Vinyl Cafe Odd Jobs
Stuart McLean
2 CD set
CBC Records

The Vinyl Cafe was the CBC’s  most successful weekend show. The funny stories the genial host of the Vinyl Cafe, Stuart McLean, tells are sort of like the News From Lake Wobegon without the politics, religion, and occasional high-horse. As a show, the Vinyl Cafe, when live, is a one-hour set of eclectic music by very different musicians and a story by Stuart McLean about Dave, the owner of a used record store called the Vinyl Cafe, his wife, Morley, their two kids and their neighbors.

Unlike Garrison Keillor, Stuart McLean never rambles when he tells a funny story. Perhaps this is because it has been scripted and probably rehearsed before. The stories on Vinyl Cafe Odd Jobs, a 2 comedy CD collection of very funny stories, are solid, quite entertaining, very Canadian in their tone and setting, and a joy to listen to with the whole family.

CD one of Vinyl Cafe Odd Jobs contains four stories. The first one, Toilet Training the Cat is exactly about what the title says: Dave gets it into his brain to toilet train Galway, the family cat. The lengths a man will go to to win over an animal’s natural instincts are amazing. Story two, Music Lessons, starts when a local schoolteacher tells Morley her son has great musical aptitude. In the beginning, Morley feels guilt for not having noticed or done anything about it and then decides to give her son the opportunity to take music lessons. This is a very funny story that will please everybody but especially those who have taken music lessons in their childhood. Arthur the Dog, a funny story about a war of wills between Dave and Arthur, the family dog, and Love Never Ends, about a
bittersweet letter Dave receives from the wife of an old friend close this first comedy CD.

The second funny story comedy CD in Vinyl Cafe Odd Jobs opens with the title track. Fans of Tim Allen will recognize the Tim Allen in Dave and the neighborhood men when installing a simple wall plug goes very, very wrong. This is a funny story every wife should make her husband listen to before he tackles any home renovation project. The Fig Tree, another very sweet story is about Dave’s elderly neighbors and the way they have chosen to hibernate. No Tax on Truffles is centered on Dave’s son who develops a passion for truffles. The Bare Truth, the closer on the second CD of Vinyl Cafe Odd Jobs, is a family friendly story about Dave’s neighbor who ends up hiding under the kitchen counter when she is caught unawares and disrobed when Dave drops by for a visit.

Any fan of comedy and a well-told funny story will thoroughly enjoy The Vinyl Cafe, Stuart McLean, and Vinyl Cafe Odd Jobs.

Other Vinyl Cafe releases:

Vinyl Cafe Stories

Vinyl Cafe Coast to Coast

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