Ok, it's about more than just the radio business, but WKRP (for me) brings back memories from when I was young and AM/FM radio was a much bigger media presence than it is today. DJs were a big deal and you recorded music off the radio and on to cassette tapes so you could listen to it later on your really cool Sony Walkman.
The writing is pretty solid and the ensemble cast does a great job. I would have loved to work with a group of people like this. This show straddled the Carter and Reagan administrations so it's in a weird 1970s/1980s place. It's not pure 70s TV, not pure 80s. It's unique. Occasionally tackled bigger issues but always amusing.
For the record, Bailey was hotter than Jennifer. 'Nuff said.
WKRP was only on the air for four seasons but this could be attributed to the network's changing the time it was on and not the shows produced.
With an eclectic cast ranging from Arthur Carlson, the lovable if slightly ill-suited president of the radio station, to Bailey Quarters, the sweet young woman looking for her niche at the station, every episode was worth watching.
Personal favorites ( and there are so many) of this reviewer include ' Hoodlum Rock', ' Fish Story' and maybe the best sitcom episode of all time ' Turkeys Away'. For everyone who has watched this show, there are moments that literally make you laugh out loud like Mr. Carlson's use of ' foot powder', Les description of the Thanksgiving day promotion and so on.
It is a shame that this series may never be released in its original format on DVD due to music copyright issues. This reviewer, and many others, would eagerly await such a release.
WKRP was a low rated radion station that was taken over by Andy Travis, who changed the stations format from elevator music to rock and roll. The shows deals with the wacky antics of the eccentric staffers
WkRP was the brainchild of Hugh Wilson, who cut his teeth as a writer for Mary Tyler Moore and Bob Newhart. Then MTM let him do what is essentially a rock and roll version of The Mary Tyler Moore show. Whereas, Mary sho featured actors who had cut their teeth in 60s sitcoms, almost all the regulars were strictly children of the 70s(Only Gordon Jumps TV resume dates back to the 60s with appearances on shows like Get Smart). It had a younger, hipper sesnsibility. But it always seemed like none of the execs at CBS ever really got the show. They would take it off the for hiatus, move it around the schedule unannounced, effectively killing any chance it had at developing any kind of following. Yet, it is one of the very best sitcoms from any era that could be considered the golden age of American sitcoms. It dealt with real issues that affected its characters in real and profound ways. Many of the characters showed much growth during the series run. The thing Ill always remember was that it was very funny, yet maintained a sense of humanity few shows can duplicate. And the issues were not all issues that were typically done in sitcoms. One of the very best episodes dealt with the very real issue of censorship on the radio, which was a big deal at the time. Jerry Falwell was conducting a campaign to clean up radio and on WKRP, a Falwell-like minister was trying to do the same thing to the title radio station . Another episode, broadcast in the wake of a real life tragedy that actually took place in Cinncinati, relived the events with WKRP being a station that sold tickets to the concert were people were trampled top death. The first half was very funny, while the second half was very serious, dealing with the tragedy. Some people criticized that, because they felt it was trivializing a serious tragedy, but still they had the guts to portray the event at all when they could have just ignored it. They also dealt with drug use, drinking, death, God and even schizophrenia in a memorable episode where Johnny Fever gets a TV gig and the persona he develops for it begins to take over his life. And there were the usual episodes dealing with relationships. Indeed, WKRP deserves to be mentioned in the same hushed tones reserved for accepted iconic shows like All in The Family, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart, Taxi and Barney Miller. This show should get its due. About the only thing that puts a damper on this show is the fact that the DVDs had to change the songs that appeared in the original episode, because of the rights. I know this is a complicated issue, but it still sucks not being able to hear Hot Blooded in that episode where Les is preparing to go out with Jennifer and he puts on a wig while that song is playing. Now we just get some generic song. That changes the whole scene. Any true fan of WKRP should be willing to pay more if they could see the original scene intact. Its just a thought. But even so, you still have to love this series.
