Thursday, August 14, 2008

WKRP Episode: "A Date With Jennifer"

I can't guarantee that this one will stay up for long; episodes from the first season are really hard to upload (which is why it's uploaded on three different sites). But this was the episode that was probably the most brutally butchered on the DVD and on hulu, because not only was all the music gone, but a syndicated version was used that cut four whole minutes of content from the 25-minute episode.
Thanks to a fellow collector for sending me the episode as it aired on CBS.

This episode is most famous for the "Hot Blooded" scene, which Hugh Wilson came up with after hearing "Hot Blooded" on the radio and demonstrating Les's pantomime routine to his staff. It was also the first episode produced with the new "bullpen" set, signalling the show's move (after it came back from hiatus) to a pure ensemble comedy. (This is the first episode that doesn't even try to pretend that Andy is the central character.) Based on the bullpen set, director Asaad Kelada and the actors came up with the famous "walls" gag, which Kelada credited with making the set work, since it gave every character something to do or react to when he came into the room. It was also the first episode written by Richard Sanders (Les) and his writing partner, Michael Fairman.

Cold opening (music: "Shakedown Street" by the Grateful Dead)

Act 1

Act 2



Thad said...

That's the first time I've watched something other than porn on Porkolt!

VP81955 said...

I've read that Jennifer's character was altered a bit during the first season in that before the hiatus, she was much more a dumb blonde stereotype whereas afterwards, she became sort of a "smart cookie" (giving Loni Anderson much more leeway to work with, and if the change did take place, I'm certain she had something to do with it). How much of this is true?

Jaime J. Weinman said...

The change took place before the hiatus. In the pilot, Jennifer is not dumb, exactly, but clearly someone who's been hired for her looks and doesn't do a whole lot (and she refers to Mr. Carlson as a "jerk"). But by the second episode, they already added a line where Mr. Carlson notes how intelligent and supportive she is. There were lines/scenes in the early episode that indicated how the character could have gone another way, but basically her character was already set in the first 13 episodes.

Anonymous said...

Is there any chance you could post a complete version of the Hoodlum Rock episode? If so, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Okay, I love seeing this one, but that teaser for the Dukes of Hazzard premiere is my favorite part. The Bo/Daisy thing? Ewwww! Did that scene actually make it to the air?

Jaime J. Weinman said...

The Bo/Daisy thing? Ewwww! Did that scene actually make it to the air?

Yep. That's in the pilot. The first few episodes are a little less family-friendly than the rest of the series.

Anonymous said...

Is there any chance you could re-upload video # 3? It's the only one that's missing. From a big WKRP fan in NZ, thanks for this site, it's great! :)


Snodge said...

Love this episode. The scene where Les dresses to "Hot Blooded" is genius!! I think the cast was so good together in the show. A lot of chemistry and they fit together well. Thanks for this valuable archive!

Anonymous said...

I never considered that Andy Travis is the central character, neither during the actual shows in the 70s nor in re-watching the eps here. How can that be? Rarely was there an episode that was Andy-centric. And he didn't have the character role nor the strong presence to be central. He's just a nice guy from the west who wants to do something "good" in the midst of the wackiness around him. In retrospect, he's the "straight" guy (comedy terms) in the show and provides balance to the loony characters and situations around him.