The Stroumboulopouli

The Stroumboulopouli

The place to get the latest news on what’s coming up on #Gtonight. Find out what Canada’s boyfriend is up to. Share stories, pictures, favourite tv and radio episodes.

CBC TV & Radio shows plus HNIC

His work with Artists for Peace and Justice

UN Ambassadorship for The World Food Programme

Friday, December 29, 2006

Has The Hour Lost Its Relevance?

With the end of the year looming, and in light of the heated discussions that have been taking place on this site, I think this may be the ideal time to re-evaluate the significance of The Hour in our lives.

Personally, and sadly, for me, the show is no longer a factor in my daily existence. This is primarily a function of the unfortunate scheduling changes that The Hour has undertaken this season, but even disregarding that factor, I have been hearing cries of discontent regarding changes to the format itself.

One of the primary complaints seems to be the disconnect with the viewing audience. With the show moving to a taped format, one level of communication with viewers, the real time response to emails, has been removed. Although the show is now taped in front of a live audience, it seems strangely removed from the immediacy that was once such a vibrant part of the show's fabric. The (admittedly) few times I have been able to watch the show this year, the presence of an audience did not seem to add any degree of life to the show. Rather, their presence had no more impact on the show than a laugh track would provide. In contrast to past seasons, where the addition of an audience for special occasions, most particularly when the show went on the road, added a real spark and a real connection to the Canadian public, the presence of a daily audience now feels mundane and, I'm sorry to say, a trifle pointless.

The website, which appears to have been an integral part of the show's function since its inception, continues to post daily video clips and this year has included a complete download of the previous day's show. And this of course begs the question, is the website enhancing The Hour's presence on television or it is actually replacing the show? Does having the entire episode available on-line in fact increase the overall audience numbers, or is download viewing simply cannibalizing the existing audience?

When The Hour first aired, it was unique in its presentation of rapid-fire short snippets in amongst lengthier and more indepth stories. All these seemingly disparate parts flowed into a surprisingly uniform and seamless show. But with some of us being turned off the show by scheduling inequities, others choosing to watch only those video clips of immediate interest on the website, is The Hour as an entity still fulfilling a need of the Canadian public?

With the rise of YouTube culture and the collective shrinking of the human attention span, can we even sustain an hour long (well in reality, 40 minutes) daily program of this nature? Or will we one day be reduced to simply watching a series of video clips on the website?

- Barbara B

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

George in the Special Issue

MACLEANS Magazine's does not show George Stroumboulopoulos on the cover. Nor does it mention that he is even in the issue. I heard it on the Strombo Forum or was it on Georges MySpace page?

Page 48 and 49 of the Dec. 25th issue, talk about the perceived expectations put on George's shoulders and the story behind it all.

The writer, Jonathon Gatehouse used a word I had to look up; Pastiche imitation of the style of another's work. Unlike a parody, a pastiche is not making fun of the original.
Here is the sentence.
The Hour- a five-night-a-week pastiche of news, politics and pop culture - is neither the saviour nor the nadir(another word I have to look up) for Canada's public broadcaster.
Nadir is below or opposite the zenith... so it's not the low point? It's just a show dude.

"of course I can't save the CBC." "One show does not make a network" George is quoted as saying in the article.

I do recommend you pick up a copy of MacLean's and read it for yourself.

Last paragraph of the article; 'There is a possibility that George Stroumboulopoulos could grow up without growing old. Right now, though, he's a little too stoked about interviewing the guy from Twisted Sister.'

That interview George did with Dee Snider of Twisted Sister was fantastic. If that's too stoked, bring it on.

Barbara W.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Hour then and now

Last Season; I can't recall a news show where the host befriends his viewers, "Hi, I'm your buddy George, and this is The Hour." I think that is what got me hooked.

Now; Still hooked. It's sad really. My internet habit now includes, aside from all the blogger friends I visit, I tend to frequent the strombo forum,,,, insidethecbc blog and The Hour.

I still have time for work, rest and play. Trust me, I have been more involved in life in the past 7 months then I have in the two years before that.

Last Season and now; OK, so I was hooked on my buddy George but, what kept me watching was the content.

Now; I look back at season two, and I look at this season so far, and I have favourite moments in each.
Maybe Last Season still has the advantage because there is more interaction with the entire country via email read live on the air.
Going on the road with the show and interacting with the audience.
Sending the Panel Van to places like Lake Louise...
Check out the old stuff on the website in the archives.
Moments like those were gold.
I think that may be what this season needs a bit more of.

