Back in the day, WKRP in Cincinnati was required viewing for all of us wannabe radio people. If you work in the business, we’ve all met and worked with our share Herb Tarleks, Arthur Carlsons, Johnny Fevers, Les Nessmans and even Jennifer Marlowes.
And there isn’t a radio person alive that still doesn’t crack up at the line “As God as my witness, I thought that turkeys could fly.”
The other thing we loved about WKRP was how the original network version of the show used REAL music from REAL artists. That had never been done before in the history of television. (That pioneering move later created all kinds of licensing problems when it came to syndicating the show, making it available on DVD and on-demand. But that’s another story.)
Credit for all of the above has to go to creator Hugh Wilson, who based many of the characters and situations on his experiences working at a real-life radio station in Atlanta. He later went on to direct and write movies like Police Academy, The First Wives Club, Blast from the Past and many others.
Wilson died this week at the age of 74. Somewhere, Venus Flytrap is lighting a candle for him.