Garrison Keillor on David Sedaris

June 7, 2016

Ira writes:

This is old but I just stumbled across it. I love so many things about it including the fact that Garrison starts his response with “A generous thought on your part, Ken” when in fact Ken is being kind of a dick.

I’m sad Mr. Keillor's retiring. I mean, good for him and everything. A man can’t work forever. I’m sad selfishly. He’s an interesting writer, with surprises up his sleeve still. People who don’t listen to his show much think it’s homespun olde-tymey stories. They don’t hear the variety and dark emotion and ambition in what he’s doing. It’s like they buy the packaging without noticing the complicated product he’s actually making.

August 19, 2008

Dear Mr. Keillor:
New Yorker writer and best-selling author David Sedaris seems so trendy, even exotic, with his boyfriend, his house in Normandy, his sardonic attitude, his chain-smoking mother, and his famous siblings.
You, on the other hand, seem very Midwestern.
Is there any chance that you’ll be taking up a same-sex partner, living the life of an ex-pat, or at least doing some undercover reporting at a nudist camp? Maybe you could take on work at a Macy’s Santaland? Or at least spend a lot of time with Ira Glass.
Your demographics could use some more youthfulness.
Ken B.
Austin, TX

Keillor's response:
A generous thought on your part, Ken, but we are who we are and past a certain age, we can’t very well remake ourselves. Mr. Sedaris is, down deep, a very hard-working painstaking writer who does extensive touring and is extremely conscientious about public performance. He is inexhaustible and famous for his generosity to his fans. The house in Normandy is neither here nor there. He seems to be a deeply monogamous man with old-fashioned attitudes about privacy and loyalty and discipline. Sardonic, in his case, conceals a sentimental romantic. If young people are drawn to Mr. Sedaris, I can only applaud their good taste. If I seem very midwestern, it’s probably because I’ve lived here most of my life. One could do worse.