Then; An invitation on the website to see The Hour being taped soon followed so I booked a seat and went to the taping in Montreal.

Now; I moved to Toronto because the opportunities for work were better But The Bonus was I could go to regularly scheduled taping of The Hour at the CBC this season.

I still think they should take it on the road at some point though...

It's just how I feel
Barbara W.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

We are 100

It's a bit of an anniversary around here.

This is the 100th post to be penned by the Stroumboulopouli, 100 posts in which we've attempted to celebrate the value of a unique show called The Hour, to discuss the issues that have been raised on the show, and to salute the appeal of a certain charismatic and intelligent host.

We began this blog in May 2006, as The Hour was wrapping up its second season. By this point, it had garnered much critical acclaim and a loyal audience, with its compelling combination of insightful investigations and sassy observations. And of course, with Season Three came many changes in format. How has The Hour fared so far this season, compared to last year and the year previous? What are your feelings about how the show is presented, and do you still have the same relationship with The Hour that you did at the end of Season Two?

We asked ourselves the same questions and thought that the best way to start answering some of them would be to take a look back and indulge in a little nostalgia.

So dear readers, we are happy to present to you, our very first Stroumbouloulouli post from May 2006: "Why We Love The Hour".

Please enjoy.

- Barbara B

I can't recall a news show where the host befriends his viewers, "Hi, I'm your buddy George, and this is The Hour." I think that is what got me hooked. I vaguely recall a time in childhood where the same invitation for friendship was extended by The Friendly Giant or Mr Dressup.
Ok, so I was hooked on my buddy George but, what kept me watching was the content. I did not always agree with the subject matter but that is what makes it interesting. I found myself reacting to the issues presented whether my reaction was positive or negative, it did not matter to me. I might be smiling one segment and growling the next or just plain fascinated (or not). George's gesture of friendship with an invitation to interaction with the show could not be resisted. A plea from George to email was too tempting not to reply to. So email I did.

An invitation on the website to see The Hour being taped soon followed so I booked a seat and went to the taping in Montreal. After the show I met George but that is another post for another day. I am sure he could not pick me out in a lineup after meeting me but, I will be at the taping of the season finale next Thursday representing the Stroumboulopouli. After that he may have a chance picking me out of a lineup. Just hopefully not a police lineup.

My regular emails are usually nice and complimentary. Then, George ran a segment about the use of the F-word. I wrote and told him as politely as I could that there are alternatives to using the F-word like swearing in French. He read my letter on the air. If I wanted to be funny right now I would say 'That was F-'en great!" But I would never say that! Whenever I tell other fans about George reading the letter I wrote on air about the F-word they say 'That was you!" Yup.
I don't always agree with the Man but I do admire the heck out of him.

Barbara W. of the Stroumboulopouli

Why do I watch The Hour? It's easy to answer! George is a talented host sharing his view of the world with us. He's not the conventional tv guy, have you ever seen an other CBC Newsworld's host wearing white Adidas, jeans and a studded belt? No, George is like you and I, and cares about important issues that matter to us too. He's also friendly and invites the viewers to say what they think. And, he's still a kid at heart, remember how he loves little animals and that he called his mom during the show? And there's more than that, George knows a lot of things about a lot of subjects from pop culture to politics. And he cares about the viewers, he went on the road to meet us!

And it's not only about George; it's also about the content. It covers a variety of subjects, it's not only about the news of the day. Sometimes The Hour makes you smile, sometimes you're really angry and you wished he hadn't say that, but after all he is allowed to think whatever he wants. And by the end of the show, you're glad you watched because you learned stuff and were not feeling like that you just had a good time watching the show.



As a student of The New Music and The Punk Show, I started out watching The Hour purely on a "Well I enjoyed him there basis," and besides, talking about current global issues I just needed the TV Guide to tell me what channel do I turn to, and I was on board. Even during the first couple of shows, and my gravol induced stomach - due to the camera movement - nothing could take me away from the 8pm time slot. George and company managed to marry the success of what made him so popular on MM - the no bullshit attitude, along with new music tips and witty commentary - and bring all of that while sitting down and talking about socially relevant issues.
There are times when I do the 'Oprah nod' and find myself not completely engaged in what is being said, but for the most part I'm fully animated in the content. The topics brought up always, without fail, produce heated 'dinner talk.' And really, what more can you ask for out of a news program, then a reason to throw food at someone if you don't agree with them? The Hour is like an extended member of the family, and each night George enters into our collective spaces and gives us all something to talk about the next day besides who was last voted off the latest reality show. And for that I thank you.



