Friday Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Friday Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Sam in Pickering


December 19, 2014 @ 9:05 AM

Sam in Pickering


December 19, 2014 @ 9:05 AM

Sam in Pickering

Sorry about that, I guess that makes me first, second and third.

December 19, 2014 @ 9:15 AM


TM: If you have your Stombo episode in the can, why not put it out now instead of waiting for Monday?

Just curious.

December 19, 2014 @ 9:15 AM

Lyle Lanley

You know what's frustrating? Word that sitting is very bad for your health.

That's right, sitting. I have to sit for many, many hours a day. This bites.

December 19, 2014 @ 9:19 AM


X, where X is the numerical, ordinal position of this post (1-indexed).

December 19, 2014 @ 9:19 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


The reason I'm waiting until Monday to release the Strombo episode (although I think I'll put it on iTunes Sunday night.... shhhhh) is to give episode 102 with Scot Turner some space.

I didn't want the big name and presence of Strombo to squash what I think is a very interesting chat with Scot Turner.

Usually I post episodes the very day they're recorded.

December 19, 2014 @ 9:23 AM




December 19, 2014 @ 9:37 AM

Al Reda

Has anyone seen the new Chris Rock film yet?

is it funny?

December 19, 2014 @ 9:57 AM


As you know I'm not a fan of Strombo. I've heard he's really nice guy but I can't watch him.

Did you ask him about the many negative reviews he's received since taking the gig as host of Saturday's games? Seems like a fair question to ask him.

December 19, 2014 @ 10:00 AM


I'm actually a big fan of Strombo, and always have been - but man, he's absolutely brutal as the host of HNIC. Mike, I do hope that you touched on that during your interview with him.

December 19, 2014 @ 10:02 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


We spent a lot of time talking about criticism of his work at HNIC.

December 19, 2014 @ 10:16 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike



In fact, we talked for almost two hours and I think I asked everything. :)

December 19, 2014 @ 10:17 AM


Why all the blowback about Strombo on HNIC? He's just the host... does a great job if ya ask me.

What should he be doing differently? He's not the analyst FFS.

December 19, 2014 @ 10:20 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Since it's the Friday before Christmas, and the Friday before my EPIC STROMBO INTERVIEW, let's make this an all-Strombo Open Mike.

Do you like him? Hate him? Have a question for me about my time with him?

Ask me anything.

December 19, 2014 @ 10:23 AM


Really looking forward to the Strombo interview. I went to a taping of his show years ago and he was the nicest guy. He came to talk to us when we were standing in the line-up, and he spent 30 minutes after the show taking audience questions.

I even had a brief conversation with him on his bicycle once when I saw him riding in the Richmond Street bike lane near Bathurst.

December 19, 2014 @ 10:25 AM


Does Strombo have a girlfriend?

Asking for a friend. ;)

December 19, 2014 @ 10:26 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I've seen this in action. It literally takes him an hour to leave a busy room. Everybody wants to talk to him, but the selfies... everybody wants a selfie with him. He makes time for everybody if he has it.

He came over at 6pm, we recorded until 8, then my wife took a couple of pics of us and we just chatted away like we were old friends. I just wish I had recorded that post-interview chat.

December 19, 2014 @ 10:29 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


That's a question I did not ask him.

But, in a rather strange moment, I did ask him if he was gay.

December 19, 2014 @ 10:32 AM


I don't hate him, I just don't like his abilities as a host. He speaks too quickly, shifts around too much and is too in love with his interview subjects.

CBC does a great job of building up their "talent" (notice the quotes?) and while we've seen that backfired recently, he's apparently a nice guy and quality person. Fortunately for the CBC and Rogers he is nothing like his former co-worker JG.

December 19, 2014 @ 10:44 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


George is the anti-Ghomeshi.

I asked him if he'd be interested in taking over Q.

December 19, 2014 @ 10:48 AM


If George Strombo took over Q, they should rename it G.

December 19, 2014 @ 10:54 AM


That would seem like a better gig for him. Mind you I know very little about Q. Never listened to it. Don't even know when it was on.

December 19, 2014 @ 10:56 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I'm a big CBC Radio listener, but I've learned most people are like you.

I only listened to Q when I was interested in the guest. I definitely cherry picked my episodes, and typically listened to it as a podcast.

As I told Ed the Sock, Strombo would be a natural fit for that show.

December 19, 2014 @ 10:58 AM


Mike, have you thought about getting Stombo and Marek in at the same time. The stories that would flow!

December 19, 2014 @ 11:08 AM


My Habs lost. That's not good, but they lost. The Leafs lost though so that's a good thing. Hopefully my Nets will win tonight. I really need them to be on a hot streak.

December 19, 2014 @ 11:14 AM



Your Nets are old and tired.

December 19, 2014 @ 11:18 AM


Personally, I feel Strombo is stronger on radio than on TV. I don't think Strombo is in "love" with his guests as Argie says. His actions tell me he is man that is curious; learning & communication intrigue him. That's why he appears "in love" with his guests. I can't comment on him on HNIC because I don't watch it & haven't for years. I do like his show on CBC Radio 2 on Sunday's. He is one of the few radio guys who understands that real music fans are OK with him dropping a Jazz, pop or rap record.

