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

Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Canada Day!!!

Early in 2008, artist, author and filmmaker Douglas Coupland paid a visit to The Hour. At that time he was promoting his book The Gum Thief and the television adaptation of another of one his works, jPod, airing on CBC. On the eve of our great Nation's 141st Birthday, I would like to draw your attention to another Coupland's a story close to's the unique story of us...Canadians.

Souvenir of Canada is compilation of not one, but two books and a rather quirky documentary that chronicles Coupland's journey "to find out what makes Canadians, Canadians". The back-story on the project is rather interesting. In 2002 Coupland published the art/essay book Souvenir of Canada. In 2004 an exhibition of his work relating to this project, entitled Canada House opened at the Design Exchange in Toronto. The exhibit was billed as "art and design objects contemplating the notion of Canada" and coincided with the release of the second book, Souvenir of Canada 2. In the fall of that year, the exhibition hit the road and headed to The Canadian High Commission, Canada House in Trafalgar Square, London. The documentary (released in 2006 and now on dvd) is the story of how Coupland created his exhibit using those everyday objects that are familiar to us as Canadians, yet set us apart from those who are not. The documentary is simply brilliant and you will most certainly catch yourself yelling at your television as you see those objects that define us and our country. If you check out the books and/or dvd, you'll know what Douglas Coupland's idea of Canadiana is...tell us yours!
Have you ever used sofa cushions & duct tape to make homemade goalie pads?

To all our readers, near and far, Happy Canada Day!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Hour This First Week Of July

The Strombo Show is a Best of because George is on the Road heading to California....He should be there by now.
He posted a few pictures on facebook like this one of him and Adam, from the road.

On The Hour This week you will be able to catch

Monday June 30th
Cyndi Lauper and Barbara Walters

Tuesday July 1st
The Author Michael Pollan and
a man who is always handy
Mike Holmes

Wednesday July 2nd

Paul Potts

Ronnie Hawkins and Iman

Thursday, June 26, 2008

When the same guest is on The Hour and on Q...

...does it get boring?

Let me put it this way... say you want to make dessert and you have chocolate. So you make brownies using that chocolate and you get
Sex In A Pan Now someone else wants to make another kind of brownie sensation and they will be using chocolate as well so they create Death By Chocolate Trifle . Let's say that Jamie Oliver is the chocolate, and George and Jian are preparing the dessert.

Let's start with The Hour and Jamie Oliver.
Here is the first taste, aka the opener.

And the whole dish can be found

lets do Qtv and Jamie Oliver with Jian Ghomeshi.

I find that the two interviews, and the one skit, all showed me something different about Jamie Oliver.

He certainly has a great sense of humour, is humble, cares about young people and can cook healthy meals. If you knew him already you may have known that... but it was still fascinating to watch and listen to him on the Q interview; chuckling and talking about the serious issues of food or being humble about how he helps underprivileged kids learn to be chefs.

Many of the same points are highlighted in both interviews but it feels, looks and tastes different.
On The Hour, in the opener, Jamie shows he can play with his food and is a great sport. In the interview, George gets him to open up about his family, his history and covers some of the same things Jian hits on but shows some new textures to Jamie Oliver. Both interviews are smooth, and filling and you may want another taste... You can compare other Q and The Hour interviews by exploring the links and tuning in. Enjoy!

Some of you may be wondering why a
radio show like Q is on youtube and QTV and podcasting and everywhere... maybe that is where radio is going now CBC Radio 3 is doing the same. The future of radio is here. Speaking of the future there is a bit more news about Q with a shift in time. Beginning in September, CBC Radio’s arts show Q will follow The Current, and air from 10 to 11:30 a.m. with a two-hour expanded broadcast on Friday mornings. Q will continue to air at 10 p.m. (10:30 p.m. NT) each weeknight., and Jian Ghomeshi will continue to host. You can read the rest of the details here from one of my favourite websites, insidetheCBC.

Now lets get back to dessert. Who do you think is Sex In A Pan, and who is Death By Chocolate Trifle? And does it matter when they are both very tasty?
I was hungry and listening to Q when I wrote this... the options expressed in this post are my own, not everyone may share my love of chocolate.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Who will be on Canada's Hockey Anthem Challenge?

Hockey needs a new anthem and if you think you have it in you to compose one register here.

