Monday, August 14, 2006

Clips Re-Clipped

I have finally -- finally -- gotten around to restoring some of my YouTube clips that were wiped out in the Great YouTube Account Purge. I've put back some of the "WKRP in Cincinnati" clips and the clips from Lubitsch's The Smiling Lieutenant and the first scene of Hellzapoppin', so the embedded links in most of those posts are working again.

To make up for the weeks of clip-disabled posts, here's a "WKRP" clip I haven't posted before: the famous subplot from the episode "Fish Story" where Johnny Fever takes a test to prove that alcohol slows down a driver's reflexes, and his reflexes become better and better with every drink he takes.

"Fish Story" is semi-famous as an episode that was written, almost literally, under protest. It was the end of the initial 13-episode order of "WKRP" (the show was placed on hiatus after it was produced, but after two months the network gave it a last-minute pickup for a full season), and CBS was dismayed that the show was too low-key and not farcical enough -- they wanted something more like "Laverne and Shirley." So Hugh Wilson, the creator, wrote "Fish Story" with every cliché of TV farce: wacky costumes, characters getting splashed with paint, drunk scenes, comical brawls, and so on. He was sufficiently embarrassed by the script that he didn't take a writing credit on it; the credit reads "Written by Raoul Plager."

Of course the episode is probably the best-loved WKRP episode after the Thanksgiving show. I wouldn't call it one of my favourites, but it's a good farce episode and Jerry Hardin is inspired casting as the slow-burning police officer who administers the drinking test.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was really looking forward to seeing this clip, but it appears to have been pulled. :( If you get a chance, it'd be nice to see this video again.