George StroumboulopoulosFridays @ 11pm ET on CNN
July 17th, 2013
10:42 PM ET

Stroumboulopoulos: Monteith was 'brave with his vulnerability'

George Stroumboulopoulos spoke to Cory Monteith about addiction when the "Glee" star was a guest on his CBC program, "George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight."

"Fame often leads to the disintegration of a person," Stroumboulopoulos said in the 2011 interview, "but it seems like in your case, it's having the opposite effect."

Monteith told Stroumboulopoulos, "I just try and do the next right thing."

According to a coroner's report, the death of Monteith, 31, was caused by a mix of heroin and alcohol.

Earlier today on "CNN Newsroom," host Brooke Baldwin discussed the rise of heroin use across America.

"He was one of the loveliest ones you're gonna meet," Stroumboulopoulos told Baldwin, "and I know it's tragic when you lose anybody, but he was kind of the good one."

Stroumboulopoulos told Baldwin that Monteith seemed to have turned his life around after having battled addiction for years.

"I don't know a lot of the details near the end," said Stroumboulopoulos, "of what happened to him or what precipitated those final few hours for him but it's just, sometimes this stuff comes out of nowhere. He seemed to be making the right choices in most parts of his life. He was very self-aware, he was aware of the step-by-step process with which he could get better, and this is the tragedy of addiction.

“This is the complicated part of addiction is that everybody has their own relationship with it and how you get through it is kind of - sometimes it's not really up to you, so it's a real tragedy. He was a really lovely man."

Stroumboulopoulos believes Monteith's courage and openness about his demons made him extraordinary.

"What made him special, actually, was that he was very brave," he said. "And not brave in the braggadocio way, brave with his vulnerability. He recognized that he had lots of issues that he had to deal with, and he was making active choices to deal with them."

The host of CNN's "Stroumboulopoulos" also took a moment to reflect on addiction and the individual.

"That's the thing with addiction. You could be going down the right road for so long, and it's a bad hour and look out, right? A bad hour could be the difference maker in somebody's life. I actually didn't pick up a single thing that said he was in trouble."

Stroumboulopoulos also recalled that the last time he saw Monteith, the actor exhibited "confidence in recognizing that he had vulnerabilities that he was working toward. So he didn't think that he had nailed life, he thought that he was working towards it and that brings a certain confidence to a guy.

“I just was really impressed with how brave he was, and sharing that stuff on the air because as you know, Brooke, celebrity for the sake of celebrity is not interesting. But in those conversations when he was willing to engage, he was actually actively helping other people make better choices in their lives.

“People who could watch and relate to some of his stuff, because our culture does not really appreciate mental health issues and doesn't deal with addiction with the most empathy. We don't as a culture; and when you have strong, successful people talking about it, that's how you can help end the stigma and help people get help."

June 25th, 2013
06:16 PM ET

Larry King on what he misses about CNN

"When it first started rattling around my head that we'd be doing an interview show on CNN," George Stroumboulopoulos said before welcoming Larry King as a guest on CNN's "Stroumboulopoulos," obviously I was very excited. And part of the reason was because you always want to be a moon that orbits around - or be a part of this incredible history. This network has tons of great moments and most of them center on the guy that's gonna be in the red chair. He's one of the great interviewers of all time - and I love him because he's a radio guy."

"You changed your name for television," King said to Stroumboulopoulos. "His real name is George Clark."

King took a moment to reflect on how he got into the radio business and why he changed his name.

"My name was Larry Zeiger, and it was May 1, 1957," said King. "My first big day on the air and the general manager called me in. I had all my records prepared and he said 'What name are you gonna use?' I said 'Larry Zeiger.' He said 'You can't use that. It's too ethnic. People won't remember, won't know how to spell it. You better change your name.' So I'm sitting there. It's like three minutes to go on the air. My lifetime wish and I'm having my name changed; and The Miami Herald was opened there was an ad for King's Wholesale Liquors and he said 'How about Larry King?' I said 'That sounds good!'"

A couple of years later, he legally changed his name to Larry King.

Stroumboulopoulos asked King, who currently hosts "Larry King Now," an interview show on Ora TV, if people were surpried that he didn't retire after leaving CNN's "Larry King Live."

"It was a strange set of circumstances," said King. "One, I had wonderful 25-and-a-half years at CNN. I started at CNN on their fifth anniversary - June 1, 1985. They started June 1, 1980. We thought it would be a couple of years' run. Ted Turner signed me and I had a great run. 25-and-a-half years, but as Colin Powell told me, 'When the train comes to the last stop, get off. Don't wait till it turns around and goes back.' It was time. Certain things - it's time. It was the longest-running show hosted by the same person at the same time."

King admitted that there are things he misses about CNN.

"I missed it when big events happened. I remember being home the night Osama bin Laden was killed and I just wanted to jump up and run in because I'd had so many big events at CNN."

King also took a few moments to reflect on his love of interviewing.