The 1970's were, by and large, a forgettable decade for the medium of television. Looking back, all I can remember of that decade was a vast desert of mediocrity and highly forgettable T.V. shows, with only few exceptions. Wkrp in Cincinnati was one of the MAJOR exceptions. Les Nessman doing his Hindenburg style commentary on the bombing of a parking lot with live turkeys by the very station that employed him was one of the funniest damn things I've ever seen on television...period! "With God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly" had millions of Americans on the floor with tears in their eyes as they fought to control their laughter. I was one of them. Consistently well written, consistently funny as hell, Wkrp in Cincinnati was one of the all time greats!
Where to begin? The writing, the acting, the "feel" of the show which can be attributed to good directing and producing, everything clicked on WKRP. Most of the characters would not have lasted a month in a real radio station and somehow they all knew this and so they accepted one another, warts and all and somehow the whole was far greater than the sum of its parts.
The biggest shame as has inevitably mentioned by other reviewers, the original music is missing from dvd and rebroadcast editions. That's ashame because in certain instances it was the extra character in the room. When Les gets ready for a date with Jennifer "Hot Blooded" is supposed to be playing in the background. But now it has another tune in the background.
Kudos to WGN America for bringing this excellent program back to our consciousness.
Mary Tyler Moore often has the honor of being seen as the best workplace comedy ever, but my money is on WKRP as the best. It is side splitting funny even today, and I have the first season DVD. I used to run home from school to watch this show when it was syndicated at 4:30 P.M. and I thought maybe my memories were rose colored and as an adult, I wouldn't find it as funny. Boy, I was wrong! The show is as funny as I remember and the characters were amazing. From ex hippie Johnnie Fever to the sleazy Herb Tarlek, to the insane Les Nessman, the show broke the mold for crazy characters in a workplace setting. The turkey episode is maybe the single funniest episode for a comedy ever (save perhaps one or two "Cheers" episodes). For those who don't know what I mean, you have to watch it. As Arthur Carlson said in my favorite quote of all time, "as god as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly". The show was ahead of its time, and younger people should check this show out, as it is as relevant and as funny as anything on today. Great show!
TalkRadio. Ehh. Frasier. Hmmm. WKRP in Cincinnati.
What's not to like? I was in high school during the shows run, and it was one of the few I was allowed to watch. The characters are cliches, but that was the point. That's what made the show funny, that you could count on Mr. Carlson to do something dumb, or Herb to dress in one of his out of style (even for the 70's) "leisure suits", or Les to do his "Hog Reports" and wish for an office (and the fact that he "closed" and "locked" the "door" always cracked me up!). Johnny and his mug of many names, Venus and his Superfly cool moves and silky R&B DJ's voice were always big pluses. Andy the program director always being harried by something one of the air staff did is true to life, having worked in radio myself. And of course, Carlson's cry that he thought turkeys could fly... I still quote that line from time to time, and I don't even have to say what show it's from, most people my age just know. So, I give WKRP 10 out of 10, just because I can, and because I really loved the show. There will never, ever be another WKRP!
One of the better sitcoms to come out of the 1970s, WKRP in Cincinatti has stayed surprisingly fresh, even when viewed in today's context. Other than a few small references that date the show, like the amazing $20,000 salary that the receptionist draws, the show still seems quite current.
WKRP follows the travails of a small market radio station as it tries to change from a format aimed at senior citizens to more modern, more mass market rock and roll. The comedy comes from two seperate groups of people, those losers who have stayed at the station over the years as it slowly slid into falure and the new -but equally odd- rock and rollers who hope to make the station relevant again. Despite the differences in the groups, the show's writing was good and virtaully all of the characters were someone that you could care about. Overall, I think this is a good show and it was popular when it originally aired. Less preachy than a lot of the 70s sitcoms, it was good fun then and still good fun now.
What can I say. THIS is my all time favorite show. From Dr. Johnny Fever's antics to Herb's screw-ups, this show had it all! I can recall countless times I've gotten into WKRP discussions with just about anyone, recalling favorite episodes and moments.
Was it the music? Was it finsing out that turkey's CAN'T fly? Was it Les Nessman's invisible office? The answer is YES!!!
My personal favorite episode is "To Err Is Human". I swear I laughed so hard the first time I saw that episode, I believe I fell right off the sofa!
