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, June 30, 2010


Many years ago the patriotism of our nation was stirred by a rather unlikely source...a beer commercial! Depending upon how old you are, you may well remember the excitement over the "I AM. CANADIAN" advertisement. At the time, "The Rant", as it was also known, conveyed what was in the hearts of Canadians in a way never quite seen before. Suddenly it was cool to be Canadian and we wanted to shout it from the rooftops! As is the nature of advertising, the commercial eventually ran its course and faded away. Once again our patriotism was hushed.
Historically as a nation, we were not known as flag wavers. For Canadians, quiet patriotism was where it was at. Always polite, not necessarily boastful, as citizens (either by birth or immigration) we would sing our anthem and on Canada Day, wave the maple leaf. We were content with this. We sure didn't want to be like our often over-exuberant flag flying neighbours to the south.
But then something changed...

I first noticed it about the same time as Canada's military participation in Afghanistan began. Our soldiers were proud to be serving our country and in return, we were proud of them. Suddenly it was once again cool to fly our flag and not just on July 1st.
But wait, there's more...

With the countdown to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and the torch relay across our "glorious nation", our pride began to swell. We were now on display for the world to see and we wanted to leave no doubt that we were damn proud to be Canadian! A 'new' patriotism was spawn, not from a beer commercial, but from red mittens embellished with a maple leaf. Those mittens were 'the' hot ticket item for not only Canadians, but international visitors as well. It was like everyone wanted to be like us! And then it happened...the first Olympic gold medal won on Canadian soil, thanks to Alexandre Bilodeau. Suddenly, the floodgates of national pride opened in a way we have never experienced. It was now all about our flag and all about our anthem!!

As Canadians, we cannot let the national pride and emotion expressed during the Olympics simply fade away. We must celebrate us EVERDAY! Especially on Canada Day! Even with the various issues we all face, we are pretty fortunate to be living in the best country on earth!
Prior to the Olympics, Amercian journalist Tom Brokaw prepared an 'informational' snippet about Canada/US was designed to educate Americans about their neighbours to the north. However, I have yet to hear from a Canadian who has watched it and not felt immense pride.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Everything Old is Not New Again- Repeatapalooza!

So Kids... another weekend coming to a close. What did you do for fun? Take in a Movie, go see a band, do some shopping? Riot? Okay, HOPEFULLY you weren't one of the G20 protesters - if so, you owe everyone in the GTA a HUGE f-ing apology. One friend in particular has been trapped in their condo building in close proximity to the sites with fenced in doors, boarded up windows and a furniture free lobby. Yep. And a good time was NOT had by all. Try the veal and please tip your waitress...

So, maybe you want to kick back and listen to some tunes? If so, tune into CBC Radio 2 from 8-Midnight for The Strombo Show'.

Monday June 28th --

No listings are available for the lineup as of Sunday. As the interminable soccer BS keeps on rollin' The Hour may air, it may not.

Tuesday, June 29th

He's talented. Sarcastic and really sweaty. Director Kevin Smith takes to the Red Chair. Good things they're wide. No embarrassment here.
Saiorse Ronan
Up and coming young actress and star of 'The Lovely Bones' -- I loved the book but heard the movie wasn't terrific... any opinions on that?

Roseanne Cash
Singer. Songwriter. Daughter of the Legendary Man in Black himself, Johnny Cash. Roseanne has come into her own. If you get a chance to see her live? Don't miss it. She's inherited talent!

Wednesday June 30th
Mindy CohnOne of the few teen actors that didn't go off the rails- Mindy Cohn - Yes, Natalie from 'The Facts of Life' is still working hard, this time pursuing theatre. Insomniacs like myself can tell you that The Facts of Life airs weekdays @ 5:30am on DejaVu. And yes, Blair is still a bitch.

Dave Stewart
With Solo projects and his amazing work with Annie Lennox in the Eurythmics, Dave Stewart creates sound. Great sounds... For the 35+ set, his music was the soundtrack to a lot of great times.
Lee Daniels
He rode the wave of success that was the emotionally charged powerhouse film that caused a sensation -- Precious -- all the way to the Oscars. Here he is with one of his stars, Mariah Carey. Lee Daniels, for getting Mariah to get all uglified, you should have won many more awards than you did my friend!

