e.phemera: Perfect Strangers

Perfect Strangers ran on ABC for eight seasons between 1986 and 1993, but I didn’t remember it being on that that long when it aired in the UK. Checking my Radio Times Guide To TV Comedy, I found I was right. It only ran for half that time here. I recall it was usually on at around half past five on a Saturday evening.

Here’s the opening titles:

This scene feels like it’s a realisation of something that Bronson Pinchot and Mark Linn-Baker did as a party piece, or whilst goofing between takes.

But they’re both clearly gifted physical comedians:

The show also spawned it’s own spin-off, Family Matters, starring Harriette Winslow, which ran for nine seasons. This makes it the second-longest running sitcom to feature a predominantly African-American cast, beaten only by The Jeffersons.

In 1997, CBS paid ABC $40 million for the rights to Family Matters (and a sister show called Step By Step), then promptly cancelled the both after one more season.

I’ve never seen Family Matters, I don’t think it ever aired in the UK, but the first two seconds of this title sequence have me sold already. And yes, that is Al from Die Hard.

Balki and Cousin Larry
Balki and Cousin Larry
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