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WKRP in Cincinnati: Living on the Air


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#1

justjohn

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Posted Apr 28, 2004 @ 3:42 PM

Holy crap! No posts yet in 2004...

Anyway, here's a tiny ray of hope for a DVD release.

Edited by justjohn, Apr 28, 2004 @ 3:43 PM.

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#2

espie

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Posted Apr 30, 2004 @ 10:32 AM

I'm here, I'm here!

I’m old enough to have seen the first-run episodes, and my favorite was probably the ballgame with WPIG. The first time my family watched it we were hysterical with laughter (and we’re not even sports fans) and every time they repeated that one I’d yell “Hey, dad, it’s the ballgame one!” and my father would stop whatever he was doing and come watch it again. (Can you twenty-somethings out there believe there was once life without VCR’s?)

I saw Gary Sandy onstage in a production of “Arsenic and Old Lace” in Boston about ten years ago. It was a dream cast for TV fans; besides Sandy there were Jean Stapleton, Marion Ross, Larry Storch and Jonathan Frid. He was very courteous, came to the stage door and chatted with everyone after the show who wanted to see him. Seems like a very nice guy.
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#3

Frogbone72

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Posted Apr 30, 2004 @ 1:25 PM

Is this show syndicated nation wide or do you have to be fortunate to live in a town that airs it locally. I know it used to be on TVLand or Nick at Nite.
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#4

kdboo

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Posted May 12, 2004 @ 7:53 PM

Working in broadcasting for so many years has caused my appreciation for "WKRP" to grow even more. There are so many past and present colleagues of mine that could have easily been the characters on the show.

And it captured the politics of broadcast operations perfectly: Upper Management (like Mama Carlson) obsessed at the bottom line, Sales Dept (like Herb) chasing after the Big Bucks, On-Air Talent and Behind-Scenes-Staffers (like the DJs, Les, Bailey, & sometimes Jennifer ) frustrated and often fighting for what they believe is right, and Middle Management concerned (like Andy) & confused (like Arthur Carlson) with its hands tied behind its back.

I had the pleasure of seeing Gary Sandy in person a year ago (he had an interview at the TV station where I work) and talking with Tim Reid and Daphne Maxwell-Reid more recently (also an interview at my station). They were all very friendly and jovial. I wish TV Land would put "WKRP" back into their programming rotation.
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#5

ubi

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Posted May 13, 2004 @ 6:39 AM

I wish TV Land would put "WKRP" back into their programming rotation.

Yeah, what is it with TVland anyway? They promote the hell out of a show that's been added to their lineup, then quietly replace it with Cosby or some other crappy show that's already been played to death.
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#6

D.C.

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Posted May 13, 2004 @ 6:33 PM

Okay, I'm sitting here watching Mars Attacks on HBO, and the woman who plays the senile old grandma looks familiar. It turns out it's Sylvia Sidney, the woman who played Mama Carlson! It also turns out she had a looooong career, starting as a replacement for Clara Bow in the silent movie era, and billed as the "girl with the saddest eyes in the movies." Interesting stuff.
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#7

El Kabong

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Posted Aug 30, 2004 @ 4:06 PM

Bumpity.
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#8

justjohn

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 8:45 AM

Teague, tip of the hat acknowledged from the locked thread. Got through all my WKRP tapes a couple months ago. Probably speaks to the excellent quality of VCRs and videotape way back when that the tapes have remained as good as new almost 20 years later.

As far as the DVDs, I'm also not holding my breath for season sets. I think I mentioned this way back in the thread, but I don't see why a DVD collection of episodes that contained minimal music couldn't be released. If music clearances are too expensive for the entire run, pick and choose the eps that pose the fewest hurdles. Maybe that's not how it works, but it's an idea that I've never seen addressed and dismissed.
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#9

Teagan

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 9:00 AM

I'd forgotten this thread even existed!

