Les Nessman

One of the most memorable TV episodes in the 1970s was WKRP in Cincinnati’s Thanksgiving special, “Turkeys Away!” The outrageous helicopter stunt made this special Thanksgiving episode of the hit show extra hilarious.

WKRP Thanksgiving Episode

Mr. Carlson wanted to have a WKRP Thanksgiving promotion, so the station dropped turkeys out of a helicopter.

Carlson, played by Gordon Jump, thought it would be great marketing to throw turkeys to people on the ground below in time for Thanksgiving dinner.

Of course domestic turkeys cannot fly, so they fell to the earth like bombs or “bags of wet cement.”

Les Nessman provided a play by play of the turkey dropping of the ensuing chaos. “Not since the Hindenburg tragedy has their been anything like this!” Les cried. 

After Les signed off his live report in horror, Johnny told his audience, “The Pinedale Shopping Mall has just been bombed with live turkeys!”

Turkey Chaos Erupt

The turkeys that survived tried to attack Les, who made the whole thing hysterical thanks to the acting of Richard Sanders.

They launched a counter attack after being surviving and being free. The scene ends memorably with Mr. Carlson proclaiming, “As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!”

Les is completely shellshocked when he returned to the station and Mr. Carlson was filled with regret.

The unexpected ending of this WKRP Thanksgiving episode is the perfect example of how great television used to be.

This episode is still funny decades later. It’s easy to see why this is considered by many to be the best TV episode of all time!

The video is below. Prepare to laugh!

Thanksgiving Memories

I think of this WKRP episode every Thanksgiving.

I remember my grandpa laughing harder than I had ever seen him as we watched this when it originally aired. What a great memory!

This was only the seventh episode of this freshman show. The hilarity of its Thanksgiving hijinks immediately cemented WKRP as a fan favorite.

“Turkeys Away!” originally aired in 1978 and is just as funny to watch all these years later.

Share this to remind your friends and family of this classic Thanksgiving episode!

Mentioned in this article:

More About: