Garrison Keillor’s Return

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keillorAs a teenager in the early 1980s, I was first introduced to Tales From Lake Woebegone by a friend’s mother. I’m ashamed to say I blocked it out at first because it “sounded drab.” It was only later when I actually listened to a few consecutive segments that I realized that here was a grandmaster of the stye that would become my personal favorite: satire. I’ve been listening ever since.

Garrison Keillor is an iconic radio personality, his dry wit known and loved by millions across the country. Those listeners have been on the edge of their seats since early September, when he suffered a stroke. Of course, those veteran broadcasters are a tough breed, and despite a hospital stay, he hardly slowed his pace.

CBC News reports:

The writer is scheduled to launch a new season of his popular public radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, on Saturday night from the Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul, Minn.

The 67-year-old broadcaster suffered a mild stroke on Labour Day and spent four nights at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. He returned to work almost immediately and said he would not postpone his radio show’s season premiere.

In July, A Prarie Home Companion celebrated its 25th anniversary. In those years, it has been a case study in how non-political talk radio can flourish with the right combination of on-air talent and excellence in writing.  The  overused phrase “content is king” is trite, but in this case, it’s evidently true as well.

We’d like to extend our best wishes to Mr. Keillor and wish him the easiest and speediest recovery possible!

Image: Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg News / Landov, used courtesy of A Prairie Home Companion

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2 Responses to “Garrison Keillor’s Return”

  1. Roger Bann Says:

    We all love Garrison, of course, and without doubt Lake Woebegon, WBLT and the like are great, great pieces of American literature and classics of radio, up there with Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre.
    But, and I won’t be popular saying this, listening to his Lake Woebegon monologues on A Prairie Home Companion during the last few years are now a disappointment. I’m afraid they have become a meandering mess, all style and no substance. I find this a great sadness.

  2. George Williams Says:

    Roger, you are certainly welcome to your own views on the matter. Taste is a purely subjective thing, hence the wide variety of wildly divergent programming formats that have attained popularity over the decades.

    Glad to see, however, that we are both fans of the old Mercury Theater stuff, some of my favorite work that Wells did in his time!

    Thanks for joining the conversation!

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