Cafe Bouef and Larry
Saturday, December 25, 1999

(GK: Garrison Keillor, TK: Tom Keith)

GK: This portion of our show brought to you by the Cafe Boeuf on West 43rd Street with your host, Maurice the maitre'd. Happy holidays, Maurice. Joyeux Noel.

TK: You what? You can't find your hotel?

GK: Joyeux Noel!

TK: You hear a bell?

GK: Joyeux Noel. Merry Christmas.

TK: Ah! Christmas! Of course. Joyeux Noel.

GK: That's what I said, Joyeux Noel.

TK: I have no idea what you're talking about.

GK: Never mind. It's good to see you. Do you have a table for one?

TK: Do you have a reservation, monsieur?

GK: No, but--- it doesn't look like you're that busy tonight----

TK: These tables, monsieur ---- they are all reserved. All of them.

GK: All of them?

TK: Reserved...

GK: Your reservation book doesn't look full---- (BIG BOOK SNAPPED SHUT)

TK: You can't go by that, monsieur. (FRENCH IRRITATION) Non, non, non....

GK: But if people haven't reserved the tables, how can they be reserved?

TK: Because I have reserved them.

GK: For who?

TK: For the young, for the exciting people of fashion, the designers --- the people in black, the beau monde, for the---- for the---- people who do not wear that kind of tie.

GK: This tie? This was a gift.

TK: So is herpes.

GK: Is it that bad?

TK: A fish belongs on a plate, not on a tie.

GK: I thought it was sort of festive.

TK: If you wish a table, let me put you back this way, monsieur. Come. (FOOTSTEPS) I'm sorry, but that tie of yours ---- it's not a good advertisement.

GK: I could take off the tie....

TK: Yes, but then what would distract people from looking at your face....


TK: Let us be frank, monsieur.

GK: This is no time for frankness. It's Christmas.

TK: People will look at you, they will assume that this is a restaurant that serves only cheese and potatoes.

GK: How far back are we going? (FOOTSTEPS CONTINUE)

TK: A little farther. (DOOR OPEN) Down here, monsieur.

GK: You're putting me down the basement?

TK: The wine cellar. You'll like it. Come. (FOOTSTEPS ON STAIRS) (REVERB) Watch your step, monsieur. The light--- it's burnt out.

GK: Are there tables down here? (FOOTSTEPS ON CONCRETE FLOOR, HESITANT) It's so dark. I don't know how you could even read a menu down here. This must be the table here. Where the candle is. Hello? Is there someone else here?

TK (LARRY): Hi. It's me.

GK: Larry?

TK (LARRY): Yes.

GK: Larry, what are you doing down here? It's Christmas.

TK (LARRY): I know.

GK: Why aren't you with your family?

TK (LARRY): I don't want em to see me like this. My hair transplant failed.

GK: Your hair transplant failed?

TK: My own hair. Rejected me.

GK: I thought you were leaving the country, Larry. Selling your Web site and taking your cats and moving to Antigua---

TK (LARRY): I sold the website.

GK: Congratulations.

TK (LARRY): I got two million dollars for it.

GK: That's great. Congratulations.

TK (LARRY): Two million dollars. For Larry dot com-dot com.

GK: We ought to celebrate. Maurice???!!! That's wonderful.

TK (LARRY): And then the people I sold it to turned around and sold it.

GK: Oh?

TK (LARRY): For two hundred and twenty million dollars.

GK: Oh.

TK (LARRY): Two weeks after I sold it to them.

GK: Well ---- kind of rough, huh.

TK (LARRY): I just lost two hundred and eighteen million dollars.

GK: But you've got two million....

TK (LARRY): Have you ever lost two hundred and eighteen million dollars?

GK: No, I haven't.

TK (LARRY): It's quite a feeling.

GK: I imagine.

TK (LARRY): It's sort of like having your lungs yanked out.

GK: Well ---- you'll go to Antigua, you'll get on the beach, life'll start to look good again.

TK (LARRY): This is like the time you threw the ice chunk and hit me in the head.

GK: Larry---

TK (LARRY): I used to be the popular one. I used to have loads of friends. Then you hit me in the head with that ice chunk.

GK: It was a snowball, Larry. It was light fluffy snow.

TK (LARRY): It didn't feel light and fluffy.

GK: Larry, listen---

TK (LARRY): Don't give me that stuff about looking for the silver lining.

GK: But it's true, Larry. You've got to look for the silver lining whene'er a cloud appears in the blue. Because somewhere the sun is shining and the best thing to do is let it shine on you, Larry.

TK (LARRY): I'm a basement kind of guy. I'm not a sunshine guy.

GK: Life is good, Larry, if we look for the good that's in it. If we live every moment to the fullest.....what do you want to eat?

TK (LARRY): I'm not hungry.

GK: How about a salad?

TK (LARRY): I hate salads.

GK: How about some fish?

TK (LARRY): It tastes too fishy.

GK: How about soup?

TK (LARRY): Too messy.

GK: Chicken?

TK (LARRY): It reminds me of snake meat.

GK: Snake meat?

TK (LARRY): It tastes just like chicken.

GK: How about roast turkey?

TK (LARRY): I'm sick of it.

GK: How about the steak au poivre? With pommes frites?

TK (LARRY): I don't think I'd like it.

GK: Pork?

TK (LARRY): Pork is okay. Pork sausage. With potatoes and melted cheese.


TK (LARRY): Don't tell him I'm here. Okay?

GK: Okay. Is that you, Maurice? (FOOTSTEPS STOP)

TK (MAURICE): Yes, of course. So---- are you ready to order, monsieur?

GK: I'd like the pork sausage with potatoes and melted cheese, Maurice.

TK (MAURICE): Very well.

GK: And I'd also like the steak au poivre.

TK (MAURICE): Well, thank you very much, I do my best.

GK: No, no ---- I said steak au poivre. Poivre.

TK (MAURICE): You wish to take what off?

GK: No, no ---- steak au poivre with pommes frites.

TK (MAURICE): What about the economy?

GK: Pommes frites.

TK (MAURICE): You're taking trigonometry?

GK: French fries and a pepper steak.

TK (MAURICE): Aha!!! Steak au poivre and pommes frites.

GK: Exactly.

TK (MAURICE): How would you like your steak, monsieur?

GK: Rare.


GK: Yes. Rare.


GK: And bring two forks, please.

TK (MAURICE): Of course we're in New York.

GK: And merry Christmas, Maurice. The Cafe Boeuf New York....The home of heroism and passion and irony and (KNOWING FRENCH LAUGH)- --- (PLAYOFF)


(c) 1999 by Garrison Keillor

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