"Between now and October, we invite musicians to create and everyone in the country to help us select the perfect new music to represent the most famous hockey broadcast in the world," says Scott Moore, executive director of CBC Sports. He goes on to say "Our team of experts and judges will represent a cross-section of the country's musical and hockey talent," Moore says. "We'll be making some more announcements shortly about those personalities. We're going to create just the right mix to ensure we come up with a winner that's both musically exceptional and appealing to the all-Canadian hockey fan. The winning theme will capture the essence of our national sport, provide a sign post for great hockey programming and excite fans from coast to coast to coast."

According to The Globe and Mail The panel, which will include Tyler Stewart of the Barenaked Ladies, Hockey Night's Don Cherry and The Hour's George Stroumboulopoulos as host, will critique the entries, similar to the way the judges on American Idol make their evaluations. And then, with help from the viewing audience, two finalists will be selected.

We had a good chat about Hockey Themes earlier this month but now the promos for the HNIC theme song contest on CBC are featuring George, and we are waiting to hear officially, what his involvement in the project will be.

The contest started on June 20th and Canadians may submit their songs up
until 11:59 pm August 31st 2008.
The specials will start on Saturday,October 4 when they present the five semi-
finalists to the country. The following week, two finalists will be revealed
at the beginning of CBC's Hockey Night In Canada doubleheader on Thursday,
Oct. 9
. Fans will have the opportunity to cast their vote for the ultimate
winner and the new theme will be revealed on Saturday, October 11th.

Strombo, Sexsmith & Re-run-a-palooza!


Summer is finally upon us... flowers planted, vacation plans are taking shape, countdown to the end of school on red alert for our many teacher friends. The humidex has had a few test spins with many many more to come. The most disturbing sign of summer also greeted me on my cruise down the highway today - seeing people's raggedy, toe jammy feet up on the passenger's dash. UGH. Please. No one needs to see that people...

On the first Sunday of Summer - I can't think of a better way to kick off things than to have a listen to the radio - Tune into the Strombo Show tonight from 5-8PM EST on the Corus Radio Network.

George will welcome Ron Sexsmith live in studio for an acoustic performance and chat.

To say I am a fan of Ron is an understatement of epic proportions. Ron's innate musicality, brilliant and touching lyrics are inspired and in turn inspire other artists. Bono. Paul McCartney. Elvis Costello. Feist. Duet partner Chris Martin. The list is HUGE!

Humble about his talent and supportive of emerging artists such as Luke Doucet and Justin Rutledge (Ron sings background vocals on Penny for the Band on Justin's new disc- Man Descending) Ron also supports friends by coming out to play small shows where a handshake and a thanks is his only reward. Ok - maybe a handshake and a Guinness.

A musician friend of mine was blown away when Ron worked out a flourish for him on a tune he was working on with their mutual producer, Mitchell Froom. I thought my friend would pass out when I informed him that not only had Ron seen his cover of "God Loves Everyone" on Youtube - he thought it was excellent. As I recently expressed to a dear friend, Ron is generous with his Time and Treasure. Ron will headline a Gilda's Club benefit at the Drake Hotel in Toronto on Tuesday June 24th. For those strolling through First Canadian Place @ 12:15 earlier that day - Ron will be there live.

I have seen him perform live numerous times in venues of all sizes and am eagerly awaiting his 11th release - Exit Strategy of the Soul - which will drop on Canada Day. Also... my tickets for his Massey Hall May 3rd show - moved to October 23rd - taunt me daily.

Among Ron's legion of fans is the aforementioned Elvis Costello. Elvis' endorsement of Ron's self titled 1995 disc just may have saved his career. This debut disc included the gorgeous 'Secret Heart' - famously covered by Feist.

At a Blue Rodeo and Friends' Show in 2007 - a US club tour featuring Blue Rodeo, Ron, Luke Doucet, Justin Rutledge and Oh Susanna (also known as the best damn $20 I've ever spent) Ron remarked that he hoped Feist's cover of Secret Heart would sell a ton so 'I can move to Jim Cuddy's neighbourhood" Jim's reply? "Dream on Ron, Dream On"

Someday Ron.... someday.

Re-Run-A-Palooza Kicks off Monday on The Hour!

Monday June 23rd

Catherine O'Hara

Amazingly talented, effervescent comedienne Catherine O'Hara counts as a favourite for me and I hope for you also! A charming and lovely interview.

From her start on SCTV, to playing Kevin's mom in the Home Alone movies and her brilliant turns in Christoper Guest's films. Catherine is incredible.
As Best in Show's Cookie Guggelman Fleck? Come on - it just doesn't get better than that!

Everyone Loves Catherine.

Bryan Adams
In the category of least favourite interviews falls Bryan Adams. You may disagree...

