HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY, PERFECT STRANGERS! (Premiered March 25, 1986 - Ended August 6, 1993) To pursue the American dream, naive sheepherder Balki Bartokomous (Bronson Pinchot) travels from the Mediterranean island nation of Mypos to Chicago. He arrives, unexpectedly, at the door of his distant cousin Larry Appleton (Mark Linn-Baker), an aspiring photographer and recent transplant from Madison, Wisconsin. Balki’s only knowledge of the U.S. comes from various bits of pop culture so Larry takes him under his wing and the two become roommates and friends.
Welcome HUMAN #988123-B to the Gargolzork Interuniversal Public Zoo. We’re so glad to have you here!
Let us lay down some ground rules as you get used to your plush, new accommodations that you will be enjoying for the rest of your life/corporeal existence.
Rule #1: Please do not respond to any patrons if they tap on the glass. We would like to keep the illusion that you’re perfectly fine and not aware that you are out of your natural habitat. And seriously, in this new, stylish stainless steel home cube of yours, why would you ever want to go back?
Rule #2: please do not hold up your index finger and thumb and touch them together. In Gargolzorkian culture this is a very offensive hand sign that refers to one’s parental units being made of inferior silicon. Also we’re quite aware that we have 6 fingers on each hand and you have 5 (hopefully) but we get what you’re doing if you do that. No one likes a smarty human!
Rule #3: If you feel the need to release any bodily excrements in any way, feel free to do whenever. We’ve been told by many Patrons, both far and wide, that they enjoy it most when humans “poop” and “laugh.”
Rule #4: To help pass your time and make your life here bearable, we have given you a plethora of VHS tapes containing most every sitcom from 1984 to 1993. You may notice that the sitcom “Small Wonders” is missing from the collection. This is due to the fact that by some unexplainable coincidence, every scene in this show causes Gargolzorkians to instantly turn into a pillar of blue powder. Previous specimen HUMAN #55607-C was the one to stumble on this fact and escaped with three of our battle razor warship cruizers. If you do ever run into HUMAN #55607-C, we would appreciate it if you told HUMAN #55607-C that we need those cruizers returned ASAP.
Rule #5: Most importantly, have fun!
Now that the rules have been laid down, we know that you will respect them and enjoy your stay at the Gargolzork Interuniversal Public Zoo. Might we recommend that you start with the sitcom Perfect Strangers? It is one of our favorites! What trouble won’t that wacky Balki Bartokomous get himself into?
This week’s song: “Rock In It” by Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds.
These guys opened up for Dr. John at the Nolafunk Mardi Gras Ball in early March and were tremendous. Lady has some pipes. Their entire debut is enjoyable – you can stream it here – but their real strength is their live show, as evidenced here. Favorite lyric: “i was born in the East River / my eyes are bigger than my liver,” which got a great response from the crowd, of course. If you live in New York, they are playing this Friday night at Sullivan Hall.
Unrelated except for the fact that this post was promoted as “ALSO ON AOL >>" under a Sister Sparrow track review: turns out the 25th anniversary of the debut of Perfect Strangers was a few weeks back. The show preceded my discovery of TGIF – which, for my money, peaked with the Family Matters, Boy Meets World, Step by Step, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper progression – but I got to know it when it went into syndication on KWGN. It seemed like every other episode ended with either Larry or Balki getting locked out on their own fire escape, but I was fine with that. Among other things, I now know that Bronson Pinchot’s Serge scenes in Beverly Hills Cop were completely improvised. Getthefuckoutofhere!?! you might say but Nooo I cannot, I’m serious, he was just that good.
Did I tell you the joke about the three sheepherders? This is the funniest joke in all of Mypos!
These three sheepherders want to find out who has the most beautiful sheep in all of Mypos. So they decide to bring each the prized animal to be judged by the others. And so, then the first one presents his sheep and the other said, this is a very beautiful animal….so big, so white, so fluffy, good gums.
So the next one brings his sheep, even more beautiful. And then the next one presents his sheep…but it’s just a horrible-looking animal! Skinny, dirty, wrinkled face. And they say this has got to be the most ugly animal in the world! And the sheep looks right into their faces and the sheep says, you think I’m ugly? Well, I’m not!
Who Remembers Bronson Pinchot as Balki from Perfect Strangers? “I got the script during the last days of Perfect Strangers. I read the entire pussy-eating monologue in my character Balki’s accent. People on set were scandalized.”