Bear Script
Saturday, April 16, 2005

Garrison Keillor: We have a special guest on our show today, you all know him from his work against forest fires. Smokey—

Fred Newman (SMOKEY): Actually, the Forest Service where I work has sort of changed its mind about forest fires and so I don't say, "Only you can prevent forest fires" anymore.

GK: No?

FN (SMOKEY): No, we're more of a faith-based Forest Service now, so we feel that, if there is a forest fire, maybe there was supposed to be one. And maybe we should pray for it to stop. It's not up to us to play firefighter.

GK: Okay. What brings you on the show today, Smokey?

FN (SMOKEY): All of us bears felt very close to Pope John Paul II. We bears and popes sort of have a bond, and that is that we're both the butt (so to speak) of a lot of jokes. But we take it all in good fun. And now that the Cardinals are meeting in Rome to choose a new pope, I just think it's important for them to remember to pick a Catholic.

GK: Okay.

FN (SMOKEY): It's none of my business, but the way things are going nowadays, you know — diversity and everything — maybe they're sitting there in the Sistine Chapel thinking about maybe getting a Baptist in there. Or a Unitarian. — Don't get me wrong. I've got nothing against Unitarians. I'm sure that a Unitarian would have a lot to offer the Vatican. But — I just think it's better if the pope is a Catholic, same as always. It just gives people some sense of the bottom line, so to speak. That's just one bear's opinion. And if they get a Baptist in there, I'm going to support him and give him every chance. But I speak for most other bears when I say that — I want a Catholic to be pope.

GK: Thank you.

FN (SMOKEY): This is not necessarily the opinion of the U.S. Forest Service.

GK: I understand.

FN (SMOKEY): And now if you'll excuse me, I've got to head back up to Central Park.

GK: Thank you, Smokey the Bear.

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).

Available now»

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