WKRP in Cincinnati

I needed something on in the background while working over the weekend, I found WKRP on Hulu and had a weekend long viewing mitzvah. I watched every episode available, all 22 episodes of the first season.

This show was a very hazy memory growing up, it was one of the first shows I remember watching re-runs of as a kid. Night Court and Cheers would follow and I would eventually grow to understand what I was watching but WKRP was so early on that I only remember Loni Anderson’s big Aqua Net hair and big tits and maybe Johnny Fever’s mustache and bug eyes.

After viewing, I can recommend  WKRP in Cincinnati for the following reasons:

It’s a great time capsule for the style, music and general attitude of the late 70’s and early 80’s. The clothing and hair are worth watching for sure.

Unintentional comedy: The character of Andy(Gary Sandy), the station manager is the precursor to Matthew McConaughey. Watch ANY episode, they are the same person…minus the bongo’s. Makes sense I guess, WKRP probably would have been right in McConaughey’s wheelhouse growing up.

Insert Mooseknuckle joke here _________.

The fake music is great too. In the show they’ll be on the air and say “Alright! Here’s Heart of Glass by Blondie..” and then play a song that is definitely not Blondie, just some generic guitar riff that gets faded down pronto. Also at the end of each episode during the credits they play this loud rockin’ fake song that’s somewhere between an up tempo Elton John song and a piano driven Lynyrd Skynyrd tune with completely unintelligible lyrics, why not just have fake lyrics? The lyrics sound like mid-90’s Adam Sandler gibberish.

If you’re interested in the radio industry at all(or what radio stations where like back when radio was a profitable enterprise) WKRP is an interesting watch in that regard. The main Jock, Johnny Thunder was fired from his previous job in Los Angeles for uttering a word far too hot for broadcast, the word? the guess it, “Booger”.

There is a Ginger vs. Mary Anne thing with Loni Anderson(Jennifer) and Jan Smithers(Bailey) where Loni Anderson’s character (like Ginger on Gilligans Island) was the obvious sex object of the show but in hindsight it’s pretty obvious that the real winner is Jan Smithers(just as time proved Mary Ann the obvious choice over Ginger). I mean Loni’s got a better body(debatable) but she has the face of an ewok and that hair is retarded.

Winner winner, chicken dinner.

And as far as the characters and the performances I would put it on par with M*A*S*H. They do go for a little bit of a Hawkeye and Trapper John thing with Johnny Fever and Venus Flytrap. If you’re a pop culture junkie like myself and or appreciate classic television, WKRP is a must.

I’m just waiting for Hulu to update to the second season…

2 Responses to “WKRP in Cincinnati”

  1. 1 mark (from Houston) January 24, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    actually, the great travesty of WKRP is the music was never “fake”. the true songs mentioned were played and now cause copyright problems which are considered too pricy for the original clips to be put onto DVD.

    fans waited forever for the show to hit DVD and what was delivered was crap. full scenes and dialog were completely excised because there was no way to edit out the unlicensed music. the fans answered by not buying the DVD, and there will be no more.

    not every episode is a winner, but some episodes may surprise you, given their subject matter. for its time, WKRP was tackling topics
    other “edgier” shows wouldn’t touch for 15 years. but the heart and funny it dropped weekly was endearing.

    seek out the entire series. some basic cable channels air the edited-for-syndication versions, so some bits are lost, but the bulk is there.


    mark (from Houston)

    (why couldn’t Hoyt Axton’s songs be mired by copyright silliness?)

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