Would he work on Q? I think he could give it a shot. Regardless of the reality of Jian Ghomeshi being an alleged predator, he was a talented interviewer. There are times when I drive a great deal & I always found that if i had on Q even if the subject didn't interest me I'd become interested in it. I can't remember hearing Strombo do an interview on the radio but I think he'd work.

I think Brent Bambury would also make a good host (he's on Day 6). He can be both a very serious interviewer & also be light-hearted & fun.

Final word: I know people criticize Strombo for some of his failures (like CNN). The failure was not him so much but the environment he was working in. CNN ain't the place for that type of personality. CNN is for the sound byte generation where straight teeth in your mouth are more important than the words that come out of it (if you're reading this Strombo, where did I still that line from, which song). He didn't belong on Edge/CFNY either (maybe in the early 90s). Truth is there aren't a ton of places for that type of host/interviewer TO go anymore. Which says more about the state of current media than it does the hosts.

December 19, 2014 @ 11:35 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I asked Strombo about the CNN show. He most definitely doesn't see it as a failure.

December 19, 2014 @ 11:38 AM


Apparently his numbers from The Hour were brutal as well. CBC kept it going because that's what CBC does - endless budgets, no pressure to cancel a failing show.

December 19, 2014 @ 11:51 AM


I heard George when Todd Shapiro interviewed him and Todd asked about children/wife/girlfriend and he has none of those but thought he'd eventually end up with woman who already has children. That would be his family. Said he's too busy to have kids. Guess that answers the gay question!

December 19, 2014 @ 12:51 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


The gay question made sense in the context of what George says prior, but of course I knew he wasn't gay. Remember, I'm pals with guys who came to work as George was ending his shift so I've heard some stories...

December 19, 2014 @ 1:09 PM


Jillian & Mike,
"Not that there's anything wrong with it...."

December 19, 2014 @ 1:15 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I'm actually about to welcome my first openly gay guest into the Toronto Mike'd studios.

December 19, 2014 @ 1:17 PM

this guest

I've seen three or four 'Strombo' interviews and
he's definitely not an American
style personality so of course he didn't
end up sharing a crypt with Larry King on CNN.

December 19, 2014 @ 1:26 PM


@this guest
So would categorize Charlie Rose as a lousy American interviewer?

December 19, 2014 @ 1:28 PM

this guest

Don Cherry and Rex Murphy should have their own show
on CBC
called 'The Crypt'
with plaid coffins
and documentaries on bugs with weird faces

December 19, 2014 @ 1:29 PM

this guest

Charley Rose is okay I guess.
He looks like he's about to start singing
'I always wanted to be John Updike'

December 19, 2014 @ 1:31 PM


Rogers went after James Duthie but they failed to land him. TSN gave him the bank to stay.

December 19, 2014 @ 1:33 PM


@this guest
"Okay"? There's no one better than him.

December 19, 2014 @ 1:34 PM

this guest

A folk artist in Nova Scotia who makes miniature coffins
for insects
interviewed by Don Cherry who says grasshoppers
should do more 'bodychecks'
and Rex Murphy who says ant farms teach us all
we need to know about solving social

December 19, 2014 @ 1:34 PM

this guest

Charley Rose reminds me of Dick Van Dyke
sitting at a bar thinking about Laura
and what might have been.
Which reminds me to stop feeling sorry for

December 19, 2014 @ 1:38 PM


Right now Strombo is a huge step down from Ron Maclean. Strombo lacks Maclean's professionalism and knowledge. And given his history in the media I still don't see him as much of a "hockey guy" which is important for this job. But we have to give Strombo a lot of time. Maclean does it like an experienced pro because he is an experienced pro. You think he was like that in 1988? Of course not! Strombo's only been there for a few months. Let's give a final verdict in a couple of years.

With that said, if Sportsnet really wanted to please viewers they would have done whatever it took to poach Duthie from TSN. He's the best of all of them. Who knows, they probably even tried. If it's been a few years and Strombo hasn't worked out I wouldn't mind seeing his contemporary Jeff Marek in the host's chair.

December 19, 2014 @ 1:44 PM

Al The Royal Pain

I just finished listening to the final episode of Serial Season 1. Has anyone else heard it yet? What did you think?

I liked it the whole series and I think they wrapped it up pretty nicely, although they did drop a potentially amazing new wrinkle. Hopefully they follow up if something comes of it.

December 19, 2014 @ 1:59 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Al The Royal Pain

I heard the finale yesterday and enjoyed it very much. I think it ended the only way it could.

Great series... I'd love new episodes if/when things develop in this story.

December 19, 2014 @ 2:01 PM

Alison in Ottawa

I loved the whole Serial podcast and would love to hear updates going forward...I've always liked Strombo and think he would be great as the new Q host, I don't seem to have much time to watch HNIC as I always seem to be at the rink with my own two kids...

December 19, 2014 @ 4:04 PM


If your tired of the same old Christmas songs and like your holiday tunes slightly askew I have a recommendation.

"The Line of Best Fit" is a British music blog that puts out a Christmas album of Canadian independent music every year. This is the 6th year they've done it.

