Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Goodbye To A Genius of Comedy and Sound - Tom Keith

Tom Keith was an astounding talent, most well known for the sound effects he would create live on radio on The Prairie Home Companion. Garrison Keillor remarks on Tom's unique skills:

"Tom was one of radio's great clowns," he said. "He was serious about silliness and worked hard to get a moo exactly right and the cluck too and the woof. His whinny was amazing -- noble, vulnerable, articulate. He did bagpipes, helicopters, mortars, common drunks, caribou (and elands and elk and wapiti), garbage trucks backing up, handsaws and hammers, and a beautiful vocalization of a man falling from a great height into piranha-infested waters.

"Whenever Keith came onstage for a sketch, Keillor said, the audience watched intently. 

'They could hear me but they wanted to see Tom, same as you'd watch any magician," he said. "Boys watched him closely to see how he did the shotgun volleys, the singing walrus, the siren, the helicopter, the water drips."

Tom was 64.

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