Off the Air

A collection of press clippings, special projects or appearances including Garrison Keillor.

Happy 2011, Friends!

December 28, 2010 No Comments

Here in New York, where I'm malingering until the show comes back on the 8th, we are enjoying the calm and civility that follows a major snowstorm. Taxis inch along in the snowy ruts, there's no honking, and vastly less anxiety. This is the great therapeutic value of a blizzard: why get worked up over it? Everyone else is in the same boat, they're all late too, so why not enjoy it ---- it's only life, after all. This is a vast change in the tempo of city life.

We sang about this on the December 25 show from New York (the one that was supposed to be a live broadcast but we got deprogrammed or unfriended by Verizon) ---- we sang, to Irving Berlin's tune:


I'm dreaming of a white Manhattan
And of a snowy New Year's Eve
And along Fifth Avenue, you all are havin' you
A real snow emergency.
I love it when they close LaGuardia
And for an evening time stands still.
May your streets be quiet and white
May we get a snowstorm tonight----


And the next day we did.


I caught a cab Monday night and stuffed myself and four ladies, including my 12-year-old daughter, into it and got to the opera on time and there, in the second act of "Girl of the Golden West," snow fell on Minnie's shack where Dick Johnson was hiding from the posse, after he had ridden out on stage on a real horse. It's not a great opera, but there are gunshots, a horse, a campfire and some torches, a tenor on the gallows with the noose around his neck, and that snowfall, which is very pretty indeed. You come in out of a blizzard and pay to see snow fall onstage.

One pleasure that seems not to dim with passing years is going to shows. You sit in your seat, the lights dim, and you feel those same tremors of anticipation you always feel, whether it's a play, a movie, or your neighbor's son's bluegrass band at the local pizza joint. (The pleasure, for someone like me, is doubled by the fact that I am not one of the poor schlumps on stage.) Other pleasures come and go, friendships shift, your interest in restaurants fades whenever you weigh yourself, your taste in literature changes, but one never gets tired of going to The Show.

And I don't get tired of doing our old radio show (konk konk konk, knock on wood). And neither does the band or the actors. Or the guests, come to think of it. It is just so utterly ODD to be in a live radio variety show where, one minute, a tenor is singing "O mio babbino caro" and the next minute, we're peddling ketchup or a dolphin is playing the bagpipes underwater, that one is always buoyed by the unlikeliness of it.

Our resolution for 2011 is to stay calm ---- no honking ---- and do our best to make a show that is worthy of tremors of anticipation and to keep on enjoying your company on Saturday nights. Thanks for your friendship.


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