe I’m actually holding things that have been in Uncle Shaggy’s mouth!"  "Well, I can see how that would be very special for you, Balki," Larry smiles patiently, then distracts him by saying, "Ah, uh, Balki, look!  Did you see the park?  Why . . . why don’t you go for a run in the park?  That’d be fun!  Huh?"  "I’ll go through the doggie door!" Balki smiles, and he run and jumps through the dog door into the next set.  "So, that’s Balki Bartokomous," Uncle Shaggy says, then adds, "I always wondered who wrote those letters."  He turns back to Larry.  "My producer said something about an interview?"

"Well, yeah, my paper would like to do a piece on your tenth anniversary," Larry explains.  "Oh, that’s great," Uncle Shaggy smiles, "Give me a few minutes to get out of my costume then we can talk.  But don’t bring the camera.  I’m never photographed without my makeup."  "Well, it might be fun for the kids to see what you really look like," Larry suggests.  "No, no . . . I never allow pictures," Uncle Shaggy insists.  "Okay, I won’t take any pictures," Larry promises.  "I’ll see you in ten minutes for the interview," Uncle Shaggy smiles, "But no cameras."  "Okay, no cameras, no pictures," Larry agrees.  "Thanks," Uncle Shaggy says and he walks backstage.  After he’s gone, Larry says to himself, "I gotta get a picture."  Balki starts to cry out, "Cousin!  Help!"  He is running at full speed on the treadmill.  Larry rushes in and pulls Balki off the treadmill.  "Thank you," Balki pants, "I just did zero to sixty in nine point two seconds."

Recovered, Balki points out, "Cousin . . . the Canine Couch.  Do you think Uncle Shaggy allows humans on it?"  "Let’s take a chance," Larry motions.  They walk back to the house set and climb up on the gigantic couch, looking tiny upon it.  Balki reaches down and picks up some dog hair, saying, "Cousin, look.  Uncle Shaggy sheds."  "Balki, I just had a great idea for an angle on this story," Larry says.  "Male pattern baldness in dogs?" Balki asks.  "No," Larry replies, "No.  But you’re really starting to think like a reporter."  Balki scoffs and laughs, saying, "Oh, I don’t know . . . "  "You know, I think a great angle on this story would be to get a picture of Uncle Shaggy without his makeup," Larry says.  "Cousin, that’s a great idea!" Balki agrees, imagining the headline, "‘The Man Behind the Nose and Ears.’"  "Yeah," Larry agrees, then sighs, "Too bad we can’t get the picture."

"Why not?" Balki asks. "Well, it seems Uncle Shaggy is a, uh, little camera shy," Larry explains, "Especially around reporters." "Well, true geniuses often are," Balki nods thoughtfully. "If only there was someone who wasn’t a reporter," Larry sighs, "Someone who’s a big fan of his. Someone who could get a picture of Uncle Shaggy without his makeup. Ooh, what a story that would be." "Right up there with the tearing down of the Berlin Wall," Balki sighs, "Well, I guess we’ll just have to do without a picture. Too bad." Balki is about to jump down off the couch when Larry stops him. "Wait a minute! Are you saying that if you were to hang around Uncle Shaggy after the interview, distract him with some idle fan chatter and then at the right moment, and this is the important part, Uncle Shaggy must not know what you are doing, you could snap the picture? Is that what you’re saying?" Balki looks startled. "I must have blacked out," he deduces, "I . . . I didn’t hear me say that." "Well, Balki, that is a great idea!" Larry says enthusiastically.

