Garrison Keillor Quotes

Gary Edward “Garrison” Keillor

Born: 7 August 1942, Anoka, Minnesota

Keillor was raised in a strict fundamentalist sect called the Plymouth Brethren, in which dancing, drinking, and cards were forbidden, so his family became adept story tellers. He started his own newspaper at age eleven, and in junior high school submitted poetry to the school paper using the name “Garrison Edwards”, which he thought was more impressive than “Gary”. He graduated from Anoka High School in 1960 and went to the University of Minnesota where he was an editor on the Minnesota Daily and was on the air on the student radio station, KUOM. He graduated with a B.A. in English in 1966 and went on a month-long job-hunting trip to the East Coast before returning home. He started at Minnesota Public Radio in 1969 and was a free-lance journalist. While researching the Grand Ole Opry he developed the idea for a variety show which originally ran in the morning, it moved to Saturday nights with it’s current name Prairie Home Companion, from 1974 to 1987. The show has succeeded on the strength of Keillor’ stories of the mythical Lake Wobegon, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above-average,” it has an audience of some three million listeners on over 500 radio stations. Work on other projects included a very similar show, he decided to bring it home to Minnesota and use the original name starting in 1993. An early goal was to write for The New Yorker, his first story ran in September of 1970. Keillor produces The Writer’s Almanac, both as a Public Radio program and a daily e-mail list, which the Quotemaster faithfully reads.

Garrison Keillor quotes:

A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.
    Garrison Keillor – Leaving Home (1987)

A minister has to be able to read a clock. At noon, it’s time to go home and turn up the pot roast and get the peas out of the freezer.
    Garrison Keillor – Lake Wobegon Days (1985)

A young writer is easily tempted by the allusive and ethereal and ironic and reflective, but the declarative is at the bottom of most good writing.
    Garrison Keillor

Beauty isn’t worth thinking about; what’s important is your mind. You don’t want a fifty-dollar haircut on a fifty-cent head.
    Garrison Keillor

Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a function.
    Garrison Keillor

Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of gentle people.
    Garrison Keillor – We Are Still Married (1989)

For me, the monologue was the favorite thing I had done in radio. It was based on writing, but in the end it was radio, it was standing up and leaning forward into the dark and talking, letting words come out of you.
    Garrison Keillor – Interview with Mervyn Rothstein, The New York Times

Gentleness is everywhere in daily life, a sign that faith rules through ordinary things: through cooking and small talk, through storytelling, making love, fishing, tending animals and sweet corn and flowers, through sports, music and books, raising kids — all the places where the gravy soaks in and grace shines through.
    Garrison Keillor – We Are Still Married (1989)

God writes a lot of comedy, Donna, the trouble is, he’s stuck with so many bad actors who don’t know how to play funny.
    Garrison Keillor – Happy to be Here (1983)

He was admired for never being at a loss for words and never wasting any either.
    Garrison Keillor – Lake Wobegon Days (1985)

Humor, a good sense of it, is to Americans what manhood is to Spaniards, and we will go to great lengths to prove it. Experiments with laboratory rats have shown that, if one psychologist in the room laughs at something a rat does, all of the other psychologists will laugh equally. Nobody wants to be left holding the joke.
    Garrison Keillor

I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it.
    Garrison Keillor

I think the most un-American thing you can say is, ‘You can’t say that.’
    Garrison Keillor

I’ve seen the truth, and it makes no sense.
    Garrison Keillor

If the government can round up someone and never be required to explain why, then it’s no longer the United States of America as you and I always understood it. Our enemies have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They have made us become like them.
    Garrison Keillor – “Congress’s Shameful Retreat From American Values” in The Chicago Tribune (4 October 2006)

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