Hey! Fever

It’s hay fever time and all I got to say is – HEY Fever!

Do you remember the Doctor? I’m talking Dr. Johnny Fever at WKRP in Cincinnatti.

The “Doctor” is a great talker to his radio audience when he is in a confident mood. He can jive with the best D.J.s of his era. He once gives Bailey Quarters, nascent newswoman, this sage advice: “Talk into the microphone as if you were talking to your best friend.”

Johnny Fever is a lover of rock and roll, although he feels he is getting too old to be a DJ in the genre. Tunes like “Hey Jude” are used for bathroom breaks or extended chats with friends.

Though the format of WKRP is Top 40, Johnny frequently refuses to play any songs off the station playlist, choosing instead to highlight album-oriented rock and old R&B favorites on his own show. A consultant hired by Mrs. Carlson at one point describes Johnny as being “stuck in 1962”. Andy frequently pleads with Johnny to stick to the playlist, to play just one disco song, only to have Johnny threaten to “throw himself in front of Donna Summer’s tour bus”. Andy actually goes into a state of hysteria when he hears Johnny playing “The Long Run” by The Eagles: “That’s a hit! He’s playing a hit!”

Fever’s unorthodox choice of music pays off as the series goes on, and by the final episode he has become the number-one morning DJ in the city. Johnny’s views towards his music and his audience were perhaps best summed up when, picking a record, he exclaims “Sacred music…B.B. King!” Once, during a bomb threat, he remarked “If I die, who will teach the children about Bo Diddley?”

What can we learn from Johnny Fever?

  • Be yourself?
  • Live your passion?
  • March to your own drum beat?
  • The classics never go out of style?
  • Rock on?

When you roll out of bed in hay fever season, take the doctor’s advice:

All right, Cincinnati shape up cause it’s time for your morning check up. The Doctor is on duty. I have just returned from personally supervising an extensive research project involving West Coast vegetable worship cults and the cure’s here babies. That’s right. Doctor Johnny Fever is back and I’m on call every morning on WKRP in Cincinnati!

If hay fever is driving you crazy, take a double dose of Hey Fever!