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Naga Viper

WKRP in Cincinnati: As God is My Witness...

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Naga Viper

All right, Cincinnati, it is time for this town to GET DOWN!

Reposting the link I shared over in JRod's corner, the Hold My Order, Terrible Dresser podcast that looks back at the show's entire run and has (IMO) some really interesting analysis. It actually wrapped a while back but as of this writing they're doing "reruns," so it's a good time to jump onboard:

https://www.holdmyorderterribledresser.com/

And here's a blog that's almost completed its five-year (plus) mission to rewatch and comment on every episode—good if you just want commentary on select episodes:

http://wkrp-relived.blogspot.com/

Now for a contentious statement: "Turkeys Away" is great, but I'm not sure it'd even make my Top 10 list, that's how much I love some of the other episodes.

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QuiverFullofBooks
3 hours ago, Naga Viper said:

Now for a contentious statement: "Turkeys Away" is great, but I'm not sure it'd even make my Top 10 list, that's how much I love some of the other episodes.

The last 5-10 minutes of “Turkeys Away” is some of the funniest television ever made. The majority of the episode isn’t that great. Some of my favorites are “Hold Up,” “A Date with Jennifer,” and “Fish Story.” Apparently I mostly like the first season.

WKRP, like MASH (which was on the same network at the same time), could be very silly or very serious. Sometimes I’m not in the mood for a given episode.

The ninth episode was a clip show! I guess they were trying to get people who had missed the first few episodes up to speed.

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GreyhoundFan

Thank you for starting this thread. WKRP has always been one of my favorite shows. I love so many of the episodes. If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be the first season episode "I Do, I Do...For Now". That's the one with Hoyt Axton as Jennifer's ex-boyfriend from Rock Throw, WV. There were so many great moments in that episode. I especially loved Jennifer showing Johnny all the small appliances in the kitchen.

A few years after the show, I got a job at a radio station. Before I was promoted and had a private office, I put masking tape on the floor around my desk, in homage to Les Nessman.

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AlmostSavedAtTacoBell

Thank you for starting the thread! When I have more time I will chime in with you all. WKRP is comedy gold! 

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Naga Viper
17 hours ago, QuiverFullofBooks said:

The ninth episode was a clip show! I guess they were trying to get people who had missed the first few episodes up to speed.

I think that's exactly what it was—the show wasn't doing great in the ratings, "Turkeys Away" happened, word of mouth spread, people who came to check it out got the total dud episode about Andy's old flame, and then the show went on a hiatus for the holidays/retooling. So when it came back, they had to get any new audience up to speed, plus introduce Carol Bruce as Mama Carlson.

Here's where I admit to having a lot of love for Mama/Carol Bruce's portrayal of her—who knows if Sylvia Sydney would've evolved beyond her one-note performance in the pilot, but I think Bruce did a really good job of walking the line of making Mama formidable but not wholly unlikable. I like that she was the de facto ninth character in the final season and wonder where they would've gone with her if the show hadn't been canceled. "HIRSCH!"

15 hours ago, GreyhoundFan said:

Thank you for starting this thread. WKRP has always been one of my favorite shows. I love so many of the episodes. If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be the first season episode "I Do, I Do...For Now". That's the one with Hoyt Axton as Jennifer's ex-boyfriend from Rock Throw, WV. There were so many great moments in that episode. I especially loved Jennifer showing Johnny all the small appliances in the kitchen.

I love that one too! It has that very '70s "Here's a musical guest star that we're shoehorning in with a flimsy plot" feel, but that's part of why I love it. "Chips are falling!" is a great line, there's a trademark Les mispronunciation in "Appa-la-chia," and the show's stage manager as the intrusive man in the elevator was a classic bit part.

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Lady Grass Lake

The episode where the station brought in a state trooper to do sobriety testing on the DJ's who were drinking on air was my all time favorites.  The hilarious part was the more Johnny Fever drank, the better his reflexes got.  Turkeys is also on my list of of favorites, heck, all of them are.  

I like how they tackled serious issues as well, like Venus and his military experience, chilling, and so realistic.  

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GreyhoundFan
1 hour ago, Lady Grass Lake said:

I like how they tackled serious issues as well, like Venus and his military experience, chilling, and so realistic.  

Yes, I agree. Too many 70s sitcoms had "very special episodes" that were too heavy-handed. WKRP's shows that included serious issues had a balanced feeling. I especially respected how they handled the tragedy at Riverfront Arena in 1979. As a teenager in the late 70s who attended many concerts with festival seating, that issue really spoke to me.

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Naga Viper
21 hours ago, Lady Grass Lake said:

The episode where the station brought in a state trooper to do sobriety testing on the DJ's who were drinking on air was my all time favorites.  The hilarious part was the more Johnny Fever drank, the better his reflexes got.  Turkeys is also on my list of of favorites, heck, all of them are.  

They talk about that episode in the podcast, that CBS wanted broader humor and so Hugh Wilson wrote a script that he thought went over the top with slapstick, dumb costumes, and other easy humor. He disliked it so much that he took his name off the writing credit. And then it ended up being one of the most popular episodes, maybe second only to "Turkeys."

The sobriety test is definitely the highlight of that one for me. Johnny getting faster, Tim Reid getting to play wacky-drunk, the state trooper played by Jerry Hardin long before he was Deep Throat on X-Files. What's not to like?

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