Radio script
Saturday, April 16, 2005
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Garrison Keillor: People often ask me how I got into radio, including a man who walked up to me in a coffee shop the other day and said he recognized me.

Sue Scott: I know you from somewhere. I could swear I've seen your face — Don't tell me. I know I know you. —Ah!—You're the author of—- No. You couldn't be a writer. Not in television, obviously..... Not an athlete. — I doubt that you're a musician. — I give up. What is it you do?

GK: I'm in radio.

SS: Radio!!! You're kidding.

GK: No. I am.

SS: How'd you ever get into radio? (BRIDGE)

GK: It was years ago, when I arrived in NY, at the Bronx School of Broadcasting, and tried to enroll.

Al Franken: You're here for the radio course, Mr.—

GK: Wyler, sir. Carson Wyler. Yes, I am, sir. My dream is to become a broadcaster.—

AF: I see. We also have an excellent course in semaphore code and telegraphy.

GK: I'd prefer radio, sir.

AF: Have you considered a career in pneumatic tube messaging?

GK: No.

AF: Mr. Wyler, I like to be honest with my students right up front.

GK: Yes, sir?

AF: I don't like to take students who I feel are just spinning their wheels.

GK: Yes, sir.

AF: Radio is an entertainment medium, Mr. Wyler. You were aware of that?

GK: Yes.

AF: It requires a certain — verve—gusto—panache — a certain je nez sais quoi — you know what I mean? Personality, Mr. Wyler. Pizzazz. Sex appeal. (TAP DANCE) Ya da da da — da da da da. Yada yada hey hey hey. (POSE & GRIN).

GK: I was thinking more along the lines of folk music, sir. I want to do a show where we sing the traditional songs of the American people and tell homely tales of small town life in mid-America.

AF: It's a prescription for poison, Mr. Wyler. It'll never work. (AF REPEATS "IT'LL NEVER WORK" FOUR TIMES TO INCREASING REVERB. TIME PASSAGE CHORDS)

GK: His words seemed to reverberate in my head. "It'll Never Work". I was determined to prove him wrong. And two minutes later I met Rosanne. She was sitting on the curb, a guitar on her lap. (TRAFFIC PASSING, SOFT STRUMMING) She was beautiful in her long linen skirt and a flowing blouse and a vest and scarves and necklaces and soft green leather boots with pointy toes.

Jen Larson (SINGING):
I asked my love to take a walk
Just to walk a little way.
(GK JOIN) And as we walk, O may we talk
All about our wedding day.
Then only say that you'll be mine,
In no other's arms entwine.
Down beside where the waters flow,
Down by the banks of the Ohio.
(STOP, PAUSE A FEW BEATS)

GK: You're the first person I ever met in New York who knows the words to "Banks of the Ohio".

JL: I know lots of songs. I attended a progressive school and we listened to Pete Seeger records every afternoon before our naps.

GK: So you probably know "Peat Bog Soldiers"—

JL: I do. And "Frankie and Johnny" and "Knoxville Girl" and "John Henry" and "Wildwood Flower"—

GK: You know "Wildwood Flower"?

JL: Of course.

GK: (BRIDGE) Her name was Roseanne and she smelled lightly of persimmon and lilacs. We took the subway down to 42nd Street and we were going to go to the Public Library and look up old ballads (TRAFFIC AMBIENCE) and we were almost there when.....(FOOTSTEPS RUNNING) —

SS: Hey!

Tim Russell: Are you musicians?

SS: You are?? Come this way!

TR: We need you—

SS: This way. Hurry. (FOOTSTEPS, HORNS HONKING AS THEY JAYWALK) A guest didn't show up and our computer is down—

TR: Can you fill some time on the air?.

GK: You mean radio?

SS: Hurry. (FOOTSTEPS. BRIDGE)

GK: So we hustled upstairs and into a studio— (DOOR SHUT)

JL: What should we sing? (TUNING GUITAR)

TR (ON INTERCOM): You're on! Do something! (GUITAR STRUMMING)

GK: Hi there and welcome to the Lunchtime Melody Jamboree, this is Carson....