"Well, thank you very much," Balki smiles humbly, "I . . . I do try."  "Too bad it wouldn’t work," Larry adds.  "Why?  Why not?" Balki asks.  "Well, it just wouldn’t work," Larry says.  "But . . . but . . . but you just said it was a great idea," Balki reminds him, "You have a plenty of great ideas that don’t work.  Why I can’t have one?"  "Well, Balki, you can’t take the picture," Larry says, "You’re not a real reporter."  "Well, I . . . let me take the picture, Cousin."  Balki grabs Larry’s camera, which is fastened to a strap around Larry’s neck.  "No," Larry says.  "Please, I want to take the picture!"  "I know you do," Larry says.  "I want to take the picture," Balki insists, putting the strap around his neck as well, "I want to take the picture.  Please!  Please"  "No!  No!  No!" Larry repeats.  Balki starts to cry.  "Well, okay," Larry finally says.  Balki smiles and Larry takes the camera strap from around his own neck.  "Thank you," Balki says.  "But only because it means so much to you," Larry adds.  "I owe you one," Balki smiles, then looks at Larry through the camera’s viewfinder.

The next day at the apartment, Larry and Balki are reading the newspaper which shows a photo of Uncle Shaggy without makeup and the headline, "Uncle Shaggy Unmasked."  Larry is holding up the paper as they sit on the couch, then lowers it.  "‘Story by Larry Appleton . . . Photo by Balki Bartokomous,’" Larry reads aloud, "Sounds pretty good, huh?"  "Cousin, it’s muzak in my ears," Balki smiles, "Thank you again for giving me my first photo opportunity."  "Well, you don’t have to thank me," Larry says, "The cufflinks and the money clip were enough."  Larry hands the paper to Balki when there is a knock at the door.  Larry gets up to answer it. Uncle Shaggy enters, looking angry.  "Well, Uncle Shaggy!  What a surprise!" Larry exclaims.

"Uncle Shaggy, welcome to our home!" Balki greets him with a hug, "You . . . you want to get on our sofa?  You want to chew my sneaker?"  Balki lifts his leg which Uncle Shaggy catches.  Uncle Shaggy drops Balki’s leg and says seriously, "I’m not here for fun.  How dare you print this picture."  "Uh oh," Balki says worriedly, "I didn’t capture your best side?  I could take another one."  "You had no business taking his one, Balki," Uncle Shaggy says.  "Oh come on, Shaggy," Larry interrupts, "I know you’re a little sensitive about the make up thing but you’re a public person.  This is great publicity for you."  "Yeah, great publicity!" Uncle Shaggy scoffs, "Because of this picture I’ve been fired."  On Balki and Larry’s reactions, the scene fades to black.

Act two begins where act one left off.  "They fired you because of this picture?" Larry asks with surprise.  "I . . . uh, all right, it’s a little out of focus and the lighting’s dim but . . . that’s not your fault," Balki says.  "I got fired because somebody recognized me from this picture and called the station," Uncle Shaggy explains.  "Well, why would they fire you?" Larry asks.  "I have a prison record," Uncle Shaggy says.  "Don’t tell me . . . ‘Jailhouse Rock?’" Balki guesses, "I love that record."  "Balki, Balki," Larry sighs, "A prison record doesn’t mean a recording.  It means he was in prison."  "Why you were in prison?" Balki asks.  "Twenty years ago I got into some financial trouble," Uncle Shaggy recounts, "I tried to get out of it by writing bad checks.  I thought my past was behind me and it was until you printed this picture."  "Well . . . well, they can’t fire you for something you did twenty years ago," Larry says.

"Tell that to the producer," Uncle Shaggy sighs, "She says parents don’t want their kids watching an ex-con.  So tomorrow’s my last day in the Dog House.  Why did you do this?  I told you I didn’t want my picture taken."  Balki is shocked and turns to Larry to ask, "Cousin, he told you that?"  "I . . . I’m sorry," Larry offers, "This . . . this is all my fault.  I . . . I didn’t know that’s why you didn’t want your picture taken."  "I thought I could trust you," Uncle Shaggy says in a hurt voice, "I guess I was wrong."  He leaves the apartment, closing the door behind him.  "Cousin, we . . . we can’t let them do that to Uncle Shaggy," Balki insists.  "I feel terrible but there’s nothing we can do about it," Larry sighs.  "Yes . . . yes there is!" Balki argues, "We . . . we can go right down to that TV studio and talk to Uncle Shaggy’s producer.  And if she thinks she’s going to fire Uncle Shaggy she’ll have to do it over my dumb body."

