and Alabama Journal - TV Showtime
December 10 - 16, 1989
Pinchot is a Walking Funnybone
Scripps Howard News Service
Bronson Pinchot has
reduced life to a simple rule: "You just want it. And you do
It's a philosophy
that brought him from worrying about his one pair of tennis shoes six years ago
to a house in Malibu, a hit TV sitcom and his first starring role in a movie.
Mr. Pinchot, who
stars as the irrepressible Balki in "Perfect Strangers," is now flying
high in "Second Sight," as a seer with special insights that make him
valuable to a detective agency.
Mr. Pinchot says he
knows when something's funny, but not from the script. "I know it
from my body. The only tricky thing on television is you have to rehearse
it without an audience. If you do it for an audience, it's for eight
writers with furrowed brows who are sitting there trying to figure out how to
solve the writing problems.
"So you have to
say, 'OK, I know it's funny even though nobody's laughing. And when the
audience comes in, I know they'll laugh.'
say to myself 10 minutes before going on: 'Just be funny.' Forget trying
to hit the A, B and C of it. And just go out and be a walking funnybone."
He learned that from
making himself tall. At 5 foot 9, Mr. Pinchot is not exactly tall, but he
recalls a drama coach once telling him the secret to a scene was that he had to
At first Mr. Pinchot
resented it. So he rose to the occasion, so to speak. "As I
walked offstage I just said I was the tallest person who ever lived. I
don't know what I did, but the audience was just screaming. And I just was
tall and I was lurching around as if I were on stilts. That taught me a
Mr. Pinchot doesn't
have many kind words for ABC's "Perfect Strangers" today. He's
upset that rewrites happen until air time, leaving almost no margin for
Even if he has
second thoughts about TV, he's sure he wants to act in films. Though he
was in "Risky Business," "Flamingo Kid" and "After
Hours," "Second Sight" is really the first step to that dream.
you can make every moment happen totally. With TV you're just standing
there in this flat lighting with a script that was just written that day, with
an audience that was bused in from some shopping mall. The fact that any
of it works is a miracle."