WKRP is one of my absolute favorites. I don't think I could pick a favorite episode. All of them were so wonderful. Although, whenever the show is mentioned, my mind goes first to "the pink frog" episode.

I'd give anything to have DVD's, but I, too, am not holding my breath.
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#10

teriweaver

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 10:25 AM

I had my first Chemistry class last night and I giggled all the way through class because the instructor looks just like Mr. Carlson. This could make for a very long semester.
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#11

Sea

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 11:00 AM

I love this show. I was a little too young for it the first time around, but even 20 years later it hold up very well.

Johnny freaking out over the "phone cops" will never stop being funny.
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#12

Sean C

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 11:06 AM

Well, if you stop to consider that Gordon Jump (Mr. Carlson) was also a child-molesting bicycle-store owner on Diff'rent Strokes, that might quell the giggles. Man, that was one creepy hour of television.
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#13

Teague

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 2:32 PM

Glad you saw that, justjohn--I've watched the heck out of those tapes this past nine months, since my second daughter was born and I've been doing the midnight feedings. One episode per feeding--it's a good system. And I'm ingraining WKRP appreciation into my child--always a good thing.

My only regret about the ones I have on tape is that "Three Days of the Condo", in which Johnny invests in real estate in Gone with the Wind estate, isn't among them. I can't tell you how much I want to see that episode again. Some great lines, like: "I'm sorry, Mr. Caravella, but the deal has been consummated." "Yeah, but you see, I feel like I've been consummated, Ms. Archer!" Just hilarious. I keep that one in my head, for the occasion that someone feeds me the right "our deal is consummated" line. Sigh.

Edited by Teague, Aug 31, 2004 @ 2:42 PM.

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#14

justjohn

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 2:57 PM

In looking over the episode guide, I realize how many eps I've either forgotten or never seen--including "Three Days of the Condo", Teague. Something to look forward to if we ever get DVDs...

Speaking of, I e-mailed Shout Factory for a DVD update earlier today. If I get a reply, I'll post what they said.
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#15

Teague

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 3:11 PM

Aces, justjohn. I'd love to see a DVD set even without the original music. Better than nothing.

Yeah, you really ought to try to catch "Three Days of the Condo". It's just too, too funny. I've looked through the episode lists, too, and while there are a few that I've only seen a small number of times, I don't think that there are any that I haven't seen at least a couple of times. I got into the show in junior high, when it was on three times in one afternoon (on different cable channels, natch), and my friends and I watched them for an hour and half pretty much every day. Man, I wish I'd taped those, then, but that was pre-VCRs, I think--or else it was back in the infancy of VCRs, when they cost nearly $1000, and most of the ones in homes were just playback machines and couldn't yet record. Sigh.

I have made at least a few converts, though--in one of the classes I teach at the University of Colorado at Denver, I have extra credit questions at the end of the final exam that have nothing to do with the subject. One of the categories is Classic TV, and one of my questions is "What is Dr. Johnny Fever's real name on "WKRP"? Most students write something like "You must be kidding" (probably my most common answer to all my extra credit questions...), but a few students have recalled the show, and some have even watched it on my suggestion, and loved it. The market is still out there, and the comedy is still well-received. I think that a DVD release would do well.
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#16

teriweaver

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 3:11 PM

Well, if you stop to consider that Gordon Jump (Mr. Carlson) was also a child-molesting bicycle-store owner on Diff'rent Strokes, that might quell the giggles.


Thanks Sean C. I think I would have rather stuck with the giggles.
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#17

M. Darcy

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 3:15 PM

Justjohn, I'm guessing you've never seen it because that episode was pretty unforgetable. One of the greats.

Oh yeah, booger! (its appropriate - I think that is where Johnny Fever got the money to buy the condo - a settlement from the radio station for firing him).
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#18

justjohn

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 3:44 PM

I'd love to see a DVD set even without the original music. Better than nothing.


