WKRP in Cincinnati (1978–1982)
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Real Families 

The Tarlek family is profiled on "Real Families". Herb and people being interviewed seem rehearsed, so the producers of the show "dig deep" and expose the real Tarlek family.


Rod Daniel


Hugh Wilson (created by), Pj Torokvei (as Peter Torokvei) | 3 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
Frank Bonner ... Herb Tarlek
Jan Smithers ... Bailey Quarters
Tim Reid ... Venus Flytrap
Howard Hesseman ... Dr. Johnny Fever
Edie McClurg ... Lucille Tarlek
Stacy Heather Tolkin Stacy Heather Tolkin ... Bunny Tarlek
N.P. Schoch N.P. Schoch ... Herb Tarlek III (as N. P. Shoch)
Jim Hudson ... Vargus Enswiller
Daphne Reid ... Elaine Parker (as Daphne Maxwell)
Peter Marshall ... Phil Tarry


Herb has applied for the Tarleks and the application has been accepted for them to appear on the national television show "Real Families". Herb's application letter stated that the show always chooses families that are not real in being too outrageous, not like the nice, normal family that the Tarleks are. The show's producers are determined to depict the true Tarlek family life, as opposed to the family life the Tarleks may want to portray to the national viewing public, and the producers will use whatever tactic at their means to achieve their goal. Herb's obvious coaching of his fellow WKRP'ers to make Herb out as the "hard worker, loyal husband, and all around fine person" may backfire on him and play into the producers' hands. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

15 November 1980 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Lucille refers to Little House On The Prairie as a wholesome show she lets the family watch, describing it as a "show about blind children." Little House On The Prairie was WKRP's most popular competition for its first two seasons, and Hugh Wilson once joked that whenever WKRP was gaining in the ratings, "Little House would blind another kid." See more »


As Herb drives to work, the camera picks up shots of palm trees on the streets of Cincinnati. See more »


Herb Tarlek III: [coming out of the house, speaking directly to the camera, the camera crew who Herb Sr. has just kicked out] My father is a hard worker, a loyal husband, and an all around fine person.
[Herb Sr. emerges from the house and hands Herb Jr. his doll for a job well done]
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the 90's redistribution package and DVD release, the opening theme to Real Families is replaced by a different generic theme and thus has a different announcer (which is unfortunate because the original announcer was Johnny Olsen from The Price Is Right). Most of the rock songs that WKRP plays are still present, except for the ones that underscore Bailey and Venus's explanations about the dancing ducks promotion. "She's So Cold" by The Rolling Stones (Bailey's song) has been replaced by a song by Jackson Browne. "Once in a Lifetime" by the Talking Heads (Venus's song) has been replaced by instrumental new wave music. In both cases, the dialogue is intact. See more »


References That's Incredible! (1980) See more »


You Shook Me All Night Long
Written by Angus Young, Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson
Performed by AC/DC
[Played during Johnny's interview]
See more »

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User Reviews

Dumbest idea yet.
12 February 2019 | by thompsonm-05031See all my reviews

Let's take a great ensemble comedy show and concentrate an entire episode on its most annoying character. Here's another awesome idea: let's have Johnny water ski jump over a shark tank! That would be awesome! Who writes this garbage?

1 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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