Feeling a bit nostalgic this Thanksgiving? Let’s travel back to the wonderful world of 1970s television and view one of the most hilariously disastrous Thanksgiving episodes of all time: the “WKRP Turkey Drop.”
It’s Thanksgiving, and WKRP in Cincinnati station manager Arthur Carlson decides to bring some holiday cheer to the city by organizing a turkey drop. Sounds innocent enough, right? Wrong! In his infinite wisdom, Carlson decides that the best way to distribute these fine feathered creatures is by dropping them from a helicopter.
I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
As the helicopter takes off with its precious cargo, we don’t actually see the turkeys on screen. However, through Les Nessman’s hilarious commentary, the chaos unfolds in our imagination. The scene quickly transforms into a feathery frenzy of epic proportions. Nessman vividly describes the turkeys plummeting from the sky, their wings flapping wildly as they descend like… well, turkeys. The streets become a battleground of hilarious commotion, filled with the sounds of gobbling and people scrambling for cover, slipping and sliding amidst the unexpected consequences of Carlson’s grand plan.
As the turkeys continue to rain down upon the city, one even hitting a car’s windshield, Les Nessman’s voice carries on narrating the unfolding spectacle with a hysterical mix of confusion, panic, and sheer disbelief.
The mayhem reaches its peak, and amidst the chaos, Nessman’s connection to the station is lost and we’re left wondering just how many turkeys actually came plunging from that helicopter and whether Nessman himself ever found shelter.
Later on, Arthur Carlson utters those famous words that will forever be burned into television history: “As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”
Classic. Utterly classic.
This episode, based on a true story, perfectly captures the absurdity and unpredictability of live radio and television. With its witty writing and memorable characters, WKRP in Cincinnati has become an iconic piece of television comedy, transcending generations and making us appreciate the power of laughter in even the most ridiculous situations.
So, if you’re in need of a good laugh and a healthy dose of Thanksgiving-themed mayhem, do yourself a favor and check out the video at the top of this page of the “WKRP Turkey Drop” episode and get ready to witness the hilarious disaster that unfolds when you mix a helicopter, airborne turkeys, and a dash of misguided holiday spirit. It’s a wild ride you won’t want to miss!
Originally published November 14, 2023