Teague, in all honesty, I'd opt for nothing. But that's just me. I'd rather have only the musically-light episodes on DVD if that kept the original music intact. Too many songs are linked with the scenes in which they appeared. For example, I can't imagine generic music playing instead of "Hot Blooded" while Les is putting on his toupee in "A Date With Jennifer."
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#19

Teague

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 3:57 PM

Yeah, justjohn, I can see your point, especially for scenes like the one you describe--and there are other, more subtle moments that get lost in such a "translation", to put it generously, like when Johnny plays "Your Smiling Face" by James Taylor at the end of "I Want to Keep My Baby". And yes, I'd miss those moments terribly. But I guess I'm thinking that something is better than nothing, and if nothing else, I can mentally fill in the music that's missing where it's important. I already do, when I catch an episode here and there.

It's too bad that it's such a snarl of red tape--I have no idea what it might take to get the rights to some of those songs (I'd imagine that it might be easier now than it was ten or fifteen years ago, when the clipping began--some of the bands that own the rights to these songs are probably in need of some cash...or do the labels own those rights? If only I were a copyright lawyer, I'd do some pro-bono work for all of us!)
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#20

justjohn

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 4:06 PM

Agreed, "Your Smiling Face" is a definite keeper. One that the music police missed on the old 8-episode VHS boxset was the Eagles' "The Long Run", which appeared intact at the end of "The Doctor's Daughter." That was the hit that Johnny played, much to Andy's delight and amazement.
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#21

JD shoulda been MD

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 4:10 PM

"That's a hit! He's playing a hit! Hey! Everybody! He's playing a hit!"

Love me some Andy.
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#22

Teague

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 4:26 PM

I wish I'd gotten my hands on one of those old mega-boxsets. They sound pretty cool, despite the loss of the music. Heck I'd even considered buying one of those bootleg VCD collections off ebay, but three things stopped me: one, I don't like actually supporting the bootleg system--I'd like the writers, performers, and producers, etc. to get the money owed them; two, they were taped off of TV and I wasn't sure how good they'd be; and three, I have no earthly idea what in the heck a VCD is. :)

What eps did they include on the 8-set? Just curious.
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#23

justjohn

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 4:35 PM

Teague, I've got that crappy boxset at home--I'll jot down the eps when I get home. Actually, I can remember most of them: the two-part pilot, "The Doctor's Daughter", the two-parter where Herb's sleazy photographer takes nude pictures of Jennifer, the one with Herb in the carp outfit, and the stereo store hold-up with Johnny. That's seven of the eight right there. I'll get the other one later. I just remembered the other one: the Gordon Sims ep. What a memory I've got! :-)
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#24

Teague

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 4:41 PM

An arcane memory, justjohn, is the mark of a true fan. :)

So I'm guessing that the boxset was actually just made up of the non-Christmas episodes already released on tape, then? That's too bad. I have the pilot VHS on tape already, and the only episode I think I didn't get from you on that list was the Holdup, which is a great one, to be sure.

Writing on this forum has just inspired me to write TVLand and see if they'd be willing to run the Turkey Drop episode this Thanksgiving. Should be a yearly event on that station, methinks. It's a natural.
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#25

Teagan

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 5:49 PM

Wow, you are all bringing up some great memories for me. I agree that some of the episodes wouldn't be the same without the original songs. I can't hear "Tiny Dancer" without thinking of the Russian man quoting it to Bailey while kissing her hand! I also love all of the episodes you've remarked on.

Other favorites of mine--remember these classic quotes?:

"If a guy likes a girl, that used to be a guy, but isn't anymore, what does that make the guy that likes the girl that used to be a guy?"

"Bobby Boogie. Bobby Boogie, Bobby Boogie. Bobbbyyyy Boooogieee".

"You guys had an orgy last night! And I wasn't invited!"

"I don't go for little gustos Herb!"

"Sure, Herb. Just call him on the phone and say "Hi, my pink frog is sick and I'd like you to come up and look at his feet!"

