February 27, 2010
The Fox Theatre

Detroit, MI

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Olympic

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GK: Our own Fred Newman was in the Men’s Single Figure Skating competition at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver and favored to win at least a bronze or a zinc medal, but he was disqualified because he used bad language—

FN: It wasn’t that bad, it wasn’t anything you don’t hear everyday in New York—

GK: —and that was too bad because otherwise it was a nearly perfect routine.

FN: It was perfect. Take a look.

GK: Bad language is not permitted during the figure skating routines and Fred didn’t know that—

FN: Their clock was wrong and they stopped me. I still had 30 seconds left...

GK: Fred is still sore about it—

FN: Play the video. You can see, I had 30 seconds left. Let them see the video.

GK: Okay, here is the video of Fred’s routine. (CROWD) There he is striking his pose as the music is just about to start, very nice—

(BIG DRAMATIC NUTCRACKER BALLET THEME, ON ORGAN)

GK: And there he goes (SKATING STROKES) making a big sweeping circuit of the rink and here is his first triple axel...and a toe loop...and an insy and an outie...and now he comes around on his approach for the quadruple lutz...with a half-gainer...and now he picks up the flaming torches from his coach...and he’s going to do a cartwheel with torches...amazing...and now he juggles the torches...as he does a rear axel...and a front axel...and here is the backflip ...and now he does a tap dance routine...while playing the saxophone ...and here he is with another toe spin...and he raises his right leg and grasps the skate high over his head and here is where he sings...

FN: I’m very skinny in my Lycra tights
My sequins glitter underneath the lights
I am from Georgia, 55 years old
I want the gold, I want the gold

GK: And here is where the dog runs out on the ice (OFF, YIPPING) and that sets off the timer (HORN) and Fred has to fend off the dog—

FN: Get out of here. Beat it. (DOG YELPS)

GK: And Fred threw the dog over the fence and then the Russian judge came running out

TR: RUSSIAN

GK: The Russian judge is saying, Your time is up...pointing at his watch...

FN: What the (BEEP) are you talking about, you big fat commie. I’ve got a whole half a minute left. Get your pinko hands off me. (THEY STRUGGLE) (SINGS) Gotta skate...gotta skate...

GK: And Fred attempts to get loose and he whacks the Russian with the torch... (WHANG, RUSSIAN PAIN) And here is where he is disqualified...

FN: Let me go, you big (BEEP) .

(ALARMS)

GK: And that was the end of Fred’s Olympic hopes. All that work, all that practice.

FN: Lost. Because I said a bad word.

GK: Not permitted at the Olympics. A similar thing happened in the snowmobile dancing event on Monday night...when he was — well, let’s look at it...

GK: (SNOWMOBILE REVVING) here he is, doing a maneuver called twizzling...and now a dosido...and now a walrus comes out on the ice (SFX) Fred swerves to get away...(SNOWMOBILE) — and unfortunately they had cut a big hole in the ice for the polar swimming competition and — FN (OFF): Oh no— O (BEEP) — (BIG SPLASH, ROAR, SPLASHING) and Fred goes into a hole in the ice, and there went the gold. Sorry, Fred. Tough luck. But your copper medal in the Senior Men’s luge was some compensation.

FN: I guess so. But I would’ve done better if those chickens hadn’t gotten on the track.

GK: Let’s take a look at Fred’s run in the luge— this is Vancouver, the Winter Olympics—

(CROWD MURMURS)

(APPROACHING LUGE, AND IT ZOOMS PAST, FLURRY OF CHICKEN SQUAWKING)

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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