The Tuscaloosa News
March 4, 1988

   Bumbling 'Perfect Strangers' Moves to New Slot
By Faye Zuckerman, N.Y. Times News Service

As most viewers know, ABC's 'Perfect Strangers' has the drawn material of the legendary comedy team of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy to make a big splash on TV.  For this series' first episode on its new day and time (at 8 p.m. on Channel 7), the bumbling cousins (Mark Linn-Baker and Bronson Pinchot) deliver a classic sidesplitting Laurel-and-Hardy routine.

Larry (Linn-Baker) perfectly mimics obstinate Hardy's famous slow burns.  As a Laurel knockoff, Balki (Pinchot) personifies Laurel's unassuming, naive manner, which means he can't dissuade Larry from any of his half-baked schemes.

In tonight's show, Larry brags that he is capable of installing a new shower head as any plumber.  To prove his point he cancels Jennifer's (Melanie Wilson) appointment with a plumber and persuades Balki to watch "a master at work."

Naturally, Jennifer's bathroom is transformed into a disaster area.  (The cousins inadvertently break pipes, smash holes through the tile and end up knee-deep in water.)  One calamity after another makes for a flood of refreshing, escapist humor.

According to the series' supervising producer William Bickley, tonight's show is the "funniest this season in terms of physical humor."  He's right.  (It was postponed from an earlier date, and is well worth the wait.)

"Mark and Bronson can do some amazingly difficult physical comedy," he adds.  "They (Linn-Baker and Pinchot) have such versatility we can offer a variety of comedy."  As the season comes to a close, Bickley reports, evidence of the actors' varied styles will become even more apparent.

[Editor's note: We believe this last comment is in reference to the episode Bye, Bye Biki, which would air a few weeks later.]