I am a Beatles fan, so on December 8, 2005 (The 25th anniversary of John Lennon's death), I switched to Newsworld to see if they were covering the ceremonies in New York. I came just in time to see one of The Hour's many contributors (Nick McCabe-Lokos) talk about what a "sanctimonious crybaby" Lennon was, and how his 'working class hero' was ironic, as Lennon was worth millions. This sparked some sort of rage in me, something I had never gotten from a TV program before! That contributor made my feel like I should do something about it, e-mail in, something!

Well, I never did e-mail in, but I did get hooked on 'The Hour', I think I've only missed six episodes since then (five of which a family member has taped for me). I am, as a teasing classmate likes to call me, a Strombohead (I should put a copyright on that...).
Since December I have driven with my mom south to Calgary, where I saw one of George's shows (which was beyond cool). I have luckily met others (now the Stroumboulopouli) over the blogtracker on The Hour's website (I think my school friends were sick of me quoting George), and just recently I got an e-mail read on the air during 'The Strombo Show'. All this means so much to me because some people want to be authors or fashion designers, so they write stories or sketch outfits, I want to become a journalist, so I watch 'The Hour', and take part in it. It makes me feel like I'm always getting one step closer to my goal.

In the end, I don't watch George because of how he dresses, or because he's for a younger demographic, I watch him because he has a true passion for what he does (and let's admit it, the man's hilarious!), and because of him I feel like I can make a difference in the world. If I've had a terrible day, I know I just need to wait until 6 p.m., and I know that that music and those opening credits will instantly make me feel better. That's why I love and watch The Hour.
Thank god for Nick (and George, of course).



One of my favourite first memories of George was from back when he VJ'd for Much Music. He was hosting a show called Fandemonium, where two contestants battle eachother to see who's the bigger fan of whatever given band/artist/group they love. I don't remember what artist the episode was focused on, but I do remember that it was two girls, and George was bombarding them with questions. He turned to one of the contestants and asked her, "Do you look in the toilet after you go to the bathroom?" and she replied, "I guess if I didn't, I wouldn't know about the colour green". I laughed uproariously as George responded with "Good answer!".

Since then, I've been hooked on the "rocker dude" and followed him as he left Much Music and ventured over to CBC Newsworld to host The Hour, which for me, is the perfect mix of news regarding both Canada and the rest of the world, and spectacular interviews that would never be seen on any other show, all in a context that truly allows you to decide how you feel about it without the forced opinions you may encounter elsewhere. And with just the right amount of music-driven conversation that lets you know what's fresh and upcoming in the music industry, George seams it all in effortlessly with everything you need to know about what's going on in the world around you, while providing you with information and interviews with everyone from the melodic Coldplay to the in-your-face Black Flag.

Where else can you go to learn about Brangelina's baby, which Vice President shot who in the face, and the onset of H5N1 without even changing the channel?

As fate has revealed, The Hour also brought us girls together, as we discovered eachother through The Hour's online Blog Tracker, having our own links showcased on the website. It was our love of George and The Hour that brought us together, so in turn we can show you the world of Mr.Stroumboulopoulos, and why you should be in it along with us.



I admit I’ve always been both a CBC freak and a news junkie. So when it was announced that CBC Newsworld was launching a nightly current affairs show hosted by that cool guy from MuchMusic, naturally I had to check it out. The first episode of The Hour aired opposite the debut of Hatching, Matching and Dispatching, which I was also keen to watch, so I thought I would flip back and forth, but I have to admit, much as I love Mary Walsh and Shaun Majumder, the Much guy won out.

The thing I love about The Hour is the compelling mix of in-depth news analysis, interviews that really get to the meat of a story, and off-the-cuff sassiness and irreverence. We can be hearing about mercenaries in Afghanistan in one segment and, with a quick segue, be watching a clip of the 30-second bunnies performing The Shining.

