GK: After this broadcast, A Prairie Home Companion goes on its annual mid-winter break for a few weeks, and I feel physically sick about it, even though there'll be some wonderful reruns ---- somehow I feel I'm leaving our listeners in the lurch.
SS: Maybe the listeners need a vacation from the show too.
SS: Anyway, I saw a wonderful ad for a resort in Costa Rica --- big white beach, palm trees, big rooms with ceiling fans and rattan chairs and balconies and sailboards and snorkelling and you eat all your meals on an open terrace overlooking the sea --- what do you say?
GK: I don't know. That's not my way, running away from winter. I feel that if you have a smile in your heart and a song on your lips, you don't need a vacation, you'll have an inner warmth that drives the cold away. If you just
Look for the silver lining
Whene'er a cloud appears in the blue
Remember somewhere the sun is shining
And so the best thing to do is make it shine for you---
SS: Chico offered to pay for the whole thing.
GK: Chico did?
SS: You remember Chico---
GK: Of course I remember Chico. My old stagehand.
SS: Your old stagehand who signed a contract in the high seven figures with the Home Shopping Network and did his first special this week. I taped it. It's great. You want to watch it?
GK: No, I don't. Chico my old stagehand who I lent a sportcoat last fall and he returned it with a stain on the pocket and never gave me a thing for the dry cleaning. Still owes me. And now he's out there wearing diamond-studded jumpsuits and riding around in white limos.
SS: He's a big star now.
GK: He's a stagehand. He's no star.
SS: He sent us a very nice letter. Do you want to read it? Here.
GK: (SIGH) Okay. (UNFOLDS PAPER)
AF (REVERB): Dear Boss, This is going to have to be brief because I just finished rehearsal with my bandleader, Wynton Marsalis, and I'm supposed to meet Heather Locklear and Jennifer Anniston for dinner in fifteen minutes, but I did want to say hi and say "Thanks for the memories" --- hope you're well --- I've never been happier. People have been so warm and appreciative of my talents here, something I hadn't been used to --- it's nice to have that respect at last. I'm enclosing a little check, as a thank-you. Why don't the two of you head for Costa Rica for a few weeks? It'd do you good. Hugs and kisses, your Chico.
(CRUMPLES UP PAPER)
GK: I don't know. I don't see how I can get away. And I've got to stay around here and look after Larry.
SS: Larry? He's doing great. Larry's terrific. Thirty years he spent living in basements and the guy goes out and finds work. Isn't that great?
GK: He found a job? Larry did?
SS: Yes! Didn't you hear? He got a job with "A Prairie Home Companion". He's working backstage. In costumes.
SS: He'll be the guy who lays out your clothes, polishes your shoes, makes sure your fly is zipped----
GK: Larry is going to do this?
SS: Is something wrong?
GK: I don't know. Makes me a little uneasy to have a guy backstage who's been nursing a grudge against me for thirty years.
SS: A grudge?? Larry? Don't be silly. A grudge over what?
TK (REVERB): Go ahead. Tell her.
GK: He hates me. Ever so often I turn around and he's staring at me with this look of his.
TK (REVERB): Tell her what you did to me, you big weasel.
GK: You know, Larry used to have this dumb show that he was the host of, it was really stupid, it was embarrassing, nobody liked it....
TK (REVERB): It was a big hit, "The Larry Show," and it was there at the theater. The Larry Theater. And then one day you did something really mean to me.
SS: What kind of show? a music show?
GK: Not exactly. He sort of stood around and talked and it was faintly amusing, I guess, but kind of stupid....
TK (REVERB): I went downstairs to use the men's room and you had taken the lightbulb out of the socket and you left the plunger sticking up out of the toilet. That was really heartless, you big jerk.
GK: Anyway, it came to an end, thank goodness, and he didn't take it well, he went off in a big huff....
TK (REVERB): It was sticking out of me when I came out on stage, I had no idea.
GK: I'm glad I'm not bitter about life the way Larry is. I mean, I'll say one thing about Chico. The guy is a lightweight, but at least he has a positive outlook.
