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A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor

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Saturday, June 4, 2005
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Garrison Keillor: Our show is facing a major change this year, due to a bill called the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005 which has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and which, when it becomes law, which it will, will make broadcasters liable for fines of up to $500,000 for any obscene, indecent, or profane material. It's the anti-Janet Jackson bill, which came about after the L.A.P.D. stopped Janet Jackson on the freeway and told her her right headlight was out. If Janet had been on radio and not TV, it wouldn't have been a big deal at all — all of us on this show go around with our clothes hanging half off us — but Congress has reacted, as it so often does, with a sledgehammer instead of a screwdriver, and so our sound effects man Fred Newman is facing a major crisis in his career. Fred has made a specialty of indecent sounds. Because those are the ones that are funny. (BIG FART) People don't pay to see a guy do his laundry. (WASHER IN SPIN CYCLE). They pay to see a guy walk down the sidewalk (FOOTSTEPS, WHISTLING) and a beautiful girl passes in a pickup truck (SS: WOO WOO) and she moons him (FN BIG REACTION) and he steps on the banana peel (SWAPPP, CRY OF ALARM) and slips and falls in a pile of cow manure (BIG SPLOTTT, SQUISHES, FN REVULSION). That's what people want to see. Indecency. But conservatives in Congress are determined to change human nature and make us all interested in the Book of Deuteronomy, which is a good idea, but not practical. Meanwhile, uncertainty abounds — the word "Saturday" — can we use it on the air? it does contain a bad word (FN: TURD) — and how about the common cold — (HEAD CLEARING SUCTION, THEN SQUIDGY NOSE RUB) — it's obscene. How about someone putting a vacuum cleaner nozzle to their bare abdomen? (SFX) A naked person jumping into a tub of lime jello. (JELLO JUMP). Just the simple act of getting dog food out of a can is very suggestive. (DOG FOOD). Or removing the pantyhose of a mezzosoprano. (PANTYHOSE) Removing a toilet plunger from a man's bare bottom. (PLUNGER) Paris Hilton getting up off a vinyl sofa. (VINYL) Anyway, we know there will be no more flatulence on the radio — it's against the law — they'll still have it in Congress, but we can't have it here. We won't be able to even describe this Congress because it is, itself, indecent. (SPLOT, SLOSH, SQUISH) We are planning a protest at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. We are going to surround the capitol, a human chain, and at noon we will pull the chain and (BIG TOILET FLUSH). We're going to invite the pro-decency Congressmen to Minnesota to inspect our turkey growing operations (TURKEYS, JOWLY MALE TALK) and walk over this way— (JOWLY MALE, FOOTSTEPS) watch your step, Congressman — look out for that (SCHWOOP, JOWLY CRY) banana peel— (BIG SPLOTT, SQUISHES, JOWLY TALK) yechhhh. Turkey manure. That's the worst. And that's what this Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005 is made of. And you can quote me on that. Go ahead. (TURKEY) Exactly.

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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