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.”