GK: My bad dreams are mostly about shows. A singer/songwriter comes on the show and he introduces a song and you can't understand a word he says (TR MUMBLED GIBBERISH) and then he tunes his guitar and (PAT TUNING, UNSUCCESSFUL, ON AND ON) and he can't tune it and I want to say "How about you get some help with that?" and then I want to say "How about we come back to you later?" but I am trapped in midwestern politeness and I wait and wait and it feels as if weeks are passing and I start to say, "That's good enough, go ahead" and then I notice the audience glaring at me --
SS: Tell a joke. Do something.
TR: Tell a story.
TK: It's your show. Don't just stand there like a deer in the headlights.
GK: And that's exactly what I am. I'm frozen. Can't think of anything to say.
SS: Come on. We don't have all day.
TR: Be funny. Be meaningful. Be something.
TK: Be yourself. On second thought, no. Be interesting.
GK: And I walk offstage. (SLOW FOOTSTEPS) In disgrace. And I go down the basement to hide my face. (DOOR OPEN. FOOTSTEPS ON STAIRS) All dark down here. (SLOW FOOTSTEPS, FLICKING SWITCH). Light bulb's burned out. (SLOW FOOTSTEPS, BAT FLUTTERS OFF) Who's there? (FOOTSTEPS STOP) Larry? Larry is that you?
TK (LARRY): Who else?
GK: I thought you weren't living down here anymore.
TK (LARRY): Where else would I go? (BATS) And now it looks like you're going to be living down here too.
GK: Me? I-- I'm just having a bad night. For some reason, I sort of lost it out there. I just need some R&R. Lighting was the problem. Poor lighting.
TK (LARRY): It's all over. Face it. You're washed up. You've been doing this for thirty-five years. You should've quit after fifteen.
GK: That's not true.
TK (LARRY): You're done. Here. I've got a lawn chair for you. Right in front of the TV. The beer's in the cooler over there. Take a load off.
GK: I'm not going to sit in the basement and watch TV.
TK (LARRY): It's nice down here. Got a couple of cots. Wash up in the wash tubs. Frozen dinners in the fridge. It's not bad.
GK: I've got a career up there.
TK (LARRY): Not any more. It's over.
GK: One bad night.
TK (LARRY): It snowballs.
GK: Turn on the radio -- maybe the show's starting to rock along now -- I should go up (CLICK. TUNING PROBLEM, TR MUTTERING) ( CLICK)
TK (LARRY): Which chair do you want? The blue one or the green one?
GK: I'm going upstairs.
TK (LARRY): You can't.
GK: Of course I can.
TK (LARRY): You can't. You've been down here for ten minutes. You've breathed the air.
GK: What do you mean?
TK (LARRY): Spores in the air-
GK: What about them?
TK (LARRY): It's a fungus. It gets into your brain. It's the No Problem Fungus. And it calms you down so you say, hey, I'll do that tomorrow.
GK: Do what tomorrow?
TK (LARRY): I forget. It doesn't matter.
GK: You mean, I won't-- that -- I'm never going to--
TK (LARRY): Probably not.
GK: You think I'm -- that this is what-- that there won't be--
TK (LARRY): It's okay.
GK: I feel weird.
TK (LARRY): It's okay being weird. Take it from me.
GK: What's there to eat?
TK (LARRY): Got those little pies -- you know, the kind they sell in gas stations.
TK (LARRY): You and I were best friends in high school. Remember.
GK: That was a long time ago Larry.
TK (LARRY): Not to me it isn't.
GK: Learn to think of it as a long time ago, okay?
TK (LARRY): You asked Brenda to prom the day before I was going to. She was supposed to go with me.
GK: You don't know that Larry.
TK (LARRY): If she would have gone with me everything would have been different.
GK: Maybe, maybe not.
TK (LARRY): I would have a house. Maybe some kids. I might have run for city council.
GK: You need to get some hobbies, Larry. Meet some people.
TK (LARRY): You did all that. Met people, had kids, had a house, had a hobby. Radio. Now you're in the same boat I'm in. Care for a pie? Apple or blueberry?
GK: Not right now.
TK (LARRY): Want me to turn up the sound?
GK: No. (TV AUDIO) What's that? It's a picture of me on the screen.
TK: I'll turn it up.
TR (ON TV): --..today at United Hospital at around two in the afternoon. He was 67 years old. For many years, Wyler was the popular host of the "Prairie Home Shopping Show" --
TR (ON TV): -- and he was also the author of numerous books. He gained widespread attention when he was parodied on "The Simpsons"--
TR (ON TV): --.whose audience was about ten times as big as the "Prairie Home Repair Show" or whatever it was--
GK: Prairie Home Companion.
TR (ON TV): --..which ended suddenly last year when Wyler suddenly stood frozen, speechless, on stage during a broadcast, a tall pitiful helpless man unable to utter a syllable.
GK: Oh for pity's sake. Turn it off.
TR (ON TV): At first, doctors suspected a stroke but in the end Wyler was diagnosed with extreme stage fright. He never performed again. He spent his remaining years living in a basement, a virtual hermit. He is survived by his cats, Muffy, Snowball, Mr. Pookie, Mittens, Meow Tse-Tung, and Mrs. Gray. (FADING) No memorial service has been scheduled. Next-of-kin were unavailable for comment. (CLICK)
GK: My nightmare. Only a dream. It's only a dream. Nothing to be scared of. Only a dream. (MUSIC PLAYOFF)