For the past 40 years on National Public Radio, Garrison Keillor has served up a humorous slice of Americana through his Saturday night radio program, “A Prairie Home Companion.” Each episode features live music and amusing skits like “Guy Noir, Private Eye,” plus hysterical promotional spots like the one for Bebop-A-Reebop Rhubarb Pie.
But the highlight of each show comes near the end, when Keillor shares the news and latest gossip from his beloved Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and the children above average.
Now if you know Prairie Home Companion, you also know that Keillor’s worldview doesn’t always line up with a Christian worldview. So it may surprise you that we’re talking about it today on BreakPoint. But I think there are a number of things we can learn from the success of this show.
First, in an age where much of what we call entertainment is all flash and no substance, Keillor has accomplished the extraordinary. His show has become “appointment listening” each week for four million people on almost 700 radio stations. The successful longevity of Prairie Home Companion testifies to the power of great art and storytelling, and it’s a lesson for all of us who are called to share “the greatest story ever told.” As we say often on BreakPoint, Christians should be champions of the arts, especially those that, through story, point to the deep truths about life and the world.