Notable Quotes
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A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.


Liberalism is dead, so dead that Democrats have all become moderate Republicans, and the heavy hand of Big Government is now limp and damp and trembly.

GARRISON KEILLOR, Time Magazine, April 2, 1996

When the country goes temporarily to the dogs, cats must learn to be circumspect, walk on fences, sleep in trees, and have faith that all this woofing is not the last word.

GARRISON KEILLOR, We Are Still Married

One reads books in order to gain the privilege of living more than one life. People who don't read are trapped in a mine shaft, even if they think the sun is shining.

GARRISON KEILLOR, "The More Noble Prize,", Nov. 30, 2005

There is almost no marital problem that can't be helped enormously by taking off your clothes.

GARRISON KEILLOR, "The Old Scout," The Writer's Almanac, Oct. 4, 2005

Jesus said the meek would inherit the earth, but so far all we've gotten is Minnesota and North Dakota.

GARRISON KEILLOR, "When I'm 64,", Aug. 8, 2006

If the government can round up someone and never be required to explain why, then it's no longer the United States of America as you and I always understood it. Our enemies have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They have made us become like them.

GARRISON KEILLOR, "Congress's Shameful Retreat from American Values," The Chicago Tribune, Oct. 4, 2006

Nothing you do for a child is ever wasted.


It's a shallow life that doesn't give a person a few scars.

GARRISON KEILLOR, "Could I have been any more inept?", Oct. 26, 1999

Winter is brutal, dark, cold, we fall into the slough of despond, and now this year, as a bonus, a flu virus is going around that causes vomiting, low self-esteem and what your grandpa called "the trots." In fact, I have a case of it right now, and I apologize if I must suddenly jump up and run to what your grandpa may have called "the biffy."

GARRISON KEILLOR, "If adversity is good for us, we'll be great", Alaska Dispatch News, April 10, 2017

The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong's moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt's evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk.

GARRISON KEILLOR, "We're Not in Lake Wobegon Anymore," In These Times

A good newspaper is never nearly good enough but a lousy newspaper is a joy forever.

GARRISON KEILLOR, "That Old Picayune-Moon," Harper's, Sep. 1990

Men peak at age nineteen and go downhill.


They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me sad to realize I'm going to miss mine by just a few days.

GARRISON KEILLOR, "Lecture in San Francisco," Lake Wobegon Days

God writes a lot of comedy ... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny.

GARRISON KEILLOR, Happy to be Here

A person cannot coast along in old destructive habits year after year and accept whatever comes along. A person must stand up on her own two legs and walk. Get off the bus and go get on another. Climb out of the ditch and cross the road. Find the road that's where you want to go.... We are not chips of wood drifting down the stream of time. We have oars.


A man can't eat anger for breakfast and sleep with it at night and not suffer damage to his soul.

GARRISON KEILLOR, "Could I have been any more inept?", Oct. 26, 1999

I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it.

GARRISON KEILLOR, attributed, The Mammoth Book of Zingers

Humor, a good sense of it, is to Americans what manhood is to Spaniards and we will go to great lengths to prove it.

GARRISON KEILLOR, We Are Still Married

Travel is the art form available to Everyman. You sit in the coffee shop in a strange city and nobody knows who you are, or cares, and so you shed your checkered past and your motley credentials and you face the day unarmed ... And onward we go and some day in the distant future, we will stop and turn around in astonishment to see all the places we've been and the heroes we were.

GARRISON KEILLOR, "The Art of Travel," A Prairie Home Companion, Jul. 28, 2009

Silence on the radio... I don't know how that works.

GARRISON KEILLOR, A Prairie Home Companion, 2006

My generation was secretive, brooding, ambitious, showoffy, and this generation is congenial. Totally. I imagine them walking around with GPS chips that notify them when a friend is in the vicinity, and their GPSes guide them to each other in clipped electronic lady voices and they sit down side by side in a coffee shop and text-message each other while checking their e-mail and hopping and skipping around Facebook to see who has posted pictures of their weekend.

GARRISON KEILLOR, "My San Francisco Buzz,", Mar. 12, 2008

Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose.

GARRISON KEILLOR, attributed, The Cat Lover's Book of Fascinating Facts

People always are encouraging about a terrible loss, so that sometimes the loser would like to strangle them.

GARRISON KEILLOR, preface, Lake Wobegon Days

To the cheater, there is no such thing as honesty, and to Republicans the idea of serving the public good is counterfeit on the face of it — they never felt such an urge, and therefore it must not exist.

GARRISON KEILLOR, Homegrown Democrat

Possessing the ideal makes a person nervous: you sense the inevitable decline just ahead.

GARRISON KEILLOR, "The Art of Travel," A Prairie Home Companion, Jul. 28, 2009

Wealth is what's here on the premises. If I open a cupboard and see, say, thirty cans of tomato sauce and a five-pound bag of rice, I get a little thrill of well-being — much more so than if I take a look at the quarterly dividend report from my mutual fund.

GARRISON KEILLOR, attributed, The Times Book of Quotations

The socially redeeming aspect of golf lies in the vast number of lawyers and bankers and managers who play it, and when you think of the damage they would do if they were at the job instead, you can see why golf courses are a wise investment for any municipality.

GARRISON KEILLOR, "The Art of Travel," A Prairie Home Companion, Jul. 28, 2009

Selective ignorance, a cornerstone of child rearing. You don't put your kids under surveillance: it might frighten you. Parents should sit tall in the saddle and look upon their troops with a noble and benevolent and extremely nearsighted gaze.


Journalism is a good place for any writer to start — the retailing of fact is always a useful trade and can it help you learn to appreciate the declarative sentence. A young writer is easily tempted by the allusive and ethereal and ironic and reflective, but the declarative is at the bottom of most good writing.

GARRISON KEILLOR, "Post to the Host," July 2005

Sex is not a mechanical act that fails for lack of technique, and it is not a performance by the male for the audience of the female; it is a continuum of attraction that extends from the simplest conversation and the most innocent touching through the act of coitus.

GARRISON KEILLOR, "Could I have been any more inept?", Oct. 26, 1999

Book reading is a solitary and sedentary pursuit, and those who do are cautioned that a book should be used as an integral part of a well-rounded life ... A book should not be used as a substitute or an excuse.


Life is a struggle, and if you should feel really happy, be patient: this will pass.

GARRISON KEILLOR, A Prairie Home Companion, 2006


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