News Article

Bronson Pinchot

Mark Linn-Baker, Bronson Pinchot
Image credit: Perfect Strangers: Everett Collection

We admit it: We love Bronson Pinchot

In the Reagan era, fans of comedians with funny accents (and who isn't a fan?) rallied around Pinchot, creator of two of the decade's greatest hard-to-place voices: espresso-obsessed art gallery lackey Serge in Beverly Hills Cop, and Balki Bartokomous, the lovable immigrant from the mythical isle of Mypos on the '80s sitcom ''Perfect Strangers.'' These days, Pinchot is accent-free and, amazingly, still pals around with his old roomie, Cousin Larry (a.k.a. actor Mark Linn-Baker, left).

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How's it feel to be a guilty pleasure?
BRONSON PINCHOT Does that mean I'm like Häagen-Dazs ice cream or something?

It just means we really like ''Perfect Strangers,'' but it's not, you know, Shakespeare.
Okay, I get it. But I always thought I was more of a main course, not just dessert.

What's the genesis of Balki's accent?
Maybe about 70 percent Northern Greek, and then the rest is a mix of Russian and me at 6 years old.

Are people still offering you espresso with a twist of lemon?
Not anymore. They used to back in the '80s, or they'd ask me to do [Balki's] Dance of Joy, or mispronounce something for them.

What would it take for you to bring back Balki Bartokomous?
I was actually just talking to Mark about it. Ten years ago, I thought I was too awesome, that I would never do Balki again. But now I think it'd be fun.

In the battle of thick-accented '80s comics, who wins: you or Yakov Smirnoff?
I'm not even gonna answer that. I was an actor creating a character and accent. C'mon, he was a Russian imitating his own accent. Give me a break! My s--- was syndicated!

Originally posted Jul 19, 2004