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, October 29, 2008

Walking a green path

Habits of green

Before the One Million Acts of Green was introduced on The Hour many of us were already getting into patterns and habits that help the environment and ourselves.
Soon after I moved to Toronto, two years ago, I woke up to what a walkable city it is. I purposely moved to an area that I could walk to the downtown core from. I work as as an Administrative Temp and most of my jobs are in the core. I now walk 35 minutes each way to be fitter and greener. It's also cheaper. I have bus tokens for bad weather days and I leave my car at home. It's for weekend excursions only. I may even sell it and be free of the automobile. But one step at a time.
This good habit started off slowly with a thought, 'can I walk home from here and how long will it take?' Now it's second nature and I am starting new green habits inspired by the
One Million Acts of Green

Such as taking my The Hour mug off my desk at work to the coffee shop on the ground floor to fill up my mug instead of wasting paper cups. It's one idea you can find there. During this campaign the Stroumboulopouli will all be writing about how the Acts of Green is affecting or infecting us in our lives. Please share your idea here or on the website. We have a community group on the site anyone can join.
The Stroumboulopouli

If you have an idea for a green challenge we might be up for it.

Barbara (changed all the light bulbs) W.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Barenaked and Busted. It is any of our business?

Months ago, I'd written a post about whether we can love the art but dislike or even hate the artist... opinion seemed to be that you could but there was a lot of debate. Some of which became mean spirited. But today's another day... and this is another issue.

Are the actions of celebrities - particularly those with a clean cut image - any of our business? It seems more jarring somehow. For the cynical - great delight is taken in seeing a notable person in a negative light.

I'd wanted to write this when the news initially broke. Then, I didn't want to write it because then that would mean it was true. And it couldn't be true - could it? If I didn't type the words out and confront the topic - maybe it would just go away. Then the legal eagles kept delaying the process...

Steven Page. Busted. For cocaine possession. What the hell? Steve. From Barenaked Ladies? Steve of Steve, Ed, Jim, Tyler and Kevin. Steve of I bought your Yellow Tape at Sam the Record Man that I could now sell on Ebay? Steve of I bought Gordon at HMV in Yorkdale with my friend Andrea on the day it was released?

The hearing in New York state to answer to drug charges from back in July is finally upon us... today is the day where the music will literally be faced.

I've seen Barenaked Ladies live as a group a number of times and in their various incarnations - solo stuff at White Ribbon fundraisers, Kevin Hearn and Thin Buckle and most recently - Kevin and Tyler at the August 'Sean Schau' - Sean Cullen's monthly variety show at the Drake Hotel.
They rose admirably above their summer from hell - with Steven's arrest and Ed's plane crash. Highly entertaining. Classy and fun.

As a band and as people, BNL are very philanthropic.

A prime example was Barenaked Circus - a charity event for a fabulous youth organization called Serve Canada. There are too many others to list. Far too many.

My most memorable Barenaked Ladies experience was the day after my grandmother's death. Couldn't fly out till the next day so my friends dragged me out to enjoy and have some laughs.
I guess I naively thought that nothing could taint the good guys of Canadian music scene.
Then - the mugshot. The forlorn look. The lost boy. Rumpled. Unshaven. Pale. Sans the trademark glasses. Scared shitless.
The following week. My Macleans arrives in my mailbox. He's on the cover. The hearing will be coming up on August 26th - now postponed to October 14th and postponed yet again to today.
He's lawyered up and will fight the charges. The series of delays tells us that they are trying to cut a deal and I'm sure they will.

So - again - the question - is this any of this our business? Probably not. However when someone is a public figure and they make the grave mistake of revealing themselves as subject to the same issues affecting non celebrity types, people are quick to pounce, judge and condemn. Especially when someone has a good guy image. Someone who walks the walk, gets in the trenches and causes positive change with their influence.

The good is evidenced by his political activism, WWF Canada Board involvement (no, not Wrestlers - the World Wildlife Fund) and his passionate role as a spokesperson for issues affecting the music industry. He's also dedicated to the greening of BNL's business. Most recently, Steven attended the Bell Celebrity Gala to benefit Sick Kids and though he kept a low profile by not walking the red carpet, he was there to show support and looking well.

Steven had a Prius before most of us could spell it. A Million Acts of Green? Yes. BNL was at the forefront of those kind of initiatives on a large scale as evidenced in Steven and Ed's last interview on The Hour.

The entertainment industry is full of train wrecks. Performers, some as young as their twenties who AP and other news outlets have fully composed obituaries - just waiting for the date after the dash. Amy Winehouse - a gifted, soulful miracle who is frail both physically and emotionally personifies this. God forbid she would pass, but at least we could reconcile it.

Steven Page made a stupid mistake. To me, it's irrelevant whether he was a recreational user or worse. Hopefully he's made the choice to not go down a destructive path again and won't partake for the sake of his own health, the fact he's a father and has four bandmates and their families who depend on BNL for their livelihood. Not to mention the implications of being convicted of a felony and have travel restricted in the lucrative US market. The timing - a short time after the release of their kids album "Snacktime" goes firmly against the adage that any publicity is good publicity.

I popped onto the Barenaked Ladies' site to see if there was anything of relevance. The following was posted by Steven Page earlier this month.

Lastly, I want to restate my sincerest appreciation for all the support our fans and friends have shown us over the past few months. It really helps knowing there are so many people who care about us as a band, and as people. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Hopefully, this situation will resolve and Steven can get back to work to fulfill all upcoming commitments and allow his work and personal life to move forward in a positive way.

What I hope does NOT happen, is that he cuts a deal and is then crucified for it. He deserves a chance to make things right. Not because he's famous - but because he's human. We all deserve a chance to rise above it all. Especially when our positive qualities and actions far outweigh our not so positive qualities.

