Reddit – Landsberg here. I've hosted TSN's Off The Record for the past 17 seasons, and in my day, I’ve become one of Canada's most prominent (well-known, charming, hilarious, handsome…?) sports broadcasters.

But that's not why I'm here today. Today is Bell Let's Talk Day in Canada, a day created to help spread the awareness of mental health and erase the stigmas associated with it. I have battled my own personal bouts of depression, and I believe mental health is a subject that deserves to be discussed openly and honestly. My hope is that in sharing my story, I will encourage others to share theirs. I created the #SickNotWeak movement to further promote my cause, a community where people can feel safe to share their stories.

SO! In honour of Bell Let's Talk Day, I'd like to open myself up to whatever questions you may have – ask me about mental health, famous guests I've interviewed, my sports knowledge, or how much makeup I wear! AMA!


Bell Let's Talk home page

Bell Let's Talk on Facebook

Off The Record home page

Off The Record on Facebook

Twitter: @OTR @heylandsberg @Bell_LetsTalk

#BellLetsTalk #SickNotWeak


I'll be around @ 11AM ET to answer your questions!

EDIT: Alright Reddit, you got me for the next hour...let's do this!

EDIT2: Thank you so much reddit, this was amazing! Looking forward to doing this again!

Comments: 543 • Responses: 44  • Date: 

FriendlyJosh306 karma

You are arrogant and I hate you, but I still love you

heylandsberg397 karma

Perhaps the greatest message ever sent to me.

Go to hell, but thank you.

Kozi47124 karma

Good morning Michael, I want to give you a wholehearted thank you for opening up the discussion for people with mental issues to not be afraid of exposing themselves to their loved ones. It's something I have struggled with and still do, but your article on your good friend, Wade Belak's suicide as well as your own depression really opened the door for me.

I really wish I had a question for your AMA, but all I can think of is just saying thank you for opening the door for me and many others. Your show really cracks me up and other times I get fuming mad at the discussions, but I always come back and tune in. Thank you.

heylandsberg67 karma

You're welcome. Getting to talk about my own struggles, ironically, is a gift. Changing lives, when all I have to do is be honest, is a gift.

Lati4103 karma

Hey Mike! What's Jay Onrait like in person? Is he as awesome as he appears on tv?

heylandsberg227 karma

He is a terrible person. No, check that. he is a terrible, evil human being. He spit in my face, kicked my dog, and worst of all, urinated in our studio.

baconsizzler983 karma

Hey Michael, first off I can't thank you enough for the incredible courage you've shown in spearheading the #sicknotweak movement. You are the public face of mental health awareness in Canada and I can't tell you how much of an inspiration you are to us all.

My question is how do you do it? Most of us can't gather up the energy to get off the couch and do routine daily tasks when depression is pounding us over the head. How do you find the strength to rally a nation of sufferers and be there to support us when you deal with the same challenges the rest of us do?

Your efforts have encouraged tons of people to open up and you have helped save lives. You are a hero. Thanks.

heylandsberg62 karma

Your words are SO incredibly kind. I'm smiling. And I look dorky.

If you knew the value of sharing, you would do exactly what I'm doing.

KayWhitmore78 karma

Time to come clean, Landsberg - how many plastic surgeries did you have and which years did you have them?

heylandsberg175 karma

First surgery, Dec. 14 1994 - lip injections. Last surgery, Dec. 19 2013 - tightening of loose neck skin caused by 7 face lifts between 2000 and 2012.

justamania74 karma

Hey Micheal ive been a huge fan of your show as long as i can remember. Espically the wrestling interviews back during its peak period. Which brings me to my question. How were you able to get the wrestlers to do interviews out of character during a time when they werent doing such a thing?

heylandsberg142 karma

First week OTR was on the air we had Bret Hart on a panel. Vince McMahon saw it and said "you can have any of my guys out of character." It was the first time ever.

LyingPervert69 karma

If I retweet @Bell_Lets_Talk, will they actually donate 5 cents? Edit: I did it! You can follow me on twitter @LyingPervert

heylandsberg125 karma

Did you do it? Don't piss me off!

heylandsberg76 karma

Yes, most definitely. Do it on the count of three! One....two....three.

Bintherereddat68 karma

Hi Michael,

Do you keep in touch with Chael Sonnen?

heylandsberg81 karma

I do, in fact. As I've told him many times now, I don't want to be his friend! I want him to hate me! Makes for better TV.

justjohn2561 karma

Did you realize the impact, in the pro wrestling world, of getting Vince McMahon to publicly admit he had lied to Bret about the finish in Montreal?

