The Great Turkey Drop

Front view of turkey, does this fellow look like he can fly?
Does This Fellow Look Like He Can Fly?

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

There’s many uniquely American traditions around Thanksgiving day. One of those is of course, eating a large bird known as “turkey,” as the centerpiece of the dinner. Along with the eating part of Thanksgiving comes the social events like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. We also have some other notable events real and fictional in television and music.

One of these most notable fictional events involved dropping turkeys out of helicopters.

The Show

Back in the late 1970s one of my favorite TV shows was “WKRP in Cincinnati.”  From the turkey-neutral Wikipedia we learn about WKRP:

WKRP in Cincinnati is an American sitcom television series about the misadventures of the staff of a struggling fictional radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio. The show was created by Hugh Wilson and was based upon his experiences working in advertising sales at Top 40 radio station WQXI in Atlanta, including many of the characters. Wilson once told The Cincinnati Enquirer that he selected WKRP as the call sign to stand for C-R-A-P.

WKRP premiered on September 18, 1978, on the CBS television network and aired for four seasons and 90 episodes, ending on April 21, 1982. Starting in the middle of the second season, CBS repeatedly moved the show around its schedule, contributing to lower ratings and its eventual cancellation. When WKRP went into syndication, it became an unexpected success. For the next decade, it was one of the most popular sitcoms in syndication, outperforming many programs that had been more successful in prime time, including all the other MTM Enterprises sitcoms.


The female lead (Goddess) Loni Anderson definitely helped ratings, but the show itself had many memorable quirky characters and off-beat episodes. The episode that is still considered one of the greatest in television history aired October 30, 1978. I’m talking about “Turkeys Away,” featuring the great WKRP turkey giveaway promotion.

The Episode

The entire 30-minute episode cannot be hosted on YouTube due to copyright issues. But some enterprising YouTuber has put together the important clips from that episode into a six-minute video that can be shown. So, for this Thanksgiving Day I present the timeless classic of a well-meaning PR stunt gone wrong. And which ends with one of the greatest lines in all of American television history.

WKRP In Cincinnati: Turkeys Away

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! May you have an enjoyable dinner with friends and family while giving thanks for the good things that happened over this past year.

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