So... do you have an opinion? As always... we love to hear from our readers! Fire away.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Here's what's coming up October 26 - 30...

There's a lot going on in the world of Strombo, so sit down, grab your beverage of choice and start reading...

Have you done an act of green? Have you gone over to and registered what you've done? If not, what are you waiting for? And while you're over there, check the group that The Stroumboulopouli started. We're encouraging all of our readers to join our group and help all of us make a difference, one act at a time. Starting this Wednesday (October 29th), come back to the blog each week to see what each of The Stroumboulopouli are doing to help make a difference, one act of green at a time. We'll kick things off with Barb's Acts of Green.
The Strombo Show

On the October 26th Strombo Show, Bludwash will drop by The Edge Studios to perform and chat with George. David Ogilvie will also stop by for a chat. Also on the show is David Ogilvie, and NOFX's Fat Mike with a classic punk rock request. And finally, the Alice Cooper love continues with his contribution to "What Happens on the Road Stays on Our Show".

You can catch The Strombo Show on Sunday from 5-8 ET or 2-5PT on 102.1 The Edge in Toronto, Y108 in Hamilton, 99.3 The Fox in Vancouver, Power 97 in Winnipeg and FM96 in London.

The Strombo Show has a new fan page on Facebook, replacing the old Strombo Show Group. Make sure you check out the new fan page and join to get all the latest information about the show.


Get set for a wild ride, because George and The Hour will make an appearance on the Monday, October 27th edition of Showcase's show Rent-a-Goalie. It airs at 9:30 ET/PT.

From, the episode description reads:
When a flock of goats are left in Cake's care, his decision to put Lance the Boil in charge of their cheese making operation turns terribly sour.

The scenes that George and show appear in Rent-a-Goalie were shot in The Hour studio way back in March of this year. Also, according to, Darryl Sittler will make his third appearance on Rent-a-Goalie.

The Hour

Henry Rollins

Former frontman of legendary Black Flag, Henry Rollins drops by The Hour studios on Monday, October 27th. Rollins is currently on a spoken word tour celebrating the end of the Bush era on his aptly named Recountdown Tour. For more information about the tour, check out Rollins' website.

Charlie Kaufman

The man who brought us the spectacular movies "Being John Malkovich" and "Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind" will also be on The Hour on Monday, October 27th.

Charlie Kaufman is currently out promoting his directorial debut "Synecdoche".

Make sure you check out Charlie Kaufman's website for more information about the screenwriter and his work.

Paul Martin

Former Prime Minister Paul Martin returns to The Hour on Tuesday, October 28th. He recently released a new autobiography "Hell or High Water: My Life in and Out of Politics".

The book is to be officially launched on the same day that Mr. Martin appears on The Hour, but some stores have already started selling the book.

Robert F. Kennedy jr.
Named one of Time Magazine's "Heroes of the Planet", Robert F. Kennedy jr. is known for his work with Riverkeeper in restoring the Hudson River. He's worked all over North and South America with numerous environmental initiatives. He will join George on The Hour on Wednesday, October 29th.

Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith is back on The Hour on October 30th in anticipation of the release of his new movie, "Zack and Miri make a Porno". The movie's not even out in theatres yet and it's already making headlines... mostly because some people and groups are taking offense to the posters and billboards advertising the movie. "Zack and Miri Makes a Porno" opens in theatres on Friday, October 31st.
In other news...

Here's part of an article from

In unsurprising news, George Stroumboulopoulos has been discovered to not know
how to spell his own name. Host of the popular “The Hour”television program on CBC, Snufalupagus has become a household name and Canadian icon in his own right. The revelation that George was unable to spell his own name came on Monday during an interview with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Harper, clearly desperate to appeal to the younger demographic that flocks to Strompalopaloo’s popular show unwittingly made a fool of Strombalomanuts after asking for his email address. Sadly, Stumpalatafuts had set up his email address with the assistance of both his driver’s license and birth certificate and was clearly at a loss for words and unprepared for the seemingly simple request.

To read the rest of the article, go to

And finally, The Stroumboulopouli would like to send a heartfelt "Congratulations" over to everyone at MTV Live for winning the 2008 Gemini for Best Talk Series. The Hour was nominated in this category along with The Hills Aftershow.

Have a great week and a hautingly happy Hallowe'en!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

<<<< REWIND <<<<

Okay, I have to start this off by getting something off my chest: feet licking is DISGUSTING. How that could possibly be erotic or appealing absolutely boggles my mind. So seeing it in the Monday Cold Open... gross. And then to hear that Chocolate Body Paint could be tainted with melamine in the Mile A Minute... tragic (though never fear, nutella's a much better tasting alternative. Or you can make your own... seriously. Google the recipe. I have.) Monday's first guest, John Bul Dau, was absolutely stunning to listen to. It always humbles me to hear about someone who has seen so much horror in their life, yet still be able to function. His culture shock stories about coming to America were fantastic... it's amazing how we North Americans take simple things like snow or electricity or even the sliding doors at the grocery store for granted. I generally don't agree with anything that Suzanne Somers says, but her "pick it - pluck it - milk it - shoot it" description of the food that we should eat was right on the mark.

Oh, the childhood memories that came floating back to me on Tuesday, with Oscar the Grouch's appearance in the cold open. Remember the Yip Yip Aliens? Monsterpiece theatre? When Snuffalupagus was invisible to everyone but Big Bird? Good times. David Suzuki drove the OMAOG point home: one act is not enough, but it's a start. That, and no one's perfectly green all the time. George was having way too much fun in The News on Tuesday... which made it hilarious. Cutting all those Rudy Ray Moore clips into The News was hilarious, but the news of the week really was Usher's announcement of his "ladies only" tour in more intimate venues, to thank his female fans for their support. George and the writers nailed it on the head... follow up tours include the "Yeah I really gotta go" tour, the "You might want to get tested" tour and the "What? You said you were on the pill!" tour. I found it very interesting to learn that Alanis Morrisette was one of the first artists to use recycled paper for their album art. Also like that she says that happiness is not what life is about, it's about striving for peace because happiness is such a temporary state.

