The Vinyl Cafe on Tour
Stuart McLean
2 CD set
CBC Records

The Vinyl Cafe On Tour is the third comedy CD compilation from the funny stories about the Vinyl Cafe Stuart McLean tells when he does his CBC radio show live.

Each story is about Dave, owner of the Vinyl Cafe, Morley, his wife, Sam, their young son, and Stephanie, their now college-age daughter. A funny story on a Vinyl Cafe CD is better than most funny stories on recent funny story comedy CD compilations of stories from Lake Wobegon.

Stuart McLean’s stories, much like Keillor’s funny Lake Wobegon stories, do not change much. What is more interesting about Stuart McLean’s world is there are far fewer characters, you can actually see them grow from one funny story and funny CD to another, and Dave, Morley, and the kids are more believable than the people of Lake Woebegone (Wobegon). It is much easier to relate to a story like School Lunch about the first day of a new school year, a mother stuck with the usual conundrum of the daily school lunch, a father stuck shopping with his kids for new school supplies (and a kid who buys an eraser, five eraser tips, a bottle of white out and correcting tape) than some of the fairly repetitive and interchangeable denizens of the stories on Prairie Home Companion.

A Vinyl Cafe funny story like Morley’s Christmas Concert is about real life things like a mother trying to organize the school’s annual non-denominational Christmas concert. It is about a slightly hypochondriac man, Dave, who swallows a fly, becomes obsessed with his feet when his wife comments positively on a famous actor’s feet (Harrison Ford’s Toes), or gets trapped in a blood pressure chair. Vinyl Cafe stories are about a young kid’s birthday party and not the same-o same-o stories about glum Lutherans and weird Catholics.

Most important perhaps for those who like to hear a funny story is unlike comedy CD compilations of News From Lake Woebegone (Wobegon), Vinyl Cafe story compilations are not outrageously overpriced. This has nothing to do with the material being on public radio as both Prairie Home Companion and Vinyl Cafe are on public radio.

Track list:

CD One:
Late Date
Morley’s Christmas Concert
School Lunch
The Fly

CD Two

Harrison Ford’s Toes
Blood Pressure Chair
Sam’s Birthday
Cousin Dorothy

Other Vinyl Cafe releases

Vinyl Cafe Christmas

Vinyl Cafe Stories


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