It's too bad WKRP never really got the appreciation it deserved and for the life of me I don't know why. But it's uniqueness, especially being a show that was centered around music, was what made WKRP such a vital part of the evening television lineup.
And as a kid, I remember watching each week, not only for the laughs but even just to check out the new rock n' roll posters that would be displayed on the walls.
WKRP was so far ahead of it's time. The humor is ageless and still to this day Dr. Johnny Fever still cracks me up. However one highlight of WKRP was the fantastic music. With new restrictions, some might never be heard again. But here is season 1.
The Music Of WKRP In Cincinnati
1st Season 1978 Pilot (1)
Queen Of The Forest by Ted Nugent
Dance Dance Dance by Chic (Cut from Syndication)
Old Time Rock N Roll by Bob Seger
Shattered by The Rolling Stones (Replaced In Syndication)
Les On a Ledge
Unknown Track at Begining
Got Enough Love by Detective
Betcha Can't Dance by Detective
Light Up The Sky by Van Halen
Mercedes Benz by Janis Joplin
Like A Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan
Boogie Oogie Oogie by Sukyaki
Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presely
Dogs by Pink Floyd
Fun Time by Joe Cocker
It Came From Out Of The Sky by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Beast Of Burden by The Rolling Stones
Mama's Review: (Flashback Episode)
A Date With Jennifer
Hot Blooded by Foreigner
Shakedown Street by The Grateful Dead
The Contest Nobody Could Win
For The Love Of Money by The O'Jays
Back Door by Eric Clapton
Lotta Love by Nicolette Larson
Too Wild To Tame by The Boys
Tumbling Dice by the Rolling Stones
YMCA by The Village People
Danke Schoen by Wayne Newton
Straight On by Heart
National Anthem by Francis Scott Key
Goon Squad By Elvis Costello and The Attractions
Goodbye, Johnny (1)
Surfin U.S.A. by The Beach Boys
Johnny Comes Back (2)
Into The Mystic by Van Morrison
Layla by Eric Clapton
Never Leave Me, Lucille
Everybody Rock N Roll The Place by Eddie Money
I Want To Keep My Baby
Rock N Roll Fantasy by The Kinks
Baby by Carla Thomas
Hold The Line by Toto
Lively Up Yourself by Bob Marley
Teach Your Children Well by Crosby Stills Nash And You
Return To Sender by Elvis Presley
Lovers Prayer by Randy Newman
You're Smiling Face by James Taylor
A Commercial Break
Young Blood by The Coasters
Heart Of Glass by Blondie
Who is Gordon Sims?
Flight Time by Donald Byrd and The Blackbirds
Last Dance by Chuck Mangione
I Do, I Do... For Now
Della and The Dealer by Hoyt Axton
Jealous Man by Hoyt Axton
Young Master Carlson
Caravan by Van Morrison
Patton Main Title - Jerry Goldsmith
Soul Man by Sam and Dave
Drinkin Wine Spo-de-o-de by Jerry Lee Lewis
I'm Torn Down by Freddie King
Alabama Song by The Doors
Light My Fire by The Doors
I happen to love this comedy series about a radio station which is run by goofballs. "WKRP in Cincinnati" is very funny and well written. the series center on a group of employees at at radion station WKRP and the problems they must face in each and every episode. I love the opening theme music to the series. It gives viewers a welcome to the series. There are some of the characters in the show that i loved. But my favorite character is Johnny Fever, played by Howard Hesseman. He will play the stuff he loves, not on the playlist. the series got started in 1978 and It brought back memories for me. To close this review, some say that Loni Anderson is the sexist woman on the series Wrong! It was Jan Smithers. In mine mind, she was sexier than Loni Anderson.
WKRP was one of the classic ensemble comedies of the 1970s produced by MTM Enterprises. While the original expectation seems to have been that Gordon Jump and Gary Sandy would be the stars (note that the early opening credits list only the two of them, while everyone else was identified at the end of the episode), it very quickly became apparent that the interaction between all of the characters was what gave the show its special chemistry.
