SFX script
Saturday, October 4, 2008

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GK: Our sound effect man Mr. Tom Keith has not been on the show since early spring. He's been playing golf (SFX) and he's been mowing his lawn (SFX), trimming his trees (SFX), whacking his weeds (SFX), tilling his garden (SFX), and doing some chainsaw sculpture (SFX) —- he uses a chainsaw to sculpt butter —- huge hundred-pound blocks of butter —- and he carves goddesses out of them (SFX) — and he also carves swans out of blocks of ice for the punch bowl at weddings (SFX) —- he's a man of many interests, Mr. Tom Keith —- he loves to fly his Curtiss Ingham biplane (SFX) and do loops and power dives (SFX) —- he trains caribou (SFX) —- he loves to paint by putting a canvas on the floor and hurling paint at it (SFX) —- he plays the bagpipes (SFX) — he loves to get behind the wheel of his Lamborghini and drive the mountain roads of western Minnesota (SFX) and play the bagpipes while driving (SFX) —- but one thing he does not do during the off-season is think about work.

TK: Never.

GK: He relaxes. He pursues his hobbies. He does not practice sound effects.

TK: No need for it.

GK:He cooks, using his own secret high-temperature method of roasting meat (BLOWTORCH) —- he goes to movies (MOVIE DIALOGUE, ROMANTIC, MAN, WOMAN) —- he works on his home (SAW, HAMMER) —- he does not think about sound effects ever—

TK: I've been doing this for thirty-some years. I've got it down. No sweat. Tell me what you want, I'll do it. First time, every time. No fail. Guaranteed.

GK: And he felt confident right up until yesterday afternoon when a messenger boy came by with the script for today's show—- and he sat in his Jacuzzi and read it (SFX) —- and it all looked pretty simple, horses' hooves and chickens and water dripping and sirens and then on page 11—

TK: A loon.

GK: The Minnesota state bird. Tom had done loons for years. He won a loon-calling championship at Long Lake sponsored by the Lung Association. He lay there in the warm water and opened his mouth and—-

TK: (BAD LOON CALL)

GK: And it was wrong. He tried again. (WORSE LOON CALL) Maybe the problem was warmth. You can't do a loon call if you're warm. So he went outdoors and tried again. (FEEBLE LOON CALL. ANOTHER. ANOTHER, ANOTHER.) And now he was scared. (HEART POUNDING) He could imagine his lucrative sound-effects career coming to an end. The personal appearances, the product endorsements —- fini. Kaput. Ausgeschloss. If a sound-effects man can't do a loon—- it's all over. He went to a throat doctor who had him open wide (MOUTH OPEN, GAGGING) and he suctioned out some phlegm (SFX) and sprayed a steroid down there (SFX) and Tom tried again and (WEAK EXHALE HISS) he couldn't make a sound. They decided to pull his wisdom teeth, so he went to a dentist and (CRUNCHING, CRACKING, TOOTH PULL) got the teeth pulled (CRUNCHING, CRACKING AND TOOTH PULL) and a cavity filled (DRILL) and he tried again to do the loon call and (WEIRD CALL) it still wasn't right— and meanwhile showtime was approaching and all Tom could think to do was to get a loon and try to learn from it—- so he went out in a motorboat (SFX) and he lured a loon by playing a lute (SFX) and when she came close he hawked a loogie (SFX) and threw a loop over her (SFX) and he brought her home (LOON PROTEST) — and that night he sat her down on the kitchen table and poked her (LOON CALL) and then he tried to imitate her (BAD LOON CALL) and she thought that was pretty funny (LOON LAUGHTER) and the scornful laughter of a bird has thrown Mr. Tom Keith off stride and he's come to the show today an anxious man—

TK: What??? Me? I'm cool as can be. (NERVOUS LAUGHTER) Go ahead. Anything you want. A California condor? I can do it. You want a condor? Here's a condor. (BAD BIRD CALL)

GK: Sounded more like a condom.

TK: You want a caribou? I can do a caribou. (BAD CARIBOU) anything you want—- just call it out—- gunshots (BAD SHOTS) —-

GK: It's our first show of the season. It'll get better. Give it time.

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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