Friday, January 18, 2008

WKRP Episode: "Mike Fright"

The next episode in what is becoming something like a weekly feature of this blog is from the second season, and is about a strike that seems to be going on for a long time. No, not that one. This is "Mike Fright," where, during a protracted garbage strike, Johnny suggests that his listeners take their garbage down to City Hall in protest. What ensues includes Johnny becoming too nervous to talk on the air, Les Nessman's best news bulletin ever, and "little tiny lawyers running all over the place."

This is one of the strongest episodes of the second season, I think; every character gets something funny to do, and Johnny's final scene in the booth contains at least two of the show's best punchlines. This was also one of the first episodes to bring in the idea that WKRP was becoming marginally more successful than it had been in the first season; the idea behind the episode is that Johnny gets a certain security from knowing that nobody listens to the station or cares what he says, and he becomes flustered to realize that he's developing a real -- and fanatical -- fan following. Note: Jerry Springer was the Mayor of Cincinnati at the time but, alas, he's not mentioned by name in the episode.

This was one of the earliest episodes to suffer a music change: the final scene of Act 1 uses a lot of Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody," but it was removed from reruns in the late '80s (I guess separate music and dialogue tracks must have existed for that particular scnene); fortunately a collector sent me the original version, which is included here. Other music includes: "Who Listens to the Radio?" by the Sports, "Rock n' Roll Music" by Chuck Berry, "Nowhere to Run" by Martha and the Vandellas, "Remember Who You Are" by Sly and the Family Stone and the theme from Rocky. Plus some songs in the scene in the bar that I can't identify.


WKRP s02e07 Mike Fright by carpalton

7 comments:

VP81955 said...

Just as an aside: At the time, Jerry Springer may have been mayor of Cincinnati, but he never ran for the position. That's because at the time, Cincinnati's form of government did not include a directly elected mayor; that person was instead chosen by his or her fellow council members. It was virtually the only major city in the U.S. where the mayor was not directly elected. (That has since changed.)

Anonymous said...

Time to re-visit this important topic, methinks...

http://zvbxrpl.blogspot.com/2005/06/movies-vs-films-vs-pictures.html

Anonymous said...

Couldn't you post some pictures of Loni Anderson ;-]

YibbleGuy said...

The country song played in the bar scene is "Honky Tonk Heroes," performed by Waylon Jennings. Interestingly, given that these postings are necessary because WKRP used actual popular songs by actual artists (requiring payment of actual royalties), the blues instrumentals that play before "Honky Tonk Heroes" sound suspiciously like the artist known as "Generic TV Show Blues Music For Generic TV Show Bar Scenes" ....

Anonymous said...

AWESOME!!! Thanks for posting the original KRPs. What an awesome show. Keep 'em coming.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for all the great episodes! I don't want to watch the Hulu ones, really, and, even if I did, since I live in Canada, I can't watch them there, anyway.

Do you have the tornado episode? I think it's from season 1.

At any rate, thank you! I've sure enjoyed watching these.

Snodge said...

Fantastic videos. Keep them up as long as possible!
-I love how Fever hits on Bailey during his apology. I like the chemistry there!