Times Daily
April 2, 1988

 Bronson Pinchot Plunges Ahead

by Frank Lovece

Bronson Pinchot, whose series "Perfect Strangers" has just moved from Wednesday to Friday night on ABC, swears the move came as a surprise.

"I read about it in the newspaper," he says.  "They didn't tell me or my manager."  But like his character, Balki, Pinchot accepts the inevitable and plunges ahead.  "It's easier," he says, "to get your audience to follow you from 'Beverly Hills Cop' -- his first break -- "to a TV show than from Wednesday to Friday night.  But the (new) competition isn't very tough," he adds, referring to "Beauty and the Beast" and "Highwayman."

Pinchot, whose exuberantly innocent Balki provides constant frustration for cousin-roommate Larry (Mark Linn-Baker), is used to sudden transitions.  He was a starving New York actor / typist after graduating from Yale, and in little more than a year was a major supporting character in the hit movie "Risky Business."

After a short, uneventful span that netted him a few more films, he shot to stardom as Serge, the outrageous art-gallery employee in "Beverly Hills Cop."  In short order followed the series "Sara" and his current hit show.

Now 28 years old, Pinchot talks comfortably about "my show.  They came up with it specifically for me."  Nonetheless, he gives credit to co-star Baker, who was best known for his film "My Favorite Year."

"There's no way you could get what we have and not respect each other, and we love each other on top of that," Pinchot says.  But he admits, "Unless we're brain-dead eunuchs, there's no way we could be together as much as we are and not get on each others' nerves.

"There's this bit where we're handcuffed together," explains Pinchot.  "Old Lucy-Ethel type routine.  And we had a 25-minute fight because I wanted him to look thoughtful while I stroked his chin.  And Mark insisted that Larry wouldn't look thoughtful because he'd see Balki's hand.

"Well, we ended up really angry with each other for half a day," he says, "just like brothers who fight over something one of them says at Thanksgiving."  But they didn't wind up as strangers -- perfect or otherwise.