*This article has previously been published on The Word ... like a lot.
by Julian Spivey
There have been a lot of great and memorable Thanksgiving episodes in television history ranging from classics like “Bewitched” and “The Brady Bunch” to newer classics like “The West Wing” and “How I Met Your Mother.” However, there isn’t a single doubt in my mind that the Thanksgiving TV episode is “Turkeys Away” from the first season of “WKRP in Cincinnati.”
Not only is this ‘WKRP’ episode the Thanksgiving episode of all Thanksgiving episodes, but it’s also one of the 20 greatest TV episodes of all time, in general.
The episode originally aired on Oct. 30, 1978 on CBS and centered around a promotion that the fledgling Cincy radio station was doing for Thanksgiving. Mr. Carlson, played by Gordon Jump, has this great idea to give people turkeys on Thanksgiving by dropping them out of a helicopter and having people catch the turkeys. One big problem … turkeys don’t fly.
The funniest part of this episode is the utterly hysterical play-by-play of the event on their radio station by station newsman Less Nessman, played by Richard Sanders. The coverage by Nessman is actually a clever parody of Herbert Morrison’s famous Hindenburg disaster coverage.
The episode ends with one of the most recognizable and greatest quotes in TV history with Carlson saying: “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!”
“Turkeys Away” is a must watch for anybody who’s never seen the episode and has become a Thanksgiving tradition for me personally. Luckily for those that haven’t seen this wonderful classic it can be viewed on Hulu by clicking: here.