Friday, October 03, 2008

WKRP Episode: "The Consultant"

By request, an episode from the fourth season, written by Hugh Wilson, where a radio consultant (David "Thirtysomething" Clennon) comes to the station intending to give it a bad report. Like some of the scripts Hugh Wilson would do for Frank's Place, this has a rather odd structure and some abrupt shifts in tone (the very subdued, almost downbeat scene with Andy and the consultant).

This episode is also the one that really makes it clear that WKRP is an anachronism in 1981; the consultant correctly points out that no one was letting the DJs program their own music or working with only one salesman. But the parts of this episode people remember most are a) the scenes with Ian Wolfe as Hirsch, who gets his biggest role among the four episodes he appeared in, and b) The performances of characters when they pretend to be the opposite of what they usually are. Apparently part of the inspiration for that scene was that Loni Anderson had used a squeaky bubblehead voice in the mid-'70s when she appeared as dumb blondes on some shows (I think I recall her using it on The Love Boat, though it might have been somebody else talking like that), and Wilson apparently thought it would be funny to let her use that voice on the show.

Teaser and Act 1:

Act 2:


Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

This has always been one of my favorite 'KRP's...for the reason you stated, about each of the characters playing against their normal personalities.

Well, that and Bailey's recitation of the Nestle's jingle...priceless.

Tyronester said...

the Nestlie jingle was a TOTAL classic moment - and then he goes to leave the room, and BAM! - they hit you with that scene with Venus and Johnny! Televison at it's finest! The perfect music cue and everything!