December 21, Garrison Keillor, New York Show15“Christmas Carol” by Garrison Keillor & Prairie Home Companion Productions, PBS, December 21, 2013, New York.

This what happened in the past, Old London:

This is what’s happening now, New York, 2013….

Audio version, MP3 Player:


prairiehomecompaniondec21SAT 12/21/13 7:29 PM
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TR: Yes? Who is it?


SS: Do I have the pleasure of addressing Mr. Marley? Or
Mr. Scrooge?

TR: I’m Scrooge. Marley died. Years ago. Come in. Have a
chair. May I get you an eggnog?

SS: Oh. I’m here collecting donations for the Fund for the
Unfortunate, sir.

TR: Fine. How much did I give last year?

SS: A thousand pounds, sir.

TR: Excellent. We’ll double that this year.

SS: Oh, that is very generous, Mr. Scrooge. Would you like
a receipt?
SAT 12/21/13 7:29 PM
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TR: No. No need for that —

SS: Very well. Merry Christmas—

TR: Merry Christmas to you. (FOOTSTEPS, DOOR

FN: Mr. Scrooge—?

TR: What is it, Cratchit?

FN: I was wondering, sir, if I might be able to have
Monday off, seeing as how Christmas falls on a Sunday
this year.

TR: Yes, of course. No problem. Take Tuesday too.

FN: Oh , wonderful. Thank you, sir.

that you and the Mrs. and Tiny Tim have a wonderful

FN: Thank you, sir.

TR: And here. A Christmas bonus.

FN: That’s very kind of you, sir.

Page 3 of 10


TR (YAWNING): Time to hit the hay.



Hey hey hey. It’s me. The Ghost of Christmas Past.
To show you happy days of yore in just a flash,
Happy days to which you cannot return
But there will be a lesson you can learn.

TR: Ahhh. No need for that, Spirit. I know the past very
well. I was a grasping, covetous old sinner, and then you
three Ghosts visited me one Christmas Eve and I saw the
light and I went on this wonderful medication, Yulival, a
sedative that smoothed out my rough spots and now I am as
light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry
as a school-boy. Remember?


I do, but you’re in New York now. Get wise, Jack.
It’s a rough town so watch your back.
And kindness is all well and good, of course.
But you gotta eat their lunch or they will eat yours.
SAT 12/21/13 7:29 PM
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TR: No, no, no, no. I’ ve reformed. I keep Christmas all
year round in my heart. (WHOOSH) Who’s this????


I am the Spirit of Christmas To Come.
In the movie I am silent but on radio that would be dumb.
I’ve come to show you what shall come to pass
If you don’t change your ways and change them fast.

TR: You visited me years ago and you recommended
Yulival and it’s been wonderful. One pill in the morning
and I’m happy all day.


That’s all fine if you’re in Montessori.
But this is a play and you have to stick with the story.
The story ends happily with a big Christmas dinner
But it needs to start out with you a covetous sinner.

TR: Oh dear no. I’ve changed. I don’t want to go back to
the bad Ebenezer.

DD (SINGS): If you aren’t bad, the story is destroyed.

CD (SINGS): Theaters will close. Actors unemployed.

DD (SINGS): Gifted actors—-
SAT 12/21/13 7:29 PM
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DD (SINGS): Will be unable

CD (SINGS): To do theater and must wait on table.

TR: But I can’t be that man again.

CD: You’re an actor. Just do it.

TR: But what is my motivation?


TR (TIM): It’s me, Mr. Scrooge. Tiny Tim. Remember. I’m
standing here behind this lamppost and I’ve got a pistol in
me hand. Don’t make me use it.

TR: Tiny Tim??

TR (TIM): I used to have a job, November through
January, eight shows a week, earning good money as a
cripple. And now—- nothing. Thanks to you.

TR: I’m sorry.

TR (TIM): You’ll be even sorrier if you don’t start Bah
Humbugging. I’ll cut you a new buttonhole, I will.

SS: He ain’t so tiny anymore. Great big strapping lad he is. SAT 12/21/13 7:29 PM
Page 6 of 10

TR: How are you, Mrs. Cratchit?

SS: My name isn’t Cratchit. It’s Sue Scott. I used to play
Mrs. Cratchit. Until you got all warm and cuddly.

TR (SCROOGE): But I love Christmas.

