Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The News from Lake Woebegon podcast review

Garrison Keillor spins a tale each week about a fictional small town in Minnesota as part of his show “A Prairie Home Companion”.  The full show is on public radio Saturday nights from 5 to 7 PM.  The News from Lake Woebegon is usually in the second half of the program and can last from 8 to 15 minutes.  Garrison will start in one place, describing someones activities or thoughts and will end up in an entirely different place describing another event by the end of the segment.  Sometimes he speaks about the church pastor or parishioners, sometimes teenagers or teachers, sometimes husband and wives, sometimes grumpy old men or dissatisfied women.  His topics are church socials, finding and falling in love, moving out of a small town, aging parents, gearing up for deer hunting, conversation at the local watering hole, and many others.  He is chronicling life in the United States but doing it in a very artistic way.  He essentially speaks back to us what we are doing and thinking.  Our quirks, contradictions, and ways of life.  Sometimes what he says ends up being a jab, other times it is confirming.  Either way, it is comforting to know that someone is noticing life in small towns.  He does not change his voice to try and mimic other peoples speaking styles.  He pretty much uses his own speaking style.  There isn’t any sound effects or music during this part of the show.  It is almost a sermon of sorts.  The humor is subtle but usually not the laugh out loud sort.  He can bring a slight smile to your face.  He does the news in an effortless way but what he is doing is by no means easy.  I believe he is a national treasure but sadly I would guess that 90% of the United States population has never heard of him or his program although it has been going on for decades.  The News from Lake Woebegon podcast is available for free using the app Stitcher.  I would highly recommend this podcast.

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