The ‘Family Matters’ Pilot Was Supposed to Feature a ‘Perfect Strangers’ Cast Cameo, But Never Did

Perfect Strangers was a sitcom that enjoyed an eight-season run that ended in 1993.

The television show was based on the concept of cultural perspectives and featured the lives of two cousins, one American and one of Mediterranean descent, who were roommates. At the beginning of the series, Larry Appleton (played by Mark Linn-Baker) an American photographer agreed to let his distant cousin, Balkin Bartokomous (played by Bronson Pinchot,) move into his apartment. Larry did so because he wanted to help Balkin learn about life in Chicago.

What ultimately happened was that neither was great at understanding the American lifestyle which resulted in many misunderstandings and hijinks.

The show garnered many fans who couldn’t get enough of the comedy. It wasn’t until recently, that fans learned about some fun and interesting behind-the-scenes adventures, including one cameo that almost but didn’t materialize.

‘Perfect Strangers’ was poised to collaborate with ‘Family Matters’

Steve Urkel (Jaleel White) with Eddie Winslow (Darius McCrary)
Steve Urkel (Jaleel White) with Eddie Winslow (Darius McCrary) | CBS via Getty Images

Many people don’t know about the close connection Perfect Strangers and Family Matters shared. CBR recently posted an article that explained that not only were the shows aired on the same network and set in the same city, they also shared a “television universe.”

Fans of both shows know that the connection between the two shows was the character of Harriette Winslow. She was the elevator operator who ran the elevator in the building where Appleton and Bartokomous lived. She was also the wife/mother character on Family Matters.

What people might not know was that an opportunity was explored that would have connected the two shows even more firmly. Plans had been made for both Appleton and Bartokomous to have a cameo on the Family Matters pilot. Mental Floss reported that the cameo was filmed, but for some reason, it was never aired.

Myopos is fictional

Perfect Stranger’s writers had no reservations when it came to having Bartokomous come from the Eastern Mediterranean where he allegedly earned a living working as a shepherd. However, don’t try to find his home country of Myopos on a map. It’s a made-up country that exists purely for the benefit of the show. The reason the show opted out of using a real country was that they didn’t want to inadvertently offend any fans. According to Perfect Strangers Online, that while Myopos might be a made-up country, the word isn’t a random collection of letters. It’s a Greek word that loosely translates to “possibility” or “maybe.” 

Life hasn’t always been happy for Bronson Pinchot

One of the reasons that Perfect Strangers did so well is that both characters had an optimistic outlook on life. Considering the stories about how the cast even agreed to dance for the live audience even when the cameras weren’t rolling, it was easy for many people to believe that both leading actors enjoyed a happy and fulfilling life even in their daily life.

It turns out that life during the height of his Perfect Strangers fame wasn’t always good and happy for Bronson Pinchot.

During a Page Six interview, Pinchot revealed that he was quite depressed during his Perfect Strangers days. He also stated that part of the problem was that he couldn’t break free of an unhappy relationship.

“I clearly needed a therapist and I didn’t have one because I didn’t want to stir the pot,” he said. “So when I was all done, I went to a psychotherapist and the guy said, ‘I cannot believe you even lasted this long. I’m shocked that you actually survived this long.’ By that time I was in my mid-30s.”

The good news is that based on a recent reunion interview that was published by Today, it seems like Pinchot is in a much happier place these days.

RELATED: ‘I Love Lucy’ Star Lucille Ball Actually Loved ‘Perfect Strangers’