Monday, November 01, 2004

The Return of Herb Tarlek

Hope this is better than The New WKRP in Cincinnati.

I think that of all the great characters on WKRP, Herb Tarlek may have become the most iconic -- him or Les Nessman. I've heard Herb Tarlek invoked as the ultimate example of the sleazy salesman by lawyers, teachers, businessmen, and, of course, salesmen.

Herb was originally supposed to be younger and possessed of a certain slimy charm -- Gob on Arrested Development would probably be a good approximation of the way Herb was conceived -- but, as so often, the actor who proved the best choice was a different physical type, and the character changed to fit the actor.

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