Proof that not all Vegans possess a peaceful or even remotely pleasant demeanour. Bryan is cranky, George is unwilling to stoop or pander to his mood and has subsequently been unwilling to slam Bryan. It's interesting to see the dynamic. A publicist's nightmare.

Masochists at The Hour are airing this gem for the fourth or fifth time now.

Somebody might Love Bryan.

Tuesday June 24th

Carlo Rota

One of the busiest actors around, Carlo Rota is a favourite guest on The Hour. Whether on 24, Little Mosque on the Prairie or on an old fave - the Great Canadian Food Show - Carlo is more than engaging. For those who love the Classics - Rota recently filmed a version of Othello. Yes, a little lighthearted fare for you!

Jason Priestley

Actor, producer, documentary film maker and new dad. Jason Priestley has enjoyed a prolific career since his Beverly Hills 90210 days...

So ... as the team of The Hour takes a bit of a breather before launching into furious preparations for Season 5, they'll be revisiting many of their favourite episodes. Perhaps some of your favourites and LEAST favourites will make it on air over the next few weeks. Things can - as ever - turn on a dime so for the latest on what's airing when - visit The Hour's Website.

Have a lovely summer - we'll keep posting fresh info as we get it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Honorary Degree from Humber College

George Stroumboulopoulos was a recipient of one of five honorary degrees awarded this week by Humber College. The other recipients include Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, General Manager of Toronto's Children's Services, Brenda Patterson; the founder of Husky Injection Molding Systems, Robert Schad; and retired Hilton Executive Chef Albert Schnell.
A bio from a press release dated June 16, 2008 said:

Currently host of Gemini Award-winning, The Hour, the only late night talk show in Canada, George Stroumboulopoulos is a broadcast veteran with more than 15 yearsof experience in radio and television. Mr. Stroumboulopoulos has interviewed many of the most influential and recognized people in the world including Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Bono, Mohamed Al Fayed, Jesse Jackson, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Bob Geldof. A graduate of Humber’s Radio Broadcasting program, he became one of the first inductees to the Radio Humber Hall of Fame in April 2007.

According to an article dated June 19th, George told the graduating students:

"First off, you have to love what you do. I say congratulations to all the kids who came here, did the course and graduated, but if it was just what mom and dad wanted them to do, then I say don't waste your time. Even if you like it, that's not enough. That sounds harsh, but that's just the casualties of the business; there's too many sacrifices to family and home life, so you really have to love it and be committed to it."

The rest of the article can be found on
This is George's second honorary degree. The first was awarded by the University of Calgary in November 2007.
Congratulations George!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

George already has too many friends...

I'm a subscriber to the blog and this blog entry was waiting in my Outlook this morning. Maybe I'm somewhat twisted or just really, really tired, but the error they got when trying to befriend George on Facebook gave me a bit of a chuckle.

Is this a reoccurring theme? The Hour did a cold open about the very same topic back when Feist appeared on The Hour in May.

I used to frequent a message board that would give snarky/silly errors when you caused an error or when the board (inevitably) broke down. It would tell users things like "AHA! We caught you being sneaky!" or "Does your Mom know that you're doing that?". Dumb little sentences, but at least it's more interesting than your typical message board error.

Make sure you check out, there's a lot of really interesting information that comes out on there.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bill C-61: A New Reality for Copyright?

Since the Federal Government revealed their amendments to the Copyright laws last Thursday, I've been trying to wrap my head around what it all means to the average (or not so average) consumer in Canada. I have one word for the whole thing: clusterf*ck. Harsh? Probably. Accurate? Probably. The new laws are a bit of a mind bender, so grab a beverage and a snack, make yourself comfy, and let's try and make some sense of what the government wants to do.

Bill C-61 is a set of amendments to the Copyright Act, ratifiying the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty in a similar manner the United States did in 1996 with their Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). These amendments are the followup to the announcement made in the 2007 Speech from the Throne, where the government promised to bring the current Copyright Act up to speed with the digital media world. While many within the media industry believe that these amendments are long overdue, others see this as the result of a not so quiet campaign by the Americans to bring Canada into step with their own digital copyright model, considered one of the toughest in the world. Michael Geist has a very interesting point of view on this in an article dated June 16th in the Toronto Star:

