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Perfect Strangers

Date October 09, 2008
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Perfect Strangers is a sitcom that aired on ABC from 1986 to 1993 that chronicled the rocky coexistence of midwestern American Larry Appleton (Mark Linn-Baker) and his distant cousin from eastern Mediterranean Europe, Balki Bartokomous (Bronson Pinchot).
Relying on the tried-but-true odd-couple set up, Perfect Strangers focuses on the comical lives of Larry Appleton (Mark Linn-Baker) and Balki Bartokomous (Bronson Pinchot). Larry is an uptight American who has moved away from his family's Wisconsin home for his own apartment in Chicago. His life is changed forever when his childlike cousin Balki--a sheepherder from the fictional island of Mypos--shows up on his doorstep with the goal of becoming a U.S. citizen. A hit sitcom for ABC that ran from 1986 to 1993, Perfect Strangers offers some heartwarming storylines, a few laughs, and some genuine chemistry between the two leads. The first few years of the comedy are among the show's best, as Larry and Balki get accustomed to each other's ways. Linn-Baker plays the straight man who sets Pinchot up to deliver the best lines. While Pinchot definitely has the showier "fish out of water" part--and "Don't be ridiculous!" tag line that became a catchphrase for a year or two--Linn-Baker creates the more relatable character. He's working in a small shop, but his dream is to become a photojournalist. The show actually does a nice job of making sure Larry never loses sight of his goals, even as Balki is dragging him from one adventure to another.

Perfect Strangers Cast

Cast & Characters

  • Bronson Pinchot as Balki Bartokomous
  • Mark Linn-Baker as Larry Appleton
  • Melanie Wilson as Jennifer
  • Rebecca Arthur as Mary Anne
  • Sam Anderson as Mr. Sam Gropley (1987-1992)
  • F.J. O'Neil as Mr. Wainright (1989-1992)
  • Belita Moreno as Edwina Twinkacetti (1986-1987)
  • Jo Marie Payton-France as Harriet Winslow (1987-1989)
  • Ernie Sabella as Mr. Donald Twinkacetti ("Twinkie") (1986-1987)
  • Alisan Porter as Tess Holland (1900)
  • Eugene Roche as Harry Burns (1987-1988)

Broadcast History

Perfect Strangers First Telecast: March 25, 1986
Last Telecast: August 6, 1993
Original Network:  ABC
Number of Seasons: 8
Number of Episodes: 150
Original Primetime TV Schedule:
  • dates here

Theme Song Lyrics & Opening Credits


"Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now" by Jesse Frederick and Bennett Salvay, performed by David Pomeranz.

Sometimes the world looks perfect,
Nothing to rearrange.
Sometimes you get a feeling
Like you need some kind of change.
No matter what the odds are this time,
Nothing's going to stand in my way.
This flame in my heart,
And a long lost friend
Gives every dark street a light at the end.
Standing tall, on the wings of my dream.
Rise and fall, on the wings of my dream.
The rain and thunder v The wind and haze
I'm bound for better days.
It's my life and my dream,
Nothing's going to stop me now.
Listen to theme song:

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Perfect Strangers on DVD

Seasons 1 & 2


View all Perfect Strangers merchandise

Perfect Strangers Trivia

Harriet Winslow and Carl Winslow both appeared on the series "Family Matters" making it a "spin off series" of Perfect Strangers.

The name of the stuffed sheep that Balki was so crazy about was "Dimitri".

The exterior shots of Balki and Larry's apartment building for the first two seasons was actually the Santa Rita Hotel that used to be located at South Main and East 11th Streets in downtown Los Angeles, California. It is now a commercial building with mostly shops and has had the upper stories removed! When the guys moved to their new apartment for seasons three through six, the exterior shots were of an apartment building at West Dickens Avenue and North Clark Street in Lincoln Park in Chicago.

The opening sequence was changed in the third season and showed Larry and Balki on a tour boat cruising under a bridge on the Chicago river. On the opening sequence for the first three seasons of Family Matters there's a shot of the Winslows riding their bicycles over the same exact bridge!
Last modified on December 16, 2013
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