Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

Three college friends out in the world, filling the void with television…and loving it.

Great Thanksgiving Episodes Pt. 4: Turkeys Away!

Posted by Mr. Feeny on November 26, 2009

One of our commenters stole the thunder on this one, but it was an obvious pick anyway. Easily the most famous episode of WKRP in Cincinnati: “Turkeys Away.” It was just the seventh episode of the whole series, but it has long gone down as one of the best jokes in television history. And as a radio man myself, I can relate to promotions going awry. Though nothing on the scale of this.

I couldn’t find a short episode or clip of the incident itself. So I encourage you to watch the entire episode on Hulu. It really is fantastic and worth the 22 minutes. I have posted the classic scene toward the end on our video player, though. If nothing else, watch that.

Basically, WKRP’s general manager comes up with this great secret plan to promote the station on Thanksgiving. It starts out all about micromanagement, but becomes so much more. He sends newsman Les Nessman to the scene to cover it. All of a sudden,  turkeys start falling from a helicopter. Splat. Nessman’s play-by-play of the event is genius, comparing it to the Hindenberg. But the most memorable line is the one at the very end of the show, with the GM explaining his rationale:

I quote it often.

Incidentally, check out this post from long-time television writer Ken Levine. He does a fantastic blog, which I’ve been meaning to link to. As the man behind M*A*S*H, Cheers, and many others, he has a long history with Thanksgiving episodes, which he sums up nicely in that post.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


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