The public campaign was obvious. U.S. ambassador to Canada David Wilkins was outspoken on the copyright issue, characterizing Canadian copyright law as the weakest in the G7 (despite the World Economic Forum ranking it ahead of the U.S.). The U.S. Trade Representatives Office (USTR) made Canada a fixture on its Special 301 Watch list, an annual compilation of countries the U.S. believes have sub-standard intellectual property laws. The full list contains nearly 50 countries accounting for 4.4 billion people or approximately 70 per cent of the world's population.
Most prominently, last year U.S. senators Dianne Feinstein and John Cornyn, along with California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, escalated the rhetoric on Canadian movie piracy, leading to legislative reform that took just three weeks to complete. The private campaign was even more important. Sources say that U.S. officials, emboldened by the successful campaign for anti-camcording legislation, upped the ante at the Security and Prosperity Partnership meeting in Quebec last summer. Canadian officials arrived ready to talk about a series of economic concerns but were quickly rebuffed by their U.S. counterparts, who indicated that progress on other issues would depend upon action on the copyright file. Those demands were echoed earlier by the USTR, which, according to documents obtained under the Access to Information Act, made veiled threats about "thickening the border" between Canada and the U.S. if Canada refused to put copyright reform on the legislative agenda.

But on the other hand, some in the industry are applauding the amendments. According to a press release dated June 12th, the Canadian Intellectual Property Council is "pleased to support the overall principles of Bill C-61". According to the CIPC, the new law is a good idea because:

It is also essential that the federal government strengthen the current legislative framework by: clearly stipulating trade-mark counterfeiting as a specific criminal offence under the Trade-marks Act; amending the Criminal Code to criminalize intentional possession of counterfeit goods for thepurpose of sale. Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors also need better laws that provide a greater ability to combat product counterfeiting and piracy. Customs officials need to have new powers, and the associated additional resources, to search suspected shipments for
counterfeit goods at the border and to communicate with intellectual property
rights holders to allow for effective criminal, civil and/or administrative
enforcement and deterrence against distribution of counterfeit and pirated products.

One of the major concerns is that violators could be struck with massive fines, from $500 for downloading a file to $20000 for distributing a file. While this may appear that the bill gives facility to the Industry to sue any and all violators, but some industry insiders see it differently. In a Reuters story dated June 12th, the President of the Canadian Independent Record Production Association, Duncan McKie claims:

"We're not that concerned about people in their basements sharing a few files here and there. Obviously to pursue those people would be very difficult and very expensive."

"We'd only be concerned with the most egregious violators, people who try to make a business out of the trade and infringement of materials"

So what's in store for media users in Canada? Here's a quick rundown:

  • You can copy music once from an unprotected CD to your iPod or Computer, as long as you're the owner of the device and the CD. You cannot copy borrowed or rented materials
  • You can copy a book, magazine or newspaper that you've purchased, but you can't distribute the copies.
  • You can record television shows on a personal recorder, but you cannot create a library by storing them for an extended period of time.
  • You cannot post copyrighted material (video, photographs, etc.) on the web (ie: Facebook, YouTube, MySpace etc.) without the permission of the copyright holder.
  • You cannot copy music and give it to someone else. (in other words, Operation Disc Drop could be considered illegal)
  • You cannot make more than one copy or recording of a television show.
  • You cannot break through the digital locks on any media to access the protected content, unless you are disabled or an "encryption researcher".
  • You cannot provide the tools used to circumnavigate digital locks on copyright protected material.

Since the House is scheduled to go on Summer break shortly, we won't see much progression on this Bill over the next few months. In the meantime, let the government know what you think about this new bill, by contacting Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Minister of Industry Jim Prentice and your local Member of Parliament.

Let us know what you think about these proposed amendments. Do you love them? Hate them? We're going to stay on top of this, and we'll bring you updates in the coming months.

Monday, June 16, 2008

This Week on The Hour.....

Augusten Burroughs
Augusten Burroughs
The bestselling author ('Running With Scissors') talks about his new book 'A Wolf At The Table', a memoir of his father.

Dave Foley
Dave Foley
Best known for his work in The Kids In The Hall, Newsradio & Celebrity Poker Showdown.

Tues, June 17
George interviews acclaimed British rock band Coldplay in a full hour special.

Wed, June 18
Rick Mercer
Political satirist & host of CBC's 'The Rick Mercer Report'

George St. Pierre
Canadian mixed martial arts fighter

The Foo Fighters
foo fighters
American alternative rock band.

Thur, June 19
Valerie Bertinelli
Valerie Bertinelli

Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh

Fri, June 20
According to CBC-TV schedule:

~George interviews actor John Cusack and Emmy Award-winning actress Doris Roberts (Everybody Loves Raymond).

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Get to the Point: Make Poverty History

*Earlier this week, Make Poverty History launched a new ad campaign urging Canadians to speak out to convince the Federal government to make Canada a leader in irradicating poverty around the world by simply standing by a promise made years ago: commit 0.7% of the Gross National Income (GNI) to foreign aid and development.

