News script
Saturday, January 22, 2005
Listen

Garrison Keillor: I didn't go to the inauguration
They didn't send me an invitation
So I stayed home and that was sweet
Perfectly quiet on my street.
And Washington is so far away
God bless the USA

GK: Thursday was Inauguration Day — and it seemed odd that someone who almost lost his job would throw a big party like that. Most people, if they almost lost their job, would just show up for work even earlier and save the big celebration for when they had good news to report, but not the President. He is not a man known for his innate modesty. He doesn't seem to realize he is extremely lucky that his father was born before he was.

There was snow in Washington as the President came up Pennsylvania Avenue to be sworn in (TR [BUSH]: Boy, it's a cold one. How about we do this in April sometime?) and there was great pageantry (DRILL SGT, HONOR GUARD) and the Air Force jets did their ceremonial flyover (JETS WHOOSH OVERHEAD) and meanwhile (CHANGE OF SCENE PIANO CHORDS) in the nursing homes of Maryland where old Democrats lie on life-support systems (RESPIRATOR), the old heroes of the New Deal and the Great Society, grizzled veterans of the civil rights struggle and the fight for Medicare and old union organizers and old feminists — (SS: ANCIENT LADY MUTTERING, TR ANCIENT MAN) some of the

Democrats were on IV pumps and their EEG was a little on the flat side (BEEPING OF EEG MONITOR) — and their Republican doctors were bending over them — (

TK: Let's pull the plug on this one — poor old coot. He's a goner.) — and the Republican chaplain was brought in (

TR: O Thou Who didst say it is better to give than to receive, give us strength to give this old coot a good shove..... ) and they were about to send him off to the archives when he heard a voice (TR BUSH: I do solemnly swear.....) and suddenly the old coot opened his eyes (TR BUSH: .....to faithfully execute) and when he heard that voice something stirred deep within him (FAINT BUGLE, HORSE WHINNY) and he pulled out the IV tubes (POPS) and he fought off the doctor (STRUGGLE) and he fought off the chaplain who was trying to choke him (CHOKING, BONK, FIGHTING) and he headed out the door and down the hall and other old Democrats followed him (VOICES, GEEZERS) and they had a vision of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (TR FDR: All we have to fear is fear itself....) and John F. Kennedy (TR JFK: Ask not what your country can do for you.....) and Barbra Streisand (SS BARBRA: People......people who love people......) and Kirk Douglas in Spartacus (TR KIRK: Who will stand with me and live or die as free men?) and Henry Fonda in Grapes of Wrath (TR FONDA: Wherever people are fighting for the right to a decent wage, that's where I'll be, Ma.) and Bob Dylan (TR BOB: How many roads must a man walk down.....) and those old geezers overpowered the guards and went out the door and they mounted up. (CRIES OF COMMAND, HORSES WHINNY, HOOVES, SABERS RATTLING) And they headed for town. But wait— what's happening? (STING) Let's tune in the news. (THROBBING BASS KEYBOARD THEME)

Sue Scott: A comet the size of the moon is heading straight for earth, meaning the end of life as we know it — coming up next here on NewsWatch 13.

Tim Russell (BIG ANNC): NewsWatch 13 — winner of enough awards to cover an entire wall and part of another wall — With Brittany Goneril! Paul Waner. And Boomer McKay with sports.

SS: Good evening. The top story in the news — NASA confirmed today that the comet known as "The Big One" will strike the earth tonight at 7:31 pm, splitting the planet into flaming fragments and sending them skittering out into space. Meanwhile, in Bethesda, Maryland, forty elderly Democrats have escaped on horseback in their bathrobes. Live on the scene is NewsWatch 13 reporter Kent Johnson. Kent— (PAUSE) I guess Kent has left the scene — we'll try to bring you that report later. Meteorologist Paul Waner is tracking the Big One on our NewsWatch 13 weather radar — Paul, what do you see?

TK: Paul Waner here in the NewsWatch 13 weather center. As you can see on the radar scope, the comet is headed straight for earth and we're estimating that the comet will hit a little bit north of Jacksonville, then, about 1.3 seconds later, the leading edge of the shock wave will pass through our area like a really big rolling pin, the kind that your mom may have used, and the earth will flatten and then bust apart. Our NewsWatch 13 forecast calls for a high around 3000 degrees tonight - but with low humidity. Winds out of the south at 700 miles per hour. Looking at tomorrow's forecast - there is none.

