6 Sitcom Characters that Invited Total Strangers to Live with Them
Most people are taught an early age to avoid strangers or at least not give them the keys to their apartment. But it turns out no one ever bothered explaining that to the characters in the following sitcoms…
Today people find roommates through friends or Craigslist. But apparently back in the 70’s the best way for two single women to find someone to split the rent with was to wake up the next morning after a big party and discover a man they never met passed out drunk in their bathtub. Then they have to pretend he’s gay, because that’s what served as logical storytelling in a decade that also gave us the “slide projector ghost” plots of “Scooby-Doo.” And so the moral of the series is if you ever find a possible alcoholic collapsed in his own vomit on your bathroom floor, living room couch, or in the kitchen garbage disposal unit, put that man’s name on your lease pronto.
Mork and Mindy
Sad after a break-up with her boyfriend, Mindy stumbles upon Mork, who she mistakenly believes is a priest because he’s wearing his black suit backwards and she can only see his white collar. But when they get back to her house (because who doesn’t take a priest home with them) she discovers that he’s in fact an alien (hence the wardrobe malfunction) and instead of going into shock or contacting the authorities or assuming her eggs are about to be harvested as black goo pours from his eyes, Mindy invites Mork to live in her attic. It’s a plot contrivance that’s as adorably innocent as it is wholly bizarre, not only because she has no idea what this extraterrestrial’s plans might be (“I’m in the house. Now to mate with her and any unsuspecting furniture.”) but also because she seems to have tossed the guy in the musty attic after considering such other possible living quarters as an old dog cage, under the sink, or tied up to a tree in the back.
If you were looking for a live-in caretaker for your three precious children would you put applicants through a rigorous screening process or would you simply toss them into the arms of the first pizza delivery boy, trick-or treater, or polite home burglar who knocked on your door? That’s apparently the tactic of one Mr. Sheffield, who when greeted by door-door cosmetic salesperson Fran Fine more or less says with true paternal concern, “Meh, they’re your problem now. I think the youngest one is named Gracie. Or Howard.” But as luck would have it, the dad and his brood are quickly won over by the new nanny’s nurturing approach, no-nonsense “Queen’s logic,” and a voice that could cause angels to bleed out.
What if a posh British butler showed up unexpected at the doorstep of a two-career family in suburban Pittsburgh and they decided to welcome the stranger as one of their own? Well, they’d probably learn he’s a psychotic serial killer wanted by Scotland Yard, but not before he’s eliminated every member of the family except the youngest child, who’s cornered in the basement firing wildly in the dark as the butler keeps slowly approaching with a tray of HobNobs and Earl Grey, cackling, “Time for tea, Wesley!” Prior to that, though, I’m sure they’d all learn about kippers. And proper cutlery placement. And why you should never show someone you just met where you keep all your household poisons and axes, even if they do sound like one of the professors from Hogwarts.
ALF (real name Gordon Shumway) is an alien life form who picks up a radio signal from Earth only to wind up crashing into the Tanner family garage. And once again, just like in “Mork and Mindy,” unsuspecting humans willing subject themselves to possible probings or being part of an intergalactic zoo by harboring the creature, protecting ALF from the Alien Task Force (who may very well be trying to save the Tanners from being skinned alive). But luckily it turns out that ALF is nothing more than a fun-loving, wise-cracking guy that simply likes to eat cats and who-if any of the family members had bothered to look behind the couch—has a puppeteer’s hand up his a**.
And of course it comes to this. Larry, a would-be newspaper reporter in a time when that didn’t automatically mean career death, finally gets his first apartment in Chicago. But before Larry can enjoy the glorious privacy that comes with starving on your own in the big city, he gets a visit from Balki, a cousin from the island of Mykos who he never met but happily announces is moving in (looking for work as an urban shepherd and celebrating with the “Dance of Joy,” much like an insane person dressed as a Hummel figurine would do.) Larry helps Balki learn about such American pastimes as baseball and getting rejected by ever single woman possible. Balki, meanwhile, shows Larry the dangers of being an actor forever associated with one sitcom character and thus never being able to get steady work on TV again. But of course you know all this. What you might not know, however, is that there actually exists “Perfect Strangers” fan fiction online. I didn’t read any of it because they may all involve sheep in some way but if you want to experience what new adventures with Larry, Balki, and some would-be author who’s injected his or himself into a make-believe world just so they can utter, “Don’t be ridi-ka-louse” is like then by all means be my guest.
What other series' could potentially replace Harry Potter? Let us know in the comments!