The next day, Balki and Larry step onto the Uncle Shaggy set.  "Cousin, there she is," Balki says, pointing to Paula Silver, "There’s the producer.  Now we have to go talk to her . . . we have to go tell her no way can she fire Uncle Shaggy."  Balki starts for the producer but Larry stops him.  "Balki, now I know this means a lot to you.  I know you’re upset.  But remember, you have to stay calm."  Balki steels himself then says, "Well, of course I will.  Don’t be ridiculous."  Balki walks over to the producer, looking calm, then at the last second he throws himself at her feet, grasping her ankles and crying, "Please don’t fire Uncle Shaggy!  Please, please, please, please!"   "Why is this person wrapped around my feet?" the producer asks Larry.  "I’m Larry Appleton from the Chicago Chronicle," Larry says, shaking her hand, "And, uh, this is Balki Bartokomous."  Balki reaches up awkwardly to shake her hand as well.

"We came down to talk about Uncle Shaggy," Larry explains, "We really don’t think you should take him off the air."  "I’m not taking Uncle Shaggy off the air," the producer says.  "Well, that was easy," Balki sighs, getting back to his feet, "Maybe we should try to get him a raise."  "The Uncle Shaggy Show stays," the producer explains, "I’m just getting a different actor to play him."  "We’d like to see the old Uncle Shaggy keep his job," Larry says.  "Are you crazy?" the producer cries, "He’s a convicted felon!  I don’t want any controversy.  I’m replacing him."  "But you cannot!  You cannot replace Uncle Shaggy just like that," Balki argues, "Uncle Shaggy is more than just a pair of floppy ears."  Balki pulls up the producers hair to imitate ears.  "More than a set of whiskers."  He pulls on her cheeks.  "More than a press-on nose."  He presses her nose.  "More than a tail!"  The producer gasps and jumps back slightly, covering her rear with her clipboard.

"Balki," Larry stops him, then says, "What my friend is trying to say is that Uncle Shaggy has a special place in the hearts of his fans."  "They’re kids," the producer scoffs, "They’ll get over it.  Excuse me."  The producer walks away.  Balki sighs, then asks, "Cousin, what are we going to do?"  "Well, we still have the power of the press behind us," Larry notes.  Balki turns to look behind them but sees nothing.  "I’m gonna write an article exposing this whole thing," Larry says.  "Well, Cousin, we don’t have time to wait for an article," Balki points out, "We have do something today."  "Well, Balki, what are we gonna do?" Larry asks, "Go on TV and tell the kids that Uncle Shaggy has been 86'd?"  "I don’t think his age is the issue," Balki says, "But we could go on TV and tell the kids that Uncle Shaggy has been fired."  "Balki, we can’t do that," Larry states.  At that moment the actors who play Frenchie and Hot Dog walk by.  "We could if we were dogs," Balki notes.  Larry catches on to what Balki is suggesting and says, "Oh no!  No no no!"  Balki leads Larry backstage.

Some time later Balki walks onto the set dressed as Hot Dog.  He turns to look behind him and calls, "Pssst!"  Larry comes out dressed as Frenchie, looking woefully humiliated.  "I don’t believe this," Larry complains, "First I have to interview a man in a dog suit, now I am a man in a dog suit."  The stage manager calls, "We’re back in five, four, three, two . . . "  Uncle Shaggy takes his place on the giant couch as the taping resumes.  "Welcome back, puppies and hounds!"  Uncle Shaggy addresses the camera, "Wasn’t that some great cartoon?"  He laughs deeply then he hears barking from offstage.  "Uh oh!  I think I hear Frenchie and Hot Dog!"  Uncle Shaggy watches as Frenchie and Hot Dog burst through the dog door, realizing immediately something is strange.  They try to perform their usual routine of jumping and rolling but it looks awkward and amateurish.  On the last jump over, Balki manages to roll into Larry’s legs, knocking him off his feet.