In 1968, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson became the Chairman of the Commission on International Development, a United Nations committee whose mission was to analyse previous development assistance programs and make concrete suggestions for what the world could do to lessen the disparity of wealth amongst the nations. After a year of constant travel around the world, consulting both wealthy nations and nations receiving aid, the Commission published their report "Partners in Development" (also known as The Pearson Commission Report). At the heart of this report was the concept that all nations must work together, as partners, if developmental aid was to succeed. It is this report that coined the concept that foreign aid is a feasible task requiring a constant flow of income from the wealthy nations that would be equivalent to 0.7% of their GNI. And living up to Canada's international reputation as compassionate and caring, the government of the day immediately made the commitment to allocate the necessary funds.
Unfortunately, over the past four decades, Canada has not kept their promise. Over the years, we've come close to allocating the full 0.7% (the closest being 0.53% in 1975) but we've yet to actually hit the target. In fact, we're averaging less than 0.3% of our GNI. We're far behind other wealthy nations including the Netherlands and Norway, who give 0.81% and 0.95% respectively.

K-os: one of the many Canadian celebrities participating in the Get to the Point campaign.
The new ad campaign is part of a call to action leading up to the next G8 summit in Japan in July, where one of the main topics of discussion will be the member nation's contribution to foreign aid. By meeting the target, Canadians could become world leaders in the battle against global poverty. The ad campaign (created by ad agency Taxi on a pro bono basis) is endorses by a wide selection of Canadian celebrities including: Feist, Chantal Kreviazuk, Sam Roberts, Gord Downie, Sarah McLachlan, Tom Cochrane, K-OS, Billy Talent, Jann Arden, Suzie McNeil and George Stroumboulopoulos.
From a press release dated June 11, 2008:
"We're at a critical juncture in the battle against global poverty," says Gerry Garr, Chair of the Make Poverty History campaign. "If every nation that has promised to sign onto the .7 campaign follows through on its word, we can stave off a much larger global disaster that many experts think will come our way if we don't act now."
How can you get involved? Make a statement. Go to Make Poverty History to tell Prime Minister Harper and your local MP that they need to commit to the promise we made to the world. By signing up with the Point Seven campaign, you can send a message to the government, telling them, "Get to the Point!" and publically commit to finally keep the promise that Pearson first made so many decades ago.
You can also view the ad on The Hour website.

Hockey Themes

This editorial cartoon appeared in the Globe and Mail on Saturday the 7th 0f June
Because it has George Stroumboulopoulos in it, we decided to talk about the HNIC theme drama.
I don't have any comments about the cartoon itself except to say I have heard George play piano
but never heard him play the pits before.

Na na Na na Na naaaa!
I thought hockey season was over when the Habs were out of the series. For me there was no need to focus on it until next season right? Wrong, because there was hockey contest happenings at The Hour to get you in box seats with George at a Leafs game (won by Stephanie Page of QC, Congrats to Stephanie and if you need a fourth person I am not doing anything that night) Also there was another hockey contest being announced by the CBC. A contest for composers to create a new Hockey Night in Canada theme song.
Lots of drama that involve music, money, and lack there of, sports, national pride and egos.

The story changes every day. Wikipedia seems to have it covered best though.

The theme was written in 1968 by Dolores Claman, the composer that laid a golden egg by creating the Hockey Night in Canada Theme music. Good for her. It's a very stirring piece that evokes a lot of emotions for hockey fanatics and hockey casuals alike. No question it stirs excitement and pride in the hearts of many Canadians and may make some Canadians thirsty for beer...

I like to peruse the non traditional news sources like insidethecbc for their take on the growing story. On the 5th of June they reported HNIC Theme use still being negotiated
On June 6 th they reported that It's Done: Hockey night in Canada theme is gone.
On June 9th it was being renegotiated and then the same day CTV just comes out like a sugar daddy and offers the musician what she wants. A ton of money honey. What was it 2.5 to 3 Million ? Yeah thanks CTV ! You saved it for all Canadians (that have cable and get TSN). Now each time I hear the theme I will remember what it cost, and what CBC lost. To me it feels a bit tainted now. But to be honest I don't know how I will feel hearing the new theme brought about by a music contest.

You can let us know what you think of this musical drama or you can let the CBC or CTV know your views.

Now back to hockey The Hour style... no HNIC theme needed.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Walking the Line 101 with Mansbridge and Walters

It’s an interesting dynamic when a journalist or media personality is in unfamiliar territory. Savvy professionals who understand the process of interviewing and are conscious of protecting their image and reputation, they often try and control the flow – to their detriment. On The Hour, George often interviews those who are used to firing the questions – not answering them.

