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

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Our Hits and Misses of 2008

Mich's Hit of 2008:
Tiger Talk with trainer David Salmoni

Mich's Miss of 2008:
Julie Couillard

Steph's hit of 2008:
"The King of Shock Rock" Alice Cooper

Steph's Miss of 2008:
"The Most Hated Man in the NHL" Sean Avery

Barbara's Hit of 2008
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Barbara's miss of 2008
Bill Maher

Tracy's Hit of 2008
Nobel Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus

Tracy's Miss of 2008
Endearing or Beyond Bizzare... there's no accounting for taste!

Jenuine's Hit of 2008
Farley Mowat

Jenuine's Miss of 2008

Declan Hill

Mich's Wishlist for 2009:
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty
Dr. Charles McVety (particularly if the abortion debate is reopened)
22 Minutes cast member Mark Critch

Steph's Wishlist for 2009:
Canadian film director Norman Jewison
The Ace of Cakes Duff Goldman
The NHL's first black player Willie O'Ree

Barbara's wishlist 2009:
Dave Broadfoot who is an
honorary sergeant major of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Brendan Fraser

Tracy's Wishlist for 2009:
CNN's Anderson Cooper
John (don't call me JD) Roberts
Stephen Harper (wearing the platform shoes offered up in Harper Bait in '08)

Jenuine's Wishlist for 2009:
I'm with Tracy
- Stephen Harper
George Millar of The Irish Rovers
Celine Dion (Just to see what George would do with her)
Justin Trudeau

Perhaps you had your own hits and misses for 2008?

Who's on YOUR Wishlist for 2009?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Count down to 2009 with The Hour!

Tune in to The Hour on New Year's Eve as George Stroumboulopoulos looks back at the best and worst of 2008 and then sits down for an interview with Alaskan Governor and former Republican Vice-Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin.

If you're out partying hard at 11 on New Year's Eve and forget to set your recording device of choice, don't fret... the special will be repeated on New Year's Day.

Happy New Year to all our readers... 
Thank you for all your support in 2008!
Here's to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2009!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Fast away the old year passes...more "best of" shows!

As the current year becomes a memory and the anticipation of the new one looms, The Hour is continuing their retrospective "best of" 2008 interviews.

Monday, December 29th
The funny, the brilliant and pick the adjective for the last guy.

The very hysterical Ricky Gervais.

Historian, playwright and author Howard Zinn.

____(fill in the blank yourself)____ hockey player Sean Avery.

Tuesday, December 30th
A literary great, a musical giant and a mom on a mission.

American writer and magazine editor Lewis Lapham.

British band Coldplay.

Actress, model, author and autism activist mom Jenny McCarthy.

Wednesday, December 31st
Thursday, January 1st
America's most famous hockey mom.

Governor of Alaska and former Republican Vice Presidential Candidate

Friday, January 2nd
A Brit and a Canuck.

English film and stage star David Thewlis.

Canadian music icon Alanis Morissette.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

'Tis the season to be jolly...

Courtesy of

Recently, music legend Tony Bennett paid a visit to The Hour, in part, to promote his latest CD, A Swingin' Christmas...his second Christmas album in forty years. This got a few of us thinking about one of the most significant aspects of this festive Be it the timeless classics or more modern songs, take it or leave it, the closer December 25th comes, there is no escaping it...Christmas music is everywhere! It is a tradition passed from generation to generation and like other holiday rituals, it makes the season just that much more special. In the spirit of the season, we would like to share some of our holiday music hits and misses.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I have always been a great fan of most Christmas music and I am not ashamed to admit that my collection is quite vast. Growing up I was a member of my school's choir and I believe that this is where my love of the genre started. We mostly sang the know, the religious ones that most secular institutions now steer away of. There was always holiday music at home, via the radio, the record player and in a few instances, some inebriated relative performing their unforgettable rendition of Deck the Halls.

I have a great appreciation of the traditional carols that tell the biblical story of Christmas. Ironically, I am neither a church goer, nor particularly religious, but consider O Holy Night to be my favourite of all the holiday songs. The rendition I like best is one arranged and produced by another former guest of The Hour, David Foster. Others have performed his version, but none compare to this one by Michael Crawford. I'm also a big fan of Twisted Sisters' A Twisted Christmas...a heavy metal spin on the holidays...good fun indeed.

