For quite a while now I’ve been thinking about tapping into my collection of old school cassette recordings to see if I could turn dust-gathering interview blather into podcast gold.

Thank goodness that some of those old cassette tapes I’ve boxed away for years still work! Many contain recorded conversations I’ve had with TV and film stars over the past four decades for various magazines and newspapers.

Here we have one of the first, an interview with comedy legend George Burns — conducted at his office in Hollywood under the watchful eye of his manager Irving Fein — way back in December of 1985.

The story appeared in this January, 1986 edition of TV Guide Canada

We all had a fein time, as you will hear, yakking about The Marx Brothers, Burns’ wife and hilarious comedy partner Gracie Allen and why cheap cigars work best on stage.

What a lovely fellow Burns was, quizzing me, among other things, about Toronto restaurants. He asked if Child’s was still open, a place he visited way back when he and Gracie toured as part of the Orpheum vaudeville circuit. Lo and behold, there was a Child’s restaurant on the southeast corner of Yonge and Dundas (it eventually became Friar’s Tavern). This link shows a photo of crowds lining up there in 1922!

So, as I say, George was sharp as a tack at 90. Click on the big blue and white arrow above and check out more memories with a comedy legend in this “Out of the Vault” podcast, first of a now-and-then series here at


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