Post to the Host

Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.

Send GK Your Question »

April 30, 2007 | 13 Comments

Post to the Host:
Every Saturday I listen to your show, and I love it. The program on April 28 from Columbus, GA was especially enjoyable, since I'm a Southern girl. However, I couldn't believe what I was hearing when you started in on the episode about losing bowel control, and I could't believe how long it lasted. Why should a genius at telling a tale, an English major, on a public radio broadcast, resort to bathroom humor? I sincerely hope it doesn't happen again, and I hope other people let you know they didn't like it either.

I'm sorry my first and only "post" to you should be so negative, Garrison. Please don't do toilet material again! You're too good for that.

Helen C.
Tallahassee, FL

I'm not too good for toilet humor, dear. I don't ever want to be that good. If I were really really good, I suppose I'd be doing whispery interviews with theologians, but I'm in another line of work. I'm sure you're right, that the droopy-pants story went on too long, but I think there was beauty and grace to it. It was suggested by a commercial I heard on the radio on Thursday, advertising a pharmaceutical and then mentioning that side-effects could include "diarrhea, gassiness, and confusion". So in the story a guy took a drug for his spring allergies and wound up loading his pants every time he sneezed, meanwhile he stepped on a skate which stuck to his foot and he went racing down a hill, collided with a baby carriage, wound up with the baby in his arms, was nearly hit by a truck, and narrowly avoided being run over by a fast train. A Buster Keaton movie, with the addition of diarrhea. Not for everyone, surely. But there were ten-year-old boys in the audience who died laughing.


I was in the audience in Columbus. The diarrhea bit was great (as was the whole show). A few blue-hairs might not have liked it, but if Garrison wrote to please them, we never would have heard of him.

I wholeheartedly DISagree with Helen, whose complaint reminds of the statement: If you don't like what you're hearing/watching, turn the radio/TV off.
I laughed so hard I nearly...well, I won't go any further.
The one highlight of my week is Saturday nights with PHC.

I'm with Helen, more or less. I'm not a big fan of the poop joke genre, and the bit went WAY too long. Maybe other people found it funny, I dunno. I just know I found it more disappointing than amusing. Sorry.

I was actually at the show and I nearly wet my pants.

The bathroom humor was crude, but we loved it! Of course my eight-year old in the backseat of the car really thought it was a hoot!

By the way, we are giving our eight-year-old tickets to your KC Show (June 22) for his birthday present. He is as big a fan of PHC as me and my husband are! You have fans of all ages!

Helen has a point. Take a look at Ruthann Cowell's "A Letter to Mr. Keillor" in First Person (Dec. 2006). She will move you to tears. The gentle sonorous voice that broke through her father's dementia, recalling him to himself in a happier time, wasn't telling diarrhea jokes.

I basically cannot eloquently enough describe, compared with your writing, how much I enjoy and appreciate your radio broadcasts. However, I will try. You most succinctly, eloquently, and with a phenomenal sense of humor describe situations everyone can relate to and appreciate. That is what I love about your shows and your writings, regardless what the topic is. I also am a Helen from the South, South Dakota that is, who appreciates humor that is actually "funny".

I was on the road with my 13-year-old son when we heard this bit. He's all of a sudden a huge fan and is demanding we listen to Lake Wobegon stories on our road trip this weekend.

Two votes for more poop.

I've been a listener/fan of PHC for as long as it's been on - how many years is that, by the way? In any case, the droopy pants was hilarious. OK, I'll admit I was surprised since that was a new one for you, but it was really funny, and it happens to all of us at one time or another!

I am a fifty-three year old female. Like many women of my generation and those before, I was taught to be inhibited about certain bodily functions and to turn my nose up (no pun intended) at scatological humor. Ironically, that's why this piece was so hilarious to me. GK, like most of your material, this piece allows us to look at our fears, inhibitions, idiosyncracies, etc.through humor; a lens that relieves us of having to take ourselves, oh so seriously. We are all, in the end, stuck with our human condition and will fill our pants in one way or another despite our best efforts at being perfect. Thanks for giving me one more reason to relax.

I went to GK's benefit show he did for the Springer last year. I remember a bit about a sermon and farting. Lots of farting. I reckon there must be something gassy about Columbus to Garrison. Perhaps he got a big whiff of the paper mill when he got here?
I have known that smell to stop the uninitiated in thier tracks...

I don't have blue hair, I'm still in the first half of my life, and I'm as strong as any Norwegian bachelor farmer, but I agree with Helen. As much as I love the show and the amazing talents of GK, I really cant stand it when the humor turns to the toilet stuff. Garrison, I hope you understand you are the antidote to a world full of that stuff. A radio full of cacklesome no-notings on the other stations are what drive me to a PHC. Thanks Helen for having the tact and class to bring it to GK's attention.
P.S. Getting out of eigth grade was liberating, please don't send me back on Saturday evenings.

Garrison has been doing toilet humor since Day 1 and I doubt he will stop now. It's part of the whole spectrum of what people laugh about, and he knows it.

Previous Post:

Next Post:

Post to the Host Archive

Complete Post to the Host Archive

American Public Media © |   Terms and Conditions   |   Privacy Policy