July 1st
Stephen King
Horrormeister author Stephen King has had quite a career and life. He sits down for a rare chat with George.
Anika Noni RoseHer star is on the rise... Anika Noni Rose has been a Dreamgirl on Broadway and Princess in 'The Princess and the Frog'.

Shawn Ashmore
The lone Canadian airing on this Canada Day edition has been in X-Men and also in one of the most disturbing films I've personally seen -- 3 Needles. It's shocking and Shawn was very good in it. If you're prone to depression? Skip it.
Friday, July 2nd

Catherine O'Hara
She steals every scene she's ever in... period. SCTV alum. Christopher Guest permanent troupe member and sister to the most excellent Mary Margaret. Catherine is a comedy legend!

Nick Hornby

Brilliant Author, Screenwriter and most importantly - dad. Nick Hornby is creative and writes about music in a way only the most passionate ones can. This interview shows a more personal side to the man. It's a fave, and not just because I was there to see it taped.

Drew Barrymore
After a more than rocky adolescence, Drew is now a focused professional. With her producing partner Nancy Juvonen, she started Flower Films at an age when most kids are figuring out their college major. I finally saw Whip It - the movie she was promoting during this visit. It was really enjoyable and not just because a couple of my friends are Derby Girls.
So... enjoy your week, if you're Canadian wave the flag, have a BBQ and then shake it off in time for work on Friday morning. Though I'm not sure I'll be going. In fact -- I think I'm coming down with a delayed 24 hour flu. 4 day weekend? SWEET!!!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

NHL Awards in Las Vegas

The big Road Trip is done now. The photos of G's trip can be found here.
What is George's doing next you ask?

The 2010 NHL Awards are in Las Vegas this year.

They will be hosted by comic Jay Mohr and will have a number of stars from the entertainment industry paying tribute to the NHL's biggest stars.
The show will feature Mark Wahlberg, Snoop Dogg, the Goo Goo Dolls, the Cirque du Soleil, Travis Barker and The Hour's George Stroumboulopoulos.

Among the hockey stars are Martin Brodeur, Sidney Crosby, Duncan Keith, Mike Green, Ryan Kesler, Ryan Miller and Alex Ovechkin among others.

You can catch the award show at 8:30 -10pm on Wednesday June 23rd on CBC.
And at 6:30 (ET) you can catch the red carpet live at

Jonas the tiger found safe!!

Jonas the Tiger and two camels named Shawn and Todd have been found safe and sound 31km from where they had been stolen five days ago.

Jonas who has appear on The Hour with Dave Salmoni had been stolen on June 18th while being transported through Quebec with a couple of Camels in a trailer, have been recovered safe and sound early this morning.

Viewers of The Hour that remember Jonas, the staff at The Hour that met Jonas, and George himself who has had Jonas as a guest twice have been very worried since the news of the theft.

This photo shopped picture may have been posted on The Hour as dark joke but the concern about Jonas behind it was genuine.

We are so very happy this ended well!

A bit late, but What The FIFA!

My apologies to my girls & to our readers....
Totally not on the ball lately; unlike our 'footy' friends in The World Cup!
Nevertheless, as Steph had mentioned last week, CBC is running TWC at all hours, so it's best to check your local programing for when to check in on The Hour.
An FYI for those who appreciate the show's writers, A source tells me that Pete Zedlacher (a writer on The Hour) will be on an episode of Rookie Blue, a new Global show starting this week.
Wondering what George himself, is up to lately? Follow him on his recently reno'd site:, for all things Georgy.

The Hour
this week:

Mon, June 21

Drew Barrymore, Andre Agassi, Jimmy Carter

Tue, June 22

Juliette Lewis, Michael Moore, Peter Sarsgaard

Wed, June 23

Morgan Freeman, David Cross, John Irving

Thur, June 24

Hulk Hogan, Harrison Ford, Terry Gilliam

Fri, June 25

Vivica Fox, Hugh Dillon, Bill Maher

Happy First week of Summer!!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Polaris Music Prize - It's ON!

It's Polaris Music Prize time again. Time for those affiliated with the music industry - journalists, music reviewers, entertainment writers and such - those not in a position to gain financially from an Artist's work to get busy, sharpen up their listening skills and select the top Canadian Album of the past year of any genre or respect to sales. It's all about the music! Well and also the cash. This year, both George Stroumboulopoulos and Bob Mackowyz of The Strombo Show are jurors.

