This time he really means it: Keillor confirms retirement

21 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Garrison Keillor says he’s sure this time: Just 1 more season as ‘Prairie Home Companion’ host.

ST. Garrison Keillor, creator and longtime host of A Prairie Home Companion, has said that the next season of the popular radio show will be his last as host. ‘I’ve been everywhere, and I’ve seen very little.

Keillor told the Associated Press Monday he is definitely hanging it up after one more season, which will see him sharing the hosting duties with musician Chris Thile – who will eventually take over the program full time. Keillor also takes summer bus tours for live shows, and his 30-city “America the Beautiful” cross-country tour, billed as his farewell tour, starts next week. “I have a lot of other things that I want to do. Through the years, the show has stuck to a format of skits, sound effects, fake sponsors such as Powdermilk Biscuits, musical guests and the shows’ centerpiece — Keillor sitting on a stool telling the latest news about Norwegian bachelor farmers and other characters from his imaginary hometown of Lake Wobegon (‘where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking and all the children are above average.’) Thile, a mandolinist who’s part of the band Punch Brothers, once subbed as host for Keillor in February, and compared hosting to ‘getting to be Luke Skywalker’. Keillor said his final show as host will be in July 2016, from the Tanglewood outdoor music venue in Massachusetts, one of Keillor’s favorite locations for broadcasts. The Minneapolis Star Tribune noted Keillor had “announced an upcoming retirement so many times that he could be called the Brett Favre of broadcast radio.” But he insisted Monday that his decision was solid.

He said he plans to stay on as executive producer, but only “an admirer” and “a gray eminence” of the on-air show, which he said will keep its Midwestern focus. “I’m perfectly willing to do whatever needs to be done. Keillor said he has finished writing a Lake Wobegon screenplay, about a young man who returns for his father’s funeral and reconnects with a high school girlfriend. “It’s got a funeral, it’s got a big Fourth of July parade, and it’s got, you know, two people taking each other’s clothes off,” he said. “Everything we look for in a movie.”

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