Classic Thanksgiving: ‘WKRP in Cincinnati’

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without some acknowledgement of the most awesome Thanksgiving TV episode ever.

Yes, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Cheers” had some pretty doggone good Turkey Day episodes. But none could top the 1978 Thanksgiving episode of “WKRP in Cincinnati.”

If you’ve read this far, I don’t have to tell you that “WKRP” was a short-lived but wonderfully silly TV show about a Cincinnati radio station. The show – very similar in characters and execution to the movie “FM” – is a classic of quirky comedy.

The Thanksgiving episode finds station owner Mr. Carlson (Gordon Jump) feeling a bit out of date with the new, young, trendy rock-and-roll tone and staff of the station.

So Carlson and ad sales guy Herb Tarlek (Frank Bonner) arrange a turkey giveaway. Of course, this isn’t a giveaway of frozen turkeys. They’re fresh turkeys. Really fresh.

As newsman Les Nessman looks on and delivers increasingly horrified narration, turkeys are tossed out of a helicopter.

Not surprisingly, they fall like “sacks of wet cement” to the parking lot below.

“As god is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly,” Carlson tells the station staff.

And a TV classic was born.


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