Larry and Balki pose in front of the couch and then Balki does a cartwheel.  Larry also does a cartwheel but lands flat on his back.  They run around to the back of the couch, then leap up and over, Balki landing on his back and Larry sliding down off the couch and face first to the floor.  Uncle Shaggy, having realized what is happening, tries to cover.  He howls, as do Balki and Larry.  "Well, boys and girls, it looks like Frenchie and Hot Dog are not themselves today."  Uncle Shaggy slips off the couch to get away from them, saying, "So I think Uncle Shaggy’s gonna have to run to the park . . . "  Balki is holding onto Shaggy’s tail, which Shaggy has to wrench free before he can exit.  He finally does, shouting, " . . . alone!"  He goes through the dog door and jumps onto the treadmill, but Balki and Larry are close behind him.  Balki runs alongside the treadmill while Larry stands in front of it, simply moving his arms to make it looks like he’s running.

"Didn’t you hear me, Frenchie and Hot Dog?" Uncle Shaggy says, "I said I’m going to the park alone!"  Uncle Shaggy jumps off the treadmill and hurries away.  "But Uncle Shaggy . . . whoa!" Balki cries, as he leaps onto the running treadmill and is swept backward.  He grabs onto Larry and they both fly back off the set.  Uncle Shaggy stops in front of a prop bench and addresses the camera, as Balki and Larry run up and stand beside him.  "Time for a commercial, boys and girls.  Let’s hear from Water Wonder Backyard Pools.  Remember kids, Water Wonder is impervious to mildew and rot."  "We’re into commercial!" the stage manager calls out.  "What are you two doing here?" Uncle Shaggy demands, "Haven’t you done enough?"  "Listen, Shaggy, we’re here because we want to tell the kids at home about what’s going on," Larry explains.  "Aw, it’s too late," Uncle Shaggy sighs, "You make a mistake, you pay for it the rest of your life."  "No, no, that’s not true," Balki argues, "Come on, Uncle Shaggy.  You have to give the fans a chance to show how much they love you."  "Look, I’ve got two minutes of show time left," Uncle Shaggy sighs, "Let me finish it with some dignity and get outta here."

"Shaggy, you’re on in three, two . . . " the stage manager counts down.  "Welcome back, puppies and hounds!" Uncle Shaggy greets the camera, then he tries to lead Larry and Balki off the set, "Frenchie and Hot Dog were just leaving."  "No, no, wait a minute!" Larry stops, talking to the camera, "Boy and girls, and any parents out there, I have an important announcement to make!"  Uncle Shaggy grabs a rolled up newspaper and hits Larry over the head with it, scolding, "Down, Frenchie!  Bad dog!"  Uncle Shaggy pulls Larry away but Balki steps in front of the camera.  Uncle Shaggy starts back for Balki but Larry holds him back.  "Boys and girls, are you listening?" Balki asks.  "Shaggy, thirty seconds!" the stage manager whispers.  "A long time ago Uncle Shaggy was a bad dog," Balki continues, "But now he’s a good dog and, uh . . . they want to . . . to give his nose and ears to somebody else, but we cannot let that happen because . . . "  "Twenty seconds!" the stage manager calls. " . . . because Uncle Shaggy is . . . "

Larry runs to Balki and cries, "Balki, we’re running out of time!"  But Balki is so flustered he can’t get out what he wants to say, stammering, " . . . is . . . Uncle Shaggy . . . "  Larry hits Balki over the head with the newspaper, then addresses the camera.  "Listen, kids and any parents out there, a long time ago Uncle Shaggy went to jail because of something that he’s very sorry he did.  But that’s behind him now and he’s changed his life."  "But now his boss wants to fire him," Balki adds.  "So if you love Uncle Shaggy," Larry continues.  "And we know you do!" Balki inserts.  "Then call this station right now and tell them that you want him to stay," Larry finishes.  "And we’re off the air," the stage manager says.  "We’re off the air?" Balki asks.  "Yes," the stage manager confirms.  Balki grabs the rolled up newspaper from Larry and hits him over the head with it.  "Thanks, guys," Uncle Shaggy sighs, "Now everyone in the world knows I’m an ex-con."  He walks off the set sadly.