George's proclamation on Wednesday that the Liberal Leadership convention is a great idea. Imagine the revenue that the allegedly broke Liberal party could bring in by selling tickets to the ring events! The OMAOG PSA produced by Artmitage Public School is awesome... love the little girl who proclaims for all that her dad litters. Photographer Edward Burtynsky's work is absolutely stunning and I think he's bang on with his belief that landscape is much more than the traditional definition. I picked up a new term in The News on Wednesday... "intellectual ninja". Awesome term. There are so many people I could describe with that. And Miss Louisiana takes the cake: dining and dashing and forgetting her purse. And then going back to retrieve it? And she's surprised that she was charged? Really? The pot bust on top of that makes the whole thing that much more priceless. Regular Hour guest Mike Holmes was fun as usual and it's great to see a contractor with a passion to do the right thing. I don't know if the people around me have bad luck with contractors, but the ones I've encountered lately are the opposite of Holmes. I admire him for his refusal to build homes larger than 2000 sq. ft. Because really, unless you have a huge family, no one needs a McMansion. Sure they are pretty, but they are also generally quite ridiculous.

Careful... FREAKY SCIENCE AHEAD! Scientists have figured out how to modify the memories of mice. As George said, it's Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mouse. Now, quite frankly, there are a few things I'd like to forget from my past, but I'd also like to think that those bad experience played a part in making me who I am. It's an interesting quandry. In the set up for Dr. Julio Montaner, I gasped audibly when I saw the slate next to Knowlten Nash proclaiming AIDS as the "gay plague". It's shocking to see how AIDS was treated then. Unfortunately, it's still treated as such in some circles. Dr. Motaner is just what the AIDS epidemic needs... it's unfortunate that his drive and passion are stifled by the people who have the power to enact change. It shocks me that the tools and knowledge in use today could solve 90% of the problem, but political interference is slowing or ultimately stopping any progress. John Legend was an interesting interview, and I think his humanitarian work is amazing. Not many people I know would want to adopt an entire village. Good on him. I just wish his music wasn't produced by Kanye West, because that means I have to boycott it.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

One Million Acts Of Green

Here is the e-mail I received today from, and I couldn't have said it any better myself:

One Million Acts of Green and Environmental Defence: Greening Canada Together!
Have you switched your light bulbs to energy-efficient ones? Dropped your plastic water bottle for a safer reusable one? Bought locally grown fruits and vegetables? Started using toxic-free cleaning products in your home?
Now you can brag about these great green acts, and the dozens of other ways you are helping to protect the environment every day.

CBC, “The Hour” with George Stroumboulopoulos, Environmental Defence and environmental groups across the country are mobilizing Canadians to do one million acts of green!
Starting today, YOU can be part of this nationwide green movement. Check out this video from George Stroumboulopoulos.

One Million Acts of Green is all about one small act making a big difference. It’s about one act from individual Canadians adding up to a million. Whatever green act you do, register it on the One Million Acts of Green website to be counted.
The website is the hub of One Million Acts of Green, connecting Canadians from coast to coast to coast. It’s a virtual gathering place where people can add their green acts, view content, post photos and videos, create groups, and challenge others to act.

The more green acts you do, the more you get to brag! So, don’t just stop at one green act. Be loud and proud. Inspire your fellow Canadians with all of the great green acts you are doing!
We’re challenging everyone to get involved. From CBC TV and Radio, to schools and universities, communities and cities, politicians, athletes, and even celebrities!

One Million Acts of Green is a partnership between CBC and Cisco, and is supported by Environmental Defence as well as the Clean Air Foundation, The David Suzuki Foundation, Earth Day Canada, Evergreen, GreenNexxus, Green Street (managed by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation), and The Climate Project - Canada.
It’s one million acts of green, one act at a time.
Be one of the million. Register your green act today!

Watch The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos on CBC TV on Tuesday, October 21, 2008 (TONIGHT!) and Wednesday, October 22, 2008 at 11 pm for special One Million Acts of Green launch shows!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

October 20-24...We're going GREEN!

The week begins with a LIVE edition of
The Strombo Show,
starting at 5 pm EST on these Corus Radio stations:
The Edge 102.1 (Toronto)

The Fox 99.3 (Vancouver)
Power 97 (Winnipeg)

Y108 (Hamilton)

FM96 (London)
Scheduled to appear on The Hour this week...

Monday, October 20th

John Bul Dau survived what could only be considered Hell on earth. At thirteen he became one of the thousands of "Lost Boys of Sudan", who fled their homeland when troops were sent in to kill all black Christian males. He survived the pursuit of armed soldiers, crocodiles, dehydration, starvation and disease, all while aiding younger boys in the escape. After arriving in the US and completing his education, he now heads the John Dau Sudan Foundation, on a mission to develop and sustain health clinics in southern Sudan.

When you think of ThighMaster, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For some it would undoubtedly be excruciating pain. For others, it may be the very successful entreprenuer Suzanne Somers. While many will remember her four year stint as "Chrissy Snow" on Three's Company, for the past several years, Somers has built a huge community of followers (known as "Somersizers") who have a shared interest in her various wellness, beauty, jewellery and houseware products. Last month, this breast cancer survivor released her latest book, Breakthrough: Eight Steps to Wellness.