Now in their Fifth year - Polaris awards a prize of $20,000 to the record deemed by the final 'Grand' jury to be the best record of the year - an unenviable task - as the value, beauty and quality of art is so subjective. Perhaps it's the lyrical quality, beat, production quality that is judged? Nope. The jury have free reign to list their tops of the year, votes are counted and the Long List is created. It's all subjective, yet looking at the Long List of 40 just announced, overall there is a great representation of genres and levels of experience, from novice to legend from all across Canada. The Short List will be available on July 6th and the ultimate winner announced on September 20th at the Drake in Toronto.

The Long List with artist links and Itunes access can be viewed HERE.

As a music lover, I try to keep up to date on what's new, fresh and exciting on the music scene in Canada. Not sure about you, but I attend a lot of shows - at small venues, free and paid festivals and house concerts. It's a favourite activity. So for me, the Polaris list gives me a chance to explore the work of the artists I may not have heard before, check out the tour schedules of those I want to see live. Kind of like a summer roadtrip shopping list. As well, I use the list as a bit of a launching pad/ legitimizing force for my love for artists I know well - it helps to share their work with friends about acts they should check out.

I also still buy hard format CD's. Lots of them. I prefer the tangibility of holding something in my hand that has been lovingly created that you can't get by downloading. I buy all my music at shows OR my local indie record shop where they know and love music as much as I do. It's supporting the little guy - the emerging artists and the struggling retailer.

There are a few standouts in the list for me in that there are a large number of artists that have been nominated before -- this is not an exhaustive list, but notable repeat nominees include:

Broken Social Scene, Basia Bulat, Shad, Crystal Castles, Holy Fuck, The New Pornographers, Plants and Animals. Past winners Caribou and Owen Pallet - the first Polaris winner, the artist formerly known as Final Fantasy also grace the Long List.

Canada's Walk of Fame recipients and Canadian musical legends Blue Rodeo are nominated for their beautiful double record, The Things We Left Behind. Honestly, although the quality of this album is undisputed, I suspect that they are so well established will make them a long shot for the short list.

Polaris lists also tend to include at least one artist with a variation of the word Fuck in their band name. Holy Fuck (again nominated for 2010) and last year's winners Fucked up. If this tells us anything, perhaps it's that for that kid playing in their basement - practicing may not be the main point of order -- maybe you just need a good name? I might suggest a few: WTF, F This, F-ing Loser. The possibilities are both profane and endless. Kidding.

Unlike previous years, I'm not stamping my feet at any glaring omissions - it's a pretty good list. If there is any sentiment brought to the culling process to the 10? My vote goes to XXXX by You Say Party, We say Die who tragically lost their drummer, Devon Clifford this April.

My Personal Polaris Long List stats are this -- maybe you'd like to consult the list and calculate your numbers?

Number of Records that I own - 11

Number of Artists that I have already seen live - 18

Number of Artists I am scheduled to see this Summer - 10

Number of Artists I had never heard of until the release of the long list - 8

This is something to be remedied - the last useful purpose of Myspace ;)

Of those stats, I'm most excited of course of the 10 I will see in the next couple of months. These include The Besnard Lakes, Jason Collett, Amelia Curran, Hawksley Workman and Justin Rutledge. If schedule permits a first time visit to Lilith Fair may be in the offing. If you are Lillith bound - don't miss Meaghan Smith. This girl has something very special. Her songs are quirky, catchy and delivered in a quietly powerful and charming style. She will be a star. I have seen her open for Ron Sexsmith twice and the crowd was captivated.

As for which discs will comprise the 10 on the Short List? I have no idea but my hope is that some of these will make it:

The Early Widows - Justin Rutledge
Darker Circles - The Sadies
Meat - Hawksley Workman
The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night - The Besnard Lakes
Nice, Nice, Very Nice - Dan Mangan
Hunter, Hunter - Amelia Curran
Rat a Tat Tat - Jason Collett
The Cricket's Orchestra - Meaghan Smith
So -- what's you opinion? Any favourites on the list... and are you pissed about anyone that's been omitted from the Long List? Want to throw down your top 10 and see how you do... I'd be happy to hear about it because the love of music, if not shared, is wasted indeed.

