Rarely do entertainers comment on their own performances in a public way, but that was not the case with Garrison Keillor and his recent visit to Goshen College.
Turns out Keillor was quite pleased with the show at Sauder Hall on Oct. 15. In fact, he called it one of his best show ever, which is something special when you consider the nationally known radio voice has been entertaining crowds for decades.
The 71-year old tipped his hat to the Mennonite audience, too.
Below is Keillor’s comment, which Goshen mayor Allan Kauffman found on a blog written by Keillor. Kauffman, obviously pleased, posted it on his Facebook page and called it “a wonderful tribute!”
Update: The blog was later identified and verified as Keillor’s personal Facebook page.
Here is the comedian’s critique:
“I think I maybe did the best show of my life Tuesday night and all thanks to the audience, a thousand Mennonites and their neighbors in a small town in Indiana. It was mostly impromptu, fast-paced, jumpy, with
a big complicated pontoon-boat story in the middle, and at the beginning and end we sang. They sang beautiful four- and six-part harmony in a fine acoustic hall and I sang a modest bass, no arm waving, no coaxing, and the sound of this impromptu choir made everyone intensely happy. I steered them directly from one verse of a song to a chorus of another, no pausing, and when I did pause once, trying to figure out where to go next, they did not applaud. Marvellous. Because it was not a show. It was for real. Mennonites are quiet, peace-loving, kind-hearted people, salt of the earth, If I knew a church where people sang like that, I’d be there every Sunday, sitting right smack in the middle. Thank you, Goshen College.”
I also found the show — and especially the music — quite entertaining. Here are a few more nuggets that didn’t fit into my review:
“The news is so dismal most of the time … half of all people are below average. That’s the news. And it’s not going to change.”
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“Women look down on men. Women have always looked down on men because men fart so much. So much more than women because women don’t keep their mouths closed long enough to keep the pressure built up.”
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“Bliss is very brief. About five seconds for the male and about ten seconds for the female.”
But possibly the funniest impromptu moment occurred when a cell phone could be heard ringing from the seats. How did Keillor react?
“Tell them I’m almost done.”