Garrison Keillor: Our sound-effects man, Mr. Tom Keith, can be seen in the upcoming Prairie Home Companion movie in which, if memory serves, he does an orangutan (APE) and a chainsaw (SFX) and a Doberman (SFX) and other than that, he simply was responsible for a lot of footsteps (FOOTSTEPS) and doors opening (CREAKING DOOR) and closing (THUNK) and for throat clearing. Tom overdubbed all of the throat clearing in the movie because he just does it more expressively than most actors. (SERIES OF THROAT CLEARS) And he also does gagging (GAGGING) and spitting (HAWK, SPIT, PAUSE, DISTANT DING).
And just as we had feared, his role in the movie has led to some rather spectacular offers from major studios and so that's what Tom Keith will be doing this spring instead of going on the road with our show.
He does enormous carnivorous birds (CONDOR) pecking out the liver of a naked guy chained to a rock.
Tom Keith: GUY RISING PROTEST... TERROR... CONDOR... THEN A SCREAM.
GK: Terror is psychological and sound plays such a big part in it (LOW BREATHING) --people who can sit through hours of gunfire and explosions in a movie may be unable to stand some common ordinary little sound that connects them to the intense fears of childhood.
TK (QUIET): Open up now. That's good. We won't need novocaine for this. It'll only take a few minutes. (DRILL...SUSTAIN...THEN HIGHER. )
GK: Millions of dollars spent on special effects showing intergalactic warfare and a good sound effects man can make your palms sweat with just a little click.
TK (HESITANTLY, SINCERELY): I don't think of them just as sound effects. I don't want it to be just "a guy doing an elk". I want it to be more like "the elk speaking who is within all of us" you know? (ELK)
GK: And we wish him well as he goes off to a life of unprincipled wealth and personal excess and fame such as no radio sound effects man ever enjoyed before (FOOTSTEPS) and thanks so much for all you've done-- (TK FALL, CRUNCH OF BONE. WHIMPER OF PAIN) Are you okay? It looks as if you fell and broke your leg.
TK: I did. Call me an ambulance.
GK: Okay, you're an ambulance.
TK: It's no joke. My leg is broken.
GK: Oh oh. An enormous carnivorous bird has been attracted to the blood and he's lapping it up and now he's looking at Tom Keith's midsection.
TK: Do something. Help me.
GK: I'm only a writer. I'm not an animal wrangler. We have other people to do that. Unfortunately none of them is here.
TK: Please. Help. (BIRD SHRIEK)
GK: Ironic, just as you're on the verge of fame and fortune that you should be attacked by a carnivorous bird-- (BIRD SHRIEK) quite a story (GUNSHOT)--
TK: Got him.
GK: You know, you must not have seen the signs on the Civic Center doors that said No Firearms. I think you're in very serious trouble, sir. (DISTANT SIRENS) In fact, I'm almost sure of it. Mr. Tom Keith, on his way to court. Good luck.