As much as I love the seasonal music, there are indeed some songs that just make me want to blow out my own eardrums, those "leave it" songs referred to earlier. Yesterday, a Toronto radio station asked listeners to call in and share their least favourite holiday tunes. Apparently, I am not alone in appropriate as the message may be, Christmas Shoes is painfully sad. I cry everytime I hear it. Then of course there is my holiday nemesis song, Frosty the Snowman. I have disliked this song since childhood...what Christmas song has the main character die? Melt? Whatever. Sure, he'll be back again some day, but he won't be the same. He knew the sun was hot that day...what was he thinking? It is a Christmas tragedy.

~ Merry Christmas to all from Steph A. :)


Unlike Steph, my Christmas music collection is pretty weak. I have a vast CD collection, yet the Holiday genre is sparce. I am not the biggest fan of Christmas tunes. Indulge me my diagnosis of why I'm fighting my way back to loving them again. I have come up with a couple reasons why I am a bit Bah Humbuggish...

1) Many years being forced to practice Carols on the organ. From ages 10-15, once a week lessons at good old Yamaha music school. After many years of practice, sucking up my dad's hard earned money, I doubt I could do more than fumble through Jingle Bells. Sad. I also hated that when I took group lessons, this one little suckup told me he practiced for 3 hours a day - thanks for telling the teacher that too. Feliz Navidad you weenie.

2) Seven seasons working in retail ... grade 11 through University is enough to kill it for even the most heartily Christmas spirited folks. The darkest moment was hearing Barbra Striesand's version of Jingle Bells. Everything about it... her inflection, tone and the galloping pace of the beat is just wrong. Try working with one 'authorized' tape, played on a loop for 8 hour shift for 6 weeks solid... you'd be fortunate to not be institutionalized. In the interest of good mental health, I will NOT provide a link however, I am sure it's out there for you if you're a masochist.

That aside... I also have some very fond memories of Christmas tunes. Putting up the tree with traditional carols on the stereo with family. Like Steph, I also sang in choirs all through school and in my high school years, there was the Annual tradition of playing Sleigh Ride in Orchestra. I played Cello - the best instrument of course -and clearly remember the raves from the parents about how good we were and my baby brother rolling his eyes. My acting debut in school also was filled with music of THE Holy Night persuasion. My role? The Virgin Mary. To those who know me and can't stop laughing... not a word. ;)

So, what Christmas tunes do I love?

The Little Drummer Boy - Performed by Bing Crosby and David Bowie. Just the juxtoposition of these two Icons and how their voices seamlessly blend... a perennial fave. Last Christmas, I was fortunate to attend Sean Cullen's Christmas 'Sean Schau' and enjoyed a live version of this tune performed by Sean Cullen and Chris Murphy from Sloan. It was awesome. Two red mittened thumbs up on that action!

Santa Baby - Performed by Eartha Kitt. Need I say more? Eartha brings a sexy vibe to this that no one can match. Madonna is just a poser on her version.

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - By Miss Brenda Lee. A TOTAL guilty pleasure. Bouncy and fun... the featured tune in pretty much all Company Christmas parties over the years.

Merry Christmas Baby - By Otis Redding. Otis is was and will always be The Man.

From the Modern Era, I remember the first time I heard 'Do They Know it's Christmas' which featured almost all my 80's musical heros. It still sends a tingle down my spine so many years later. It was a palatable way to bring awareness of the devastation in Africa and brought much needed attention. Did it solve famine and other social ills? No. But it was the first time I remember thinking it was cool to care and try and do our part to help others.

I really enjoyed The Hour's Christmas Music Special last year and the highlight was definitely Fairytale of New York... performed by The Mahones and Damhnait Doyle. I've loved this song for years and admit I was a bit reluctant because of course the original artists - The Pogues and the late Kirsty MacColl weren't on the stage. Not a traditional tune of course, but amazing.

So, I'll close my part with a lyric...

"So Happy Christmas I love you baby, I can see a better time, when all our Dreams come true. "

Hopefully this rings true for one and all this Holiday Season - I wish all our readers a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2009.

Now, I must retire to make the Perogies... I've been 'proroging' it for too long. Sorry... don't get political, don't get political....

Cheers to all.... Tracy

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Hour this week Dec 21-26

The Strombo Show live from The Edge
Strombo Show every Sunday afternoon from 5-8pm EST (2-5PT) on 102.1 The Edge (Toronto), 99.3 The Fox (Vancouver), Power 97 (Winnipeg), Y108 (Hamilton), and FM96 (London).
On the Strombo show this week The Artist Life will be playing live. Snow permitting.

The Hour Christmas and Hanukkah week
includes many of this years best interviews.
Monday December 22, 2008
These are the Dave's we know...
Do you recall George's interview with the interviewer?
Sir David Frost

Super Dave Osborne
the greatest daredevil superstar entertainer of all time...

