Weird TV Fact: Workplace sitcoms can sometimes seem as though they've been around since a decade or two before the invention of television.
A strange time-space anomaly, yes, but so ingrained are their tried-and-true storylines and character types that we can often plot out the plot without having ever seen a particular show.
But we wouldn't let cynicism dare reign in a world that produces some really beautiful, offbeat and memorable work-set comedies. "The Office" is one, yes, and "Night Court," and "Designing Women" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."
And, of course, "WKRP in Cincinnati," which will get its much-deserved Paley Center for Media due, on Wednesday, June 4, in Beverly Hills. A special night is planned around the radio-themed gem, and will include appearances by Howard Hesseman, Loni Anderson, and Tim Reid. (Yep, Johnny Fever, Jennifer Marlowe, and Venus Flytrap, all in the house.)
Other special guests? They're expected to show.
The CBS show, which ran for four seasons starting in 1978, took on the foibles of working behind the turntables at a never-quite-successful spot on the dial. But more than that its characters participated in complex relationships and themes that weren't always rife with the ha-ha, one of the centerpieces of situation comedy at the time. (See: "Taxi," "Barney Miller.")
It made for some really depth-nice comedy, with character and characters' wants and disappoints to back it all up. Count on the Paley night to plumb some of that good writing and acting and show-running, and how it all charmingly came together over 90 episodes.
Including the infamous Thanksgiving-themed episode involving some dropped turkeys. Remember that one? Want to guffaw again? Be in Cincinnati -- er, Beverly Hills -- on the first Wednesday in June.
Tickets are $25 each and now on sale.