Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552



New Radio Series Offers Lessons in Laughter

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 9, 2002 -- Remember when you got in trouble for laughing in class? Well, not any more! Welcome to "Comedy College", a new radio program for people who love to laugh.

The new program will debut on KRCU 90.9 FM, Southeast Missouri State University's public radio station, beginning Tuesday, Aug. 20. The program, which will feature two comedians each week, will air throughout the fall on Tuesdays from 7 to 8 p.m.

The series distributed by Minnesota Public Radio is the brainchild of Garrison Keillor, a guy who knows a thing or two about comedy and who is the host of "A Prairie Home Companion," a program aired twice weekly on KRCU. Almost two years ago, he came up with an idea for a program that would feature the great comedy routines of recent history - routines that make him laugh - from people like Nichols and May, Jack Benny, Flip Wilson and Shelley Berman to Phyllis Diller, George Burns, Gracie Allen and Bill Cosby. He imagined a show that would present this classic comedy material unedited, in long form. And that's just what "Comedy College" has done.

"Comedy College is a graceful introduction to the giants of the trade and icons of American civilization, of which comedy is about 30 percent," explains Keillor, the show's executive producer.

Steve Martin, Rita Rudner and Bob Newhart - each funny enough to be the subject of a "Comedy College" episode (in fact, two of them are!) - rotate the hosting duties. The hosts provide context, background information and some professional insights into the business of making people laugh.

Says Tiffany Hanssen, the show's producer, "Our hosts offer historical context and explain what it means to create something funny. The result: You'll learn as you laugh."

"Comedy College" appeals to listeners of all ages. One family that heard a pilot episode featuring Bill Cosby wrote the producer to say that three generations, from a 71-year-old grandfather to his 5-year-old grandson, listened together and all loved it.

Mary Kay Poljan, KRCU director of development, said "Comedy College is a family- focused, intergenerational program."

So put yourself "twelfth-row-center" for the Jack Benny Show, on Broadway for Nichols and May, or ringside at a Borscht Belt club for Totie Fields. Tune to KRCU 90.9 FM on Tuesday evenings for "Comedy College" - where you never have to keep a straight face.

"Comedy College" comes to the airways of KRCU Radio with the generous support of the Southeast Missourian.

KRCU 90.9 FM, which is reliant on individuals and community business leaders for financial support, serves the public by providing the highest quality public radio programming to Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois. Programming highlights music, news and entertainment from around the world and serves the interests, lifestyles and culture of the broadcast area with locally produced shows such as "Going Public," "Your Folk Connection," "Sunday Night at the Opera" and "Caffe-Concerto."

KRCU has experienced tremendous growth during its 26-year history. The station, which began as a 10-watt student-operated station has blossomed into a 6,500-watt affiliate of National Public Radio and Public Radio International. The station is committed to working in partnership with individuals and business leaders to meet community needs and provide a vehicle for an informed citizenry.

The station provides public radio service to more than 102,000 residents in a 1,605 square-mile radius. Communities served include Perryville, Sikeston, Marble Hill, Cape Girardeau and Jackson in Missouri, and Cairo and Anna-Jonesboro in Illinois. The station plans to expand, in cooperation with Mineral Area College, to the Farmington Area in 2003.

For more information on KRCU or "Comedy College," call (573) 651-5070 or visit


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