January 11, 1990
his cast of crazy characters
By Tom Green - USA Today
CULVER CITY, Calif. -
Perfect Strangers has never become a smash hit, but co-star Bronson
Pinchot thinks it may not matter in the end.
disappointing," says the 30-year-old comedy actor who thinks ABC's Perfect
Strangers will find vindication in syndication. "On the other
hand, it's been a blessing. The show never achieved cult status, which
means I have a freer hand to go out and create characters."
Pinchot, who burst
into the public eye as the funny art gallery clerk in Beverly Hills Cop
before scoring as the innocent transplanted shepherd Balki on Perfect
Strangers, is doing four new characters in Jury Duty: The Comedy
(Sunday, 9 p.m. EST/PST), an ABC movie showcasing network stars.
Two of the
characters -- a Geraldo Riviera-esque reporter and a sexy concierge -- are
important additions to the cast of characters, Pinchot says. He also plays
an accountant and a snaggletoothed woman.
The act of creating
new characters for the camera after four comfortable years doing Balki on Perfect
Strangers almost paralyzed Pinchot.
"It made me
throw up. It was this psychosomatic throat thing. I was tied up in
the knot. Maybe I'd found the best character I've ever played in Balki.
"But I would
get up bleary-eyed and go in and sit in the makeup chair for two hours and
listen to Puccini and then wobble out on the soundstage and it would come
Pinchot had tried a
bizarre psychic in a feature film comedy before the holidays called Second
Sight, but it bombed.
"The movie was
sort of a limp movie, but I thought some critic would say there is some funny
comedy in this . . . But they just said it stinks."
He isn't worried
that flop will be held against him. "If I thought my talent had
eroded, I would have worried about it."
He plans to finish
this season and two more of Perfect Strangers and then seek out his own
starring series. (He's already thought of the title: The Bronson
"Because I know
TV, it would be a shame to throw it away. I refer to Perfect Strangers
as "Comedy College." It isn't everything I wanted it to be, but
it has been very educational."
is happy with the way the series in which he co-stars with Mark Linn-Baker is
doing. He wishes he could be more involved in the creation of the
episodes, but he admits he might be better off doing what he's told.
"We've done 90
episodes and you don't want to stay in the kitchen while Mom makes the cookies
anymore. But the fact is, when I'm allowed to fiddle with the batter,
sometimes my ideas aren't that great."