~Man, I miss ‘WKRP in Cincinnati’~
When people talk about the greatest sitcoms of all time you hear names like “Seinfeld”, “M*A*S*H*”, “Friends”, “Cheers”…And I LOVE them all. But you never hear anyone mention”WKRP in Cincinnati”. This, folks, is a travesty! If you’re not familiar with this TV show or you haven’t seen it in a while let me enlighten you.
It was a show premised on a struggling radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio. The show had merit. The creator, Hugh Wilson, was a an Atlantan who worked at WXIA and the show was loosely based on his experiences while employed there. However, this show was PURE SOLID GOLD! They just don’t make them like this anymore. The situations, the humor, the characters…It’s rare that we see a comedy or any show that has the delusional cult following as ‘WKRP’. You had/have to have a pretty open since of humor to enjoy the comedy.
The show had characters like weatherman/news director Less Nessman, sales manager Herb Tarlek, Disc Jockeys Dr. Johnny Fever and Venus Flytrap among few others. Man, I REALLY miss those guys….Those were the guys who made the show…They were the brilliance of it all. Lonnie Anderson played ‘Jennfier Marlowe’ and had EVERY male on the show walking on their tongues. Less Nessman was a nerd, Herb Tarlek was the epitome of greasy, Johnny Fever drank on the job and Venus was the “Thoken” Black guy that brought soul to the station. And no that’s not derogatory so don’t go there. There were other characters but these guys were the ones that glued the show together.
I’ve never really been a “T.V.” guy and even wasn’t when I was a kid. But this is a show that I could watch every day! ALL DAY! It’s been years since I’ve seen it and I’m still fond of it. I guess the reason I feel so fondly of the show is that I relate so well to each character that captured me on the show. I feel like I have a piece of all of them. Let me introduce them:
Let’s be honest, if you watched the show this guy was probably the least inspiring character on the show to most people. However I connected with Less. See, I’m a nerd. More importantly I’m a weather nerd. I love all things weather. Less got NO respect. NONE on the show. He was the small square voice in the corner on most episodes and rarely was the “Hero” for any story-Line. He usually was the butt of most jokes and was walked over a lot! I can connect with that as well. There have been situations in life where I’ve felt Less’s pain. Being the butt of jokes and usually feeling less important because of it. We all can probably relate.
This guy was smooth. He had soul. He was the token black guy on an all white radio station. This guy could dress…Of course it was the late 70’s early 80’s, so silk shirts and scarves were his primp of choice. Everyone Dug Venus. He’s a guy I’d love to hang out with to this day. A lot of people don’t realize this about me but Venus and I would have been Soul Brotha’s. I love some Soul. It’s something that moves me. Just something about having some soul that makes life a little more enjoyable. On the other hand…His character is was the odd man out. He was in another man’s world. I’ve been there too. I’ve been in situations in life where I’ve felt singles out because of being different. You know, not falling in line with what the “Crowd” is doing or saying or singing. We all can probably relate.
WOW! Herb, Herb was a different kinda cat. This guy came off sleazy, slimy, underhanded and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. He was the typical salesman. Just not a very good one. However, Herb hid his true feelings and his personality from people. He was a self proclaimed “Lady’s Man” but rarely got the girl. He tried to be macho (Yes, people still use that word) and rarely succeeded. Man, some of this sounds REALLY familiar to me. My entire adult life I’ve had goals. I’ve attained some and I’ve failed at some as well. But all the while I’ve played the part of someone I’m not at times to try and appear more of a man or more appealing to the opposite sex. Even more importantly I wanted to make it appear like I had it all together when I didn’t have anything together at all. Herb, well he was the same way. He was also a snappy dresser as you can see! We all can probably relate!
I saved the best for last. DJF, as I like to call him, was “The Man”. He was the show to me. When I was a kid I thought this guy was a cool as you could get. He played the kinda music I liked, his vernacular was what I thought cool was and he was up for a good time any time…To me he was the life of the party. I have been that guy. I’ve been the life of the party. I have had people look up to me because of how I partied or what I said or how I acted and what I listened to. It’ amazing when I look back now that DJF is still cool to me. He still walks the walk and talks that talk in my mind. These days my priorities have changed. I no longer aspire to be the life of the party. I no longer aspire to be “Cool”. However I do aspire to Walk a Walk and that Walk is with Christ. Can any of you relate?
In this life, in this world we’re all different yet the same. We’re different kinds of people all wrapped up into one core soul. Deep down inside we have one true being and that’s who we are. We were made to have a singular identity and that identity is in the image of God. Of course we were given a different course in life, different strengths, different likes and dislikes. But we’re all called to follow God and his will. If you struggle with finding an identity at times I’m here to tell you that’s okay. I’m 36 years old and I have yet to truly find myself. Heck, I sometimes don’t even know what that means. It’s okay to not understand everything about yourself and who you are. If we were to have all the answers there really would be no reason for our existence. I think we all have some Less Nessman and Venus Flytrap in us…I KNOW we all have some Herb Tarlek in us…I’m just not real sure that all of us can compare to Dr. Johnny Fever.
God, gave us these differences in our personalities so that we would have the ability to relate to others. If we were all totally unique in nature we’d have no ability to relate to someone who’s feeling left out, trying to fit in, or is as cool as we are. Chew on that fat this afternoon, will ya? I know there is someone around you at work, at church, at the gym, in your small group or just a stranger that you’ll see today that may be some of all of these people. I challenge you to reach out to them and tell them you’re praying for them or just make them feel like part of the crowd…By INCLUDING them. After all, we’re all God’s children.
In other news, I just wanted to let y’all in on a tiny little secret:
Until the next slip of the tongue, Thank You for visiting “Gullible’s Travels”
The Loose Cannon