Starting out as comedy writers with revue credits in Atlanta, Georgia, Turner switched to news, writing and producing with his wife for Turner Broadcasting. From there former colleague and "Saturday Night Live" player Jan Hooks introduced the Turners to Lorne Michaels, and they landed writing jobs on the popular NBC sketch comedy series. As "SNL" writers from 1986-1992, the Turners wrote memorable skits for Dana Carvey's wacky "Church Lady" and Mike Myers' medieval "Lothar of the Hill People" as well as cable access favorite sons Wayne and Garth of "Wayne's World" that returned the faltering series to the realm of pop culture cool.
While "Funland", their 1987 entry into film proved forgettable, TV success would pave the way for the Turners' next project. "Wayne's World" (1992), the feature adaptation of the popular sketch co-written by Turner, his wife Bonnie, and star Mike Myers was a hit, winning over moviegoers and video buyers with humor that was fresh, but true to the beloved "SNL" characters. Less successful was the subsequent "Saturday Night Live"-based offering "Coneheads" (1993), co-written and co-produced by the married couple, though that same year's sequel "Wayne's World 2" (which they also co-wrote) won audiences over. Continuing to bring television characters to film, the Turners co-wrote the screenplay for 1995's "The Brady Bunch Movie", and worked with "SNL" cast if not characters as writers of the Chris Farley/David Spade buddy comedy "Tommy Boy" (also 1995).
After their departure from "Saturday Night Live", the Turners created their own sketch comedy show, the short-lived but widely praised ABC offering "SHE TV" (1994). Having milked the displaced misfit theme to good effect in films the pair took it to television, creating, producing and writing episodes of "3rd Rock From the Sun" (1996-2001), an NBC sitcom that put four aliens in human bodies and left them to figure out the workings of Earth on their own. Bolstered by performances from cast members John Lithgow, Jane Curtin, Kristen Johnston and French Stewart that ranged from inspired to ridiculously buffoonish, the series was rarely short on laughs, and captured an audience that made it one of the network's more dependable shows. The Turners followed up this success with "That '70s Show" (1998- ), an acclaimed Fox comedy set in the titular decade that affectionately poked fun at the past while showcasing a talented cast of relative unknowns. Remarkable for its fleshed out adult as well as teen characters, "That '70s Show" became a breakout hit for the network, big with critics as well as audiences. Following up this success Turner and his wife co-created, executive produced and wrote the sitcom "Normal, Ohio" (2000- ), a series about a blue collar divorced dad (John Goodman) who returns to his small town home, ending a four-year jaunt in California that followed his coming out to friends and family. Though the series' original concept and colorful supporting cast would add to the show's appeal, numerous re-writes and major changes plagued the production.