When Thanksgiving gets close I can’t help but think of the classic WKRP episode Turkeys Away when the station gave away turkeys by dropping them from a helicopter over a Cincinnati shopping mall. WKRP GM Arthur Carlson had the quote of the moment: As God as my witness I thought turkeys could fly!
Here is a four minute clip from the episode:
Almost everyone who has worked in radio has a story about a station promotion that went out of control. Turkeys Away is somewhat based on a real incident that happened at WQXI, Atlanta. WKRP creator and producer Hugh Wilson worked at WQXI before he moved to LA. Many of the people and incidents in the show were based on WQXI.
The excellent blog Classic TV History [link] published an interview with Wilson and others involved with WKRP. In this interview, former WQXI executive Clarke Brown, tells the true story of the turkey drop:
People were laughing at us, not with us. But it became a legend. [But, in reality] the turkeys were thrown off the back of a truck.
Have a nice Thanksgiving folks! See you on Monday.