Canada’s News Anchor – Peter Mansbridge (Sorry Lloyd) is a semi-regular guest on The Hour and presents himself as a man of intelligence and humour. Peter brings informed perspective to issues facing Canadians, clarity and context to how world affairs affect or will affect our lives. He’ll gamely share an anecdote or two then he’ll tuck himself back in the comfort of his anchor chair at The National. Peter knows how to play the game.

Mansbridge, who will receive an honourary Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.) on Monday from The University of Western Ontario (Go Stangs!) reflects in the London Free Press on the mixed blessing of being viewed as both a celebrity and a journalist. Says Peter “I think all of us who get that feel a little awkward, because it’s kind of silly” he goes on to say “I tend to get my phone calls answered fairly quickly, which is handy” No doubt.

Coming up this week on The Hour – Iconic journalist Barbara Walters takes a seat in the Red Chair and the interviewer becomes the interviewee once more – to incredible results.

Throughout her career, Barbara, with varying degrees of support from colleagues - from zero to hero - has broken through all barriers to interview world leaders of every stripe, booked the biggest guests - many of the great thinkers of our time. Authors, athletes, artists - people who have shaped history and the human experience on all levels have been her subjects. She’s led a rich & exciting career path.

Walters is on a massive publicity swing and is adeptly balancing the fine line between journalist and celebrity as she promotes her autobiography ‘Audition’.

Of course, the salacious details of her affair with a married African American Senator (back in the 70’s) have captured all the headlines.
Sex sells and Barbara is no dummy. Does it come up in her interview on The Hour? Hmmm.

I don't watch The View as my desire to fling random objects at my television when faced with the prospect of listening to the incredibly banal Elisabeth Hasselbeck are overwhelming. During the Barbara and Hugh era of 20/20, I was a dedicated viewer. Her Oscar and Most Fascinating People specials are guilty pleasure viewing though I have to say – Barbara. Please.
Justin Timberlake. Fascinating? Really? Just tell me you lost a bet and it's forgotten.

It’s not our role to tell readers what to do. You’re intelligent people and probably ridiculously
good looking, so I will only ‘strongly urge’ you to catch the upcoming interview with Barbara currently scheduled to air June 10th. I attended the taping and was most impressed with Ms. Walters as were my fellow audience members. They taped two long segments that feature great range both topically and emotionally – a fluid and enjoyable conversation. Barbara is Eloquent. Candid. Funny. Flawed. Human. Awesome.

I will tease a little something. Yes – the amazing Gilda Radner’s parody ‘Baba Wawa’ is discussed as is a particularly wrenching childhood experience that you will have to hear about to believe. Jeep rides, professional jealousies and the dilemma of mixing motherhood with career make for a great convo. In my ‘View’, if an interview can make me want to carve out a few hours I don’t have to spare to read a 600+ page memoir – well done.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Get ready... it's the last week of Season Four!

Well kiddos, even if the calendar says it's still spring, I think we can safely say that the summer weather has arrived. Drag your radios and your television out on to the patio becaue it's an action-packed week in the world of The Strombo Show and The Hour, with a wide variety of guests and topics to discuss.

As always, our week starts with three of the best hours of radio on The Strombo Show...
This week on The Strombo Show,
Dallas Green will be down at The Edge studios in Toronto for an interview with George as he gears up to headline the Roger's Picnic in Toronto this July with his solo project City & Colour.
Not only that, but George and crew will be giving away tickets to the Roger's Picnic!

The Strombo Show airs Sundays from 5-8 EDT (2-5 PDT) on 102.1 The Edge in Toronto, Y108 in Hamilton, FM96 in London, Power 97 in Winnipeg and 99.3 The Fox in Vancouver.

Want to talk to George on the show? Call him during the show at 1-866-967-3343. If you haven't already, make sure you join The Strombo Show's Facebook Group. And check out the conversation that takes place on George's MySpace every Sunday night.

And coming up on The Hour this week...

Monday, June 9th

Salman Rushdie

As the author of nine novels, Salman Rushdie is probably best known for the controversy and violence sparked by his novel The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushie is a celebrated Indo-British novelist whose work is described as "magical realism". Rushdie lived in secret for years, because of the fatwa placed on his head by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeni, the Supreme leader of Iran, for alledgedly blaspheming Islam. While the fatwa was "officially called off" in 1998, to help repair diplomatic relations between Iran and Britain, certain groups still wish to kill him. Earlier this year, Rushdie released his latest novel, The Enchantress of Florence, a mystery and a love story about a woman trying to create her own destiny in a male dominated world. Rushdie is in Toronto to promote the book, and will appear at the Danforth Music Hall at 7pm, to read a passage from the new novel. Tickets are still available through Ticketmaster.

