The Adventures of Guy Noir
Garrison Keillor
11 Episodes
2 CDs
2 hours
HighBridge Audio 2006

A new Guy Noir Radio Private Eye Garrison Keillor CD was more than overdue. The first one, Guy Noir Radio Private Eye (oops, you think there’s going to be confusion when people order these online?) dates back to 1994 and the very first episodes of this comedic hard-boiled Minnesota detective were radically different. Do be careful ordering this item as Amazon seems to have the 2 CD set separated in 2 1 CD volumes.

On the first collection, Guy Noir (aka Garrison Keillor) and his nemesis Pete would end up shooting and killing each other in each episode. The eleven episodes of The Adventures of Guy Noir Radio Private Eye, a staple of Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, are definitely an enjoyable listen for anyone who likes comedy and mysteries.

Garrison Keillor is in fine form on The Adventures of Guy Noir. Many of the episodes open with some very funny lines such as “prescription drugs are cheaper up there because without them nobody would be able to live in Canada” or “It was Valentine’s Day in Minnesota. It was cold and dark and bitter and that was just the people.” The story lines to Guy Noir episodes are always a mix of situation comedy and the noir mystery style and this mixture is at its best on the eleven tracks in this 2 comedy CD collection. Bad Grits, on CD 1, is a very funny story about Guy Noir going to South Carolina to investigate the importation of contraband grits and meeting a couple of the locals. The astounding and very funny sound effects by either Tom Keith or Fred Newman definitely make this track a hoot.

Anyone who has ever spend any time in New York City will definitely laugh a few times while listening to Gotta Go (CD 1) where Mayor Bloomberg asks the radio detective to investigate the shortage of restrooms the public can use in the city. It includes a few digs at Republicans, but the whole background information on restroom problems is most hilarious. Also on the first CD of The Adventures of Guy Noir Radio Private Eye are Bad Blood, where Noir ends up having to settle a conflict between feuding neighbors and gets more than his share of phone calls from some sexy seniors after joining a dating service.

The second mystery comedy CD to The Adventures Guy Noir Radio Private Eye with Garrison Keillor finds the sort of hard-boiled detective vacationing in Santa Monica, CA and taking in the messy shooting of Oh Cousin Who Are We? Not much of a case but the Prairie Home Companion sound effects guy really gets to have fun. Track two, Hotdish Hangover, has Guy Noir hoping he will get a client to pay his expenses to New York City over the holidays. Unfortunately, though his client is from New York, she wants him to track down a bachelor farmer she has fallen in love with. Renata Flambe features Renee Fleming and Emanuel Ax in a case where the Minnesota detective has to make sure Julia Childs and Henry Kissinger like their seating arrangement at an upcoming party. Snow Job has Noir complain about the expressions people use and is hired to get an arts council grant check from a poet and antique furniture collector. The highlight of this piece is the poet’s mundane version of a Robert Frost poem.

Closing the second CD of the Adventures of Guy Noir, Radio Private Eye is a red-herring case about a goldfish and the complete theme to Guy Noir as sung by Prudence Johnson.

Fans of Prairie Home Companion will certainly enjoy this two sketch comedy CD set of Guy Noir adventures. Personally, I would have really liked it if the excellent episode featuring Diana Krall (Nov. 28, 1998) had been included. Click here for our Garrison Keillor page

Track List:

CD 1The Adventures of Guy Noir, Vol. 1 mp3 album at Amazon

Gotham Gets The Girl 14:31 aired Oct. 18, 2003
Operator 9:52 aired Nov. 20, 2004
Bad Grits 12:18 aired Feb. 14, 2004
Gotta Go 13:33 aired Dec. 6 2003
Bad Blood 13:25 aired Nov. 9, 2002
Picnic Plaid 10:25 aired May 24, 1997

CD 2The Adventures of Guy Noir, Vol. 2 mp3 album at Amazon

Movie Shoot 15:10 aired June 7, 2003
Hotdish Hangover 15:37 aired Dec 4, 1999
Renata Flambe 13:00 aired Dec. 20 2003
Snow Job 12:31 aired Jan. 13, 2001
Missing Fish 11:06 aired Dec. 10 1998
The Guy Noir Theme 3:13

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