One of Canada's best-loved humorists has died at 68. On Feb. 15, 2017, word broke that Stuart McLean, host of The Vinyl Café, lost his battle against melanoma.
The Facebook page for The Vinyl Café seemed to capture the essence of what many Canadians felt in the wake of his passing.
"Stuart connected us – to our country and to each other. He entertained us, he made us think, he made us smile. Occasionally he made us cry. And, through all of that, he reminded us that life is made up of small moments. We never know which ones will be forgotten and which ones will stay with us forever."
McLean's Vinyl Café became true Canadiana, and Canadians everywhere tuned in to the podcast to catch up on the adventures of Dave and Morley, his wife, who were often favorite characters of McLean.
"Dave Cooks The Turkey" was quite probably a favorite story of many Canadians and those of other nationalities who tuned in weekly to The Vinyl Café to hear what adventure or misfortune Dave had gotten into and what Morley would have to do to fix it.
McLean had placed The Vinyl Café on hiatus in December 2016 when he mentioned that the cancer he'd successfully battled the year previous had stubbornly refused to be conquered. He said he'd opted for hiatus rather than airing reruns out of deference to fans of the program.
"I don't think airing repeats is fair to those of you who listen every week and have been so loyal over these past two decades," he wrote at the time. "So, for the time being, I'm going to step aside and make room for others to share their work on the radio. Starting in January 2017, we won't be airing The Vinyl Cafe on CBC Radio, Sirius XM 169 or podcast. Public Radio stations in the USA will be airing episodes of Vinyl Cafe Stories until the end of February 2017."
Such notables as Owen Pallet, Arcade Fire collaborator, and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau paid tribute on Twitter to McLean and his legacy.
"This is terrible news. Stuart was a great man and a great friend, my heart is broken," Pallet wrote.
"On the Vinyl Cafe and in communities across the country, Stuart McLean told uniquely Canadian stories," Prime Minister Trudeau wrote on Twitter. "We’ll miss his humour and humanity."