Ok, I'll stop now (although I could go on forever!)--except to add that I also liked the episode where Mama Carlson had the executive come in to check on the station employees and they all changed rolls/personalities. Oh and I loved Mama Carlson's butler (his name's on the tip of my tongue): "Where have you been?!" (deadpans)"Mardi Gras, madame.".

Oh, hell! I love all of them. They have to find a way to put these on DVD as originally aired!

Edited by Teagan, Aug 31, 2004 @ 6:30 PM.

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#26

justjohn

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 7:38 PM

So I'm guessing that the boxset was actually just made up of the non-Christmas episodes already released on tape, then?


Not sure, Teague--I don't remember seeing any other tapes. One day, I stumbled across the boxset at the mall and thought I struck gold--until I got home and popped the pilot in the VCR. Soon after, I felt like throwing the tapes out the window. Of course, those were the pre-Internet days. Now, a quick glance at the Amazon customer reviews would've warned me to stay away.

In part two of the pilot, in place of Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll" when the little old lady starts bashing the turntable, there's some Boston/Journey-esque arena rock. Totally ruins the moment since Johnny had just set up the intro by saying Tell me, doctor, when you feel like this, what do YOU take? Well, I'll tell ya.

BTW, that scene contained one of the funniest lines in the history of television:

I don't know what you want here, but I think you SHOULD know that I've killed a LOT of old people in my time, and I'm NOT above doing it again.
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#27

Teague

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 8:00 PM

Wow, some great lines there, Teagan...and I have to tell you, that the fact that I'm talking to you here is weirding me out a little, since my daughter's name is Teagan, too. I keep imagining her sitting there, quoting WKRP, which actually kind of makes me happy, but it's unsettling, too. :)

And justjohn, I was just watching that episode you mention the other day--the one where they've stricken the Seeger track, sadly, and yes, it sucks, I completely agree. The worst dub of all, at least to me, goes back to something that Teagan mentioned above--the "Hold me closer, Tiny Dancer" line from "The Americanization of Ivan" (a great episode, by the way--I love the very recognizable character actor--who actually played several roles in the show, but in this case he was the naturalization officer--whose office still had a picture of Nixon up because they "never got a Carter") has been replaced with "Hold my order, terrible dresser." Good lord, if they have to dub the things, can't they do it well?
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#28

MelfrmMd

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 10:05 PM

Oh and I loved Mama Carlson's butler (his name's on the tip of my tongue): "Where have you been?!" (deadpans)"Mardi Gras, madame.".


The butler's name was Hirsch, I believe.
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#29

Teagan

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 10:21 PM

The butler's name was Hirsch, I believe.


Yes! That's it! Thank you.


Teague , I had to do a double take when I first came in here. Teagan is a great name, but it's not my real name. I was helping a friend find a name for her baby and I came across it and liked it.

Topic:

Other favorite episodes include (forgive me for not remembering the titles):

The Scum of the Earth
When Carlson's wife had the baby
When they all brought Christmas trees to Jennifer because they thought she was alone for Christmas day.

Jennifer's new house
The bomb at the transmitter
The one where Venus teaches the kid about the atom
Surf City USA (naked pictures of Jennifer)
The episode where they try to prove the effects of alcohol on the body

and so on and so on..........

And one more favorite quote that I've used many times myself:

People will be very impressed.....until they talk to someone.
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#30

D.C.

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Posted Aug 31, 2004 @ 10:23 PM

Ah, but Teague, you missed my favorite. That's the one where Johnny and Venus are doing a public service...thing...with a state trooper about drunken driving, and a drunk Venus wanders into Mr. Carlson's office proclaiming, "Heeeeey, white folks!....I want a hat!" He went on to say, when asked if he shouldn't really be on the air, "I AM the air!" I was in radio for years (I was a rea-life Bailey Quarters), and I always wanted to use that line. "I AM the Air!!!!"

Edited by D.C., Aug 31, 2004 @ 10:23 PM.

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