The show’s cast didn’t include anyone who had yet reached a level of fame on TV. So, given their letter-perfect performances, we absorbed the actors as their characters. And what a disparate and hilarious bunch! Station manager Arthur Carlson, good-hearted, if a bit dim-witted. Andy Travis, the young buck ready to prove himself as a station manager. Jennifer Marlowe, the buxom receptionist (and highest-paid employee of the station) who gave lie to the “dumb blonde” stereotype. Herb Tarlek, the epitome of the crass salesman, yet also someone who demonstrated from time to time that he had a good heart. Dr. Johnny Fever, a DJ who was clearly also a victim of the lifestyle of the 60s and 70s. Les Nessman, a zealous agricultural reporter certain that his hog reports were the stuff of journalistic greatness. Bailey Quarters, a young woman just out of college trying to find her self-confidence and her way through the ranks of radio management. And Venus Flytrap, the late-night DJ who oozed romance and a touch of mysticism.
The show itself followed a trajectory. A down-on-its-luck easy-listening station (“WKRP–soothing sounds for senior citizens”) changed its format to rock and roll, and gradually struggled up from the cellar of the Cincinnati market, which meant its problems also changed along the way. It was always a treat when Mama Carlson came into the story, and we saw how all this fit (or didn’t fit) with her business empire and her limited maternal instinct.
WKRP never received the respect it deserved–from MTM, from CBS (which changed its time-slot eleven times during its four-year run), or from the critics. It was a character-driven comedy gem that fit with the other classics of its era–The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, All in the Family, and MASH.
Let me conclude with a final exclamation: “Booger!”
For that matter, where is it on TV? Yes, I know..all sorts of music clearances problems. FIX 'EM AND LETS GO! The DVDs would more than make the money back paid to Jefferson Starship or whoever.
I work in radio, and every one inradio knows a Johnny Fever or Les Nessman. Yes, it really does work that way.
This show brought humor into our homes every week. You couldn't help but be entertained by it. Lonnie Anderson was the beautiful and vivacious feature of the show. The cast worked well together and the material was just plain funny. The show is even funnier when I rewatch it as an adult. Some of the jokes that are said when I watch it now are more clear in their meaning. Its a show worth rewatching.
When making up a list of the best sitcoms ever it's a good bet that very few will include WKRP in Cincinnati, which aired on CBS from 1978-82, on their list. This is a mistake. WKRP belongs right up there with the best of them. Funny scripts and an excellent cast that had great chemistry with each other. The only problem with WKRP was that CBS never seemed to believe in the show. During its final two seasons the show must have changed timeslots at least ten times. It's no wonder the ratings dropped leading to cancellation. The viewers never could find the show.
Anyway, check out WKRP if it ever reruns on some network like TV Land. You'll split your sides laughing. Much funnier than anything airing on television today. They don't make sitcoms like this one anymore. Tis a pity.
Great character interaction, and great writing. Ned Lessman is some of the funniest lines of all time. Johnny Fever is the lovable rebel DJ that is too valuable to fire. The bumbling station owner, saved by from his overbearing rich mother by the savy but good hearted station manager.
And when all is said and done, it is Lonie Anderson, the buxom secretary that is some how behind the scenes calling all the shots.
WKRP In Cincinnati is a classic sitcom featuring memorable characters, interesting plots and great acting. Howard Hesseman shines as the burnt out DJ, Dr. Johnny Fever, but Frank Bonner and Richard Sanders also standout as the pushy and obnoxious salesman Herb Tarlek and the too serious newsman Les Nessman. Gary Sandy provides the anchor as program director Andy Travis, Tim Reid is smooth as Venus Flytrap and Gordon Jump is great as the bumbling station owner Mr. Carlson.
WKRP in Cincinnati is one of the few sitcoms I remember being really in tune with when it came out. Whether it was the episode with them playing the John Lennon song "remember theres no heaven" for the faith guy or just the everyday antics of the group in the bullpen. It was the team and how they pulled together that kept me coming back to this show. And how much fun they had doing it. I think it was influential in its time. I am sorry its not on DVD yet. I still have some VHS tapes of the episodes when they were on the air. Really really old tapes! I hope to get the DVD set someday....when it is released.
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