"But you do miss it," he continued. "This is a disease. It is. This camera thing is a disease and you don't know why it works or how it works or why they like you or don't like you. It's very subjective. Ted Turner had to like me. If he didn't like me I would never have been on CNN. So you're at the whim of others. And I always respected it. I always knew that I didn't own that camera. CNN owns that camera, I don't own it. Nothing is forever and I was always happy to be there. And I loved interviewing. You gotta love it. You love it, right?"

"Absolutely," answered Stroumboulopoulos.

King told Stroumboulopoulos that the interview style that's always worked for him is to leave himself out of the equation and never use the word "I."

"'I' is irrelevant," said King. "The guest counts. The shorter question is better than the longer question. If it takes three sentences, to me, it's a bad question."

On tonight's show, King also opens up to Stroumboulopoulos about his family, losing his dad at a young age, his beliefs, and more. Catch the full interview at 11. Only on CNN.

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Filed under: George Stroumboulopoulos • News
June 12th, 2013
08:10 PM ET

Howie Mandel to Strombo: 'I'm thrilled to have you here'

Howie Mandel tells fellow Canadian George Stroumboulopoulos that he's thrilled to see him in the United States.

Mandel goes on to explain how, in his 35 years in showbiz, Strombo is the best, most in-depth, comforting, smart show host who's not only genuinely interested in his guests, but knowledgeable as well.

Catch the full interview when "Stroumboulopoulos" begins airing at its regular time - Friday at 11 p.m. ET.


Filed under: Canada • George Stroumboulopoulos
June 10th, 2013
04:07 AM ET

Strombo on Martin Short: 'He is the loveliest, and he BRINGS IT'

"Martin Short is the kind of guy that everybody needs to spend a few moments with,” George Stroumboulopoulos told CNN after interviewing Short for his new late night interview program, “Stroumboulopoulos.”

"Martin Short is that guy that kind of broke so many barriers for us, as Canadians,” said Stroumboulopoulos. “Especially growing up in Toronto, you watch SCTV an awful lot, right?”

FULL POST

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Filed under: Behind the Scenes • Canada • George Stroumboulopoulos • Movies • Television
June 9th, 2013
03:35 AM ET

Strombo on Gordon Lightfoot: 'You bask in his glow but you can’t become him'

“I love having good conversations and that's what I wanna do on this program,” George Stroumboulopoulos told CNN’s Christine Romans and John Berman on “Starting Point.”

“I think an interviewer's kind of like an emotional archaeologist,” continued Stroumboulopoulos, “so if we can dig up and find some bones and then over time you kind of re-create the skeleton and maybe understand something that happened in the past and look towards the future.”

Strombo talked about his early influences.

“Bill Cosby, George Carlin, Chuck D, and Joe Strummer from The Clash,” he said. “Those are the people that I look toward. And Patti Smith.”

CNN’s John Berman asked why Canada’s own Gordon Lightfoot didn’t make the cut.

“Gordon Lightfoot was unachievable,” explained Strombo. “That’s like saying ‘Can you become a deity?’ We can’t. So with Gordon you just admire. You bask in his glow but you can’t become him.”

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Filed under: Canada • George Stroumboulopoulos • Music
June 7th, 2013
01:27 PM ET

Strombo's dream guest

George Stroumboulopoulos reveals who he would MOST like to sit down with for an interview in the red chairs.

June 7th, 2013
12:53 AM ET

George Stroumboulopoulos: 'I like having good conversations with people'

"Stroumboulopoulos" premieres on CNN at 10 p.m. ET Sunday. On June 14, "Stroumboulopoulos" will begin airing at 11 p.m. ET Fridays.

A seasoned radio and television host, the Canada-born-and-raised “Strombo” spoke to CNN this week about his new show, upbringing, career in broadcasting, motorcycle collection and more.

CNN: Tell us a little bit about your upbringing.

GS: I was raised by my mom in Toronto, Canada, and I've got a sister called Natasha, as well, and it was a small family. We just kind of grew up reading newspapers and my family was really engaged in what was going on in the world. My uncle used to always sit down and open a newspaper and he would hand me a section and I would read the news and we'd have to talk about it. I was really young at the time and he would take me to movies, so I was always raised to watch and read things that were older than one would normally at that age. I never wanted to live a relatable life, I wanted to live an aspirational life. I didn't want to see people who had my life on TV. I wanted to see other lives, right, and so I was always trying to get as much of that stuff as I could.

FULL POST

June 6th, 2013
09:00 PM ET

S-T-R-O-U-M...

Strombo recalls not learning to spell his last name until 5th grade - or as he (and all Canadians) put it: Grade 5. Also, "Stroumboulopoulos" rarely fits on forms, credit cards and hockey jerseys.

June 6th, 2013
05:00 PM ET

What's a double double? Jake Tapper quizzes George Stroumboulopoulos on Canadiana

George Stroumboulopoulos takes a friendly quiz from CNN's half-Canuck Jake Tapper.


Filed under: Canada • George Stroumboulopoulos
June 6th, 2013
04:00 PM ET

Brooke Baldwin welcomes Strombo to CNN

CNN's Brooke Baldwin welcomes George Stroumboulopoulos to the network, and discusses piercings, the perfect interview, and the word "rad" with CNN's new late night interview show host.

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