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The Vinyl Café with Stuart McLean: “In Praise of Newspapers”

The Vinyl Café is an hour-long radio variety show, hosted by Canadian author and comedian, Stuart McLean, and heard across the U.S., Canada, and Britain each week. I have a vintage-style Mickey Mouse radio in my studio that’s usually softly tuned to CBC Radio One, but when Stuart comes on the air, his distinct voice always seems to command attention from whatever I’m working on.

This past weekend’s show was no different, but more so than usual …

Today Stuart speaks In Praise of Newspapers. He tells us that he likes newspapers because they literally stop time. Every day the newspaper jams its wrench in the cogs of the clock and says, This is what it is like right now. And by doing that, it asks that of all of us. It asks us to step out of time too, and to consider the things that are happening, and what they might mean to us, and to others and what we think about all that.

I was quite happy to discover that this particular segment of the show was selected for sharing via The Vinyl Café podcast. Even though comics are only mentioned at the beginning, Stuart freezes time by offering many heartwarming and thought-provoking comments about today’s newspapers, such as how they are a “shared experience” that form a “grand public space.”

For those not familiar with Stuart McLean’s brand of storytelling, you may wish to skip right to the main course (begins around the 6-minute mark), but overall, I recommend this to any aspiring or professional cartoonist …

http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/vinylcafe_20090502_14123.mp3
Broadcast Date: May 2nd, 2009
Running Time: 15:40

As a fun bit of trivia, a famous Canadian cartoonist designed and illustrated the covers of many Vinyl Café publications. I’ll mail a prize to the first person who e-mails me the correct answer!

Community Comments

#1 Nate Fakes
May/5/2009
@ 7:04 am

I’ll check it out. Sounds good!

#2 Lou Wysocki
May/8/2009
@ 3:41 pm

I have purchased a number of the Vinyl Cafe books over the years of visiting Canada, and have heard the show–it’s terrific.

The artist who has done a number of the covers is Seth, I believe.

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