CD: You can do it. Say it. Say the H word.
DD: Please. We need you to grasp and squeeze and scrape.
TR: But what is my motivation?
TR (scrooge): If I had my way, every idiot who goes about
with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled with his
own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his
heart. Bah, Humbug.
CD: Again.
TR (SCROOGE): Bah, Humbug!
GK: And he was true to his word and he went back to
playing Scrooge as he should be played, grasping and
wrenching and covetous, and so Christmas was Christmas
again. (BRIDGE) Christmas is many different things. It has
it’s high holy aspect, of course…..

SAT 12/21/13 7:29 PM
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TR (ANGLICAN): And we read in Scripture, Behold Him,
lying in a manager. Let’s look closely at that word—–
behold. To be, to exist, and also to hold, to have. There is
that which we are and there is that which we possess. And
then there is the manager —- do we not see here—–
excuse me? —— Oh, yes. Manger. Never mind. Smoke got
in my eyes.

GK: And Christmas has its low bawdy aspects of

TR (OLD BEERY ENGLISHMAN): More beer there, you
lusty wench!And hack me off another big hunk of that there
beef too. The part with the big clots of fat on it. That’s
right. And a piece for me dogs. (DOGS)

SS (WENCH): Get those filthy dogs down off of the
table! Where do you think you are, in a barn?

TR: These dogs ain’t no filthier than I am! Haw haw haw
haw haw! And a beer for my dogs too! Haw haw haw haw

GK: And what would Christmas be without the druids in
their long white robes and their candles?
DIGIs (CHANTING, TIGHT, NASAL):Wassail, wassail,
wassail, the drinks are colossal, and wassail makes you
docile……to heck with the apostles, let’s drink some
wassail. (DRONE) SAT 12/21/13 7:29 PM
Page 8 of 10
GK: And there is also a mournful aspect of Christmas.

TR (RUSSIAN): The snow falls in the forest of birch trees,
just as it did the year Natasha ran away with the coachman
and left me here with a longing that can never be satisfied,
a song that will never be sung, a fever of the soul, and here
I am, a wounded owl flying through the dark toward a tree
that is no longer there. (SOBBING). Oh, Natasha. Why?

GK: These things all exist in balance—- The high spiritual-

TR (ANGLICAN): And it says in Scripture: Rejuice and be
glad. Let’s look at that word “rejuice” —- what do we see
here? To rejuice—- to juice again —- surely there is——
excuse me? What? Oh. Never mind. My mistake. Hold that
candle up higher, Aidan. Thank you.

GK: And the low carnal —-

FN (ENGLISH): Where’s me pig brains? Wouldn’t be
Christmas wi’out pig brains!

SS: Aaaoooooooo. Want yer pig brains poached or boiled?

TR: Pig brains??? You don’t poach pig brains!

FN: No sir.
SAT 12/21/13 7:29 PM
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TR: Not for Christmas. Christmas pig brains is always
served raw in a big tin plate, they is. (SLURPING) Now
that’s what I call good pig brains.

GK: And Christmas also has to include bitter resentment.

SS: All those years I sacrificed, so everybody else could
have a nice Christmas, but was it fun for me? No, it was
not. I’ve been sacrificing all my life. Good old Eunice.
That’s me. And now what do I have for myself? Nothing.

GK: And what would Christmas be without some druids?

DIGIs (CHANTING): Hallelujah chorus, what’s with the
menorahs, where’s your husband Morris, is he waiting for
us……in his big white Taurus, . (DRONE)
GK: It’s a complex multi-layered holiday. High spiritual
(TR ANGLICAN: And also with you.) and gloomy (TR
RUSSIAN: Snow falling in the orchard, darkness, and we
are all out of borscht) and bitter (SS: What thanks did I
get? Not a word.) and the vulgar. (TR: More beer for me
dogs. DOG LAPPING) And Scrooge. (TR: Let them die
then and reduce the excess population.)
FN (SINGS): Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Get some dynamite
Light a match
And let’s blow up the tree tonight. SAT 12/21/13 7:29 PM
Page 10 of 10
Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide fun,
Go next door
and ring the bell and then we’ll run.
Here we are with some alcohol
So let’s call up friends to come
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Bring some beer to us and rum.
Here’s to Scrooge
And here’s to all the choirs
And George Handel too
And from the Prairie Home cast and crew
A very merry Christmas to you. (ROCKETS)

Bonus: “News from the Lake Wobegon,” January 2013. Talking about temperatures; my body temps is skyrocketing high (let alone the “soul fever”) with a deadly flu cough against the subzero temperatures outside and Northern wind breeze. We do not talk about windchill neither, how about -20F?!

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