David Foster
david foster
  • Birth Name: David Walter Foster
  • Birth Place: Victoria, BC
  • Profession: Producer; composer; songwriter; musician
Tuesday December 23, 2008
Mafiaboy was interviewed by George on The Hour first.

plus you can't miss (even for a second time)
A very sweet interview with one of Canada's most widely-read authors Farley Mowat
Plus a riveting chat with director
Spike Lee

Wednesday December 24, 2008
George interviews another amazing interviewer.
Barbara Walters

Journalist, writer, and media personality.
Gordon Ramsay
Chef, Author, TV host and teacher.

and singer Michael Bublé

Thursday December 25, 2008
Merry Christmas!
George sits down with
Paul Martin
Former Liberal Leader and Prime Minister

Favourite sport to play: Golf

and an interview (I enjoyed more than I expected) with
Valerie Bertinelli

This man got a standing ovation at the taping.
Bob Newhart
Here is a clip of a classic Bob Newhart sketch

Friday December 26, 2008
Lee Thomas
"I'm a black man turning white on television and people can see it," says Thomas, an anchor and entertainment reporter for the local Fox Broadcasting Company affiliate

Bill Maher
Author, Comedian and television host.
Maher is known for his political satire and sociopolitical commentary.

Did you know Newton played the character "Andy Walker" in two episodes of the TV series Bonanza.

Happy Holidays!

The Season of Giving... and Eating

At this time of year when we're all preparing to sit down and feast with family and friends, food always seems to be an integral part of the celebrations.  But for some people, putting food on the table is an on-going struggle as they try to survive in uncertain economic times. 

Food Banks Canada, formerly the Canadians Association of Food Banks, does an annual report on hunger in Canada titled HungerCount 2008.  Their report shows that since 1997, an average of 700 000 people request food bank services and between a third and half of those who need the services are children.

Many people are surprised to hear that it's not just the unemployed or those on assistance who access food banks, but that many people who have jobs are also using food bank services.  The reason is that many jobs do not pay enough to cover all the necessities; often some Canadians are forced to choose between paying their housing costs or putting food on the table.  And now the number of working people who access food banks is growing, as costs go up and the stability of some job sectors remains uncertain. 

It's so important that at this time of year we celebrate and gift those we love, but we should also think of those in our communities who may not be as fortunate we are.  Food banks need donations to make sure that every person or family who walks through their doors can have good, healthy food on their tables.    

Your local food bank is always looking for the following basic items:

Peanut Butter
Whole Grain Cereal
Dried pasta and Tomato sauce 
Macaroni and cheese
Canned fruits and vegetables
Canned meat or fish
Lentils and beans
Canned soups or stew
Healthy snack items (such as granola bars)
Tetra pak, canned, or powdered milk
Personal hygiene items
Baby formula, food and diapers

Your local food bank may have specific needs, so check with your local food drives to find out if they need any particular items.  Food banks also need fresh items, such as dairy, meat and produce, so if you are unable to donate food, a financial donation will enable the food bank to purchase these items.

Have a happy and festive holiday season, and I hope everyone is warm, well-loved and can feast and enjoy the blessings of the year.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Music, Moguls and Mouthpieces...Oh My.

It's beginning to look a lot like a lot like the non-denominational wintertime seasonal celebration and merriment extravaganza! 'Happy' whatever you might celebrate. My favourite is still Festivus. In the words of Frank Costanza - 'I got a lot of problems with you people'.

The Strombo Show is LIVE this week and features an in studio performance of the most excellent Sebastien Grainger - formerly of Death From Above 1979.

Sebastien is now fronting his own outfit, fittingly called Sebastien Grainger and the Mountains. Not to be confused with Mountain! Sebastien is taking part in the cross Canada benefit tour Jingle Bell Rock - the next stop happens on the 15th at the Burton Cummings auditorium located of course in Winnipeg. The tour continues to migrate West. Other performers include Metric, Tokyo Police Club and The Dears.

Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains

Check out the best in a new genre called 'F-Rock'.

Back in TV Land on The Hour - a terrific variety of guests will grace the Red Chairs this week - chairs thankfully left unscathed by the visit of the original furniture jumper himself, Tom Cruise. Whew... can you imagine trying to replace the chairs this close to Christmas?

Monday December 15th

Don Cherry

Canadian Icon... masterful pitchman and snappy dresser Don Cherry joins George for a chat.

