Perfect Strangers

Show Type: Sitcom

First Telecast: March 25, 1986

Last Telecast: August 6, 1993

Cast

Larry Appleton..... Mark Linn-Baker

Balki Bartokomous..... Bronson Pinchot

Mr. Donald "Twinkie" Twinkacetti (1986-1987)..... Ernie Sabella

Edwina Twinkacetti (1986-1987)..... Belita Moreno

Susan Campbell (1986)..... Lise Cutter

Mary Anne..... Rebeca Arthur

Jennifer..... Melanie Wilson

Harriette Winslow (1987-1989)..... Jo Marie Payton-France

Lydia Markham (1987-1992)..... Belita Moreno

Harry Burns (1987-1988)..... Eugene Roche

Mr. Sam Gorpley (1987-1992)..... Sam Anderson

Mr. Wainright (1989-1992)..... F.J. O'Neill

Tess Holland (1990)..... Alisan Porter

A slapstick comedy that explored the world of a newly arrived immigrant at the ways of America - "The land of the Whopper."

Balki was a young shepherd from the Mediterranean island of Mypos, who showed up unexpectedly at the Chicago apartment of his bachelor, distant cousin, Larry. Balki's wide-eyed, fun-loving manner, his goofy Myposian customs and his tendency to take everything Americans told him literally, promised considerable disruption for Larry's carefully organized life, but Larry took him in anyway.

Larry was just getting started himself, hoping to become a photojournalist. For the time being, he worked downstairs at the Ritz Discount Shop, run by a greedy, insensitive man named "Twinkie". Susan was Larry's friend, a nurse who lived upstairs. She was soon replaced by two stewardesses, Mary Anne and Jennifer. Tess was a young girl who lived in apartment building for a short time.

Stories involved Balki's misadventures as he learned about America, studied citizenship at night school and chased girls with Larry. His answer to every problem was: "Don't be ridikalus!" At first, Larry got crazy Balki a job in Twinkie's store, but in the fall of 1987, they both went to work for The Chicago Chronicle, Larry as a rookie reporter and Balki in the mail room. Harriette was the wisecracking elevator operator at the paper. Harry was the seldom seen editor and Lydia (who looked a lot like Twinkie's wife of the previous season because it was the same actress!) was the neurotic advice columnist.

Before long, Balki earned his high school diploma and began taking college courses at night. At the Chronicle, his constant optimism tormented his snide, Scrooge-like mailroom boss, Mr. Gorpley. Larry was promoted to investigative reporter, and by 1990, he had also been assigned to write dialogue for a comic strip - which was drawn by none other than Balki, who turned out to have considerable artistic talents. The strip was about a sheep named Dimitri. Balki insisted that Larry's dialogue must reflect "a sheep's sensibility." Wainright was the publisher of the paper.

Advances were made on the romantic front too, with Larry dating Jennifer and Balki having a crush on Mary Anne. Larry and Jennifer were married in 1991 and moved into a big Victorian house - where they were joined, of course, by Balki and Mary Anne.

Original episodes of the show ended rather abruptly in April 1992, with Balki about to marry Mary Anne. A few additional original episodes aired during the summer of 1993 in which he had married her, and both wives gave birth - Mary Anne in the driveway to Robespierrre Boinki and Jennifer in a runaway balloon to Tucker. As the series finally left for good, the two couples promised to stay close forever. ABC aired reruns of Perfect Strangers in daytime from August 1989 until July 1990.

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