WKRP in Cincinnati (1978–1982)
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Turkeys Away 

Feeling left out by all the recent changes, Mr. Carlson decides to launch his own Thanksgiving promotion. With the aid of Herb and Les, the Big Guy turns a routine turkey give-away into a comic catastrophe.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Shoe Store Owner


This is the signature episode, the one that first comes to mind when one thinks of WKRP in Cincinatti. On air, Dr. Johnny Fever tells his fellow babies about Turkey Day doings. Out on the streets, "oh the humanity"... Mr. Carlson stages a top-secret holiday promotion and ends up ruffling a lot of feathers. Written by LA-Lawyer

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Release Date:

30 October 1978 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


It's true that domestic turkeys (such as the ones Carlson had dropped on the mall) cannot fly. Wild turkeys can fly, but only for short distances. See more »


While Johnny and Venus are discussing the blonde wig giveaway and the Guatemalan earthquake, the record label switches back and forth between a black label (probably Columbia) and a rainbow label. See more »


Venus Flytrap: What do you suppose he's up to?
Dr. Johnny Fever: Carlson? I don't know. You should have been here for the big wig promotion.
Venus Flytrap: What happened?
Dr. Johnny Fever: Well, naturally, it didn't work, and we ended up with a warehouse full of wigs. Carlson, he couldn't figure out how to get rid of 'em until the Guatemalan earthquake.
Venus Flytrap: Say what?
Dr. Johnny Fever: Well, the Red Cross called out, you know, for blankets, clothes, anything. So Carlson, out of the goodness of his heart, shipped these destitute earthquake victims in Guatemala three thousand blonde ...
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Referenced in WKRP in Cincinnati: Real Families (1980) See more »


Fun Time
Written by Allen Toussaint
Performed by Joe Cocker
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User Reviews

Beyond-Excellent Episode, But Let's Examine Its Brilliant Setup
6 December 2006 | by See all my reviews

It cannot be said enough how sensational is this episode, the eighth episode of WKRP in Cincinnati, so let's take a different approach to looking at the episode.

Namely, the setup. Anyone familiar with the show knows that it has eight cast members. Let's look at the placement of those eight people during this episode.

Mr. Carlson had Herb Tarlek with him, Les Nessman was in front of the shoe store, and Andy, Johnny, Venus and Bailey are at the radio station in the dj booth.

We don't even see Jennifer Marlowe during all of this, as obviously she is at her desk.

What else we don't see is a helicopter or any turkeys.

All the action, all the chaos, is from what we don't see. The only thing we are given is Les Nessman's report and the flabbergasted reactions of the the quartet in the sound booth.

Even more driving is the terrified shoppers running by Les as he gives a play-by-play to the turkeys' plummet.

Then we are given the only possible summary by Dr. Fever; The Pinedale Shopping Mall has been bombed by live turkeys.

From there, we receive the final fate of Mr. Carlson and Herb, covered in turkey feathers, and the truly terrified Les (the entire cast was gold, but Richard Sanders as Les shines constantly in this entire show, all the episodes), who described hiding in a phone booth from a deranged mob and that the surviving turkeys seemed to mobilize and attack (apparently Mr. Carlson and Herb).

"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly" No, but this single episode sure has flown; to the top of the list in outstanding, original comedy episodes.

Worth noting: apparently turkeys being flung from a moving vehicle actually did take place, tho it may eventually become lost as to who or what did it. It seems it really was a radio station trying to do a Thanksgiving day promotion tho.

One version I did hear (perhaps the actual event) was that a radio station in Texas, I believe, released live turkeys from the back of a truck, thinking they would fly, which of course they didn't.

According to Tim Reid (Venus Flytrap) when he appeared on a holiday Tvland special, it was frozen turkeys which were thrown from the vehicle, be it a helicopter or a truck, they might as well have hurled cannonballs, if it was frozen turkeys.

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