Garrison Keillor (born Gary Edward Keillor on August 7, 1942) is an American author, humorist, columnist, musician, satirist, and radio personality.
He is best known as founder and host of the American Public Media show A Prairie Home Companion (also known as Garrison Keillor's Radio Show on BBC 7 and in Ireland). Keillor's trademark storyline is the weekly News from Lake Wobegon, a monologue about a fictional town (based on Anoka, Minnesota, Garrison's hometown or possibly Freeport, Minnesota, near the center of the state where Keillor lived for a short period of time), "where the women are strong, the men are good looking, and all the children are above average."
Keillor has also written many articles for The New Yorker and The Atlantic Monthly. Keillor is the host of The Writer's Almanac, a five-minute program which is broadcast daily on some public radio stations in the United States.
Mr. Keillor's works from The New Yorker and other magazines have been gathered into two collections: Happy to Be Here, published in 1981 (and later acquired, and republished with 5 additional pieces, by UK outlet Penguin Books) and We are Still Married, which features newer articles, literary outtakes, poems and additional Lake Wobegon tales which were all written by him in the 1980's. When Penguin acquired WASM for republishing it also added new pieces from around that period to the collection; 6 in this case.
Garrison Keillor did the voiceover for the 2003 Honda Accord commercial entitled "Cog". The two minute television ad features a complex system of car parts that react with each other to create a chain reaction similar to a Rube Goldberg cartoon. The commercial ends with Keillor asking, "Isn't it nice when things just work?" Keillor also sang the voiceover in the 2004 Honda Diesel commercial entitled "Grrr".
His laid back style is often the subject of criticism and parody. The Simpsons parodies Keillor in an episode where Keillor is shown reading his monologue and the studio audience laughing wildly, with Homer wondering, "What the hell's so funny?" In practice, Keillor rarely reads his monologue directly from the script, but the monotonous intonation and style of dress caricature Keillor successfully. One Boston radio critic likens Keillor and his "down comforter voice" to "a hypnotist intoning, 'You are getting sleepy now', while noting that Keillor does play to listeners' intelligence.
In the UK, his commercials have been parodied especially his song (for Honda): "Hate something, Change something, Make something better" (clip available below).
During the summer of 2005, production began on a film version of A Prairie Home Companion written by Keillor and directed by Robert Altman.