WKRP in Cincinnati: Season 1, Episode 2

Pilot: Part 2 (25 Sep. 1978)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
7.7
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Andy looks for a way to publicize the station's new format, while elderly listeners invade the station to protest the removal of their favorite music.

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Title: Pilot: Part 2 (25 Sep 1978)

Pilot: Part 2 (25 Sep 1978) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Episode complete credited cast:
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Richard Stahl ...
Wayne R. Coe
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Mrs. Burstyn
Delos V. Smith Jr. ...
Buzzy Milker
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Storyline

Andy looks for a way to publicize the station's new format, while elderly listeners invade the station to protest the removal of their favorite music.

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Comedy

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25 September 1978 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Richard Stahl, who plays Wayne R. Coe in this episode, was originally a member of the Committee, a comedy troupe that Howard Hesseman once belonged to. Many of Hesseman's former Committee colleagues have appeared in a handful of other WKRP episodes, including Hamilton Camp, Garry Goodrow (WKRP in Cincinnati: Hold Up (1978)), Larry Hankin (WKRP in Cincinnati: Hotel Oceanview (1980)), Ruth Silveira (WKRP in Cincinnati: Til Debt Do Us Part (1981)) and John Brent (WKRP in Cincinnati: Straight from the Heart (1981)). (A stand-up comedy box set from Rhino Records features a Committee recording in which Howard Hesseman describes the Vietnam War like a play-by-play sportscaster.) See more »

Quotes

Buzzy Milker: Let's go chase the Hare Krishnas out of the airport again!
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Soundtracks

Having My Baby
by Paul Anka
Performed by the "Hallelujah Tabernacle Choir"
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User Reviews

Heck No We Won't Go!
21 August 2011 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

A frustrated Carlson calls a meeting with Tarlek and Travis to demand to know why there are no new ad sales and muses about canning Tarlek. Tarlek is well-prepared to protect himself and lay the blame on Travis when he produces a list of sponsors (Including "Rolling Thunder European Regulatory Tonic" - can you even imagine what radio ads for that must have sounded like?) who have jumped ship since the station went Rock N' Roll.

Travis counters that without publicity for the format change ad sales are likely to remain stagnant for awhile. Carlson and Tarlek have no answers particularly since there is no money budgeted for the needed publicity campaign. Other employees have no answers as to how to generate free publicity.

Johnny of course doesn't appear to care one way or the other. Fewer commercials mean he gets to spin more tunes and do his Rock N' Roll Howard Beal act. Why Venus, the night-time jock is even there during the day is something never adequately explained in any episode.

The unexpected occurs when the Big Guy is visited by Wayne R.Coe. The soft-spoken but nevertheless utterly bonkers leader of what he himself characterizes as "A determined fringe element that can't be counted upon to do the sensible thing" confronts Carlson about the change in format, states that he and his people hate Rock N' Roll and are staging a protest. It is unexpected because the station had so few listeners under the old format to alienate.

The ragtag group assembled here (I refer to the protesters, not the staff) is only able to muster 12 signatures for an FCC petition with one name signed twice and only 9 of them show up for the sit-in at the radio station. The other activities of this far from cohesive unit include shutting down a small-town bingo hall and chasing Hari Krishna's out of an airport. Ultimately self-important, professional protesters lampoon themselves but never so completely as we see them depicted here.

But if you have had bad experiences with people like this it can impede your ability to find it funny. If they remind you of people who burn the flag or walk around with placards that have spelling mistakes on them which say that God hates a certain group of people it can test your patience a little.

When Travis decides to call news outlets and use the protest for publicity so that they can all get what they want it can also seem like a bit of a cop out. But compared with the Big Guy who is ready to cave in to their demands what Travis does and how the protesters react seems so utterly reasonable. Eventually the station and Travis will confront attempts at censorship in a meaningful way. They just didn't do it in the first season.

This is only the second episode of the series so we only see sets built for the lobby, Carlson's office, the DJ booth and Travis's office. Until they built the "bullpen" (office common area where Les, Bailey, Tarlek and the jocks have their desks) things looked very cramped.


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