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!
And it's not only about
As a student of The NewMusic 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.
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!".
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.