Don shoots from the lip. Oh how I'd love if the topic of one Sean Avery should arise. Remember he dared to slam Grapes in HIS interview with The Hour?

In the Series The Greatest Canadian - Don finished 7th. He is currently promoting the new book Don Cherry's Hockey Stories and Stuff.

Divine Brown
What's in a name? If you're Divine Brown, a whole lot. Her voice is pure expression, elegance, range and power. She is - in a word - Divine.

She's been at the music game for some time now, working away to develop her sound and her brand. She's even dared to remake a Joni Mitchell classic... and pulled it off masterfully. Pop wannabes and flavour of the month performers should take note. Divine has staying power.

Her latest release is called The Love Chronicles.

Tuesday December 16th

Eric Chivian

A part of the Green Machine...Eric Chivian is a physician with Harvard Medical School and the author of the book Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity.

Apparently, the book is written in language that's easily digested by academics and lay people alike and paints a sobering picture of how human health and sustainability of our species depends on the earth's ecology.

A little light reading? Not likely. Important reading? Definitely.

Brian McKnight
Girls... hold on to something cause here comes the voice...

Most noted for the single, Back at One, R & B performer Brian McKnight has collaborated with big voiced Divas like Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey and the sublime Mary J. Blige to Puffy to Josh Groban - Brian is now promoing a Christmas disc...

Wednesday, December 17th

Arkadi Kuhlmann

CEO of ING Direct - the undisputed leader in the field of the branchless bank concept. His business is growing exponentially and competitors are scrambling to compete.

On a society that has handed out credit cards like trading cards, Kulhmann has remarked that they are the 'Opium of Consumerism.'

The best question George could pose - "Have you ever been tempted to sucker punch the annoying 'Save Your Money' guy from your ads?"

Malcolm McDowell

Clockwork Orange. That seminal Stanley Kubrick masterpiece alone would establish Malcolm McDowell as an Icon.

Scanning the man's IMDB page could cause carpal tunnel. He has done it all. Film, episodic television and his current turn as Dr. Calico in the new animated film Bolt.

Thursday December 18th

Parminder Singh & Harnarayan Singh

Hockey Night in Canada --- in Punjabi. Can we get a shout out Brampton? Holler...

Singh Squared have been delivering the broadcast to the Punjabi speaking community since last year's Stanley Cup playoffs and the interest is growing.

How great to bring Canada's game to a wider variety of fans who can now enjoy the game with colour commentary in their native tongue.

Apparently - the Punjabi word for Ice is `barf' so describing an icing call is a challenge.

December 19th

Welcome to Friday... the your guess is as good as mine day. No guests have been announced as of yet. Check out The Hour's website for the latest lineup changes.

One Million Acts of Green Update...

551,769 acts and counting. Don`t forget that new options are being added so if you`ve already registered your acts, why not check back on the OMAOG website... perhaps there`s more you`ve done to top up your total! Donating clothing is a relatively new entry - so many of us do this on an automatic and regular basis. Recycling your tree will be a big one too.

So... enjoy the week, The Strombo Show, The Hour and whatever else you may get up to!

Monday, December 08, 2008

This Week on The Hour......TOM CRUISE! "You had me at hello"

Mon, Dec 8
Phil Esposito

Phil Esposito Pictures, Images and Photos
Hockey legend

Jamie Kennedy
jamie didn\'t see that Pictures, Images and Photos

Tues, Dec 9
THE HOUR Special with Tom Cruise

I'm holding out for a cold opening of George & Tom doing their rendition of "Old Time Rock N' Roll"
Hee hee......

Wed, Dec 10
Gary Hirshberg

President of Stonyfield Farm, green advocate & author of
'Stirring It Up: How To Make Money And Save The World.'

Tony Bennett
Bennett Tony Bennett Pictures, Images and Photos
The one & only

Thur, Dec 11
Larry Beinhart

Author of 'Wag The Dog' has a new book called
'Salvation Boulevard' - a murder/satire, with an undertone of targeting organized religion.

Burton Cummings

Rock N' Roll Legend

Fri, Dec 12
Mariane Pearl
Author & journalist who became a widow in 2002 after her husband Daniel Pearl, a journalist for Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in Pakistan.

Tony Bennett
Did ya know that on his '98 album 'The Playground', he recorded Kermit's song; "Being Green"?
*jazz-beat finger snap* "It's not that easy being green......."

BUT, it IS easy to record YOUR acts of green! (How's that for a segway!?!)
Check out: One Million Acts Of Green.
A campaign to bring about awareness and action in doing our part to help the environment, one act at a time.