That night at the apartment, Larry and Balki are at the dining table but Balki isn’t eating.  "Balki, you’ve barely touched your food," Larry sighs, "I’ve never seen you turn up your nose at pig snout."  "I just . . . the thought of never seeing Uncle Shaggy on TV again has made me lose my appetizers," Balki says sadly.  "Well, Balki, we did everything we could," Larry points out, "We put on dog suits . . . we sat up and begged on television.  It just didn’t work."  There is a knock at the door and Larry goes to answer it.  Uncle Shaggy enters, looking serious.  "Uncle Shaggy!" Larry says with surprise.  "Hi, Larry . . . hi, Balki," Uncle Shaggy says, stopping in the middle of the living room.  "Hi, Uncle Shaggy," Balki replies.  After a moment Uncle Shaggy happily exclaims, "They gave me my job back!"  Larry and Balki cry, "Oh!" and each give the man a hug.  "That’s wonderful!" Balki smiles.  "W . . . w . . . what happened?" Larry asks.

"Well, thanks to you the station was flooded with hundreds of calls, telegrams, kids showed up with picket signs," Uncle Shaggy explains, "It seems you were right. I have lots of fans out there."  "Well, we tried to tell you that but you wouldn’t listen," Balki says.  "Thanks a lot, guys," Uncle Shaggy offers.  "Hey, why you don’t stay and we’ll celebrate with some pig snout?" Balki suggests.  He tries to pull Uncle Shaggy to the table but the man doesn’t budge.  "Uh . . . tempting," Uncle Shaggy says, "But I gotta go.  I gotta go to the dry cleaners and pick up my ears."  "Oh," Balki says. "I really want to thank you for what you did," Uncle Shaggy smiles, "You saved my tail."  "Well, it’s the least we could do," Larry smiles.  "Oh . . . I thought you might like these," Uncle Shaggy says, reaching into his pockets and pulling out two dog noses on strings.  "Swell," Larry smiles politely.  "My own dog nose," Balki says, moved to tears, "I love this country."  On their expressions, the episode ends.

