Friday, March 20, 2009

WKRP Episode: "Goodbye, Johnny"

While I still can, I'm going to try and present a few season 1 episodes that are shown with the original music. This episode was the ninth in production order, though it wasn't aired until the show came back from hiatus. (The first half was originally written as one long act, but was split into two for the show's new, post-hiatus format of a teaser followed by a shorter first act.)

The main musical content of the episode is "Surfin' U.S.A." by the Beach Boys. There's also a song Johnny plays in the opening scene; I don't know what the song is, but when it was dubbed over, Les's dialogue was also (poorly) redubbed. Though the sound quality here is a little fuzzy, this is the original music/dialogue.

In terms of its spot in the production order, this (Blake Hunter's first episode) was a pretty important episode for the show's transition to a full-blown ensemble show; most of the second act gathers all eight regulars together at a testimonial dinner, and they start to assume almost equal importance. It also introduced such future running themes as Les's obsession with Communism, and Bailey's crush on Johnny. And in addition to frequent MTM guest player Janet Meshad, the episode features the first appearance of Edie McClurg as Lucille, playing a character she had been doing on stage for the Groundlings -- the chirpy, "uh-huh"-ing Midwestern wife. She's been playing different versions of this character, brilliantly, for the last 30 years.

Cold Open and Act 1

Act 2 and Tag

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