I cannot enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday without remembering possibly the single funniest moment (at least for me) in television history. Of course I am speaking about the famous 'WKRP' In Cinncinati turkey drop. The episode was called “Turkey’s Away” and originally aired in 1978. For me, the staples of Thanksgiving have now become turkey, turducken, can-shaped cranberry muck, pumpkin pie and this WKRP episode. Perhaps the only other Thanksgiving television episode that comes close is the ‘Cheers’ Thanksgiving food fight.
It is uncommon for me to talk to someone who doesn’t remember part of that episode. Each year morning radio DJs all over this country will invariably refer to it or play a clip of it during their day before Thanksgiving radio show. The segment where WKRP’s reporter describes the Thanksgiving Day promotion is absolutely hysterical and invokes memories of older historic radio broadcasts. Perhaps the most memorable line (although there are many) from that episode is the vivid description ‘they’re hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement.’ That’s usually the line most often repeated by DJs. As the radio promotion from hell unravels, Les Nessman even compares it to the Hindenburg tragedy.
Most of us can be thankful next Thursday for many, many things. Some of them are big and some of them are not as monumental. This 30-minute episode of television reminds me that one of the things I am most thankful for is our ability to laugh. So, whether you are traveling or preparing the big holiday meal, take five minutes to relax and enjoy this gem from a Thanksgiving long ago (at least by TV standards). If you are stressed out preparing for the big day or just trying to get over the river and through the woods or over the highways and through the stop lights, watching this will definitely help you settle down. Enjoy…
"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly." -I feel your pain, Mr. Carlson.
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