Classic TV Episodes: WKRP In Cincinnati – Turkeys Away

Some tv episodes are classic and will live on. When you tell someone you like a certain show, there is always that certain episode that many people will bring up that represents that show. I’ll go through a few random shows in the next few weeks and pick the one that I remember the most. They will be in no particular order.

” Those can’t be skydivers. I can’t tell just yet what they are but… Oh my God! They’re turkeys! Oh no! Johnny can you get this?”

” The Pinedale Shopping Mall has just been bombed with live turkeys. Film at eleven”

“I really don’t know how to describe it. It was like the turkeys mounted a counter-attack. It was almost as if they were… organized!”

“As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly”


When I talk to people about this show. This episode always comes to mind. The Characters are Bailey Quarters, Les Nessman, Mr. Carlson, Venus Flytrap, Dr. Johnny Fever, Herb Tarlek, Jennifer Marlowe and Andy Travis

Les’s play by play of the promotion is great. The complete episode is great but when Mr. Carlson says the closing line it turns into a classic episode.

It starts off with the big guy Mr. Carlson trying to act busy driving everyone crazy trying to be useful and probing the office to see what everyone was up to. He decided he would plan a promotion. He told the salesman Herb to get 20 turkeys ready for a Thanksgiving radio promotion.

Les is at the shopping center and Mr Carlson and Herb are up in a helicopter. He then notices a dark object being dropped from the helicopter, then a second one. Believing them to be skydivers, his tone becomes increasingly cautious when he sees no parachutes are opening. After a few more moments he realizes in horror that the objects are live turkeys. Continuing his broadcast (which bears a strong resemblance to the Hindenberg disaster) he says that the turkeys are hitting the ground and that the crowd has begun running away in panic. One turkey hits a parked car. Les continues, saying the turkeys are hitting the ground like “sacks of wet cement”. He tries to retreat to the store behind him but realizes he can’t after annoying the owner.

At the studio, the gang are listening, horrified themselves, when the broadcast is suddenly cut off. Johnny calmly tries to re-establish contact with Les, but hears only silence. Johnny thanks Les, telling his listeners that the shopping mall was just “bombed by live turkeys” and ends the broadcast.

At the end, Mr. Carlson says the phrase that elevates the episode to a classic. “As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly”

The play by play by Les.

As God As My Witness, I Thought Turkeys Could Fly


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

19 thoughts on “Classic TV Episodes: WKRP In Cincinnati – Turkeys Away”

  1. I’d say this has become as much a part of Thanksgiving as Alice’s Restaurant. The animal lover in me hates this episode, so I literally have to tell myself it wasn’t real; just TV, and that I loved WKRP. The Big Guy’s line is right up there with the most famous TV quotes of all time, imo.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Les’s play by play description and when he reads the banner so slow gets me everytime. Yes I watch it also at Thanksgiving…I know what you mean about the animal part. I think that is the reason they mention the humane society in the episode.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wrote about this episode in a “favorite TV episode” blogathon, and since then, have seen many other bloggers I follow write about it as well. That, in itself, is proof of the superiority of this episode. Factor in the internet articles that show up each and every Thanksgiving about it and you have more proof. I believe it truly is the best episode of the series.

    Carlson’s last line is like the cherry on top of a perfect sundae. It truly is one of the best lines in TV history!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is the best episode of that series I think hands down. Stay tuned tomorrow…I’m going to make sure I don’t go back and look at yours…I wanna see how many we have the same.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. a great one and probably the most iconic of any of the show’s episodes. The Who and the tornado one would maybe be 2nd and 3rd on that list. (I still remember that Johnny line from the tornados episode where he says storms scare him cause he grew up in a mobile home and “in a tornado, mobile homes get very…Mobile!”)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. it was a classic too,with Les using his pre-written speech about take cover because the Godless Russians are attacking and changing “Russians” to “tornadoes”!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh dear GOD. I remember seeing this episode…Les was just horrified. LOL! Carlson lamenting afterwards…that was TV history, up there with Sammy Davis, Jr., kissing Archie.

    The tornado episode would be #2. “I think God really hates mobile homes…”(the video link won’t show up on a phone):

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “sacks of wet cementt” lol…I saw it again last night

      I may do that one in this series…these are fun to do and not time-consuming.
      I told Dave I’ve got to see the tornado one again soon…I’m check the link…. GREAT LINE…I need to watch the complete episode


      1. Cool…I have it also…I just have to find it…but I’ll watch it on youtube…I got one tomorrow from the MTM show. Did you like that show?


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