I finally decided to look up what Stuart McLean looks like after hearing his broadcasts from the Vinyl Cafe for years on NPR. Here's what he looked like in my mind:
Yes, that is Max Wright from Alf. In my mind's eye Stuart was a thin man: glasses with a bowtie and suspenders. Mawing on stage and vocally lifting the end sentences like a man releasing a newly healed baby bird while sitting in a chair wearing loafers on stage while drinking mineral water and telling the cleanest jokes this side of Branson. Here is what I discovered today:
Here we see a man who has the gall not to look like a nerd in a 1950's movie with a modest tie, average build, doing some crowd interaction, and even getting his hands into it. I'll never listen to Vinyl Cafe the same again. But that's not a bad thing. I won't enjoy it less. But radio has that mystique in which you have an intimacy with the speaker and so to try and frame the person painting you their picture with words you look for ways to connect to them visually; even if it is in your imagination.
Any radio/voice actors you looked up and were surprised by?