Tuesday, October 21st

This day marks the kick-off of a very special initiative between the CBC, The Hour and Cisco, among others. One Million Acts of Green..."a massive, nationwide environmental movement with the goal of changing how we live and how we treat the planet, one act at a time. It’s not about overhauling your life; it’s doing one single acts."

Long-time friend of the earth, David Suzuki will be stopping by... will Canadian music icon Alanis Morrisette...

...and THIS guy...Oscar the Grouch! I can hardly wait :-)

Wednesday, October 22nd

In keeping the GREEN theme, Canada's favourite handyman, Mike Holmes, will be paying another visit to The Hour. This visit Mike will be offering tips to make your home more green.

Thursday, October 23rd

To quote Bob Dylan, "the times they are a-changin'" we are all too aware by watching the the downward spiral of the world's economy on the nightly news. If you have not already made a plan for your financial future, then Phil Town may be able to help. Billed as "not your typical Wall Street guy", this former Green Beret Vietnam vet, Harley riding, river guide turned a borrowed one thousand dollars into one million in five years. In 2007 he published his secret in the best-selling book, Rule #1: The Simple Strategy for Successful Investing in Only 15 Minutes a Week!

John Stephens' grandmother began teaching him gospel piano at the age of three. A few years later he was singing in the church choir. As an adult, John Legend has made his grandma proud. Not just for his achievements in the music industry as a multi-award winning soul singer and songwriter, but also for his philanthropic work to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina and AIDS sufferers in Africa. Legend contributed his talent to the moving Yes We Can and performed at the Democratic National Convention. His new CD, Evolver, hits stores at the end of this month.

<<<< REWIND <<<<

It's our review of the week that was for October 13th to 16th...

With the election and Thanksgiving, the week had a really weird vibe to it, but there were some great moments on The Hour. On Monday, I found it interesting to learn that 100% of the profits from Virgin Airlines goes towards research for alternative fuel sources. I loved the idea of coconuts as fuel, but as Branson said, we need to find an alternative fuel that doesn't cut into the world's food supply. The best point Branson made was that people who are in any position to make a difference should, regardless of status or wealth. I've never really known what to think about Alice Cooper. As a kid all my friends had his records, but I never really learned anything about him. Before that, all I knew about him was the rumour and innuendo. It wasn't until earlier this year, when I heard him follow George on the Drew Marshall show that I really learned a bit about who Alice Cooper really is, versus the Vaudevillian character he plays on stage. So I was intrigued by him appearing on The Hour because of that, but also because of the past stories George has told about the effect seeing Cooper on The Muppet Show had on him. I love how, in The Hour interview, Cooper describes his shows as "strange vaudeville". I still question how he can justify his act as a avid Christian, but all that really matters is that he can justify it.

Other than learning about C-Vert, the Stephen Bronfman interview left me pretty cold. But C-Vert is a pretty cool little initiative. It would be nice to see something like that go nationwide. Okay... Angelina Jolie buys her son her first dagger? WTF? Really? What's next? My first taser? My first spear? I have to make a confession. I rarely, if ever, watch SNL. I'll watch clips when they make news, but I just don't watch it. So I had no freakin' clue who Finesse Mitchell was. And to a point, I still don't know. But he was funny... it's an amazing route that his life has taken to where he is now. Oh and George cooking on Steven and Chris? That should be interesting...

I was in the audience at the taping of Thursday's show and I loved the interview with the Dragons about the economy. I can't think of another time where George really challenged a guest (yes yes, I know he challenges guests all the time... but this time it seemed more intense), but his emphatic arguement against the Dragons about property ownership being a right not a priviledge really made me sit up and take notice of what they were saying. What's your thoughts on property ownership? I can see George's side (and tend to agree with it), but I can also see the Dragon's point of view. I think I agree with the whole concept of going back to the 50s era school of thought where debt was viewed as a bad thing ("scared of debt"), rather than now where being in debt seems almost expected and required. But of course then there's whole bad debt versus good debt issue, and then it gets complicated. No wonder most people glaze over when it comes to economics. I can honestly say that this is one economy interview that was actually engaging and easy to listen to. Robin Thicke left me cold. Poor Kyra Phillips... man, my worst nightmare is making one of those on air blunder. The worst I've ever pulled off was "orgasm" for "organism", but that wasn't on live television. Thank goodness.

It's very cool that the YouTube Channel has surpassed 10 million hits.



Monday, October 13, 2008

Choice, accountability and opportunity lost

Well here we are on the eve of another federal election. As geeky as it may sound, I love elections and all the activities that surround them...the campaigning, the all-candidates debates, the leaders debates, and yes, even the mudslinging and negative campaign ads. I find the science of politics fascinating. For me, as a voter, elections are all about choice and accountability. In the previous election, choices were made and now it is our opportunity to hold our representatives accountable for what they have or have not accomplished. I jokingly refer to this process as "the constituent giveth, and the constituent taketh away". Voting is important business and as citizens we must make informed choices on who we want to represent us.

Politicians have a responsibility to not only carry out the will of the people, but also to engage them. Quite frankly, some are better at this than others. As you know, over the last few weeks, The Hour has hosted three party leaders: Stéphane Dion, Jack Layton and Elizabeth May. Missing was Gilles Duceppe and Stephen Harper. I can understand Mr. Duceppe declining to appear. He recognizes and even stated during the debate, that he knows he will never be the Prime Minister of Canada. His concerns are more regional than national.

But what about Stephen Harper? As much as I have enjoyed the highly amusing up-the-ante antics of Harper Bait '08, I find it disappointing that visiting The Hour did not fit into Mr. Harper's plans. Was it that he could not control the questions? Unlike his opponents, did he not take George/The Hour seriously? Did he recognize that perhaps his own demeanor would not mesh with the tone of the show? Or that perhaps the reaction of a live audience might be unfavourable and not play back well on TV? I could continue to speculate, but only Mr. Harper and his advisors know the real reason.