Kudos for helping out in raising awareness of mental health issues.

heylandsberg71 karma

Perhaps I still don't realize the impact, but I love Bret. One of the most respectful, humble, and down-to-earth superstars I have ever met.

St00b38 karma

No question, juts wanted to say thank you for doing this Landsberg.

heylandsberg62 karma

Thanks for joining, mom.

wittchimp38 karma

Hey Micheal, just wondered what's the one thing you would change about mental health in Canada (apart from the stigma)? Thanks for doing this

heylandsberg72 karma

Easy question. I would change the fact that people in crisis often have to wait 3 months to be seen. Many don't make it.

sgb198735 karma

Hey Michael, as a local Bell employee I am loving the support that the whole country is giving to Let's Talk. My question is what is your favourite memory/funniest story of Wade Belak that people may not have heard before? Thanks

heylandsberg98 karma

Wade saying "I can eat death wings at Duff's," then watching him cry and drink everything in sight, including mayo.

comedyorwhat31 karma

Hey Mr. Landsberg. Fist I wanted to say, what a huge fan I am. I am kind of fan boying a bit here, but I've been waiting for this AMA since last week. You're story and battle through depression is seriously an inspiration. Over the last 5 years, I have been struggling with depression myself, and during the last few months, it had gotten to the point where I was going to take my life. But than something happened. Seeing the passion you have for sports, made me realize that I too was once passionate about something as well. Thanks to not only you, but everyone around me, I have began to fell better for the first time in my life. I found that passion for sports, that I had lost years ago.

I just wanted to say thank you. You truly are one of the best role models a young adult could have. My question to you is, what is the BEST Reuben sandwich you have ever had?

heylandsberg20 karma

One without sauerkraut. Yuck.

Thanks for your kind words. Glad I can help.

GhostBustor31 karma

What is your most memorable interview?

The wrestling interviews in the late 90's/early 2000s were fantastic. Way ahead of anyone interviewing wrestlers being out of character.

heylandsberg55 karma

Of all the wrestling interviews, my favorite was the Undertaker. I have never seen him again as Mark Calaway. Chael was definitely my most memorable non-wrestling interview. It's not everyday that you get threatened and walked-off on by a professional fighter.

heylandsberg26 karma

Hey reddit, my time is up! I'm actually having liposuction as we speak. Thanks for joining me. Please follow me @heylandsberg and @OTR! And remember #BellLetsTalk #SickNotWeak

EIK9025 karma

Hey Landsberg. Been following your #SickNotWeak for a while now and want to say it's really inspiring stuff even for someone who doesn't have a mental health issue! Question: How often do people you interview happen to bring up mental health awareness on their own?

heylandsberg31 karma

Because people know that I speak about it, I think they feel comfortable mentioning it. But more often then not, it's whispered during commercial, or after a show.

sims8624 karma

What do you really think of Pierre McGuire; was he as hated in the studio as much as he is by the majority of Canadian Hockey fans?

heylandsberg91 karma

Loved Pierre...but when you know a guy and he treats you well, you're no longer a typical viewer. But hear this, Pierre haters: he is the best prepared guy in the business.

richblitzkreig24 karma

Hey Michael, I have a couple of questions, first and foremost, who do you believe has the best chance of defeating the Canadian men's hockey team for Olympic gold and why? Also were you close with Jay and Dan? Do you still stay in touch? Thanks for doing this, you are the epitome of class and you kick ass at keeping Canadian's entertained!

heylandsberg62 karma

I don't like the Russian defence, but their home ice scares me. The Americans will be tough again. Their goaltending will be great.

Jay and Dan? So happy they're gone. I hated how people liked them more than me.

accountnumber0223 karma

Hey, Thanks for this AMA. As a hockey fan I realize concussions are a major part, and was shocked when i heard about Rick Rypien. Who comes to your mind when you think, "They would have benefited from Bell lets talk?"

heylandsberg34 karma

Wade Belak for sure. Not only would he have benefitted, but anyone who heard him or saw him would have benefitted greatly. He would have saved so many lives.

BananApocalypse16 karma

Hey Michael!

You've interviewed several NHL enforcers. Were you shocked at how many seem to have completely different (much nicer) personalities off the ice?

And what do you think of the negative mental effects fighting has on so many hockey players? Do you think it should eventually be phased out of the NHL?

heylandsberg35 karma

First, the fighters...greatest group of guys I've ever met. I was beyond shocked when I first met Bob Probert, and he was the nicest, most gentle guy in the room.

