Prairie Home Companion

Garrison Keillor is an author, radio personality, and humorist.  He hosts A Prairie Home Companion, a live weekly (sometimes touring) radio variety show that you can catch Sundays on NPR or you can download the podcast on itunes. Keillor has a lovely voice for radio. I have read two of his books, Homegrown Democrat and Pontoon: A Novel of Lake Wobegon, both were good, and he occasionally writes columns for the Chicago Tribune.

A Prairie Home Companion consists of music, usually gospelly/folksy, jokes and fake commercials, and a couple of regular features.

Here is a funny song/bit about cellphone addiction. The clips starts with the song and then plays the rest of this week’s episode.

The most popular feature is about Lake Wobegon, a fictional town in Minnesota, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” The stories about the town are often humorous, some of the humor coming from a Midwestern spin on common situations. They are laugh out loud funny, but the pacing is that of a story rather than stand-up.

 

Another feature is Guy Noir: Private Eye, which parodies film noir and early radio dramas.  Guy Noir’s cases are unusual and the sound effects (produced live by Fred Newman) play a big role.

 

The movie A Prairie Home Companion (with Kevin Klein, Linsday Lohan, and Meryl Streep!) is funny, whimsical, and a bit odd. The movie (surprise surprise) is about a live radio variety show (of the same name) that is about to close and the characters that Keillor uses in the real-life show are real people in the film’s radio show (if that makes sense).

 

For road trips, I recommend downloading a bunch of episodes because they are long and there is a nice variety of musical guests.  Super family friendly!

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