Regardless of what that reason was, it was an opportunity lost. While the demographics of The Hour are quite broad, I have observed a substantial number of young people in the audience. For many, this federal election may be their first opportunity to vote. Mr. Harper could have used an appearance on The Hour to bridge the gap between the common man or woman and the political elite. Instead he chose not to participate...sometimes silence speaks volumes!

So does humour...I am entitling this diorama "The Interview That Never Was...":

Sunday, October 12, 2008

And Our New Hockey Anthem Is...

The search for the new anthem is over... after narrowing down 15000 entries down to 5 semi-finalists and then to two finalists... Canada has spoken. Our new Hockey Night in Canada theme song is...

by Colin Oberst

For winning the contest, Colin takes home the $100 000 prize and half of the lifetime royalties on the song. The other half of the royalties will be invested into minor hockey programs across Canada.

The Anthem Challenge blog will continue to be updated for the next few weeks and the organisers are currently looking for feedback on the contest and how viewers think a contest of this nature could be improved, if they ever run a similar contest again. If you have a suggestion or a comment about the contest, email them at

Congratulations Colin!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Week of October 12 - 17

This Saturday night don't forget to watch the Anthem Challenge
The Strombo Show is unannounced.. It may have something to do with the holiday this Sunday evening. If it's a prerecorded show or a best of show or George shows up and wings it by himself I don't know at this point. But Happy Thanksgiving to the crew that does
The Strombo Show.
On The Hour this week
( The theme this week seems to be interview a lot of rich and interesting men)

Monday October 13
Richard Branson

Please check out Alice Cooper 's website.

This should be a theatrical interview.

Tuesday October 14 (sometime after the election special? like at 5 am on Wednesday!)
Ricky Gervais

Tim Robbins

Wednesday October 15
The other Bronfman,

Stephen Bronfman

and SNL's performer and author Finesse Mitchell.

Thursday October 16
A couple of Dragons from the Dragons Den

Kevin O'Leary / Robert Herjavec

Also on the show R&B star Robin Thicke.

Friday's Best of will include James Cameron and Robin Thicke.

<<<< REWIND <<<<

Our views and reviews of The Hour during the week of October 6th...

The week opened with more news about the economic downturn. I have to agree with George's "new word" for the economic situation (after an economist said that we need a new word to describe the situation)... "Shitfire". Sounds good to me, though personally I like "Clusterfuck" but since it's not a new word, it doesn't qualify. Enjoyed Daniel Levitin... his theories on music make total sense to me. I look forward to picking up his book. Mark McKinney was also very interesting. I was a fan of Kids in the Hall and I was completely enamoured with Slings & Arrows, I found his take on "being the second guy in" on an idea amusing... and that he said that is because he is better at seeing exactly what an idea might need to work, finally made something I'd tried to put into words for years finally click.

Julie Couillard did nothing for me... and I had a hard time listening to her because she came across as arrogant and her answers contrived. I don't quite understand how trash talking her ex will give her back her reputation and credibility. The saying "Least said, soonest mended" comes to mind, but perhaps that doesn't translate into French. I was surprised at James Cameron, I didn't expect him to be as personable as he came across. I loved his description of Titanic as a movie with funny hats, corsets and an ending that's already spoiled.

Wednesday kind of surprised me. I was fully prepared to not have any sympathy for mafiaboy, and I'm still not entirely sure what I think about it. I appreciated that he said he was remorseful, but I don't know. It does take guts to reveal himself when he could have hidden behind the anonymity that he had as a juvenile offender, but I'm just not sure about the whole thing. Chantal Petitclerc reminded me of another wheelchair racer that I once knew who also did the international circuit and has since retired. I find it a shame that wheelchair racing was not a demonstration sport and I still don't entirely understand why the Paralympics are a separate entity. I hope Petitclerc will continue to work to raise the awareness of Paralympians.

So I'm the second one in. ;) Mr. McKinney may be on to something with that concept.

Honestly, I would have been happy to stop watching after Monday's show. Mark McKinney was charming, intelligent and self effacing. As a huge fan of Kids in the Hall, I was pleased to see him on The Hour. The Kids were and ARE Alright...

Daniel Levitin was someone I'd wanted to see on the show for a while. I loved Levitin's first book 'This is Your Brain on Music' and as for the latest - 'The World in Six Songs' - it's a must read. Music provokes, evokes and adds to MY life experiences in some way every day - perhaps you're the same? Levitin isn't your typical academic. The Doc Rocks!

The interview with Michael Culce 'Mafia Boy' simultaneously charmed and scared the shit out of me. That internet security is so lacking that a kid - granted an intelligent and intuitive one - could bring down some of the largest and most powerful sites on the www is alarming. I would have liked to hear a bit more of his plans for the future - hopefully he'll do a lot of good on the 'right' side of the mouse. If I read his book, you can be sure I ain't ordering it online with my credit card! ;)

Chantal Peticlerc - Effervescent and well spoken - a true Champion and role model in every sense. Class personified.
- Tracy

As a Quebecer I liked seeing Julie Cuillard, and Michael Culce tell their story because I know people like them... Interesting characters. I wish I knew people like Chatal Peticlerc because she seems like an inspirationional person. I can't add anything more that what has been said about this week. I am not sure why but I wish it did have more politicians in it.

It was a long week for me but a short week for The Hour.

Actually The Hour crew will still be working tonight on the final announcment for the Hockey Theme contest then they get a break for thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving!

