USA Today
January 7, 1987

He was 'Perfect' for the role
By Tom Green - USA Today

HOLLYWOOD - Who would have bet a Mypos dime that Mark Linn-Baker had the comic muscle to keep Perfect Strangers from becoming The Bronson Pinchot Show?

The ABC series (tonight, 8 EST/PST) was developed as a vehicle for Pinchot, the two-minute sensation from Beverly Hills Cop.  Enter the unassuming Linn-Baker, who appeared in Broadway's Doonesbury, just in from New York.

"Bronson's character was this total innocent who was blindly in love with everything," says Linn-Baker (the hyphenated name was necessary because Hollywood already had a Mark Baker).  The initial impulse was for my character to be really jaded and totally suspect of what is American.

"Then we came up with somebody who is equally innocent but more in tune with what is American.  And it turned into -- hopefully -- a classic comedy team along the lines of Burns and Allen or Laurel and Hardy."

The show has turned into a hit for beleaguered ABC.  Audiences have embraced Linn-Baker as the overwhelmed cousin of Pinchot, a shepherd from the island of Mypos.  Suddenly, the quiet pantomimist from Yale Repertory Theatre is caught up in the whirlwind of a TV series.

But Linn-Baker is sticking to his stage-trained ways.  His one concession to a California lifestyle: A car.

"The biggest change in my life . . . is that I never have to pay for a cup of coffee.  Wherever I go, the coffee is free."