Tuesday, December 23, 2008

WKRP Episode: "Clean Up Radio Everywhere"

Here's an "issue" episode that does work. It was the last episode of the third season, written at the height of entertainment-industry panic about the Moral Majority. Hugh Wilson got the idea for the episode after his show turned up on a list of shows criticized by Jerry Falwell. What makes the episode work is that it puts characterization first: the episode is first and foremost about Mr. Carlson, the conservative, religious guy running a station whose music he doesn't much like or even approve of. He has more in common with the Falwell clone Dr. Bob Halyers (Richard Paul, who looked so much like Falwell that he actually played him in the movie The People Vs. Larry Flynt) than he has with most of the people who work at his station, and he's initially receptive to the argument that his station is playing music that's a bad influence, because that's what he suspected in the first place. So it's an issue episode, but it's also about how Mr. Carlson has developed as a character since the pilot.

Cold Opening and Act 1





Act 2





6 comments:

jason said...

Brilliant episode... this is one of the ones that made a big impression on me when I was a kid and has stayed with me over the years.

Albert Giesbrecht said...

The video was removed...blah blah blah.

G Rockressio said...

Thanks so much for posting these. I know the video sites are pulling them left and right, but it's really nice to be able to see these episodes intact, with the original music.

Albert Giesbrecht said...

Thank you for re posting the first half of the episode.

Snodge said...

I love Ralph Manza in this episode. Excellent dialogue all around. Great TV

cb70 said...

You'll notice they quote Lennon's Imagine in this. This was taped about two months after he was murdered and you can kinda pin point when it happened in a few of the earlier episodes because 3 different pictures of John pop up in the DJ booth when there were none before that tragic event.