JL: And I'm Roseanne.

GK: And we're here to sing you a song that we hope you like as much as we enjoy hoping you'll like it that much too. (STRUMMING)

JL & GK (DUET):
My heart is sad and I am lonely
For the only one I love
When shall I see her oh no never
'Til we meet in heaven above.

Oh, bury me beneath the willow
Under the weeping willow tree
So she will know where I am sleeping
And perhaps she'll weep for me

(THEY HUM CHORUS UNDER.....)

TR: You've been listening to the Lunchtime Melody Jamboree with New York's radio sweethearts Carson and Roseanne, brought to you by Johnson Frosted Chocolate Cherries, by Thompson Tooth Tinsel for brighter, more festive teeth, and the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation — help us kick Myasthenia Gravis once and for all.

JL: See you tomorrow, folks. Don't forget to tune in. Same time, same station. Bye! (BRIDGE)

GK: And then the next show started (TR LIMBAUGH GIBBERISH), this big fat guy rocking back and forth in his chair and frothing and steaming about something. And the secretary gave us fifteen bucks and subway fare.

SS: Thanks. Bye. (DOOR SLAM)

GK: But Roseanne saying "See you tomorrow" — that's what did the trick. Because the next day we weren't there. And the station was flooded with irate calls. (PHONES RINGING) (TR & SS ANGRY REJOINDER— Where's that show? How come you took that off? I can't believe it. You people...) And some of them from sponsors.

AF: (ON PHONE) This is Bradley F. Giroux, president of Johnson Frosted Chocolates. Yesterday we sold more mint wafers and cherry creams and nougat-filled bon-bons than in the past three months combined. Get that show back on the air or else.

SS (ON PHONE): This is Pamela Fontaine from the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation. We raised more money yesterday than ever, so bring those kids back or you can kiss Myasthenia Gravis goodbye. (STING)

GK: So the next day, we were back on the air.

(ORGAN THEME)

TR: Once again it's time for a visit from radio's home folks, Carson and Roseanne, here on the Lunchtime Melody Jamboree, brought to you by your friends at Johnson Frosted Chocolates. And now, sit back, relax, and listen as your friendly neighbors from down the block on Maple Street regale you with their homespun songs and stories. (STRUMMING)

JL & GK (SING):
I'm going away to leave you, love,
I'm going away for a while,
But, I'll return to you sometime,
If I go ten thousand miles.

The storms are on the ocean,
The heavens may cease to be,
This world may lose it's motion, love,
If I prove false to thee.

(THEY HUM UNDER)

SS (LISTENER, WRITING): Dear W.O.O.F, The Lunchtime Melody Jamboree has brought a ray of hope into my dim and troubled life. I suffer from an addiction to cheese, as a result of which I must maintain a cheese-free home and avoid any contact with those who have eaten cheese in the past three weeks. This has made for a lonely life, and (CROSS-FADING INTO FOLLOWING) the one bright spot in my day has been....

TR (FADING IN): As a man who suffers from the fear of squirrels, a rare phobia that has made me a prisoner in my own home, I have learned not to expect compassion from the world, until I began listening to Lunchtime Melody Jamboree. They are the first persons who seem to understand me. (CROSS-FADING) and that show is the bright spot in my entire day....

Fred Newman (FADING IN): My name is Lurleen Blunt, spelled B-l-u-n-t, not like the humorist, and believe you me, if you're from Athens, Georgia, and living in Manhattan, you feel like an alien from another galaxy — the grocery stores don't carry what you need, you can't understand people when they talk to you — but at least there's one spot on the dial that plays my music, and that's the Lunchtime Melody Jamboree. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

JL & GK (SING):
Oh, who will shoe your pretty feet,
Oh, who will glove your hands?,
And who will kiss your rosy cheeks,
When I'm in a far-off land?