Fighting in hockey? It will be gone in 10 years for sure, likely a lot less. You can't claim you're concerned about concussions when you allow people to inflict them.

OhHelloPlease16 karma

Hey Michael!

Wayne Gretzky was on Conan O'Brien last week and the briefly talked about some of Wayne's records. Wayne seemed to think that his record of 50 goals in 39 games would be his hardest record to beat. Do you think this is probably true in regards to all the records Gretzky set? Are there any other current sports records that you think will not be broken in your lifetime?

heylandsberg30 karma

No one in this era will ever come close to 50 goals in 39. But hockey will evolve. One day, there will be another Gretzky-calibre player, and the game will have changed to a goal-scoring game like it was in the '80s.

Saijon15 karma

Hey, Landsberg

What really happened between Tmac, vince and Oakley on your show.

heylandsberg23 karma

TMac and Vince were SO happy to speak to each other. Oak was amazing but weird.

praytocthulu14 karma

When will you be on Jay and Dan's podcast?

heylandsberg34 karma

I don't know. I have not been able to squeeze them in. They ask me at LEAST 3 times a week, but I find them to be small-time, annoying, and...annoying. So bottom line, Jay and Dan, stop asking.

NotShap1313 karma

Who is someone that you've interviewed, whose mental health concerns you?

heylandsberg27 karma

It would be unfair for me to mention anyone who had confided in me. Most people still won't talk about it on the air. I worry about Andrew Jensen. He is so strong in talking about his struggles. I just fear that one day the illness will fight back.

swoonpappy10 karma

How come you get the most flack for wearing make-up? Seems like dutchy wears quite a bit himself.

heylandsberg9 karma

I get the most flack because I don't deny it. Not saying it's true, but it doesn't bother me. Do you like what I'm using? I'm thinking of going Revlon to Maybelline.

StandingQuarter10 karma

I'm interested to hear what your thoughts on the NHL shootout to determine a winner are. I've heard of a few different alternatives that take this gimmick out of the equation. One of the most interesting ones was each team getting a small amount of time to run a 5v3. If the first team up scores 2 goals, the second team has to either match that (to keep the game going) or beat it (to win the game). I thought this was a brilliant idea that would eliminate what feels like a skills comp mixed with a crap shoot to end a tie game.

heylandsberg30 karma

Sounds like CFL overtime. Complicated, but ultimately fair. Either that, or captains arm-wrestling. Phaneuf vs. Gionta...hahahaha.

wipeyourmit9 karma

Most awkward interview you've ever had?

heylandsberg9 karma

Probably 200 tied for awkwardness. Robert Parrish (the Chief!), though. Nice guy...weird dude.

gdawg999 karma

Hi Michael- I used to wake up an hour early every morning before school so I could watch SportsDesk. Wanted to start by saying thanks to you and Wheaties for getting my days started off right as a kid.

In your view, which of the major North American sports leagues has the best support system when it comes to the mental health issues of players? Whether it's support from teammates, available and accessible therapy, etc.

heylandsberg11 karma

No question the NHL has the best formal program. As for teammates, impossible for me to say. I suspect the 4 major leagues are all equally deficient in that area.

curves4days9 karma

When did you know it was time to seek help and how did you dispel the stigma with your friends and family?

heylandsberg11 karma

I knew it was time to get help when I no longer could experience joy. Never cared about the stigma, never cared what people thought. Perhaps that comes from spending most of my life on TV.

costa-matt9 karma

Hey mike just want to say your doing an amazing job bringing awareness to the issue of mental health it's amazing to see so thank you for that. I also wanted to know who was the funniest person you have had the chance to interview on OTR

heylandsberg11 karma

New Gingrich, for sure. I found the absurdity of his views hysterically funny.

AngryCanadian898 karma

Hey Michael, I always see you posting numbers on Twitter about how you're feeling on certain days. I'm just curious what they stand for, and how we can figure out our own numbers?

Edit: Worded better

heylandsberg10 karma

Check out @heylandsberg, and I will tweet it now!

your_a_moron8 karma

Why do you wear ungodly amounts of makeup? Do you make that call, or the producer?

heylandsberg50 karma

I make the call! I employ four full-time European house painters to apply my face. Also, I have a part-time dry-waller.

brunub7 karma

Hello Michael, thank you for coming to reddit! As someone who just got into the behavioral health field in the US, it's refreshing to see folks like yourself pushing for more awareness on that front!

