The Stroumboulopouli

The Stroumboulopouli

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Season Five Kick-off...Simply Awesome

Last year around this time I was lamenting the fact that work commitments would prevent me from attending last year's season opener. I was bound and determined that this year things would be different! And so it happened...the moon and stars aligned and indeed I was able to attend today's taping and watch the start of The Hour's fifth season unfold in person.

By the time you read this, I assume most have already watched today's show. For those who have not yet seen it (and why not??), I will not provide many spoilers. Here are a few observations from today:

  • Peter Mansbridge was a good sport in playing along for the Cold Open.

  • A new theme dog will be happy...he really disliked the old one.

  • Both the Tim Robbins and Ricky Gervais interviews were FANTASTIC. Gervais, in particular, was, as always, a riot. What a way to launch a new season.

  • The staff of The Hour are all extremely friendly and pleasant people. I met a few new faces today.

  • It was freakish to me that another audience member identified me as one the Stroumboulopouli bloggers...she had been at the last public taping in June when one of the writers pointed us in the crowd. My fellow audience member, you have great facial recognition skills! :-)
As someone who has attended quite a few tapings in the last year and likes being an observer, it is always interesting for me to witness people on their 'virgin' trip to The Hour. This afternoon Mich, Lisa (friend-of-the-blog) and I met a young woman who made a solo trip from northern Ontario to see the taping and meet George Stroumboulopoulos. I had told her while we waited in line that she would not be disappointed.

Without a doubt The Hour lives and breathes primarily on the charisma of the host. As I wrote in my inaugural post [July '07], it is George's genuine nature that draws people in. I witnessed it yet again tonight...long after the cameras have stopped rolling and the audience is free to go, people sit in their seats listening to the impromptu Q & A. What goes on 'behind the scenes' is as interesting as the finished product. I cannot over-emphasize that if you are in the Toronto area seeing a taping of The Hour is a MUST.

Steph :-)


Season Premieres have always held a special place in my heart, so I'd been looking forward to today since... well, since season four ended in June. Wanting to kick of the new season with a bang, the gang at the Hour brought in two powerhouses in the entertainment industry, and both definitely made an impact. Tim Robbins is always interesting to listen to and Ricky Gervais is just freakin' hilarious! It's always interesting to people watch at tapings, and today I really noticed the cross section of people who watch the show... young and old, male and female... you could really see how the show can appeal to everyone.

There's one big change this year, the opening credits have a new song, "The Good in Everyone" from Sloan. There are other subtle changes, the background guest titles have a new look, along with a variety of little changes. The season's kicking off in style, and it will be interesting to see what interesting little things will pop up over the season.

The Kingston Whig-Standard published an article today about The Hour, which focussed on George's interview "style":

"I don't have a set plan when I walk into an interview," Stroumboulopoulos said. "I'm just trying to connect with somebody and see if I can get them to open up, and the only way to do that is to have people skills. Hopefully the older you get, you learn more about listening. And it's also learning to not try to conquer the mountain in every interview.

The rest of the article is available on the Whig-Standard website.

Don't forget to check out The Hour's website to watch last night's show again or to get tickets to a taping or to find out who's coming on the show in the near future.

Let us know what you think of the season premiere. Anything you really liked? Really hated? What do you want to see on The Hour this season?

Welcome to Season Five!



Philip said...

I thought what I thought I saw of the season premiere was great. I noticed the new theme song and the new pklacement of the screen during the interviews. I am always amazed at who he gets on his stage. He must havet aped a lot of interviews during TIFF! He has probably got a lot of pretapes!

I was listening to an interview he did with our local radio station. (which is a bit odd because it was on a different radio section ie. Corus/Astral) He was pretty excited and said that he only had the NKOTB on because he was goaded into it by his female staff members, but he didn't think he would still have them on this week, the guest list was too strong, and he was serious. Tomorrow's episode will now feature Evangeline Lilly from Lost.

I am really interested to see where this season will lead. Long Live Strombo!

Tracy said...

So sorry I wasn't there though I did see the Ricky Gervais pre-tape and was thrilled that I didn't let out an unladylike snort. Can't wait to see his new movie!

Ultra cool that Steph was recognized too... I'm going to wear a disguise next time I go!

The staff of The Hour to a person are friendly and welcoming. For sure, if you can make it to a taping, do it.

Phillip - you won't be disappointed. The guests filmed during TIFF will keep you more than entertained.

Cheers to Season Five.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is great ladies! Keep it up, and yes the kick off was a good one, a boy does George look nice as well..haha ps. for once and for all is he single or not? Thanks for the good reading!

Mich said...

George shot over a dozen pretapes during the festival. We all attended a few of them including Spike Lee (airing Sept. 22), Lauren Graham (Oct. 2), Kevin Smith (close to Hallowe'en), Samantha Bee and Jason Jones (somewhere around mid October) and many others. Lebron James was a pretape, as were Ricky Gervais and Tim Robbins.

Anon 5:45,

We do not discuss his private life on the blog.

Anonymous said...

From Venice i decided to check in ans see how the opener went. So happy read you enjoyed it.
Having a great time in Italy.

Barbara W.

carol s said...

Sadly, I haven't been able to watch much of the new season yet. It is all on the PVR for a marathon at some point!

Just a tad jealous of those of you living in and around the GTA who can go to a taping relatively easy, BUT now I am a little jealous of Barbara! Italy. Nice! Enjoy!

Janna said...


I still pine for the days of the CLOSER!!!! (George, don't make that face at me!)

But all in all... I think this season has been great. Stroum's has been just killing each show with the jokes , interviews and bits....

I am very pleased!!!