The Perfect Strangers sitcom revolves around aspiring photographer Larry Appleton (Mark Linn-Baker) and his misfit cousin, Balki Bartokomous (Bronson Pinchot) from the Mediterranean island of Mypos. The two end up becoming best friends and live and work together in Chicago and eventually marry a pair of best friend girls (Melanie Wilson and Rebeca Arthur). Other recurring castmembers include Lise Cutter, Ernie Sabella, Jo Marie Payton, Belita Moreno, and Sam Anderson.
The ABC series ran for 150 episodes, from 1986 until 1993, and has one of the catchier theme songs of that era. According to Ian Fraser, Seattle’s Cory Calhoun and Chris Bange “were at a karaoke bar with a group of friends and they were going through TV themes. Perfect Strangers wasn’t on the list of songs, which was disappointing, and got them to discussing the show.” That led them to decide to recreate the well-known opening in Seattle, shot-by-shot.
Bange played “Larry” and Fraser, visiting from New York, played “Balki” and did the editing. He reports that the shooting was completed in about a day and a half and the footage took a week of evenings to piece together. Fraser says that the Seattle area and weather were cooperative but there was one minor snafu. The owner of the horse required them to pay $25 to use the animal in their filming, doubling their project’s budget.
Image courtesy ABC.