Make yours a Musical Summer and Happy Listening!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Its' the week of June 13th

Do you have World Cup Fever yet? If so, hopefully your team will not disappoint! As CBC is broadcasting this event, the schedule for The Hour might be a little wonky. When in doubt, check your local listings or the CBC's Program Guide.

Coming up this week on The Hour...

Monday, June 14

Carol Burnett Pictures, Images and Photos

Comedy legend Carol Burnett. Pictures, Images and Photos

Rapper, record producer and actor Snoop Dogg.

John Roberts Pictures, Images and Photos

CNN Anchor John (JD) Roberts.

Tuesday, June 15th

Valerie Bertinelli Pictures, Images and Photos

Actress and author Valerie Bertinelli.

Eckhart Tolle Pictures, Images and Photos

Best selling author Eckhart Tolle.

Michael Buble Pictures, Images and Photos

Canadian music superstar Michael Buble.

Wednesday, June 16th

LK Pictures, Images and Photos

Broadcast veteran CNN's Larry King.

MARTIN SHORT! Pictures, Images and Photos

Canadian comedian and actor Martin Short.

anne murray Pictures, Images and Photos

Nova Scotia's favourite daughter Anne Murray.

Thursday, June 18th

No Respect Pictures, Images and Photos

Either you love them or you hate them! Canadian rockers Nickelback.

Morgan Freeman Pictures, Images and Photos

One of the best actors EVER...Morgan Freeman.

Micheal Moore Pictures, Images and Photos

Controversial filmmaker and social commentator Michael Moore.

Friday, June 18th

Stephen King Pictures, Images and Photos

Master storyteller Stephen King.

howie mandel Pictures, Images and Photos

Comedian, game show host and actor Howie Mandel.

Michaelle Jean Pictures, Images and Photos

In my opinion, one of the BEST Governor Generals Canada has ever had! Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaƫlle Jean.

In other news...
Don't forget to tune into The Strombo Show starting tonight at 8pm EST on CBC Radio 2.

In the world of Facebook, George announced the merging of all things Strombo.

Want to keep up-to-date on George's summer hiatus adventures? Be sure to follow him on Twitter or on this nifty map.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

As summer begins

As the summer begins the hard working crew of The Hour go off in all directions.
George gets ready this week to set off on his motorcycle trip up to places like Louisiana and The Gulf then he will go west to head to his summer home in Los Angeles to work on some projects there.
I believe a few members of The Hour crew (Adam the writer and Darby the videographer) will be going with him on this odyssey to a) keep him out of trouble and b) help document the trip and C) to drive a truck filled with supplies the motorcycles can't carry.

Another member of the writing team, Pete Zedlacher will be heading in a different direction this summer. You have seen him on a number of sketches on The Hour this season. Pete works as a stand up comic when he is not writing for television. This weekend you could catch him at the Comedy Nest in Montreal.

We'll keep our ears open for more summer stories from the crew.
You can follow George on his facebook page to get news of his trip.
Have a safe and happy summer!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Last week before the World Cup

On Sunday June 6's Strombo Show

The best summer songs Strombo style
8 pm to Midnight this Sunday.
Want to chat about it with other listners?
Check out the Strombo Show Chat Blog hosted by Jazzdolphin.
If you have Skype (no mic or webcam needed) you can join the live Sunday night chat.

The last week of The Hour before the Soccer begins!
Looks like this week is packed with the best interviews of this season!

Monday June 7
Iconic Canadian Singer Anne Murray

What Hip Hop Artist is in this much talked about Adidas World Cup Soccer ad?
Snoop Dogg

Brilliant Director Terry Gilliam

Tuesday June 8

Musician Perry Farrell
Canadian Director Jason Reitman

Wednesday June 9

& from Stargate Universe Actor Louis Ferreira

Thursday June 10
Guns n Roses, Slash's Snakepit and Velvet Revolver's Guitarist Slash

Flashpoint's Enrico Colantoni

From MASH, Actor Jamie Farr

Friday June 11
Canadian Actor Bruce Greenwood

Scottish Comedian Danny Bhoy

& Hip Hop Legend Cypress Hill


Then Soccer begins in earnest at 8 am on Friday June 11th.
If you are a fan of 2010 FIFA world Cup you can follow it all on CBC.
Here is the schedule