WKRP in Cincinnati (1978–1982)
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Commercial Break 

The staff of WKRP is tasked with creating a commercial for a lucrative advertising contract with a funeral home, to Mr. Carlson's growing discomfort.


Rod Daniel


Hugh Wilson (created by), Richard Sanders | 5 more credits »


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Episode complete credited cast:
Gary Sandy ... Andy Travis
Gordon Jump ... Arthur Carlson
Loni Anderson ... Jennifer Marlowe
Richard Sanders ... Les Nessman
Tim Reid ... Venus Flytrap
Frank Bonner ... Herb Tarlek
Jan Smithers ... Bailey Quarters
Howard Hesseman ... Dr. Johnny Fever
Fred Stuthman ... Randall Ferryman


The viability of the station largely rests in Herb's hands to bring in advertising dollars which in turn pays staff salaries. As such, he gets flack from among others Bailey and Les for not working hard enough at his job. Just then, Herb receives a return telephone call from a potential client, Randall Ferryman of Ferryman Funeral Homes, he who is opening up six funeral parlors in the Cincinnati area and wants specifically to advertise on a rock and roll station. Ferryman wants market saturation, which would make it an extremely lucrative account, the biggest in Herb's career. After an initial hesitation due to the subject matter, everyone at the station wholeheartedly jumps on board largely due to the expected raises in pay the result. However, with dollar signs in their eyes, are they losing sight of the rather crass nature of what they are promoting? Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

26 March 1979 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Blonde Jennifer (Loni Anderson) sings 'Happy Birthday' to Herb in a way that is reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe singing 'Happy Birthday Mr. President' to John F. Kennedy on May 19, 1962. See more »


Andy Travis: OK, let me ask you this. Can't we do a cheap-o commercial? I mean, hire professional musicans, but, uh, maybe sing the jingle ourselves?
Venus Flytrap: Can anyone around here sing?
Herb Tarlek: Any jerk can sing. Now listen, these are the copy points that you gotta work into the jingle, okay? Now. A: All weather floral arrangements.
Venus Flytrap: What does that mean?
Dr. Johnny Fever: Uh, that's plastic flowers.
Herb Tarlek: B: Maintenance-free artificial turf.
Dr. Johnny Fever: Plastic grass.
Herb Tarlek: C: They accept all major credit cards.
Dr. Johnny Fever: That'd be your plastic money.
Herb Tarlek: Plus, six convenient ...
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Alternate Versions

In the 90's redistribution package, "Young Blood" by The Coasters is replaced. Johnny's announcement is redubbed from "That was The Coasters in a classic vein with Young Blood" to "That was The Youngbloods in a classic vein with Coasting". See more »


References Your Hit Parade (1950) See more »


Young Blood
Written by Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller and Doc Pomus
Performed by The Coasters
[Johnny plays the song just before the initial broadcast of the Ferryman commercial]
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

24 April 2018 | by stufieldSee all my reviews

Admit it if you watched this show you just sang that title.

WKRP was a brilliant show and this is one of my favorite episodes. A short list with short titles would be, Turkeys, Scum of the Earth, Tornado, and this. Filmed late during the 1st season the show follows the acquisition of a new sponsor and the development of a commercial for the spots he is paying for. A lot of spots for a lot of money. Something that WKRP could use. The question is will what he wants be appropriate for the station and the audience. This is one of the episodes that shows the staff of the radio station starting to come together as a team. Watch for the auditions for the commercial. Watch for Bailey's and Jennifer's bits. Then all the different personalities of the station staff working together to put together a good product for the client. You also see a side of Mr. Carlson that is a bit different. And as they say there is where the plot complication comes in.

I can't say enough about this episode without giving away a spoiler so let me say these couple things. First is if you have ever listened radio in a market that is not in a major city, you have heard this commercial. And you will have to laugh. Second and maybe more important to the show is showing the team of WKRP coming together. It helps the show work. Lastly this is MTM Productions ensemble casting at it's best. You won't be disappointed.

If you have to ask why the Client is named Ferryman, this episode may not be for you,

One of the top episodes of a top sit-com.

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