You can download your music here:

or listen on Soundcloud here:

December 19, 2014 @ 5:22 PM

this guest

many many many (did I say many) moons ago
CJRT was a more 'eclectic' radio station and Saturday afternoons
were for folk music (Host Joe Lewis)
I taped the Christmas folk music show one year and made copies
(cassette tape copies!!!) for my late mother
who very much enjoyed the tunes

Lotsa lotsa great Christmas folk tunes out there.

December 19, 2014 @ 5:37 PM


Strombo should be on radio. He is just not right for HNIC. In fact, I don't like Roger's coverage of hockey at all.

December 19, 2014 @ 5:48 PM


@this guest

Have you ever listened to the Kingston Trio Christmas Album (The Last Momth of the Year).

Great music.

December 20, 2014 @ 7:46 AM


My Nets lost. That sucked. No good. The Raptors won, but I guess I should remember they just will never lose again or they could lose the odd game, but that's it. It's awful. I'm lousy in my basketball pool and I'm thinking strongly about dropping out of it. My Suns better win today. Well, hopefully my Coyotes and Habs win today as well.

December 20, 2014 @ 7:58 AM

this guest

@ Speysidephil

I'll see if it's on Youtube, Thanks!
speaking of which, have you heard Dylan's Christmas album? :- )

December 20, 2014 @ 11:19 AM


@this guest

Just bought it, thanks!

December 20, 2014 @ 11:39 AM

Rick C in Oakville

Can't help but like George. give him time to gel on HNIC. I saw his personal side at H&f 25th. He is a truly genuine and patient personality.

December 20, 2014 @ 1:26 PM


Looks like an Eye for an Eye in NYC - 2 cops ambushed & killed & then suspect turns gun on himself.
With all the BS going on with police & killings the last few months this was bound to happen.

The 2 policemen now "Can't Breathe A Breath of Life".

The justice system in the U.S. is a Comedy. The person who took the video of the young kid killed with a toy gun was charged & found guilty of trespassing.

December 20, 2014 @ 5:28 PM



Yes, it is an eye for an eye. It doesn't make it right but it's not surprising. I honestly assumed this would happen at some point. I don't have an answer.

December 20, 2014 @ 7:08 PM


Ole ole. My Habs won. That's a great game and the Leafs lost. That's wonderful. My Suns won, but my Coyotes lost. Oh well. I dropped out of the basketball pool though. I told him I was dropping out so I dropped out. I'm not in it anymore. I'm just in the football pool.

December 20, 2014 @ 9:51 PM

Jason from Sudbury

All this hate on for Strombo on HNIC. I like it. I think he's doing a good job and he'll only get better with time.

@Toronto Mike: Just put the podcast up already! Geez. Enough waiting. You're killin me. Also, who else do you have coming up?

December 21, 2014 @ 12:53 AM


I'm not joking. I really dropped out of the pool. I'm doing so badly in it anyway. I think a few others dropped out of the basketball pool as well. Well, one guy is so ahead because he has the Raptors and the Clippers. Anyway, I'm still in the football pool and my Ravens are going to win. Cardinals play the Seahawks. I will get a win with that game no matter what, but Seattle is only a team I have in my pool. I don't like them so my Cardinals can beat them. There is no such thing as elves. Santa Claus does not exist. As for Jesus, I'm not religious, but it's okay for others to be unless they shove it down my throat.

December 21, 2014 @ 7:45 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Jason from Sudbury

I'll have the Strombo episode on iTunes and at by midnight tonight. It's worth the wait. :)

Confirmed future guests include:

David Marsden
Jim Lang
Maie Pauts
Gord Stellick

I'm still trying to get:

Maestro Fresh Wes

December 21, 2014 @ 10:34 AM

Jason from Sudbury

@Toronto Mike: iTunes sucks lol. But anyway, looking forward to the podcast.

I'm also looking forward to Maie Pauts and Jim Lang.

December 21, 2014 @ 4:05 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

The podcast remains iTunes optional. :)

December 21, 2014 @ 4:13 PM

Total Lurker

Is Cheryl talking to anyone in particular?

December 21, 2014 @ 8:43 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Total Lurker

Not really.

December 21, 2014 @ 8:46 PM


Well, my Ravens lost yesterday. That game really sucked. They played like they didn't care and that's not like my Ravens. They had to keep kicking the ball away. It was awful. Now Denver has to beat the Bengals tonight for the playoff hopes to stay alive. My Cardinals also got clobbered. That sucks. My Suns and Nets won last night and the Leafs lost, but the Raptors had to win again. The Raptors never lose. I'm not in the pool anymore. Some people are calling me chicken for dropping out. Well, one guy is winning. He picked the Raptors and the Clippers and he's winning. Anyway, my trainer's team won zones in curling. My trainer didn't play though. Regionals is after New years. It's possible my trainer might go to provincials if they make it there and if one of the guys can't play, he's the fifth man. Well, hopefully they do well, but if they go to the brier and wini the brier, they go to Worlds as well and if my trainer does go, then that's lots of time away.

December 22, 2014 @ 5:01 PM

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