-Barbara W


With the election just around the corner, the hilarious moments of The Most Important Federal Election of 2008 will be coming to an end...this makes me sad. However, I am looking forward to the return of The Hour to Newsworld at 8pm EST. I had a telephone conversation with a CBC Audience Relations representative a couple of weeks ago, who assured me that the Newsworld schedule would return to normal after the BIG event.

I quite enjoyed the James Cameron interview. I did not know of his past involvement in the 'Custodial Arts'. While certainly not as inspirational as Chantal Petitclerc, it is quite something that someone who once scraped gum off of tables, ended up being the director of the highest grossing movie in history.

Chantal Petitclerc's interview was the highlight of the week for me. She and our other Paralympians have done our nation proud. What a shame that our government does not reward their acheivements as they do that of our able-bodied athletes.

Julie Couillard's interview surprised me...sort of. One one hand I think that she has been vilified by the media. But then on the other hand I think that if I wanted to improve my reputation or change people's view of me, I would make an effort to distance myself from the past. Writing a tell all book and then hopping on the tour bandwagon just keeps the story out there.

Mafiaboy/Michael Culce...I'm not sure I'm one hundred percent convinced he is as remorseful as he claims. It disappoints me that based on the story as he tells it, that when he first told his panini-eating father about his involvement in illegal activity, that his dad did not suggest he simply turn himself in then and there...but that could just be me. And now he has a book, from which he will profit. Nice how it's all worked out, isn't it?

~ Steph

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Saint to some... Satan to others...


In a ceremony earlier today in Quebec City, 20 Canadians were invested into the Order of Canada today, among them was former Hour guest, Dr. Henry Morgentaler. The Order of Canada, the highest civilian honour in Canada was created in 1967 and honours a lifetime of achievement and dedication to the community. Over 5000 people have been invested into the Order of Canada since its inception.

In a statement released yesterday by Rideau Hall:
Henry Morgentaler has had a major impact on Canadian public policy. A Holocaust survivor, he has not hesitated to put himself at risk in his determined drive to increase health care options for Canadian women. He has been a catalyst for change and important debate, influencing public policy nationwide. He has heightened awareness of women’s reproductive health issues among medical professionals and the Canadian public. He is a respected volunteer who has held leadership roles in humanist and civil liberties organizations, and is the recipient of a number of national and international awards. (source)
The announcement of Dr. Morgentaler's appointment to Canada's highest civilian honour in July created a maelstrom of protest, reigniting the decades old discussion on abortion rights. While protests sprung up all over the country after the announcement of his appointment, only a small group of protesters assembled outside the Citadel in Quebec City to denounce Morgentaler. Since the announcement, seven former member of the Order of Canada have returned their medals to Rideau Hall in protest of Morgentaler's appointment including: B.C. priest Lucien Larré, Montreal Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte and former New Brunswick lieutenant-governor Gilbert Finn. Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins released a statement yesterday that said:
The Order of Canada was created to recognise the outstanding achievements of citizens who have desired and helped to create a better country. Is a country made better when those who are most vulnerable are not allowed to continue their brief experience of the precious gift of life itself? He is being received into the Order of Canada despite the opposition of hundreds of thousands of Canadians. This action divides our country. It does not unite. (source)
Governor General Michaëlle Jean included the following in her speech at the investiture ceremony:

You do more than just show us the way.
You push us to go even further.
You tell us that it is indeed possible to make a difference, to push back the boundaries, to take the road less travelled.
That we must take chances.
That there is nothing worse than indifference or inaction.
This honour is certainly an opportunity to commend and celebrate excellence.
But it is also—and perhaps above all—a source of inspiration.
You have overcome every obstacle, you have dreamed big, you have always tried to improve yourselves, you have striven to make the impossible a reality.
And you have done so without ever losing sight of the well-being of your fellow Canadians.
Without ever losing sight of the importance of improving the lives of others and respecting human dignity, here at home and around the world.
I believe that the honour we are bestowing upon you today can serve to inspire the rest of us—especially our youth—to pursue our own dreams and to try to change the world for the better. (source)

After the ceremony, Morgentaler said he was honoured to receive this distinction and:
"Canada is one of the few places in the world where freedom of speech and choice prevail in a truly democratic fashion. I am proud to have been given this opportunity, coming from a war-torn Europe, to realize my potential and my dream" (source)
We discussed Morgentaler's appointment to the Order of Canada back when the appointment was first announced in July. If you'd like to re read that post, click here.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Down to the Final Two... VOTE in the Hockey Anthem Challenge


Tonight, during the second period of the season opener between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings, George Stroumboulopoulos announced the 2 Finalists in the Anthem Challenge...

Finalist #1
by Colin Oberst

Finalist #2
by Robert Fraser Burke

So now it's up to you... which is your favourite? Who are you going to vote for? There are three ways you can vote:

Call 1-900-451-9999 and press the number of your favourite anthem.
"1" for Colin Obert
"2" for Robert Fraser Burke
Each call will cost you $1.00.


Text the number of your favourite anthem to 777 111.
"1" for Colin Obert
"2" for Robert Fraser Burke
Each text will cost you $0.50.


Go to the Anthem Challenge website and click on your favourite anthem.
This method is free, but you have to be a member of

Voting takes place from now until Friday, October 10th at 11:59 ET. The winning anthem will be revealed during the first Hockey Night in Canada of the season on Saturday, October 11th.

Vote now, vote often... and we'll see which anthem becomes an instant Canadian classic.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Hour of Facebook?

A young chap named Ryan Levia created a Facebook group called:
Stephen Harper and 'The Hour' . An absence defining our vote.

We thought we'd try to help Ryan and The Hour out with their Harper Bait '08.

