WKRP in Cincinnati

Season 1 Episode 7

Turkeys Away

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Oct 30, 1978 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
84 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Mr. Carlson puts on a Thanksgiving promotion involving turkeys tossed from a helicopter at a shopping mall.

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  • I swear, the single funniest line in all of Tv history

    With the possible exception of the Thanksgiving Dinner episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, this must rank as, almost beyond peradventure, the single funniest sitcom episode of all time. My mother and my father, who rarely saw eye to eye on anything,ould not stop laughing. NOBODY in our famlily could stop laughing. When MR. Carlson said "With God as my witness, i thought Turkeys could fly ", this great show earned an imperishable place in the halls of fame. It will always be a falcon across the sky of memory. God bless Johnny and Venus, and Bailey, and Les, and all the rest.moreless
  • One of the top ten funniest episodes of ANY show in television history!

    Wkrp in Cincinnati was one of the best sitcoms in television history,and 'Turkeys Away' was an absolutely legendary episode that people who saw it remember and talk about even to this day over thirty years later! In offices all across America, the day after this episode aired for the first time, real life 'Big Guys' were telling real life employees to knock it off and get back to work because everyone who saw that episode the day before had something to say about it over the water cooler. Usually with aching ribs and tears in their eyes as they had been laughing so hard they could barely catch their breath. "With God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly." became an instant catch phrase that could be heard throughout the country for a long time after this episode hit the air. One of the funniest episodes of any show in T.V. history!moreless
  • Thanksgiving promotion gone wild!

    Arthur Carlson wants to be more hands on in his radio station, so he takes it upon himself to set upthe station's Thanksgiving promotion. While the rest of the staff are skeptical at best, they allow the Big Guy to do his thing. When the big day arrives and Les Nesman is onthe scene providing the exclusive live coverage. What ensues is one of the funniest moments not only in the show's history, but likely in television in general. This episode is brilliantly written, and the comedic timing of the cast is spot on. Everyone gives star performances, but I will especially note Richard Sanders as Nessman and Gordon Jump as Carlson for their hilarious roles. The best thing about this episode is that they rely mostly on dialogue to describe what is happening. This allows your imagination to run wild and create an image that is still funny to this day. Being able to successfully and comedically tell a story on television without having you rely on the visuals is a tricky thing to do, and few do it better than the mighty WKRP.moreless
  • When history tries to collect the best moments in TV comedy, this episode should be near the top of the list!

    It was amazing how early in the series that the characters had been developed. In this one show alone, you get the feel for who everyone is, and what their part on the show would be in their short tendure on TV.

    When a show can illict an emotion from just a couple of words, you know you have a classic on hand. If there is one show that you are to watch of WKRP, this is the one, hands down, to see and revel in it's genius! "As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!" Brilliant!moreless
  • This has got to be the best Holiday episode of any series. The Big Guy and Herb try to handle the Thanksgiving promotion themselves.

    This episode is one of a handful that makes me laugh by just thinking about it. Les' on the spot reporting from his slow reading of the sky banner to his spot on imitation of the Hindenburg disaster report are a comedy classic. The reactions of Andy and Dr. Johnny Fever in the broadcast booth are great too. And then to finally see the Big Guy and Herb returning to the station covered in feathers is just, to repeat myself, a comedy classic.

    This series needs to be released on DVD. I really, really hope that the music licensing get worked out so I can see this episode when ever I want.

Gary Sandy

Gary Sandy

Andy Travis

Gordon Jump

Gordon Jump

Arthur "Big Guy" Carlson

Loni Anderson

Loni Anderson

Jennifer Marlowe

Richard Sanders

Richard Sanders

Les Nessman

Tim Reid

Tim Reid

Gordon "Venus Flytrap" Sims

Frank Bonner

Frank Bonner

Herb Tarlek

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • In the episode Les states that the helicopter is pulling a banner. Helicopters cannot pull banners behind them due to the tail rotor section of the helicopter. They actually use a tower system where the banner, normally square in shape, hangs directly below the helicopter, 150 feet below, with dead weight attached to the bottom of the banner to keep it from getting caught in an updraft.

    • If you look very closely at the record spinning on the turntable while
      Johnny is telling Venus about the Blond Wig giveaway and the Guatamalan
      earthquake, the record label changes back and forth between a black label (Columbia, probably) and a brighter colored one.

    • During this sequence, they added a "skip" back in the music to extend the dogs-barking section to fill the scene.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Johnny Fever: (after Big Guy leaves with Herb and Les) Well, it looks like this thing might work out for Carlson after all. He's got two turkeys with him already.

    • Herb: When that farmer asked me what I wanted with twenty live turkeys, I had to do some pretty fast talking, let me tell you.
      Les: What did you tell him?
      Herb: I told him it was a secret.

    • Mr. Carlson: As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

    • Johnny: (on air) Thanks for that on the spot report, Les. For those just tuning in, the Pinedale Shopping Mall has just been bombed with live turkeys! Film at eleven.

    • Les: It's a helicopter, and it's coming this way. It's flying something behind it, I can't quite make it out, it's a large banner and it says, uh - Happy... Thaaaaanksss... giving! ... From ... W ... K ... R... P!! No parachutes yet. Can't be skydivers... I can't tell just yet what they are, but - Oh my God, they're turkeys!! Johnny, can you get this? Oh, they're plunging to the earth right in front of our eyes! One just went through the windshield of a parked car! Oh, the humanity! The turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement! Not since the Hindenburg tragedy has there been anything like this!

  • NOTES (5)

    • When this episode was rerun on CBS during the fourth season, Gary Sandy taped an introduction sitting in the broadcast booth set as he said the following.

      "Hi! I'm Gary Sandy. You know, of all the shows we've done on WKRP in the first three seasons, not one show ever generated the amount of mail, the amount of interest, as a show we did our very first season. It was called "Turkeys Away". So we kinda thought you might like to see it again. It's about Thanksgiving... so naturally we've choosen the Christmas season to show it. Happy Holidays. Drums, please. (Leading into the current season's credit sequence beginning)

      This is usually snipped from syndication prints, although it has been seen on some station's prints.

    • This is the first of Michael Fairman's two, unrelated appearances on WKRP in Cincinnati. He can also be seen in season three's "The Airplane Show."

    • Music Changes: Two songs (the ones Johnny plays just before and after the turkey drop) replaced.

    • Songs: "Dogs" by Pink Floyd; "It Came Out of the Sky" by Creedence Clearwater; "Fun Time" by Joe Cocker

    • This is the series' most famous episode. It is based on a true story that had become famous within the radio industry. Many residents of Atlanta remember the tragedy when radio disc jockeys at WQXI dropped live turkeys from a helicopter. Most of the turkeys landed on I-85 in Georgia and all of the turkeys died.


    • Les: "Oh, the Humanity!"

      Les' broadcast of the turkey drop is partly a spoof of Herbert Morrison's famous live broadcast of the 1937 Hindenburg disaster for WLS in Chicago, which is where the line "Oh, the humanity!" comes from.