A Prairie Home Companion

⊆ 9/04/2006 11:35:00 PM by HT | . | ˜ 0 comments »

from Lake Wobegon

No this is not a movie post – but rather a post about a movie made by Robert Altman, about Garrison Keilor. I still remember listening to A Prairie Home Companion in 1980’s when Reagan was in office – it was back then -- indeed a ray of hope coming from small town America. Keilor has been deservedly called the head of satirical opposition in America. A tilte he has carried enduringly well.

He is the author of 11 books, including Lake Wobegon Days (1985), The Book of Guys (1993), The Old Man Who Loved Cheese (1996), Wobegon Boy (1997), and Me, By Jimmy (Big Boy) Valente (1999). He is a member of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences and was recently presented with a National Humanities Medal by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

His radio Show, A Prairie Home Companion, broadcast weekly on NPR from the fictional town of Lake Wobegon has been a staple of the American Left since it went national in 1979, and the subject of Altman’s movie. In the radio show listeners hear items such as:

Original comedy sketches performed by Keillor and cast, and punctuated by sound-effects wizard Tom Keith; Music by guests like guitarist Leo Kottke, singer Greg Brown, jazz pianist-singer Diana Krall, and Delta bluesman John Hammond; Stories from the town "that time forgot and decades cannot improve" in Keillor's signature monologue, "The News from Lake Wobegon.

"Each season features special shows, including the annual "Talent from Towns Under 2,000" contest, the annual Joke Show, and continuing sketches like Lives of the Cowboys, Guy Noir -- Radio Private Eye, Bob the Young Artist, and musical spoofs such as "La Influenza," a five-minute opera about the common cold.

It appears that Keilor approached Altman to make the movie, and in it he plays himself as well as claiming the writing credits for the movie. The cast is stellar, and Altman shows once again his knack for developing character through dialogue. IMDB page

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