And it is all presented in such a riveting and fresh manner by the force of nature that is George Stroumboulopoulos. This is not a talking head in a suit giving us the goods, but nor is it a vacant Much DJ with a fringe. Rather it is an intelligent, perceptive, magnanimous individual who just happens to be adorable. And with The Hour actively inviting participation from viewers – reading emails as they are sent in, taping shows in front of live audiences in other cities across Canada, linking blogs on the website, it’s no wonder The Hour can boast such a loyal following.
It’s been speculated by some cynics that George will be eventually lured into transforming himself for the American market. My understanding is that one of the main considerations underlying his move from MuchMusic to CBC Newsworld was that he was not expected to transform himself into a suit. Personally, I think that he is one of the most intelligent and interesting voices of Canadian culture, and I like to think that this staunch Canadian has too much integrity to be lured away.

Barbara B.


I was introduced to “The Hour” and George S. by our very own Barb Bruederlin, who I have the pleasure of working with, about a year and a half ago. As I did not have a subscription to cable television at that point in time, my only source of information was Barb herself and the website. As well, I watched occasional shows while visiting my brother in Toronto. I do have a cable subscription as of March this year, and I was most excited about watching the show from the comfort of my home and my beloved couch. Well, lets get to why I watch the show. I like it mostly because of George himself. He is the most amiable host, he is smart, creative, very contemporary and unconventional. With his casual attire, he turns this news hour into something more, it feels like an interactive show, very unlike the other conventional news programs. Social issues, global problems to entertainment/music/art/films, he has got everything in his bag. And like other members of this blog, although I may not necessarily agree on all issues, I love this show. It is different. And dare I add that I love the way George S. speaks, his smile and his eyes. :)

Peace out.


Friday, December 08, 2006

Read it in a magazine

All good magazine covers get their picture taken on my heart pillow.

Before you go check out the links I want to give you what George said about the article in Toronto Life. He told the audience of The Hour on Wednesday evening that most of this article is true... there is some of it that is not. Was it by design because he want to keep some private things private? Is there is built in misdirection? I hope for his sake that she did not just give his real street location to any stalker that wants to go see him Sunday morning... *My mind did not just plan to go for a little drive Sunday morning because that would be bad!* * I better not find his place is all I am saying.

The January issue of Toronto Life features Man of The Hour George Stroumboulopoulos.
The well crafted detailed Article is written by Olivia Stren, photos by Finn O’Hara.

Barbara W.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dec 6th visit to The Hour

Matthew Fox of Lost was on the set today!
I guess they found him in time to do a Movie Promo for We Are Marshall.

Taking full advantage of living in Toronto, I make a plan to see The Hour once a month.
I love to go to the show with fans of The Hour I have only met online.
Don't try this at home kids.
This time round, I went to the show with "E" and her brother "K".
George was happy to see everyone, and as always, is a most congenial host.

E and G

On a dare, and also because it suited the occasion, we were supposed to wear boxers under our low cut jeans... Well it was just me, as it happens. Out on that limb again...
It was worth it!
We had planned other addition mischief but the
proper timing was not available. Believe me, I asked Kevin the stage manager... He is so sweet!
We are scheduled to create that mischief next time we go to The Hour.
CBC approved of course....

My oh so Canadian boxer shorts!

George did have something to say about the boxers.
He said he used to wear them like that on Much Music all the time and no one wrote about it.
My thought 'It's a bit more distracting when you
talking about serious subjects like .... ummm I can't recall now.
See, I was so distracted I can't remember what
you were talking about at the time.

Me and G

So other than getting on Georges back about the boxers...

I asked George about what The Hour will be presenting between Dec 14 and Jan 2nd seeing as there will be no live audience bookings. His answer is they will be making The Hour sans audience with all the footage and stories and news in the holiday period.

On the closer today, George made some excellent points about the same sex marriage debate.
You have to watch it. If you don't see it on CBC Newsworld or CBC you can always catch it on The Hour's Site.
Now that is a great closer.

Barbara W.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Some questions for you.

There is a vote going on at The Hour. What's you favourite photo?
The link to vote will be on the right hand side in a box called Photo Gallery.

What is your favourite Strombo youtube moment? There are more than few to explore.

Wondering what the line up is next week?

For that question I do have a partial answer....
On Wednesday it's Matthew Fox from 'Lost.' Also Stephen Lewis is coming by The Hour on Monday and Dee Snider from Twisted Sister will be here on Tuesday.