Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I'm way behind on my episodes of 'Reaper' - I have about seven now queued up in my DVR. So if mention of this particular episode only summons dim memories, don't go running for the memory pills..... Now that Andi Prendergast has become the new manager of the Work Bench after the removal of Ted, she set about trying to earn the opportunity. And the first order of business was to get Bert "Sock" Wysocki to get rid of the fake identity he was using to draw a second salary*. The name of the fictional employee? Les Nessman.

Fans of classic TV sitcoms will remember Les Nessman as the pig news-loving radio reporter for 'WKRP In Cincinnatti', played by Richard Sanders. The great thing about the use of this name is that it isn't a Zonk! Sock - nor anybody else in the episode - never mentioned Les Nessman as anything but a Work Bench employee; we never heard WKRP mentioned as a TV show.

But I also would have had no problem with 'WKRP' being said... so long as it wasn't referred to as a TV show, but as an actual radio station's call letters..

Here's how I think it can play out:

1) Les Nessman was no longer at WKRP but found employ at a radio station within the broadcast range of Seattle since the last incarnation of 'WKRP In Cincinnatti' went off the air here in the real world. (Sanders was involved in that sequel, as were the actors Frank Bonner and the late Gordon Jump.) And that's how Sock came up with the name.


2) Although evidence from the show suggests otherwise, perhaps the Wysocki family lived in the Cincinnatti area before moving to Seattle. And that's where Sock first heard Les Nessman on the air.

Actually, there's a third option which is much simpler - it was a complete coincidence that Sock came up with a name that happened to be the same as an already established TV character. And following the rule of Occam's Razor, I think we'll go with that for the splainin.
Here's the boiled-down recap of the Les Nessman scenes:

And here's the 'WKRP In Cincinnatti' episode which contains Les Nessman's most infamous moment on the radio....

Toby O'B

*The way she got Sock to give up the second salary? It would have made Edward Albee proud......

1 comment:

cathy said...

Thanks for the great comments about Reaper!
Any Reaper fans? Tell the CW! The show is not officially canceled yet, but there's precious little time left until May upfronts. remember, last year Reaper was declared dead too, but came back at the last minute to get a renewal. Snail and email addresses, petitions, etc., are organized here: http://community.livejournal.com/reaperdmv/37449.html