SS: You want to see his Home Shopping Network special?
GK: Sure, I'll watch a minute of it.
SS: Here. (CLICK) (MUSIC) Doesn't he look handsome?
GK: Is that his real hair? I don't remember him looking like that.
TR (ON TAPE): Live from Caesar's Palace in LAS VEGAS --- the Home Shopping Network is pleased to present THE DIAMOND CIRCLE REVIEW....with special guests Charo....Cher....Sting....and starring.....CHICO!
AF (ON TAPE): A kiss on the hand may be quite continental
But diamonds are a girl's best friend...
GK: Look. His teeth are capped.
AF: A kiss may be grand but it won't pay the rental
On your humble flat, or help you at the Automat....
GK: Oh turn it off, would you----
AF (ON TAPE): It's great to be here at Caesar's Palace for the Home Shopping Network, thank you Danny (AIR KISS), thank you Gino (AIR KISS), thank you Harry (AIR KISS) --- I love this town, I love these people, these are Chico's kind of people --- but there's somebody I want to say a special thanks to, and that's my old boss back in St. Paul, Minnesota, Mr. Kyler. (HEARTS AND FLOWERS VIOLIN UNDER) I hope you're listening. Because what you gave to me (HE CHOKES UP)....the most precious thing that a man can give....
GK: I hate this. Turn it off.
AF (ON TAPE): He gave me confidence and belief in my gift -- my talent ....he gave me that....and I'll always be grateful....
GK: Oh, don't make me sick.
AF (ON TAPE): This song is for you.....(HE SINGS) There were bells on the hill, but I never heard them ringing....(CLICK)
GK: That's enough.
SS: I love that song.
GK: I do too, that's why I don't want to hear him sing it. Listen, honey.....we don't need Costa Rica....all we need is each other....
We need to look for the silver lining
And try to find the sunny side of life.
SS: I decided we should go to Costa Rica.
TK (REVERB): Good.
GK: Go away, Larry----
TK (REVERB): I haven't forgotten.
GK: Get over it, Larry.
SS: Who are you talking to?
TK (REVERB): "Nobody" --- you call me "nobody," huh? Well, I'll show you who's "nobody". When I get done with you, you're going to be a trivia question.
SS: What would you think of taking Larry with us to Costa Rica?
TK (REVERB): Yeah. How about it? I'd love to go.
GK: I don't think Larry'd enjoy it. He doesn't care for sun. All those years in the basement....you know.
SS: He seemed very excited about it when I mentioned it to him.
TK (REVERB): I was very excited.
GK: You mentioned Costa Rica to Larry? how could you?
SS: Well, he is one of your oldest friends.
TK (REVERB): I'm an old friend of yours.
GK: Yes, but he's completely wacko. The guy does not have all his marbles.
SS: I thought a vacation might do him a lot of good.
TK (REVERB): I think it'll do me a lot of good.
SS: And there was one other available seat on the flight, so I booked it.
GK: You what?
TK (REVERB): I'm going to sit next to you. I'm going to sit there and breathe my licorice breath all over you and I'm going to watch you out of the corner of my eyes. Like this. See?
SS: And the resort said that they could bring a roll-away bed into the room for just a slight additional charge.
GK: He's going to sleep in our room? Larry?
TK (REVERB): I'm going to be right there. All the time. Whenever you look around.
SS: This trip is such a big thing to him. He got tears in his eyes when I told him about it.
TK (REVERB): I got tears in my eyes.
GK: I'm not sure the show ought to take this break. Maybe we ought to come back to the Fitzgerald next week and do another show.
TK (REVERB): The theater's been booked already. There's a Larry Convention here next week.
SS: Of course you should take a break. You need a vacation. I mean, it'll just fill your heart with joy and gladness....
GK: A heart filled with joy and gladness Can always banish sadness and strife....
TK (REVERB): I'll be right there. Watching you.
GK: So always look for the silver lining And try to find the sunny side of life. (BAND CHORD BUTTON)