Entertainment feature

Stuntman Stu is Still Living the Dream

Photo by Sean Sisk

My mental health was in a horrible place,” confesses Stuart Schwartz, better known as “Stuntman Stu.” “I kept a lot to myself, ignored things, and tried to figure them out on my own.”

It’s a reference to the residual effect of living with leukemia.

The indefatigable Schwartz has fought two rounds with it. He’s still dealing with its aftereffects, physically and especially, mentally. “This past November, it came to the point where I could no longer ignore the deep depression and PTSD I was trying to hide from my family, friends, and co-workers. I was sad. I was angry. I was lost.”
Schwartz took a much-needed sabbatical from his stint on radio’s MOVE 100, cut back on the over 200 public appearances he was giving a year, entered therapy, and spent more time with loved ones. The latter include his wife (“My rock!” he appreciatively calls her), his two teenage kids, and the countless friends and fans he has made since becoming a media mainstay in the late 1990s.

Photo by Sean Sisk

While Schwartz may be synonymous with Ottawa, he’s actually a Montrealer. Growing up, Schwartz was—surprise!—the class clown of every school he attended. “I was the kid that would always get the same comments on their report card: ‘If Stuart could apply himself more, he’d be more successful.’’ His ex-teachers might be happy to know that as far as regional radio and TV go, he’s a star pupil. As for his famous nickname, that alliteration was affixed to him by another local radio team, Doc and Woody of The Bear, after Schwartz, then an ambitious intern, upstaged a rival station at a Tragically Hip appearance.

Schwartz is a grateful graduate of Algonquin College’s TV and Radio Broadcasting program, whose alum includes his MOVE 100 sidekick and longtime friend Angie Poirier. Says Schwartz,

“Algonquin was a huge turning point for someone who did not like grade school or high school. I had great teachers and mentors there who really shaped me.”

After paying their post-college dues, Schwartz and Poirier were handpicked to provide a fresh, new presence for MAJIC 100’s top-rated morning show. It may have been a great break, but for a pair of lesser-known personalities, it was a tough transition. “The morning show we replaced had been successful for a long time,” Schwartz remembers. “When we took over, listeners were not happy. We would get bombarded with negative emails. But we appreciated that it would take time for people to accept a new morning routine. Angie and I are both incredibly grateful to all of the people who stuck around, listened to us, and have made us a part of their daily lives.”

Photo by Sean Sisk

Since rebranded as MOVE, Schwartz and Poirier, along with the more recently imported Janel Steeper, continue to make magic, if not the kind spelled with a “j” anymore. “Janel’s a great addition to the team,” Schwartz enthuses, “and Angie and I have known each other forever. We’re close friends, have vacationed with our families, and have gone through major milestones together”—including Schwartz’s bravely publicized bouts with leukemia. Over the past few years, Schwartz has had the moving experience of being in contact with both of his bone marrow donors. “It’s a mind-blowing experience to meet the person who is the reason you’re still alive,” says Schwartz, reflecting on the first encounter back in 2018. “My dad had passed away several weeks before, so it was a very overwhelming and emotional moment for me, my mom, and my family. I haven’t met my second donor (from 2020) in person yet, but we’ve been in touch through Instagram. I was able to thank them for what they did for me.”

Thanks to their generosity, the Stuntman is back on the air, even if he’s otherwise a little less public. As mentioned, Schwartz was once almost as busy as a volunteer as he was as an on-air commodity. Part of that was due to his deep-set love of community; part of it was due to his deep-set love of hockey. “I had the good fortune to work for the Ottawa Senators for twelve seasons,” he marvels, referencing his days as the team’s in-game announcer. “It provided me the opportunity to work the Olympics, the NHL draft, the All-Star Game, and the Stanley Cup finals.” As for what he liked best about those assignments, Schwartz says, “I always cherished announcing a player’s first NHL goal. It’s such a huge accomplishment for them to get to such a professional level and to live out their dream.”

The much-loved Stuntman is still living out his, with gratefulness.

Photo by Sean Sisk

A Q&A with Stuntman Stu:

Fave way to relax?

Going for a drive in the Mustang or napping

Preferred musical artists?

Huey Lewis, Michael Buble, Metallica

Top location in Ottawa?

Beautiful Barrhaven!

Best moment(s) with your family?

BBQ’s by the pool

Breakthrough in broadcasting?

My first solo shift, overnights at 106.9
The Bear

My jam is…

My wife!

Alternate occupation?

Car designer

Most watched movie or TV show?

Back to the Future

The greatest moment in hockey history?

Watching Alfie’s jersey retirement with my son in person

The person I was the most excited to meet ?

I was lucky enough to meet Michael J. Fox and caught him as he was running up the stairs at the NAC, he was kind enough to stop and pose for a photo


By Dan Lalande