This week's classic rebroadcast: a show originally from December 2013 at The Town Hall in New York City. Nick Lowe sings "Christmas at the Airport" and "I Was Born in Bethlehem," Debra Monk joins Garrison for "Santa's in New York" and our Royal Academy of Radio Actors for the Guy Noir script, and Nellie McKay stops by to perform "Take Me Away" and "Here Comes Santa Claus." Plus: a look at life with a roommate in Manhattan, and a holiday message from the Catchup Advisory Board. In Lake Wobegon, Mr. Berge enlists shoveling help after the season's first big snowfall.
Notes on Guy Noir and this week's rebroadcast from Nellie McKay:
i will always dream of...
dime bags and liberace

i will always remember...
how he hoarded his chew toys
his glorious golden innocence
bonding at AA meetings
that he was always good for $5

i will never forget...
his sweet baby breath
those long drunken nights
his sublime professionalism
his discreet radicalism
that time in the hot tub

i will always love him because...
he has all the warmth of a Christmas tree
ablaze with the glow of the true spirit of the season

nothing says Christmas like merry red shoes
on a gruff mid-western santa claus

i will always thank him for...
the figgy pudding
voting for Jill Stein
hating the dulcimer
being so fucking weird
  • Nick Lowe

    Singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer Nick Lowe has certainly left his stamp on popular music, starting with his stint with the pub-rock band Brinsley Schwarz -- a strong influence on 1970s punk music -- and during his years with Rockpile. His songs include "Cruel to Be Kind" and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding," still an anti-war anthem after almost four decades. Lowe's latest album, Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family, was released this fall on Yep Roc Records.
  • Debra Monk

    At Wheaton High in Silver Spring, Maryland, Debra Monk was voted "best personality." They shouldn't have stopped there. This singer, actor, and writer has appeared in dozens of films, TV programs, and shows on and off Broadway, including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Curtains, Chicago, Picnic, and Pump Boys and Dinettes, which she co-wrote and for which she earned the first of several Tony nominations. For her performance as "Geneva" in Lanford Wilson's Redwood Curtain, she won a 1993 Tony Award.
  • Nellie McKay

    Singer, songwriter, actor, and activist Nellie McKay has amassed quite a following with her quirky musical approach. The London-born performer's 2009 album, Normal as Blueberry Pie, was a tribute to Doris Day; her latest, Home Sweet Mobile Home (on the Verve Forecast label) is packed with 13 McKay originals. For her portrayal of Polly Peachum in the Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera she won a Theatre World Award. And the Humane Society honored her with a Doris Day Music Award, in recognition of her dedication to animal rights.
  • Garrison Keillor

    Garrison Keillor was born in 1942 in Anoka, Minnesota. He went to work for Minnesota Public Radio in 1969, and on July 6, 1974, he hosted the first broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion in St. Paul. He is the host of The Writer's Almanac and the editor of the Good Poems series of anthologies from Viking.
  • The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band

    Keyboardist, composer, and arranger Richard Dworsky is music director for A Prairie Home Companion, where he is often called upon to improvise on the spot -- in styles ranging from classical to bluegrass and everything in between. He has accompanied Garrison Keillor on U.S. and European concert tours and has collaborated with numerous other performers, including Al Jarreau and Kristin Chenoweth.
    Chet Atkins called Pat Donohue (guitar) one of the greatest fingerpickers in the world today. And he writes songs too -- recorded by Suzy Bogguss, Kenny Rogers, and others. Nobody's Fault and Vicksburg Blues (a collaboration with Butch Thompson) are the most recent of Pat's albums.
    Gary Raynor (bass) has performed with the Count Basie band, Sammy Davis Jr. -- with whom he toured for several years -- and the Minnesota Klezmer Band. He teaches jazz bass at the McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul.
    Peter Johnson (percussion) has played klezmer music with Doc Severinsen and jazz with Dave Brubeck. He was a drummer for The Manhattan Transfer and for Gene Pitney. He has toured the world, but he always comes back to home base: Saint Paul.
    When Richard Kriehn turned 10, his mom bought him a mandolin; at 19, he'd won the Buck White International Mandolin Contest. He went on to play with the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble and bluegrass group 1946. On the classical side, he has performed with numerous orchestras and was principal second violin for the Washington/Idaho Symphony.
  • Tim Russell

    One minute he's mild-mannered Tim Russell; the next he's George Bush or Julia Child or Barack Obama. We've yet to stump this man of many voices. Says fellow APHC actor Sue Scott, "He does a better Ira Glass than Ira Glass." A well-known Twin Cities radio personality and voice actor, Tim appeared in the Robert Altman film A Prairie Home Companion and the Coen brothers' A Serious Man.
  • Sue Scott

    Since 1992, Prairie Home fans have heard Sue Scott play everything from well-intentioned moms and ditzy teenagers to Guy Noir stunners and leathery crones who've smoked one pack of Camel straights too many. She recently climbed back on stage in a variety of theater roles. She is well known for her commercial and voice-over work on radio and television, as well as movie roles, including the part of "Donna" in Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion.
  • Fred Newman

    Sound effects man Fred Newman is an actor, writer, musician, and sound designer for film and TV. Turns out, no one is more surprised than Fred that he's made a career out of doing what he used to do behind the teacher's back -- crossing his eyes, making sounds, and doing voices. He readily admits that, growing up, he was unceremoniously removed from several classrooms, "once by my bottom lip."