SS: Thanks, Paul Waner. Looks like one for the record books! In Washington, President Bush, hours after his inauguration, said that America must stay the course in Iraq, even with the end of the world only hours away. The President and Mrs. Bush left the White House on their way to a launch site where an Apollo rocket is waiting to take them into outer space—

TR (BUSH, AUDIO): We will leave no child behind. We'll just be gone for a little while in the rocket and then we'll be right back. That's my promise to you. Our tax cuts are working and we are bringing freedom to oppressed peoples. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in other worlds and other galaxies. We have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom and that is where I am headed right now.

SS: President Bush, as he left the White House today. And now for a report on how the end of the world is affecting traffic on our highways, let's go to Kyle Lynch in the NewsWatch 13 Chopper. (THROB OF CHOPPER ENGINE)

TR (PHONE): Kyle Lynch here in the NewsWatch 13 Chopper, and all the roads down below are jammed tonight with people trying to get a jump on the Short Weekend. From the NewsWatch Chopper, Kyle Lynch returning you to the studio.

SS: Thanks, Kyle. This just in — with the world about to end, Martha Stewart escaped from jail with a gun she made from turkey leftovers. Turning to sports, Boomer McKay, any truth to the rumor that Pete Rose may finally make it into the Hall of Fame?

TR: Yes, Brittany, the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Pete Rose - and anyone else who's ever played baseball - is officially inducted into the Hall of Fame. Pete said today that he feels vindicated ... (WAITS FOR CLIP) Guess we don't have that clip. Guess the guys in the control room have taken off! Guess the whole NewsWatch operation is just you and me, Brittany -

SS: Any news about the NFL playoffs, Boomer?

TR: Brittany, I just want to say something I've wanted to say for years that is that management here at Channel 13 is the biggest bunch of dorks and dopeheads I ever saw in my life. I mean that.

SS: Boomer—

TR: What a bunch of cockroaches they are— the station manager, the news director, the program director — all of em — let me show you what I think of em— get a good look, folks—

SS: Boomer, don't. Sit down. Please. — On Wall Street, stocks were slightly up in mixed trading. Commenting on the pending merger between the planet Earth and the comet, Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan had this to say—

TR (GREENSPAN, AUDIO): While it remains to be seen what the ultimate impact of the comet will be, I would recommend that people pay only the minimum on your credit card balance.

SS: Alan Greenspan at a press— Boomer— please—

TR: Take your clothes off, Brittany. C'mon. I want to dance around butt-naked with you right here on the desk— I've wanted to do that for years— come on—

SS: Boomer — get away—

TR: Come on, baby. The world's about to end. Let's end it with a bang, huh? Come on, let me take you to the moon.

SS: Wait.

TR: What is it?

SS: They've revised the forecast.

TR: What????

SS: Let's go to Paul Waner in NewsWatch 13 weather center.

TK: Paul Waner here in the NewsWatch 13 weather center, Brittany — this just in from NASA — it isn't a comet.

SS: It's not a comet?

TK: It's a bubble of solar gas.

SS: And—?

TK: It's nothing.

SS: Nothing!!!!

TR: C'mon, baby— you know you want it— work with me on this— please—

TK: The gas bubble, they say, will pass harmlessly between Earth and Jupiter and dissipate in outer space.

SS: And now here's a special live news bulletin from Cape Canaveral—

TR: (ROCKET ENGINE IN BACKGROUND) Rance Mundane here live at the Cape— That rocket you see behind me is carrying the President Bush and Vice-President Cheney, most of the Cabinet and the Joint Chiefs, and ranking Republican members of the House and Senate, into outer space. Word reached here, just as the fuel ignited, that the end of the world was a false alarm, but it was too late and now the Administration is headed for orbit around the planet Mars. And now back to Brittany Goneril in the newsroom.

SS: We're going to take you live to the Oval Office where someone is about to address the nation — let's go there now—

TR (BILL CLINTON): My fellow Americans, I happened to be passing through for the inauguration and came down to the White House and found the lights on and nobody home, so here I am. Good to be back.

I didn't go to the inauguration
I am taking a little vacation
Who is the president? I have forgotten.
A man in a suit with a head full of cotton
I trust he had a nice Inaugural Day
I love it in the USA.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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