[Photo credit: Masey]
I had the opportunity on Wednesday evening to attend my very first talk show taping.
A few weeks ago, word quickly spread on Twitter that Canada’s boyfriend, George Stroumboulopoulos (aka Strombo), was moving his show, The Hour, over to the best coast for a couple of nights. I quickly jumped at the chance to get free tickets for my friends and I to attend the taping. Unfortunately, I was refused tickets as they were already snapped up within an hour of their release. Ugh, keeners.
There was still hope for us though.
On Wednesday afternoon, TayloredMyPants and I headed over to the CBC studios in downtown Vancouver.
There were two sets of line-ups: one for people who have tickets and the one called the “rush line”. The rush line is for those who do not have tickets. However, if there was enough room, people in the rush line will be moved to the “overflow studio” or even possibly be moved in to the main studio. Luckily, we were only the second in the rush line, so we had a pretty good chance of watching the show.
After waiting patiently outside for four hours, shivering our tails off in torrential rains and a windstorm (I’m not exaggerating here, people!), the Strombo crew finally let us in. The main studio where the taping would be was already full, so along with more than 40 others, we had to be escorted to the adjacent overflow studio – or as I like to call it the “Riff-Raff Room” (à la Ellen DeGeneres and Tom Hanks). Although we couldn’t be in the main studio, us Riff-Raffers had it good. The Strombo crew entertained us and treated us pretty well (if you guys are reading this – Hi Duncan and Leo! haha). We got to play trivia games and were bombarded with free swag. Above all, the large video screen in our room played a live feed of the taping. Plus, we could still hear everything that was going on in the main studio – even in between tapings when George would chat with the crowd.
More than half-way through the night, we were guided into the main studio to watch a bit of the taping. In person, The Hour set is more breathtaking than it looks on television.
As usual, George posed intelligent and insightful questions to that night’s guests which included Canadian Heritage MP James Moore, the Vancouver Canucks Swedish twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin, and a pre-taped segment of Our Lady Peace’s Raine Maida. By far, my most favourite part of the interviews was when Henrik Sedin talked about him and his brother playing hockey together, "Everyone knows we like to play with each other." I literally fell over my chair laughing. A couple of seconds later, a lot of other people understood why I was laughing and started giggling too. What can I say, sometimes I have the mind of a 12-year old boy.
Vancouver local Billy the Kid also appeared on The Hour. Her segment was taped Wednesday night to be broadcast the next day. She was interviewed and played a couple of songs.
All of the guests that night came in to the Riff-Raff room after their segment with George. Mr. Moore stopped by for a quick hello, the Sedins had some Q&A time with us, and Billy the Kid was gracious to take photos and sign autographs for fans.
The most exciting and entertaining moments of the entire night, however was off-camera. In between segments, George would chat with the crowd, visit the Riff-Raff room, answer people’s questions, and tell some pretty amazing stories. George is an incredible story-teller that kept me captivated and laughing all throughout. He talked about his motorcycle accident, the time he met Sarah Palin, and his move from MuchMusic to CBC – just to name a few.
After the show wrapped up, George came back to the Riff-Raff room to take photos and chat with fans one-on-one. There must have been at least a hundred fans who stayed behind. George was very generous and took the time to speak with each and every person. We waited more than half-an-hour until it was our turn to meet him. Off-screen, George is even more genuine and sweet.
I have always been a Strombo fan since the early days when he was a VJ on MuchMusic. So it’s a pretty huge deal for me to meet him.
I kind of already met him once before when I was a volunteer during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. During a hockey game, my friend who was also volunteering, ran up to me and told me that she just shook hands with Strombo. Of course, I ran over to where he was and saw that he was giving high-fives to everyone. I put my arm up for a high-five, he high-fived the people on both sides of me, but left me hanging. Silly me kind of felt heartbroken and rejected. I told George this story and he felt really bad, apologized and said he probably never saw me. It was all good – I got over it 😛
After TayloredMyPants and I posed for photos with him, George wanted one more photo with me. He redeemed himself by posing for a high-five with me. What a guy, eh?
Leo, one of the Strombo crew members, laid out a couple of The Hour posters on a nearby table. We asked George if he could sign them for us. There were only a few posters, so he didn’t want to start signing them, leaving other fans jealous. So he whispered not to tell anyone and that if we stuck around until everyone left, he’d autograph the posters for us. After waiting nearly another hour, we finally went up to George with our posters. He shocked me in that he actually remembered both our names an hour after first meeting him! He signed our posters, thanked us for coming, and we said our goodbyes. What a perfect end to a perfect night.
I can honestly say that out of all of the celebrities, he is truly the nicest people I have ever met.
I hope George and The Hour return to Vancouver soon. And if I have to endure another rain and windstorm, it’ll totally be worth it!