Friends, in the nearly ten years that I was lucky enough to write for the Retroist site – one of the television shows that I enjoyed sharing memories about the most was WKRP in Cincinnati. Whether that be the hysterical fits of laughter even thinking about the first season episode entitled “Turkey’s Away” or to the fitting if unintended finale to the series with the fourth season episode “Up And Down the Dial“. The series easily ranks in my top five television shows of all time – along with the likes of Night Court and The Twilight Zone. One of those reasons is the exceptional ensemble cast that had been assembled for the show – although as I understand it – originally the focus of the series was going to be more on Andy Travis (Gary Sandy) as programming director for WKRP. Series creator and showrunner Hugh Wilson who based the show off some of his own experiences working at WQXII in Atlanta – wisely saw that series worked best focusing on the staff of the fictional radio station instead of just one person. In fact I’ll let the late and great Hugh Wilson explain it all himself – BE WARNED – when he begins talking about Bette Midler there is a moment of EXTREME salty language.
I suppose once you’ve reached 72 years of age and are being interviewed about your legacy in pop culture – you are understandably allowed to express your true feelings on a subject, right? I am sad to say that Hugh Wilson who also directed the likes of Police Academy, Guarding Tess, The First Wives Club, and Blast from the Past – passed away two years after that interview.
Just like with such television series as Firefly and 1990’s The Flash among many others – the odds seemed stacked against WKRP in Cincinnati with continuous changes to it’s time slot. Which was surprising that it really seemed to have found it’s audience once it entered syndication – which is where I was first introduced to it. I cannot tell you truthfully how many Family dinners with my Grandparents were spent laughing and being moved by the characters of WKRP. At the very least we can all enjoy this hilarious blooper reel from 1981 – which I believe is put together from the third season of WKRP in Cincinnati.