“WKRP in Cincinnati”: Still wonderfully crazy after all these years

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

Turkeys are a (mostly) flightless bird, and time flies like the wind. But 24 minutes of truly inspired TV comedy is an ageless wonder, the eternal sunshine of the mirthful mind. And so it is with great respect and appreciation that we pay tribute here to the 30th anniversary of one of the finest half hours in the history of television.

“Turkeys Away,” the legendary “oh the humanity” seventh episode of the first season of “WKRP in Cincinnati,” bowed on Oct. 30, 1978, at 8 p.m. on CBS. Jimmy Carter was in the White House, Debby Boone was atop the pop charts and I was officially allowed to stay up until 8:30 on Monday nights to enjoy what had quickly become one of my family’s favorite shows of the 1978-79 season.

No kidding, to this day if I close my eyes and concentrate I can still feel scratchy yellow shag carpet under my feet, I can see the rainbow-colored horizontal hold jumping around until the Zenith warmed up and I can hear the howls of laughter that filled our den on the night this episode first aired. 

For the uninitiated, please, take 24 minutes and spin this episode, courtesy of Hulu.com. And then pick up this post after the jump for a visit with “WKRP” creator Hugh Wilson, who I tracked down in Charlottesville, Va.