The kitten named Diefenbaker

(which it seems that he somehow already got a hold of),
the autographed book, the choice of new haircuts, George's pocket change & now the spiffy platform shoes don't seem to be enough of an enticement for Harper.
So perhaps with your help we can use the "voice" of a social network to shout:
"HEY HARPER! GET YOUR ASS ONTO THE HOUR. We want to hear what you have to say!"

Personally, there's not much that he could say to get my vote, but at least I'd give him a few minutes of my time to hear him answer some questions George & The Hour's team have ready for him.
If you're thinking to yourself; "There's no way Harper would even consider being influenced by such a group or network." Think again!
Check it out.....even the Prime Minister of Canada has an official Facebook profile!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Vote Now for your favourite Anthem!

After the semi-finalists were revealed last week on The Hour, viewers got to hear the finished anthems Saturday night on a CBC Sports special. Co-hosted by Ron McLean, George Stroumboulopoulos and Bob Rock, the special showcased how the five anthems came together in a Toronto music studio under the supervision of music producer Bob Rock. Special guest musicians like Kim Mitchell and Tyler Patrick from the Barenaked Ladies came in to play on some of the semi-finalist's tracks.

Voting opened after the special aired on Saturday night, and traffic was so heavy on the site that it promptly crashed! Everything is fixed now, so make sure you check out all five of the semi-finalist anthems and go the Hockey Anthem Challenge website to vote!

You can vote online (you have to become a member of, so make sure you register if you haven't already), by text ($.50 per text) or by phone ($1.00 per call). Specific voting details for each semi-finalist is on their page. Voting for the semi-finalists ends Tuesday at Midnight ET, so make sure you get your vote in now!
The two finalists will be announced on October 9th, during opening night of the 2008-09 NHL season. After that, voters will have the chance to vote for their choice for the next Hockey Night in Canada anthem from 10:oopm ET on October 9th to Midnight ET on October 10th.
The new Hockey Night in Canada theme will be revealed during the premiere episode of Hockey Night in Canada on October 11th.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

This Week in Strombo...

I write this from a friend's computer. Overtired but energized. Too much Nuit Blanche action last night/morning. Here's what's coming up this week...

Sunday Evening kicks off with The Strombo Show. Special guests include music guru Alan Cross talking up his latest project, Tim from Rise Against and a special in studio performance by Black Kids. If you haven't checked them out... this will be a treat. Their music has a great energy and they're on a very active tour. Toronto folks can catch them at the Mod Club tonight!

In TV land... a good mix this week - some guests I'm keen to see because I'm a huge fan of their work and some that I may enjoy despite the fact that I may not be a fan of their efforts. Like fans of The Hour and those who may only be occasional viewers, there's a lot of buzz on the "Harper Bait '08" Very funny stuff! Hope the bribes and temptations continue. I am willing to throw in an unused indoor grill/appetizer warming tray. Anyone else have something to put on the table?

Monday October 6th
Mark McKinney
Best known for his groundbreaking sketch comedy troupe 'Kids in the Hall' Mark McKinney has worked steadily both in front of and behind the camera for years. He even spent a stint on Saturday Night Live but the Kids is his most notable work.

The Kids in the Hall - not kids anymore, mind you - recently reunited for a mini tour and have been inducted into the Canadian Walk of Fame.

A little trivia - Mr. Tyzik is the name of the "I'm crushing your head" guy. Will there be head crushing? Tune in Monday and find out!

Daniel Levitin

There's nothing more elemental to many of our lives than music. For many the soundtrack to our lives - who we were, who we are and how we live is intimately tied to what music inspired, provoked or entertained us at the time. Do you remember what song was playing at key points in your life? The first song you slow danced to? The first time you heard your favourite artist? The concert outings with friends that were among the best times in your life? I distinctly remember the first song I heard after my mom's death - it brings a visceral reaction to this day...

Author and academic, Daniel Levitin is the author of This is Your Brain on Music and the recently released The World in Six Songs. He has amazing perspective on what music is and how it shapes society. The premise of his new book is that there are six types of songs that evoke friendship, joy, religion, comfort, knowledge and love. I am midway through the book and am a fan. You can even head to his website to hear what's on his Ipod.

Tuesday October 7th

James Cameron

I confess, I am not a James Cameron fan. I respect that he's a Hollywood heavyweight, a man who can get a film made and get the cash he needs to make it happen. From the Terminator franchise to Titanic and beyond, he's a prolific filmmaker. During Titanic I spent most of my time letting out bored sighs. At the end - if Rose loved Jack that much, then heft him up on the door - don't let him sink into the icy waters. Jheesh.
Julie Couillard

I don't know how to feel about this interview. It has potential. Couillard's romantic track record should make girls everywhere feel better about the sketchy choices they have made with men.

Formerly married to a Hell's Angel and former girlfriend of former Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier - Couillard has had a colourful past. She's made some telling revelations about her involvement in 'government affairs' and added some spice to the Canadian political scene which tends to the benign.

Wednesday October 8th

Michael Culce - 'Mafia Boy'

Kids just want to have fun and if your idea of fun is to hack into high profile websites and networks, then maybe you too can grow up to be like Mike!
Montreal based Michael was one of the most sought after hackers in the world - this kid brought the Dell website to its knees. Not many teens have agencies like the FBI and RCMP on their tail.
They say kids lack ambition... this will be an interesting chat!