GK: It was sort of embarrassing when Lunchtime Melody Jamboree reached its twenty-fifth anniversary and I still didn't know Roseanne's last name. It just never came up. I had no idea even where she lives.

JL: Well— good show.

GK: Yeah. I thought we did a good job.

JL: I'll see you Monday.

GK: Okay. Have a good weekend.

JL: You too.

GK: You need a ride home or anything?

JL: No, I'll just take the train.

GK: Oh. I take the No. 2— uptown—

JL: Yeah, I know people who take that train.

GK: You take the No. 2?

JL: I have. When I went to see them, I did.

GK: Sure. That makes sense. —(BRIDGE) I mentioned this to my therapist, Dr. Phillips.

AF: So— what's happening with you? .

GK: I'm in love with a girl who I don't dare speak to because I feel I'm not good enough for her.

AF: Okay. (WRITING) "Consumed with guilt.....which, may.....or may not...have basis in fact." Okay. Any dreams?

GK: Dreams about flying. Some bright morning when this life is o'er, flying to that home on God's celestial shore,

AF: (WRITING) "Sublimated death wish... with theological overlay." Okay. Anything else?

GK: Dr. Phillips, I've been coming to you for ten years and you've never told me anything.

AF: What did you want me to tell you, Carson?

GK: You take all these notes, I just thought you must have figured out something by now.

AF: I see.

GK: Anyway, I brought you this present, Dr. Phillips. It's an anniversary gift.

AF: Oh?

GK: Ten years.

AF: Uh huh. And how do you feel about that?

GK: Open it.

AF: Okay. (UNWRAPPING PAPER, QUIETLY) This is very thoughtful of you, Carson. I must say that you're the only patient who's ever given me an anniversary gift and I'm really very deeply touched by your— (BIG BOINNNNGGGGG, AF JUMPS UP, YELLING.) (HE STANDS, BREATHING HARD, REGAINING HIS COMPOSURE)

GK: Are you all right, Doctor?

AF: You gave me an exploding snake, Carson. Why?

GK: It was a joke.

AF: Jokes are not without meaning and intent. Subtext.

GK: I'm sorry you took it badly.

AF: I took it badly???? You give me a snake that leaps up in my face and you put the blame on me????

GK: I'm sorry.

AF: What were your thoughts as you watched me unwrap the package that you knew was apt to cause me shock and dismay, Carson?

GK: I guess I was hoping you would soil yourself..

AF: That's what you were thinking?

GK: Yes.

AF: I can't believe I have wasted ten years of my time on you, 'you miserable punk— (HE STARTS TO BEAT GK WITH THE SNAKE, BOINNGGGING) There! Take that! Jerk! You know what I'm feeling right now, Carson? I'm feeling pleasure!!! I've wanted to do this for the past thirty years. (BOINGGING)

GK: He threw a potted plant. (CRASH) He attacked me with his chair. (AF KARATE THRUSTS, WHACKS) He poked me with a pencil. (THRUST, THWOP) BRIDGE COMES UP) Dr. Phillips and I agreed that we needed some time apart. (BRIDGE) That was years ago. I haven't been back. — Life doesn't have to make sense. For me, knowledge seems to lead to sorrow, and things I understand depress me, and someone I don't even know makes me happy.

JL: Good to see you. How was your weekend?

GK: Not bad. Yours?

JL: Pretty good. — Is that a new suit you're wearing?

GK: No.

JL: Well, it sure looks good on you.

GK: Thanks. I like your hair like that.

JL: Thanks. So—-?

GK: Let's do it. (STRUMMING)

GK & JL: (SING)
Some bright morning when this life is o'er
I'll fly away.
To my home on God's celestial shore.
I'll fly away.
I'll fly away, O glory, I'll fly away
Bye and bye, hallelujah when I die
I'll fly away.
(HUM UNDER)

TR: Well, the old clock on the wall says, that's about all for today on the Lunchtime Melody Jamboree.....brought to you by Thompson Tooth Tinsel and Johnson Frosted Chocolates...take care out there...and we'll be seeing you back here same time tomorrow.

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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