How Garrison Keillor United America
This fall, the program will return to its original format as a musical variety show, transitioning away from Keillor’s unique brand of radio sketch humor and his monologue of the news from the fictional town of Lake Wobegon where, he notes each week, “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.”
A Prairie Home Companion is named after a cemetery in Minnesota, a nod to both the show’s Midwestern heritage and its wry humor. It’s telling that Keillor will wrap things at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, about as far from lutefisk and Norwegian bachelor farmers as anyone could be: The entire population of Anoka, Minnesota, Keillor’s hometown (or any of the several Midwestern towns that inspired Lake Woebegon), could comfortably fit in the 17,500-seat venue with room to spare.* So it’s hard not to feel like the fictional town is dying. Characters whom listeners have heard about over the radio for 42 years will give their final bow and shuffle off to a literary retirement home, never to be breathed to life again by the nasally baritone of America’s yarn-spinning grandfather, his delivery paced to the cadence of a rocking chair. Read more at The Atlantic.