Was WKRP in Cincinnati’s Famous Turkey Drop Based in Reality?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: The famous “WKRP in Cincinnati” turkey drop was based on an actual turkey drop.

Probably the most famous thanksgiving episode of any television sitcom is “Turkeys Away,” from the first season of “WKRP in Cincinnati.” The series was about a struggling radio station that changed formats from easy listening to rock and roll. The conflict (and thus, the comedy) came from the contrast between the people who worked for the station beforehand, bumbling but kindhearted station manager Arthur Carlson (Gordon Jump), sleazy ad salesman Herb Tarlek (Frank Bonner) and timid news reporter Les Nessman (Richard Sanders) and the new, young and hip hires, program director Andy Travis (Gary Sandy) and disc jockeys Dr. Johnny Fever (Howard Hesseman) and Venus Flytrap (Tim Reid).

The seventh episode of the series, “Turkeys Away” (which actually aired on October 30th, 1978, despite being the show’s Thanksgiving episode), showed Carlson trying to take on more of a hand’s on approach to prove that he still had what it took to run the station. He came up with a secret promotion for Thanksgiving. It was all hush hush until the end of the episode, where Nessman was on the street, reporting live when the event occurred.

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November 22nd, 2018 | Posted in TV Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

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