Stroumboulopoulos brings show, lots of vowels to U of C

By Sara Hanson

Proclaiming Calgary as Canada’s new capital, George Stroumboulopoulos made a good impression on fans who attended the Monday night taping of his CBC show The Hour in MacEwan Ballroom.

Stroumboulopoulos, who is known for hosting the Punk Show, the New Music and Much News on Much Music, originally began his career as a radio host in Kelowna, B.C. with no expectations of entering the world of television.

“Television was a fluke,” he said. “All I ever wanted to do was be a radio jockey and play Led Zeppelin.”

After serving as the host for Tommy Douglas on the Greatest Canadian Challenge, Stroumboulopoulos was offered a permanent place at CBC, however, he was reluctant to take the offer.

“Originally I didn’t want to take the job,” he said. “I just didn’t think it was my thing.”

Stroumboulopoulos eventually decided to give CBC a chance and despite his lack of traditional CBC appeal, he felt welcome at the station right away. Now in it’s second season, The Hour has received a lot of positive feedback. Show producer David Freeman explained why he thinks it has been so successful.

“When we created the show there were three things that we had in mind: no bullshit, give people a different take and nothing is sacred,” said Freeman. “These are the three pillars that we use to judge each day.”

Although The Hour concentrates on the news of the day, Freeman stressed they also try to include stories that are not getting much coverage.

“We try to give people something that is going to make them care and think about something in a different way,” he said.

Stroumboulopoulos’ years at Much Music and unconventional approach to journalism may be appealing to many young Canadians; however, Freeman insists this is not an objective of the show.

“One thing we have always made clear is that this show never intended to target a young audience,” said Freeman. “The audience is split evenly between different age groups. We are trying to bridge the generation gap in news and just trying to do things differently.”

Stroumboulopoulos is definitely taking a different approach. From his clothes to his set, everything about The Hour redefines traditional news. Although music is still an important aspect in his life, Stroumboulopoulos’ favourite topic is people who want to make a difference.

“Anything people can do to make the world a better place, that’s a great thing,” he said.