I have several favorite “cast based” shows. Most of them come from a time when the half hour comedy/social commentary show was popular. Do you remember: Barney Miller, Taxi, Mary Tyler Moore, M.A.S.H., Hogan’s Heroes, Coach, Wings, and the oldest one, the Andy Griffith Show? All of these shows had interesting story lines but even more interesting individual characters who seemed more real to us than the characters in other shows.
But, “WKRP in Cincinnati” cannot be left off that list. I loved every one of the characters.
- Loni Anderson as the ultimate professional receptionist.
- Gary Sander, the cool and ever ready station manager, Andy Travis.
- “Big Guy Carlson”, Gordon Jump
- Richard Sanders as news caster bizarre, Les Nessman.
- The crazy salesman, Herb Tarlek, played by Frank Bonner.
- My favorite DJ, Venus Flytrap, Tim Reid.
- The lost new girl, Bailey Quarters (Jan Smithers)
- And, the lovable bad boy, Dr. Johnny Fever, played by Howard Hesseman.
My favorite episode was one where a tornado warning had been announced for the region and everyone needed to take cover immediately. The station did not have a disaster preparedness plan ready for broadcast. The “creative” newsman suggested that they use the plan that they did have ready – how to respond if the Communists attacked the city – by substituting the word “tornado” in place of the word “communist.” I laughed until I cried as I heard the radio voice advising people that “The hordes of tornadoes are at the outskirts of the city” and that they needed to “protect their families from the God-hating tornadoes.” It was funny to us, the audience, until the station received a call from a frightened child who was home alone. The tone changed, the station owner became a comforting adult. Regardless of the scary tornadoes (or Communists), someone who was weak and alone and scared needed the help of someone stronger.
But, at this time of the year, we all ought to re-watch the scene from “WKRP in Cincinnati” when the station owner decides to have a “turkey drop” downtown. The scene ends with his famous line, “As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”
Take a minute and enjoy a laugh or two. And, during this next week of gathering together, remember to stop laughing when someone needs your hand of comfort. Reach out. Don’t hesitate to help.
Jill (just one of God’s kids)
But if anyone has he world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? John 3:17