Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Bill Dial, R.I.P.

by Rob - June 13th, 2008.
Filed under: Deaths.

In the introduction to my short story “Star Light, Star Bright,” which appears in my first collection, Iterations, I wrote:

In 1997, I happened to run into WKRP in Cincinnati star Gordon Jump at a deli in Los Angeles; I introduced myself by saying I wanted to shake the hand of the man who had uttered the funniest line in sitcom history — a line that was echoing gently in my mind as I wrote this story.

Sometimes, people send me emails asking just what the heck was the line I was referring to. It was, of course, “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly,” and it comes from the WKRP episode “Turkeys Away.”

The man who penned that line, Bill Dial, has just passed away, as SF Scope reports. He also wrote for the later Star Trek series, and appeared twice on WKRP (very memorably uttering the line “Speed kills, Del” in another episode) as dour radio-station engineer Bucky Dornster.

R.I.P., Bill Dial.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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