Addicted to novelty since 2001

George Stroumboulopoulos Tries Too Hard

You know, it kind of troubles me that this guy has become the default spokesperson for my generation. I really don’t want “George Stroumboulopoulos” to be the answer to the question “who are Canadian thirty-somethings looking up to these days?”

Why’s that? Because he tries too hard. He seems, at any given moment, to be dabbling in opposites–“I’m tough yet sensitive”, “I’m erudite with street cred”, “I’m hip to be square”. To me, his performance always ends up somewhere in-between, middlebrow and wishy-washy. I think his job is tricky, but I see plenty of other hosts establish a more genuine on-air persona.

I suspect The Hour’s producers are as much to blame as the man himself. Tonight’s a classic example. His guests on the show are legendary pornstar Ron Jeremy and former Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney.

First off, that’s just inappropriate. You shouldn’t book a pornstar and a former Prime Minister on the same show. I have no love lost for Mr. Mulroney, but that’s just not on. One can be hip and edgy, and still have respect for one of our nation’s more important institutions, the office of the Prime Minister. I’m guessing Mr. Jeremy’s free another night this week.

I wouldn’t bring this up, but Stroumboulopoulos made so much of it in his opening bit (after the tragically unfunny sketch comedy schtick, which ought to be dropped like a spoiled beaver tail). He protested way too much, emphasizing the juxtaposition between the two guests and that his show was big enough to accommodate them both.

The show’s counter-cultural, edgy vibe is about as thin as the ice on Lost Lagoon in November, because why’s Mr. Mulroney on the show? To pimp another show on the CBC, of course (which actually looks pretty fun).

What’s Stroumboulopoulos’s ultimate message? “We’re so cool we’ve got a pornstar and a former head of state on the same show. But we’re not too cool to sing for our supper.”

72 Responses to “George Stroumboulopoulos Tries Too Hard”

  1. Ahhem

    I can’t believe people can stand to look at him for longer than 5 minutes. ew.

  2. Aidan

    This guy is so disingenuous I can’t watch the show.

    His intense leaning in, head tilted and eyes squinted in deep understanding of his guest is just painful to watch.

    I haven’t met him but if he really does have a good personality then he should just relax and be himself.

    Even if his personality is bad I’d still find that easier to stomach than whatever it is he’s doing now.

  3. DaveO

    i think i’ll speak better to your generation when i have my own show on CBC. Topics: hockey, literature, travel, theatre and social change.

    Any day now …

  4. Todd Sieling

    My opinion of George’s show sways but tends more towards the positive the more I see it. I feel like trying too hard is a hallmark of many CBC personalities.

  5. Keith

    I greatly enjoy Strombo’s interviews. I like how he puts his guests at ease and often asks very real questions. I don’t watch any other part of his show, just the interviews, via the podcast. I also like the variety of guests.

    I am kinda surprised by the amount of Strombo-hate on here. I don’t watch TV really, so I am usually astonished when I actually find something worth watching. And I’ve enjoyed Strombo’s interviews pretty consistently.

    Re: ‘trying too hard’ – he’s a TV talk show host! What do you want him to be like? Charlie Rose?

  6. Jon

    Strombo’s is a gay environmental wacko like Gore and Suzuki i dare him to bring the other side in for a interview.

  7. JIm

    Halleluja! I thought I was the only one who thought that this guy was a downright putz! I would rather be forced to watch Carrot Top ‘s lame ass Vegas routine than watch this a-hole’s show any day of the week. The guy thinks he is uber cool when in fact he is uber nerd. If he had any talent at all, he wouldn’t be working at the CBC. Canada’s national network is so pathetically weak it makes me cringe. Can someone please get this guy off the air? His mere presence on air offends me.

  8. James Overtree

    I really don’t have any opinion as I have never been able to stand him long enough to form one. If I can’t get him out of the room then I have to get out of the room myself, quickly.

  9. Tessa

    I met him years ago. I interviewed
    him as a class project. He was honest
    and forthcoming with his opinions and
    life story. He’s not so much fake
    as much as he is perhaps armoured
    and for good reason. Have a little journalistic
    empathy (all those who judge).
    Do you expect that you could face the audience and
    cameras AND be flawlessly “yourself” (appeal to everyone)?!.
    Because you don’t know from fish bowl.
    P.S I don’t see anyone here that is more
    of a success- so…. BITE ME!!

  10. Jack

    Hi. George is on TV right now. I can’t stand him.
    I hate to be sour grapes. If the guest talks about anything older than 6 months, George switches subjects. He hates cold. He’s left wing and I hated Much Music. So somebody please give him the hook.He aint Candian. He aint kewl like he thinks he is. He seems like some T.O Degrassi Jr High Immigrant wanna be different Cdn. F.O. George


  11. Nikos the Greek

    I agree with Jack. I mean he REALLY goes on the whole left wing thing. I get it. I get it. To be young and hip you have to be left wing. But please don’t assume that’s the only way to be and the only way to be if you’re young. Its misleading and stupid.

    He had some global warming guy on now –a pro Gore author who couldn’t name ONE professional climate scientist that doesn’t agree the earth is going to be a boiling bowl of hot lava within 50 years. Pullleeease –not one? There are 30 000 scientists who signed a petition in the us that they do NOT believe in global warming or believe that its just a natural thing (an ebb and flow like the ice ages). The thing is whether you agree with them or not don’t pretend they dont exist. That’s George’s problem –he brings on guests that he agrees with and together they agree to ignore a WHOLE huge group of people over here who don’t agree with them on any postiion (you nameit politics, economics, arts, etc etc).

    I don’t think George is trying too hard.
    I think he isn’t trying hard enough–if you understand my meaning.


  12. Staniklos

    Strombopopodopolopmopomus is a simpering idiot. He asks the most inane and idiotic questions of his guests that you can see them squirming in their seats. Sure he gets “big stars” because everyone of them are pimping a movie or a book or a video or a cause. Due to the hatred of success in Canada truly talented people leave for other places and we are left with this simpering idiot and his patronizing questions who sends international stars of literature, politics, stage and screen off wondering to themselves “if he is the most popular tv presenter in Candada, as my publicist has assured me, this country is truly full of dummys.

  13. Bojan

    I agree totally. He just doesn’t seem to do this with heart but with his head. He is just not peaceful person, not directed anywhere, jumping from one thing to another and has no concept. I mean the host should allow himself to say something stupid occasionally but should have personality and not just adjust to his guests. I really don’t know who told him to go in this business. He even made it to make K.Minogue look almost dull in his show, the only such interview she gave in her life I believe.
    He should watch Urban rush and learn, but these things you just don’t learn.. you have them or not.

  14. Jojo

    This guy sucks. The show is not entertaining. The last 10-15 minutes is WHAT. How did this guy get prime time? He knows Ben Mulroney! Put something entertaining on!

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