What efforts can you see being made to help dispel the stigma about seeking mental health care? Do they happen at the government level? Community? Let's talk concrete moves. I have a lot of folks call in to me who are afraid to take their children or family members or themselves to treatment because they are not "one of those people." Any thoughts on this and some of the communities this perpetuates?

heylandsberg11 karma

The world needs to be desensitized. The more we talk about our struggles, the less freakish we sound. "I suffer from depression." The more I say that, the more routine it sounds, and eventually (a long time away) people won't be shocked to hear it and be afraid to say it.

baconwiches7 karma

Hey Michael. You've really opened my eyes; if I saw a guy wearing the shirts you wear, I'd never think he's depressed.

Anyways, if you got the opportunity to do your show in the states for ESPN or Fox Sports or whatnot, would you do it?

heylandsberg10 karma

I have turned down multi-million dollar offers from eery American network, as well as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

pokepoke7 karma

On air, you seem to have an abundance of confidence which makes you magnetic to watch. Have you always had that or is it something you only have on camera?

EDIT: Words.

heylandsberg11 karma

I have that confidence when I feel good. When I'm depressed, it disappears. TV gave me confidence. As a teenager, I was scared of many things. Starting with girls.

back3rman7 karma

Is there a question you wanted to ask someone but didn't? What was the reason?

heylandsberg9 karma

Many questions I failed to ask because contrary to reports, I am not mean-spirited. But sometimes mean questions need to be asked.

zzy3356 karma

You've been one of Canada's leading faces in the sports media world for quite some time. It has been a pleasure watching you grow and develop over the years on TSN. How do you feel the US and Canadian sports media differ? Less yelling and more silliness? Could your show work down here? Living here now I am struck by the different tone of sports media and I figured a sensitive soul like yourself would have some insight into this.

heylandsberg22 karma

In many cases American television is technically hugely better than Canadian television. Many of the performers are better than Canadian performers, myself included. BUT! We Canadians have a certain view on the world that is less clinical and cynical than the Americans. So we really need Canadians speaking to Canadians.

Fearballs6 karma

Hi Mike, longtime fan of your show. OTR is a staple in my day. I'm a big time Canadian basketball fan so I must ask when is Gary Payton, aka the Glove, going to be on again ? #GLOVEDONTLIE

heylandsberg9 karma

When he gets fired from Fox Sports 1. LOL! I LOVE Gary Payton. #MLDontLie

bambisfather6 karma

Hey Michael, big fan. I've always loved your little feud(s?) with Chael Sonnen and it would seem you two are constantly butting heads when you interview him. Having said that, when he was on Jay and Dans Podcast he said that's not the case at all but you and him like each other and send each other christmas cards. Was he just being Chael or is this true? What's your actual relationship like with Chael?

heylandsberg8 karma

All true, except the Christmas cards. That's bullshit. The next time I see him, I will tell him, "I'm not scared of you. We'll just call it a title fight, and you will lose."

herpberp6 karma

Hey Landsberg! what's your workout schedule?

heylandsberg14 karma

Spin class, 4 times a week with my daughter Casey. Boxflex in my basement. 2 hours on the couch every night. The last one is key.

Kerrywood5 karma

Mr. Lansberg - big fan of what you do and have always enjoyed your interviews. I'd just like to thank you for being such a supporter of my mother over the years - she reached out to you with an email a few years ago just looking for a friend, unaware of your legendary status in Canadian sports media. Over the years the two of you have communicated regularly and she has come to view you as a close friend. Sometimes she shows me an email from you and I'm always blown away by the thoughtfulness and warmth of your notes to her. Despite the fact that to this day I don't think she has ever seen your show, she might be your biggest fan.

heylandsberg9 karma

I'm not sure it's a compliment when your biggest fan has never seen the show you host, LOL! Your mom has given just as much to me as she has gotten from me. Thank you for those words. Don't tell my wife about the secret

kick_ass_knicks5 karma

Hey Michael,

Just a couple of questions.

Who do you miss working with the most from back in the days when TSN was just kicking off?

With Jim Van Horne now teaching sports broadcasting in Toronto, any interest in following that same path or being a guest speaker at the school?

heylandsberg4 karma

I would love to teach.


Is it true you that you filed a complaint against the Dean Blundell show? And if so, how happy are you that he's off the air?

heylandsberg3 karma

Not true. Dean Blundell said some amazingy horrible things about me, but I never responded in any way. Am I happy he's fired? Not a bit. I enjoyed listening to him, and hate to see people fired.

But he is a dick.