Turkeys Away! Jen Chaney Pays Tribute to WKRP’s Classic Thanksgiving Episode
Posted on November 22, 2018 at 12:00 pm
My friend and fellow critic Jen Chaney has a marvelous tribute to what she says is the greatest Thanksgiving episode of series television, “WKRP’s” “Turkeys Away!” She even has the details of the real-life radio station promotions that inspired it.
It is a delightful essay about a television classic.
Crucially, we never actually see a helicopter or any turkeys hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement. The entire picture of this scene is painted through Les’s words and tone, which escalate quickly from calm and newsman-like to absolutely panic-stricken. This is necessary for obvious reasons: It would have been problematic from an animal-rights perspective (not to mention prohibitively expensive) for a network sitcom to stage this scene. But it works better without us witnessing what happens. As we would if we were listening to Les on the actual radio, we are guided through this story primarily by Sanders’s vocal expression, a wonderfully appropriate touch for a show about a group of people attempting to assert the relevancy of radio.