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A Prairie Home Companion

A Prairie Home Companion is a live radio variety show created and hosted by Garrison Keillor. The show usually runs two hours from 5 to 7 PM Central Time, and originates from the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota. It is produced by Minnesota Public Radio and is most often heard on National Public Radio stations in the United States. The show has a long history, existing in a similar form as far back as 1974, and borrowing the name from a radio program in existence in 1969.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Format
3 Cast
4 Broadcast Info
5 External Links


The earliest radio program to have this name bears little resemblance to what is currently heard on Saturday evenings. A Prairie Home Companion was originally a morning show running from 6 to 9 AM on Minnesota Public Radio. The show's name came from the Prairie Home Cemetery in Moorhead, Minnesota.

After researching the Grand Ole Opry for an article, Keillor became interested in doing a variety show on the radio. On July 6th, 1974, the first live broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion took place. That show was broadcast from St. Paul in the Janet Wallace Auditorium of Macalester College. The turnout? 12 audience members, mostly children.

In 1978, the show moved into the World Theater in St. Paul. This is the same location that the program uses today, as the World was renovated and renamed to the Fitzgerald Theater.

the title of a live U.S Saturday afternoon variety radio show created and hosted by Garrison Keillor, transmitted from Minnesota Public Radio since 1974.

The show went off the air in 1987, and Keillor spent some time abroad in the next two years. He returned to radio in 1989 with The American Radio Company. In 1993, the show moved to Minnesota and was renamed to A Prairie Home Companion. While most of the episodes originate from St. Paul, the show often travels to other cities around the U.S. to do the weekly broadcast.


Each show opens with the Spencer Williams composition "Tishomingo Blues" as the theme song, but with custom words written for A Prairie Home Companion. It features a weekly report from the fictitious small town of Lake Wobegon. Other recurring events on the show include fictional informercials for "The Ketchup Advisory Board" as well as the satirical "Guy Noir, Private Eye", which pokes fun at gumshoe detective films and radio programs. Also, greetings from members of the audience (which are frequently humorous) to friends and family at home are read each week.

Music is a big feature of the program, and it is a significant outlet for American folk music of many genres. While much of the show is directed toward radio comedy, a portion of the show is usually devoted to some more sentimental and sometimes dark stories put together by Keillor and others.


In addition to Garrison Keillor, several other performers frequently appear on A Prairie Home Companion:

Broadcast Info

The show is distributed by Public Radio International to NPR and other outlets and can be heard on more than 511 public radio stations in the United States. Approximately 3.9 million U.S. listeners tune in each week. The program is also carried around the world by the American Armed Forces Radio Network as well as America One.

An alternative edition of the show is broadcast in the UK by BBC Radio 7 and in Eire by RTE under the name Garrison Keillor's Radio Show.

External Links