“For the sake of the story, you never want to mislead the audience, unless it’s intentional, a method Jackie Gleason used to call the Wild Turkey theory. If a guy walks into a bar and says, ‘I’d like a scotch and water, please,’ that’s a straight line and if you follow it with a joke or some crucial plot information, the audience will be able to hear it. However, if a guy walks into a bar and says, ‘I’d like a Wild Turkey please,’ the audience won’t be able to hear the next line because they’ll be thinking, ‘A Wild Turkey? What a strange drink. I wonder why he ordered that?’ I feel a director should lead rather than manipulate the audience in the right direction. If a Wild Turkey is key to the character or plot, then leave it in. But if the line is only a setup, then change it to something more pedestrian so it won’t stir the audience’s interest unnecessarily.”
Wake Me When It’s Funny (written with Lori Marshall)
Note: I’d take that even a step further and say that some of the audience may not even know that Wild Turkey is a type of bourbon so they could really be wondering, “Why did this guy go into a bar and order a wild turkey?” or “What’s he going to do with a wild turkey?” And as far as intentionally misleading the audience, David Milch (Deadwood, John from Cincinnati) does that quite well and likes having audiences playing catch up.