FIFTH SEASON EXCERPTS

While attending the filmings of the different Perfect Strangers episodes, the audience enjoys watching the stories develop and are anxious to see their favorite jokes and bits again when the shows air on ABC.  However, frequently the show they films ends up being a bit too long and the editor must sacrifice certain jokes (the shows must be a very specific length, so much so they have to be accurately edited to the precise second!).  I thought it would be fun this time, instead of covering the filming of just one fifth season episode to pass on some of these lost scenes and jokes from several fifth season episodes!  Please note that since I did not know these particular scenes and jokes would be cut I did not take specific notes on them, so the wording of the actual joke may by changed slightly, but I think you will be able to get the general idea of just some of what we've missed.

Poetry in Motion - One of the favorite episodes among PS fans this season, this show featured some rather lengthy scenes, as is apparent in the final product.  However, two rather obvious things were dropped in the final cut.  When Balki and Larry got ready to follow the instructions left by "minor" poet, Lowell Kelly, they went to the front door to begin and Larry read out the first instruction: "From the front door with zest, first you take ten paces west."  Starting out, they began pacing in different directions.  Realizing this, both returned to the front door where Larry insisted Balki was going the wrong way.  Balki calmly pointed to the setting sun outside the kitchen window and claimed as far as he remembered the sun always sets in the west.  Larry admitted this was true, and they zestily walked toward the kitchen.  This also emphasized the following joke as they read the next direction in the kitchen and Larry pointed the wrong way.

One very lengthy sequence cut from the show was the actual story of The Great Gorge of Greed.  The story involved a man on Mypos (his exact name escapes me) who went on a search for gold.  He traveled very far to Mount Mypos and discovered the lost gold.  Ecstatic, he burdened himself down with the gold and headed home.  It was a long journey but he finally reached the opposite side of the river from his farm.  His family saw him returning at last and were so happy.  He yelled to them that he had found gold but his family was happy just to see him again.  As he hurriedly started to wade across the river the gold began to weigh him down and drag him under.  His family pleaded with him to toss away the gold and save himself but he couldn't do it and he drowned.  The river was so sad it dried up, leaving a huge gorge, which had come to be known as The Great Gorge of Greed.  Balki told Larry this story just before leaving him to decide whether or not to destroy the mural.

Hello, Ball - According to Cousins Carol and Cindy, who saw this episode filmed, it took a long time to complete the filming and quite a bit was cut from the final product.  Two of the funniest lost jokes involved further explanations of jokes actually used.  The fact that to play Bang-bong-poki-noki-wakka-yahoo you need twenty eight players on each team was touched upon but they left out the part where Balki explained their roles; one player to hit the ball and twenty-seven to run after and try to catch it.  Also explained was the reason Balki kept dumping all his golf clubs out of his bag at every hole . . . how else are you supposed to get the ball out?

Almost Live from Chicago - This episode also had some things cut out of the final show.  When Lydia disturbed the cousins in the middle of the night and Larry explained to Balki about Bunky McDermott, Balki then went back to bed while Larry went to the telephone and dialed.  In a disguised, "evil Larry" voice he asked if he had in fact reached Bunky McDermott, then asked if he had awakened him, and lastly said with glee, "Goooooood!"

At the taping of "Lydia Live!", Larry tricked Balki into going backstage to make sure he wouldn't be able to take Lydia home.  As they disappeared behind the curtain, it started billowing out as if they were fighting right behind it.  The fight went on for a little while, then stopped, and finally Balki stepped out, triumphantly brushing himself off.  As he was about to walk away, Larry grabbed Balki's ankles from under the curtain, pulling him down and then backstage.  This helped to explain why Larry looked so beaten up when he returned to Jennifer and Mary Anne in the audience.

Everyone in the Pool - One thing I was disappointed to not see in the final cut of this show took place when Larry was trying to help Balki relax so he would be able to pick the winning football team and save Larry's knees.  After getting Balki settled comfortably on the couch with Dimitri, Larry grabbed the paper and turned to see if Balki was ready to choose.  Instead, Balki was sound asleep.  Frustrated, Larry grabbed Dimitri and hit Balki on the head with him to wake him up.  And the same thing happened again a few moments later when Larry was rubbing Balki's temples . . . Balki fell asleep and Larry hit him on the head with Dimitri.  This is the real reason why Balki sat up so quickly in that shot.

Nightmare Vacation - This episode had one of the best lines cut from a show this season.  It was spoken by Mary Anne as she and Jennifer left the hotel room after finding out how terrible Club Paradise actually was.  She commented to Jennifer, "Remember when we thought Larry was the smart one?"

Three's a Crowd - A very funny occurrence happened during the filming of this episode and one which is probably every writer's nightmare!  After Jennifer and Mary Anne storm out of the room in a huff because of a fight over a board game, Larry turned to Balki and said, "Something went terribly wrong with this game!" and Balki calmly replied, "You know you're right?  The rules say to use two dice!"  It was the joke written to cap the scene and yet not one person in the audience laughed.  There was dead silence throughout the studio.  The director finally yelled, "Cut!" and Bronson looked at Mark like "Hoo boy, that one bombed!"  After a few minutes the scene was reshot and the last line was changed to "You know you're right?  I've been moving the wrong piece the whole time!"  The audience laughed that time but the entire joke was cut from the show anyway.

Also in this episode, as Mary Anne served them breakfast stewardess-style she asked Balki if he wanted eggs or pancakes.  Balki replied, "Pancakes, please," to which she remarked, "Good choice.  The eggs are awful."  This explains the look of disbelief on Larry's face when she informs him they are out of pancakes.  You might also have noticed that Larry sets Mary Anne's curling iron on the other side of the couch after sitting on it, and Balki later sits in the same spot.  Balki actually did sit on the curling iron, and he sat there with a wide-eyed expression until Larry figured out what was wrong and got it out from under him (you can catch just a second of Balki's look when Larry first sits down next to him).  Balki then explained he thought it might have been his Mr. Microphone and started singing into it.

He's the Boss - A lot of things were filmed for this episode but never used.  Most of them took place in Balki's luxurious office.  The scene originally opened with Balki playing ping-pong on his huge desk with Maria, his secretary.  As the game breaks up, she leaves and after a moment buzzes Balki from her desk.  Balki looks all over the place trying to figure out where the buzzing is coming from.  As Cousin Larry enters, Balki is eager to show him something and proceeds to sit back in his chair, pulling the height-adjustment lever.  As the chair slowly sinks he yells out (a la the Wicked Witch in "The Wizard of Oz") "I'm melting!  I'm melting!"  In the very beginning of the show, Balki was licking stamps and placing them on envelopes as he sang "The Balki Man."  When Gorpley came up to talk to him, Balki stood up to talk but discovered he still had a stamp stuck to his tongue (look closely . . . you can see the stamp doesn't leave his mouth the last time he passes it over his tongue!).

Here Comes the Judge - The bunny slippers were a great running joke throughout the episode, but two very cute bunny slipper jokes were cut.  When Lydia first gave them to Balki the first thing he did was slip one over his hand and lunge at her with it, exclaiming, "Killer bunnies!  Killer bunnies!"  This startled Lydia quite a bit!  After she exited, Larry realized what she was doing and planned to tell Balki but before he could explain what he wanted to say, Balki interrupted, "Cousin, I know, but don't worry.  I won't wear them (the slippers) to work."

In future issues we will continue to take you behind the scenes of episode filmings and fill you in on all of these wonderful "lost" jokes!

Continue to Better Shop Around filming