From the Bugle archives: Keillor felt woebegone about radio early in career
Retire after 42 years as host of “A Prairie Home Companion?”
Garrison Keillor definitely didn’t see that coming.
Or, he just might have been having a bad day.
When the Park Bugle interviewed him in June 1976, the St. Anthony Park resident told the newspaper that he saw the future of radio as “very bleak” and his own prospects limited.
“I think I have reached my future,” Keillor said. “I am doing exactly what I want to do now, but I don’t see myself being able to do it for a very long time.”
Fortunately for the legion of fans who tuned in to “A Prairie Home Companion” for the next four decades, Keillor was selling himself short.
The Park Bugle interviewer observed that radio had clearly lost ground to television and movies and asked Keillor if he thought his old-time flavor show might help revive it
“I don’t think there are that many people that are interested in this type of radio and I don’t think the large corporations that might underwrite this type of show are interested enough to spend money,” Keillor said.
“They may feel, perhaps, that this is not serious enough to be taken seriously. I personally think that humor is both serious and important. It has dignity, it is not standing in front of a crowd just flapping your arms.
“We will be here next week and through the summer, but after that it’s hard to tell,” he added bleakly.
Keillor’s final appearance on “A Prairie Home Companion” was broadcast
July 2.—Roger Bergerson