Garrison Keillor, creator and host of "A Prairie Home Companion, in an interview by The Associated Press, July 20, 2015, in St. Paul, Minn., said he plans to step down after next season and retire such popular sketches as “Guy Noir, Private Eye.”
Jim Mone—AP
By Sarah Begley
July 20, 2015

Garrison Keillor, the creator and host of A Prairie Home Companion, says he is retiring next year.

Keillor has hinted at retirement before, but this time he’s serious, the Associated Press reports. He has set up sometime-guest host Chris Thile to take over as host after Keillor’s last show in July 2016. Thile, who is a member of the bands Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek, will carry on the show’s musical heritage.

Keillor has hosted A Prairie Home Companion since 1974, with 4 million listeners tuning in every week. He will start a farewell tour, “America the Beautiful,” next week.

This may not in fact be his last encounter with the fictional Minnesota town of Lake Wobegon; he says he’s working on a screenplay about a young man returning to the town after his father’s death. He previously brought Wobegon in a slightly different format to the silver screen in 2006’s A Prairie Home Companion, which focused on the last day of a radio show.

In Keillor’s words, “That’s the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking and all the children are above average.”

Read Next: TIME’s 1985 Cover Story on Keillor

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