Garrison Keillor, the former host of A Prairie Home Companion, said Wednesday he has been fired by Minnesota Public Radio over allegations of improper behaviour.
Keillor told The Associated Press of his firing in an email. In a followup statement, he said he was fired over “a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.” He didn’t give details of the allegation.
Minnesota Public Radio didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
Keillor, 75, retired as host of his long-running public radio variety show in 2016. His hand-picked successor, mandolinist Chris Thile, is in his second season as Prairie Home host.
The statement came shortly after Keillor, an avowed Democrat, wrote a syndicated column in the Washington Post that ridiculed the idea that Sen. Al Franken should resign over allegations of sexual harassment.
Keillor started his Saturday evening show featuring tales of his fictional Minnesota hometown of Lake Wobegon — “where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average” — in 1974.
The show, which also inspired a movie, featured musical acts, folksy humour, parody ads for fake products such as Powdermilk Biscuits and the centerpiece, Keillor delivering a seemingly off-the-cuff monologue, “The News From Lake Wobegon,” in his rich baritone voice.
Keillor bowed out with a final show at the Hollywood Bowl in July 2016 and turned the show over to Thile, a frequent Prairie Home guest musician.
Keillor went on a 28-city bus tour this summer, vowing it would be his last tour, but he continues on the road with solo shows. Keillor also is finishing a Lake Wobegon screenplay and a memoir about growing up in Minnesota.