‘As God is my witness…’

This is probably as much of a Thanksgiving tradition as the turkey itself: WKRP in Cincinnati, 1978. The script of the famous scene is worth reading, just to get the nuance and pacing:

Les Nessman: I’m here with hundreds of people who have gathered to witness what has been described as perhaps the greatest turkey event in Thanksgiving Day history. All we know for sure is that in a very few moments there are going to be a lot of happy people out here. Now the crowd is…

[passers-by gawk at Les]

Les Nessman: The… the crowd is uh… curious but well behaved. And I think I hear something now. Uh… The crowd is moving out into the parking area. And… oh yes! I can see it now. It’s a… it’s a… helicopter and it’s coming this way!

Andy Travis: A helicopter?

Les Nessman: It’s flying something behind it and I can’t quite make it out. It’s a large banner and it says H a p p y… T h a n k s… giving… from W… K… R… P! What a sight, ladies and gentlemen. What a sight. The ‘copter seems to circling the parking area now. I guess it’s looking for a place to land. No! Something just came out of the back of a helicopter. It’s a dark object, perhaps a skydiver plummeting to the earth from only two thousand feet in the air… There’s a third… No parachutes yet… Those can’t be skydivers. I can’t tell just yet what they are but… Oh my God! They’re turkeys! Oh no! Johnny can you get this? Oh, they’re crashing to the earth right in front of our eyes! One just went through the windshield of a parked car! This is terrible! Everyone’s running around pushing each other. Oh my goodness! Oh, the humanity! People are running about. The turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement! Folks, I don’t know how much longer… The crowd is running for their lives. I think I’m going to step inside. I can’t stand here and watch this anymore. No, I can’t go in there. Children are searching for their mothers and oh, not since the Hindenburg tragedy has there been anything like this. I don’t know how much longer I can hold my position here, Johnny. The crowd…

Dr. Johnny Fever: Les? Les? Les, are you there? Les isn’t there. Thanks for that on-the-spot report, Les. For those of you who’ve just tuned in, the Pinedale Shopping Mall has just been bombed with live turkeys. Film at eleven.

[Les walks in, looking dazed]

Venus Flytrap: Les! Are you okay?

Les Nessman: I don’t know. A man and his two children tried to kill me. After the turkeys hit the pavement, the crowd kind of scattered but, some of them tried to attack me! I tried to jam myself into a phone booth. Then Mr. Carlson had the helicopter land in the middle of the parking lot. I guess he thought he could save the day by turning the rest of the turkeys loose. It gets pretty strange after that.

Venus Flytrap: [to Andy] “Now” it gets strange.

Andy Travis: Yeah, right. Now, Les, c’mon now, tell us the rest.

Les Nessman: [dazed] I really don’t know how to describe it. It was like the turkeys mounted a counter-attack. It was almost as if they were… organized!

Arthur Carlson: [Mr. Carlson and Herb come out of his Mr. Carlson’s office] As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!


It never gets old.

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8 Responses to ‘As God is my witness…’

  1. MDavis says:

    Wait up – “Birds Are Jerks”? Seriously?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Martin Pollard says:

    An absolute classic. No other sitcom episode to date has been able to live up to this one.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Jimmy T says:

    This was my favorite episode ever…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We watched this one on TV just the other day; what we didn’t realize until we saw it in the onscreen guide was that it was only the seventh episode ever of WKRP. Legen-wait for it-dary!

    Liked by 3 people

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