Enjoy your week folks.... and for the latest updates, don't forget to check The Hour's website for the scoop on what the rest of the week holds!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Rewind for the week of Sept 29 -Oct 3

I had a lot of catching up to do this week. I was out of the country for the past two weeks and missed all the news from Canada.
Monday was the first taping I have been to this season and the first full show I was able to view. I had the privilege of seeing Jack Layton in studio again and this was the best one yet. He was relaxed and natural and was having fun. I would enjoy seeing any of the candidates in studio it's not a political bias. I watched the Interview with Ms. May with as much interest. Too bad Mr. Harper did not take George up on the kitten offer. You know George is kidding about harming the kitten so don't waste your e-mail time...
-I like the new theme song... it makes sense for the show.
-I like that there seems to be more of the intelligent ranting like they used to do at the closer.
-All the pre-tape interviews and all the interviews I have seen this week either online or by watching this weeks shows, as I expected were very interesting. So good to have The Hour Back and it's good to be back in Canada.

Very nice how political they all are (Actors, Directors, Comedians and Politicians) at this appropriate time.

Speaking of political messages a reminder of one issue that is important to some of us.


It was an interesting mix of guests on the show this week. On Monday, I found Jack Layton to be engaging and interesting to listen to. It's nice to hear the leaders in a more relaxed atmosphere. It makes them much easier to listen to. Harper come on the show... save the kitten. I'd never seen Greg Kinnear in an interview before, so I enjoyed learning more about him. His movie "Flash of Genius" sounds like something I definitely want to see.

On Tuesday, I found the Bill Maher/Larry Cameron interview interesting and a little over the top, but yet I found myself nodding my head in agreement, particularly the point about atheists not being represented. Of all the HNIC themes presented this week, the one by the 13 year old kid was my favourite and I hope it wins. I was doing cool stuff when I was thirteen, but being a finalist in a national contest wasn't part of it. I wonder where this kid will go.

I was standing on the same side of the street with George about the bear that visited a Subway on Wednesday. That bear was freakin' brilliant. It can open doors. That's amazing! And yet they kill it. Ugh. Senseless. Tony Campolo once again impressed me. He's the only religious leader I can think of that I don't want to start throwing things at him when he opens his mouth. I found his take on many things about the Evangelical movement and those who say they believe but don't walk the walk to be very enlightening. Just an overall inspiring interview. I have nothing to say about the Sean Avery issue other than it was occasionally interesting, but I found his pretty boy attitude unattractive.

I enjoyed hearing from Elizabeth May on Thursday in a much less electoral frenzy setting. Like with the other leaders that appeared on The Hour, May was more engaging and easier to listen to. I was disappointed that she refused to answer George's hypothetical question, as I thought it was a valid question to ask. I enjoyed taking a second look at the Lauren Graham interview, as I was in the audience when it was pretaped during TIFF, and I picked up on a few things that I missed.


An overly hectic schedule kept me from watching The Hour much over this past week and the 11pm hour often found me slack jawed on my couch. An attractive scene to be sure.

I did enjoy the opening banter and constant upping of the ante to get Sweater Boy to appear on The Hour. Diefenbaker the kitten. All the change in George's pockets. An autographed copy of The 100 Greatest Canadian Albums of All Time... offer up a custom knit baby blue cashmere number to seal the deal already.

As a non religious person, I view the subject with a healthy dose of skepticism. I respect different views, but am seldom impressed. Fanatical, extreme or judgemental religious ideologies and holier than thou mouthpieces like repeat visitor to The Hour, Charles McVety, turns me cold.

For that reason, I was particularly interested to watch both the Tony Campolo discussion as well as the segment with Bill Maher and Larry Charles - makers of the new film Religulous. Campolo is impressive because he points out simple tenets of Christianity and promotes a philosophy of compassion. He closed his remarks by speaking of the poor and how those of us of the 'have' persuasion should help the disenfranchised. To me however, this is simply a humanist, not religious view. Campolo has my respect.

Maher and Larry Charles - nice! Religulous looks like my kind of movie - wry, funny, an unvarnished take on the absurdity of organized religion. Let's be real here for a moment. After the millions Larry made working on Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm - you gotta think he could muster up something better than orange Crocs? "What Not to Wear"? Orange Crocs Larry, orange Crocs.

I was present for the Sean Avery taping. Watching it back again - this crafted "bad boy" persona works for him and rewards him with commercial opportunities that far exceed what he'd enjoy based on his skill level alone. I actually respect his unapologetic and cocky attitude. Sean wouldn't be caught dead in orange Crocs. Come on ... Vogue...

- Tracy


Let us get this over with right off the top...Sean Avery...whatever.

Tony Campolo was, once again, a great guest. I like his brand of Christianity.

Elizabeth May was very impressive. I love her positivity and the Green Party is quite fortunate to have her at the helm. However, I was a touch disappointed at the end of the interview when she tried to plug her new book. That was not the appropriate time.

I have always been a fan of Jack Layton's people skills. During his appearance on The Hour, Jack did what he does best...he speaks to the 'every man'. For me, it was the best interview of the week.

Mr. Harper's lack of interest in visiting The Hour is curious to me, but not at all surprising based on how he micromanages the Conservative ship (yes, that read ship with a 'p', not with a 't', which is what I REALLY wanted to type). While failing to appear on The Hour cannot be considered political suicide by any means, to me, it says a lot about Harper as a person and it reinforces the beliefs I have about him. Harper doesn't strike me as someone who enjoys the unscripted. If anything, I think an appearance on The Hour might help to increase his appeal.

I just had a scathingly brilliant idea...if George is looking to up the ante in Harper Bait '08 perhaps he could extend an invitation to young Benjamin Harper, who is apparently learning the guitar. As many people know, George plays Guitar Hero. Perhaps he could invite Mr. Harper to bring young Ben by the broadcast centre so he could give him a few GH pointers. Ben would love it I am sure! Heck, maybe Mr. Harper would like to rock out with them on the piano...and since he's already there, why not sit down in the red chair for a little chit-chat? Picture it...George, Ben and our Prime Minister...Welcome to the Jungle. Sweater vests are optional. ;-)

~ Steph