WKRP in Cincinnati: Season 3, Episode 3

Real Families (15 Nov. 1980)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
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The Tarlek family is profiled on "Real Families". Herb and people being interviewed seem rehearsed, so the producers of the show "dig deep" and expose the real Tarlek family.



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Title: Real Families (15 Nov 1980)

Real Families (15 Nov 1980) on IMDb 8.3/10

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Episode credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Vargus Enswiller
Phil Tarry
Lucille Tarlek
Elaine Parker (as Daphne Maxwell)
N.P. Schoch ...
Herb Tarlek III
Stacy Heather Tolkin ...
Bunny Tarlek


The Tarlek family is profiled on "Real Families". Herb and people being interviewed seem rehearsed, so the producers of the show "dig deep" and expose the real Tarlek family.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

15 November 1980 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Though a popular episode, "Real Families" earned WKRP its worst ratings. Since it began with the introduction of a fake show, many fans who didn't bother to watch the episode through assumed WKRP had been pre-empted and changed the channel. Peter Marshall's mother had even phoned him up the day after the airing and said, "Peter, I love you, but I'm not too crazy about your new show." See more »


As Herb drives to work, the camera picks up shots of palm trees on the streets of Cincinnati. See more »


References That's Incredible! (1980) See more »


You Shook Me All Night Long
Written by Alan Young, Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson
{Performed by AC/DC
See more »

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User Reviews

The More you know about Herb...
28 December 2008 | by (Topeka,Kansas,USA) – See all my reviews

...the more you may come to understand what drives him as the oily,ego-maniacal goof.

Such is the case of this different episode,which is framed from the viewpoint of the fictional "Real People"-type show,"Real Families", which chooses to follow the life of everyone's favorite sleazy radio ad salesman. The hosts(Peter MArshall and DAphne Maxwell,later Reid)are first seemingly jovial hosts and curious interlopers,only to steadily turn into invasive,insensitive voyeurs. The hand-held camera shots and out-of-studio lighting are set in to take this away from the setting of the radio station and make this practically Herb and his family's show.

Great performances by Frank Bonner,Edie McClurg(as Herb's choicely oblivious wife)and even the kids(names escape me at the moment).fill out this episode,one of a number of highly unique shows which populated this fantastic TV series.

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