Brian Dennehy

Brian Dennehy is a veteran actor of stage, screen and television. As a versatile character actor, Dennehy is drawn to, but not limited to roles of powerful, corrupt men. His filmography includes movies like Rambo, Cocoon, F/X, Tommy Boy and recently, Ratatouille. He's been nominated for six Emmy awards for his work in television, including the 2005 television movie Our Fathers, which dealt with the Catholic Church's sex scandal. Dennehy has also created a name for himself on the stage, winning two Tony Awards for his lead roles in Death of a Salesman and Long Day's Journey into Night. This summer, he's a member of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival's company of players, appearing as the King of France in Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well and a double bill of Samuel Becket's Krapp's Last Tape and Eugene O'Neill's Hughie.

Tuesday, June 10th
Barbara Walters

A fixture of American television since the 1960s, Barbara Walters has blazed the trail for all future female newscasters by breaking down many of the barriers into the male dominated business. Starting out as a copywriter, she first appeared on air as NBC's "Today Girl" covering fluff assignments eventually moving up to reporter-at-large, developing and writing her own assignments and interviews for the Today Show. In the late 70s, she became the first woman to ever co-host the evening news and over the decades has built a career around her exclusive interviews, celebrity specials and as a commentator on ABC's 20/20 and a variety of ABC News Specials. Walters is also the co-creator and co-executive producer of the Daytime Talkshow The View, which is currently in its eleventh season. In the past few years, Walters has been at the centre of a lot of controversy regarding The View, regarding the tumultuous departures of Star Jones-Reynolds and Rosie O'Donnell. Last month, Walters released her autobiography, Audition: A Memoir.
Paul Polak

For the past 25 years, Paul Polak has dedicated his work to developing practical solutions to one of the world's toughest problems: poverty. His book Out of Poverty explores why mainstream poverty programs fail, and how his organization has developed an alternative approach that has already helped millions. The book explores what Polak calls the "Three Great Poverty Eradication Myths" (that big business as we know it will end poverty, that economic growth will end poverty and that donations will end poverty.) and how programs based on these ideas ultimately fail. Taking a grassroots approach, Polak believes that there are simple and effective solutions to give people a hand up, not a hand out. With low cost designs to facilitate farming like the Treadle Pump, Polak's organization International Development Enterprises, has helped farmers around the globe increase their productivity helping them to lift out of poverty. Polak believes many of the same principles could be applied in North America to help the poor right in our own backyard.

Wednesday, June 11th
Muhammad Yunus
For some people, winning the Nobel Peace Prize would be the apex of their life, but for Muhammad Yunus, it may have just been the beginning. Yunus won the Nobel in 2006 along with the Grameen Bank for "for their efforts to create economic and social development from below." ( Created in 1976 by Yunus, the Grameen Bank strives the world's poor through the use of microcredit. By using a system that works on "mutual trust, accountability, participation and creativity" (, participants are given the tools and materials they need to make a big difference in their day to day lives, breaking the cycle of poverty. Now Yunus has released a book titled, "Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism" which asks the question, how much could we accomplish if we were able to use the free market to solve hunger, poverty and inequality?
Alexander Ovechkin

On January 16, 2006 Ovechkin, in his first season with the NHL, scored a goal that veteran hockey reporter Bill Clement called "one of the greatest goals of all time". After being knocked down by Coyotes defenseman Paul Mara, Ovechkin slid down the ice on his back and somehow hooked the puck into the net. Recently, Ovechkin picked up two awards: the Art Ross Trophy for being the NHL's leading point scorer and the Maurice 'Rocket' Richard Trophy as the league's top goal scorer. He may also be the Hart Trophy winner at the NHL Awards this Thursday (8pm on CBC), according to recent reports about the NHL store selling Hart Trophey T-shirts with Ovechkin's image on them. At the recent IIHF world hockey championship, Ovechkin lead the Russian team to the gold with a 5-4 overtime win over Team Canada.

Thursday, June 12th

It's the last taping of the season!

Carlo Rota

Earlier in the season, we got to hear Rota's Best Story Ever, about an... awkward... encounter with Freddie Mercury.

Carlo Rota is back in The Hour studios to chat about what's new, including the upcoming season three of Little Mosque on the Prairie and his upcoming performance in Othello: The Tragedy of the Moor coming up June 15th at 9:00 pm on CBC.

