Friday, May 08, 2009

WKRP Episode: "I Want To Keep My Baby"

This was the episode made the week before "Fish Story," also written by Hugh Wilson and directed by Asaad Kelada. Like I said, it is a bit short on big laughs (though a lot better than the episode produced the week before, "Love Returns") , though in terms of chronology it was a big step forward toward pushing the show toward pure ensemble comedy, instead of focusing on Andy and Mr. Carlson as originally envisioned in the pilot.

The main reason I wanted to post this is that it's one of the most musically-compromised episodes on Hulu/DVD. Restoring the music was a time-consuming job because there's a lot of it, and almost all of it was stripped out over the years. In these early episodes, Hugh Wilson picked most of the songs himself (later that season Howard Hesseman and Tim Reid would start choosing their own songs, which would continue to the end of the series), and most of the song choices have titles that reflect in some way on the theme of the scene, sort of like a cartoon score. They include but are not limited to "Rock n' Roll Fantasy" by the Kinks, "B-A-B-Y" by Carla Thomas, "Lively Up Yourself" by Bob Marley (the only song preserved on the Hulu version), "Teach Your Children" by CSN&Y, "Return To Sender" by Elvis Presley, "Your Prayers Are Answered" by Randy Newman, "Your Smiling Face" by James Taylor.

Part 1

Part 2


Andy Rose said...

The song played at the end of the cold open (which skips at the beginning of Act 1) is "Hold the Line" by Toto.

That Bob Marley tune is also the only recorded song not created specifically for the show that survives in the Season 1 DVD. I've always wondered why... are rights to Marley really that cheap?

Also, I wish someone could figure out who's doing the voice of the child... it's obviously not a real baby's cries. I suspect it may have been Loni or Jan.

Albert Giesbrecht said...

I think this is one of the finest acted episode of the series. It brought me to tears. Which is strange for a sitcom, but WKRP in Cincinnati, was more than that, it was television the way it's supposed to be.