Script Variations:
There were a few variations in the Shooting Draft script dated March 9, 1990 which weren't in the final episode:
After Balki and Larry perform their musical number, Balki asks, "That was fun, huh?"  "Well, at least you're past your Evita stage," Larry replies.
After Balki guesses that Larry was listing to the editors' meeting from the men's room and that if someone turns on the hand dryer you can't hear anything, he goes on to say, "I still don't know what the big assignment is.  It must be the Senate bribery scandal.  Balki, this is the break I've been waiting for."  "I thought the break you were waiting for was a pill that makes you tall," Balki notes.  "That's a 'break through,'" Larry clarifies.
After Larry sighs with frustration that he's interviewing a man who wear a dog suit, Balki adds, "And that's not all.  He also wears floppy ears and rubber paws.  We'll meet his two pals, Frenchie and Hot Dog."  "Oh boy," Larry sighs.  "Maybe he'll read us stories and show us cartoons," Balki continues, "Cousin, this is the stuff dreams are made of."  "Yeah," Larry says sarcastically, "we're staring Camelot right in the face."  "Oh, I love Camelot," Balki says, "You know it was strange that for a musical called Camelot, there wasn't a camel in the whole cast."
After Larry says he needs Balki's help, he writes in his notebook and says, "How's this for a headline: 'Uncle Shaggy - Ten Years in the Dog House.'  Too depressing.  Alright, how about this: 'Uncle Shaggy - What Makes This Dog Tick.'  No.  Too parasitic.  Alright, how about this: 'Uncle Shaggy - My Life as a Dog.'"  Balki then tells Larry it's been done.  After Balki quotes Uncle Shaggy about how to do a difficult job, Larry says, "Thanks.  I'll keep that in mind."
After Larry tells Shaggy that Balki is his biggest fan, Uncle Shaggy notes, "Certainly the tallest."  In this version of the script, Shaggy doesn't say he always wondered who wrote those letters.
After Larry rescues Balki from the treadmill, Balki says, "I just did zero to sixty in nine point two seconds.  Of course, city mileage may vary."
After Larry tells Balki that Uncle Shaggy is camera shy, especially around reporters, Balki says, "True geniuses often are.  But look at it this way, at least you could get the interview which puts you ahead of your normal pace."  "Yeah, but a picture would really make this special," Larry says, and then he says if only there was just someone who wasn't a reporter to take the picture.
After Balki guesses that the prison record Uncle Shaggy has is "Jailhouse Rock," he adds, "I know it's a little controversial but it hardly seems ground for dismissal."
After Uncle Shaggy explains about how he wrote bad checks he adds, "But since then I've changed my life."  Then he comments about he thought his past was behind him until the picture was printed.
At the beginning of the scene where Larry and Balki go to the studio to try to convince the producer to keep Uncle Shaggy, it begins with the producer talking to the stage manager.  "Miles," she says.  (Note: Miles is the name of the first assistant director on the show, so this was an in-joke)  "Yes, Paula," the stage manager replies.  "Tell Spuds McKenzie's people we'll get back to them about his guest shot.  Oh, and tell him no limo."
In this version of the script, Larry and Balki both refer to the producer as Miss Silver.  After she tells them she's just getting a different actor to play Uncle Shaggy, Balki says, "A new Uncle Shaggy?  You can't do that.  That's like replacing Walter Cronkite with Dan Rather.  I just don't buy it."
After Larry bemoans that he is a man in a dog suit, Balki says, "It's for a good cause, Cousin."  "It cost my fifty dollars to pay off Frenchie and Hot Dog and I have to be the poodle?" Larry complains, "Why do I have to be the poodle?"  "Cousin, if the tutu fits, wear it," Balki says, then laughs at his own joke and exclaims, "Where do I come up with them?"  Balki then slaps Larry, trying to get him to join his laughter.  "Let's just get it over with, okay?" Larry asks, "We'll go out there, tell the kids at home the facts and get off."
When Balki gets his moment to talk to the camera, after he says, "But they want to give his nose and ears to somebody else," he continues, "We can't let that happen because Uncle Shaggy is more than just a pair of ears, more than a cold nose, more than a couple of rubber paws, more than a little tail, and cute whiskers with tiny bits of food on them . . . "
After they're off the air, the producer walks up to them and says, "Well, that was very moving.  Shaggy, you're still fired."
After Uncle Shaggy gives Larry and Balki the dog noses and Balki says, "I love this country," the directions read: "Balki and Uncle Shaggy put on the noses.  They look at Larry.  He reluctantly puts on his nose.  Uncle Shaggy barks.  Balki howls.  They both look to Larry expectantly.  Larry, resigned, barks and howls.

The scripts for the TGIF promos which aired March 16, 1990 were included in this script and shot after the filming of this episode.  You can view the script pages for these promos below and you can also view these spots on our YouTube Channel!

tgifscript031690-1.jpg (76981 bytes)    tgifscript031690-2.jpg (74001 bytes)    tgifscript031690-3.jpg (70788 bytes)    tgifscript031690-4.jpg (70438 bytes)    tgifscript031690-5.jpg (76009 bytes)

Continue on to the next episode . . .