Upon the passing of broadcasting legend Stuart McLean, I remember the following story about an interaction I had with him:
In my first few months working on-air at CBC Radio 3 in 2008, I came up with a bit wherein I did an impression of Stuart McLean’s popular program, Vinyl Cafe, but all the stories would be boring, vaguely dysfunctional ones about my own family.
When I casually mentioned to colleagues that I’d invited Stuart to be on the episode, they all told me I was nuts. He was the biggest star in CBC Radio and I barely even worked there. Well, I asked him to do a thing and he did it. I wanted him to really lay into me for making fun of him and he was amazing. He went after me and my family with such funny ferocity that I was overwhelmed. He really enjoyed playing ‘Angry Stuart McLean’ and it was amazing.
Afterwards, he told me it was great and he loved it. Total pro and forthcoming with his time. I’d see him at the Hillside Festival from time to time after that and he was always cool. I’m so sad he’s gone. By all accounts, he was good and generous man. That was certainly my experience with him.
Here’s what the exchange between Stuart and I sounded like: