The WKRP Thanksgiving Turkey Drop Stunt – Classic Radio Translated to The Medium of Television

Here we have a classic bit from the 1970s hit TV Show, WKRP in Cincinnati. The viewer may have been watching TV but they never get to see what the newscaster sees. Instead the viewer is invited to be a radio listener. The listener has to use their imagination. It’s called “Theater of the Mind“.

In the sequence, reporter Les Nessman (played by Richard Sanders) is dispatched to local shopping center. The program director had arranged for a number of living turkeys to be thrown from a helicopter onto the shopping area. He was hoping the stunt would help promote the radio station, under the impression that these turkeys would just fly away. Needless to say, turkeys raised as human food can not fly. Something else entirely occurred. the Hindenburg disaster was referenced.

The show was trying to save money by not showing the turkeys falling from the sky and onto the crowd of people below. They needed cheep because they were already paying a fortune to licence all the rock music heard on the show. Still, it would have been great to see the mayhem described actually appear on the screen.

To help you visualize what Les is seeing, we’ve created this cheeky little rendering with Photoshop.

What's on your mind?

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