Herb Tarlek earned a place of honour on TV’s Mount Rushmore of boorish, weasel-y characters. The WKRP in Cincinnati sales manager just oozed phony charm with every, “Hey big guy” entrance. The white shoes, white belt, plaid jacket with elbow patches – it is a wonder Frank Bonner could even be heard over his wardrobe.
One of my favourite interviews ever was with Hugh Wilson. The Florida native just sounded like fun on the phone, and generously shared his memories of creating and working on a show I adored in my college days, WKRP in Cincinnati. Sad to report, that Wilson passed away last Sunday at his home in Charlottesville, Va. He was 74.
In 1985, TV critics held the first Television Critics Awards. Handing out engraved plaques — “hastily designed at Trophy World” recalled one of the first TCA presidents, Ed Bark — had been a contentious move for the group. Several scribes were wary of creating something that could grow into that ultimate horror — another televised awards show.
Part of the fun in speaking with WKRP in Cincinnati creator Hugh Wilson for the long-awaited DVD release of his series was getting his back story. I’m always curious about where TV storytellers come from and how they got into The Game. I’m also fascinated about how shows were made in the ’70s and ’80s
The Toronto Star has a big, breaking story today–my feature on the DVD box set release of WKRP in Cincinnati.You can read that story here, which explains some of the details behind the many music rights clearances that for years delayed the arrival of this box set. It’s in stores as of Oct. 28 and can