Friday, June 13th

The live shows may be over for the season, but Friday's show has one of a handful of never before seen interviews that will air in the next little while.

Cyndi Lauper dropped into The Hour studios last week while she was in town with her True Colours Tour to chat with George about her new CD "Bring Ya To The Brink" and her work and support of the Gay, Lesbian, Bi and Transsexual community. Her current tour helps to raise money and awareness for GLBT equality. With over 20 years of performing, Lauper is well known for her innovation and creativity and the fact that she just wants to have fun with her music and her career. She won a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1985 and she became the first artist ever to have five Top Ten singles from a debut album. You can also check Cyndi Lauper out on her MySpace page.

The Hour will kick off its fifth season on September 15th.

In other news...

Last Friday, Alberta Theatre Projects announced that George would be the recipient of the
34th Bob Edwards Award. This award celebrates people who personify the personality of Bob Edwards, the editor of the Calgary Eye Opener from 1902 to 1922. Edwards was outspoken and controversial in his support of the underdog, attacking the injustices in society. Past winners include Rick Mercer, David Suzuki and last year's winner Gwynne Dyer. The awards luncheon, which is also a fundraiser for ATP, are now available. Early bird tickets are $85.00 or $135.00 (which includes a VIP reception). After June 30th, tickets will be $95.00 and $145.00. A tax receipt will be issued for all ticket sales.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Tonight on The Hour: Exclusive with Coldplay!

On the eve of Coldplay releasing their fourth album "Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends", George visited the band in their London recording loft for an exclusive interview with the band.

Here's a sneak peek from
The Hour:

The Toronto Star, Entertainment Tonight, the Hamilton Spectator have all mentioned tonight's exclusive interview with Coldplay. Bill Harris from Sun Media says:

Stroumboulopoulos is a strong interviewer overall, but he particularly has the ability to get to the heart of the matter when he's talking to musicians. At one point Stroumboulopoulos asks Martin bluntly if it ever dawned on him that what had clicked about Coldplay for a long time actually stopped clicking a couple of years ago.

"We reached the stage where we thought, we can't get much bigger, so we have to try and get better," Martin said.
The Hour's exclusive interview with Coldplay runs tonight, Friday, June 6th at 11pm on the CBC Main Network. If you miss it, surf on over to The Hour's new and improved website. After the interview, run over to Coldplay's MySpace page and listen to the album as they stream it all weekend. The album will be released June 17th.

After the show airs, make sure you come back and let us know what you think!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

"Doctor of Thinkology" Contest Results


Contest Answer Key:


1) Where did George go to school to become a broadcaster?


2) In the 2004 CBC series, The Greatest Canadian, who did George advocate for?


3) When did the very first episode of The Hour premiere on CBC Newsworld?

JANUARY 17, 2005

4) Name of of the two things that George did in the summer of 2006, that created a bit of controversy among the media and fans.


5) Which Canadian band did George present at the
2007 Canada's Walk of Fame Gala?


6) How many Gemini Awards did The Hour win in 2007?


Best Host or Interviewer in a General/Human Interest or Talk Program or Series

Best Talk Series

Best Production Design or Art Direction in a Non-Fiction Program or Series

7) In November 2007, the University of Calgary honoured George with what?


8) Which of the following cities has not hosted a broadcast of The Hour?

a) Calgary, Alberta
b) Montreal, Quebec
d) Vancouver, British Columbia

9) Which Canadian band performs the song for the current Hour opening credits?


10) The Strombo Show premiered on the Corus Radio Network on Sunday, November 4, 2007 in which five Canadian cities?



1) Where did George get his first job in broadcasting?


2) When George first arrived at the CBC, which CBC personality gave George the grand tour on his show, which included hiding from Peter Mansbridge on The National set?


3) Season Three of The Hour premiered on the CBC Main Network on October 9, 2006. Who was George's first interview?

4) Which celebrated Canadian activist and author gave her last interview with George in Season Three?


5) In the opening skit of the 2007 Gemini Awards show, what did George say that fueled local outrage?



6) Which puppets were at the center of the Puppetgate controversy in 2007?


from The Friendly Giant

7) Who came to The Hour to visit George with trainer David Salmoni on

January 28, 2008?


8) Who is the only living former Prime Minister of Canada that has not appeared on The Hour?


9) On the January 6, 2008 edition of The Strombo Show, which Canadian rocker announced she was battling breast cancer?


10) What is the significance of the white bracelet that George wears on his right wrist?