Jeffrey Miller

A Writer's Life

“Turkeys Away” on WKRP Radio in Cincinnati



Another one of my favorite Thanksgiving shows was one that aired on the sitcom WKRP in its first season.

This is just a clip from the famous “Turkey’s Away” episode. It is just as hilarious now as it was when it first aired in November 1978.

The show, which ran from 1978-1982 was about a failing Cincinnati radio station run by Arthur “Big Guy” Carlson (the station was owned by his “tough as nails” mother). Carlson’s bumbling incompetence is overshadowed by the strange employees that work at the station—from wild disc jockeys Dr. Johnny Fever and Venus Flytrap to the geeky news director, Les Nessman along with the obnoxious advertising sales manager, Herb Tarlek.

With the help of saner employees such as Bailey Quarters, the rather shy journalism major, Jennifer Marlowe, the beautiful receptionist who is the antithesis of the stereotypical “Dumb Blonde” and Andy Travis the program director who tries to keep the station running smoothly, Carlson tries gimmick after crazy gimmick (such as the turkey give away in “Turkeys Away”) to bring money into the station and make it a success.

I had just returned from Panama and was stationed at George AFB outside of Victorville, California back in 1978 when I started watching this show (in fact, the show premiered the day I left Panama to come back to the States).

Wow, can you believe that was 30 years ago? Back then it was WKRP, Mork and Mindy, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, M*A*S*H, Barney Miller, Taxi–there were some great TV shows and some not so great TV shows (I could never for the life of me figure out what all the fuss was about The Love Boat).

1 Comment

  1. Hi, Jeff. I posted the same WKRP clip on my Facebook page. I often use that, “As God is my witness, [insert thing I genuinely thought was true that turned out to be wrong, wrong, wrong]” line. I loved that show. It’s nice to see another person who appreciated it.

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