A Prairie Home Companion (APHC) is a weekly radio program hosted by Garrison Keillor. It is a partial spin-off of the morning drive-time A Prairie Home Morning Show radio program (previously known as The Morning Program, A Prairie Home Entertainment and later The Morning Show) hosted by Keillor and Tom Keith, broadcast from 1969 to December 11, 2008 on Minnesota Public Radio (then called Minnesota Educational Radio).
The program was developed after Keillor became interested in doing a variety radio show after researching the Grand Ole Opry for an article. The first live broadcast was on July 6, 1974 from the Janet Wallace Auditorium of Macalester College, with an audience of twelve, mostly children. Butch Thompson performed for the first time on the second episode and became the house pianist until 1986.
APHC began broadcasting from the World Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota. The theater was renamed to the Fitzgerald Theater in 1986 after purchase and renovation by Minnesota Public Radio. It is the home venue for the program throughout its broadcast history and for the successor program Live from Here. The Fitzgerald Theater is also the location used for the 2006 film A Prairie Home Companion
In 1987, Keillor married and hosted a "final performance" of APHC on June 13. In the two years afterward, he spent some time abroad. APHC was replaced for both radio broadcasts and in-theater performances with Good Evening hosted by Noah Adams, a live variety show designed by ex-Prairie Home and All Things Considered staffers to retain the audience Keillor had cultivated over the years. Many radio stations opted to broadcast APHC repeats instead.
In 1989, Keillor returned to radio with a program called The American Radio Company of the Air broadcast from the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The format was similar to APHC but the sketches and musical guests reflected "a more New York sensibility", compared to the country and folk music found in APHC. Segments relating to Lake Wobegon were initially downplayed as being "cruel" to talk to a Brooklyn audience about life in a small town. The full APHC format was used only for "annual farewell performances". In the fall of 1992, the show returned to the World Theater and the APHC segments gradually returned as well. On October 2, 1993, the show was officially renamed to A Prairie Home Companion with the original format.
Keillor announced a second retirement on July 21, 2015 with Chris Thile succeeding him as host in 2016. His final broadcast was recorded live at the Hollywood Bowl on July 1, 2016 and was titled "Sumus Quod Sumus" (Latin for "We are what we are"). The final show was broadcast the following day, and Thile became the permanent host on October 15, 2016. Archives of the radio programs were given titles like "Trail Mix" and "The Lord's Work" starting with the September 2012 programs.
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News from Lake Wobegon Edit
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