George's red chairs have seen all kinds of moving, hilarious and illuminating moments over the course of 10 seasons (just check out our highlight reel).
But some of the show's most powerful episodes took place outside the confines of Studio 43, when George took the show around the country and around the world, bringing unfamiliar faces and important social issues to Canadian screens. Below, we've rounded up a few of our favourites.
Two years after the 2010 earthquake that rocked Haiti, George travelled to the tiny Caribbean nation for a special episode looking at the country's efforts to rebuild. While there, he spoke with Paul Haggis, whose NGO Artists for Peace and Justice is involved in building schools in the country, as well as Stephanie Tremblay and Janne Suvanto from the World Food Programme, Patrick Elie, a former politician and an activist in Haiti, Father Rick Frechette, director of NPH Haiti, and Lolo, of the Haitian band Boukman Eksperyans.
In season 7, George travelled to Churchill, Manitoba with musicians Raine Maida and Chantal Kreviazuk to find out what can be done to save the Canadian polar bears from extinction. The special episode featured plenty of shots of the majestic "lords of the arctic," as well as a conversation with Dr. Steven Amstrup of Polar Bears International on the plight of the animals and interviews with Churchill residents about what it's like to live side-by-side with the largest terrestrial predator.
George is the World Food Programme's Canadian Ambassador Against Hunger, and for this special episode, he travelled to Pakistan to meet with people living in the wake of floods and conflict. He visited the sites where WFP was helping to bring food assistance to those in the greatest need, and spoke with journalists, analysts and locals about the country's unique culture and social issues like the rise of extremism.
Viewers who tuned in to the show on April 11, 2011, were treated to something special: instead of the usual opening credits backed by Sloan's classic "The Good In Everyone," they got the lyrics to "Life Is A Highway," voiced by Tom Cochrane, over a montage of beautiful images of Vancouver. The show travelled to "Vanhattan," as he jokingly referred to it, several times over the years, and George spoke with some prominent locals — like Green Party leader Elizabeth May and broadcaster Ian Hanomansing — as well as some decidedly less local guests, like Ice Cube. Here's an episode with Sandra Oh.
Before the start of season 6, George took the show on the road to Dublin, Ireland, for a series of programs filmed before a live studio audience. His guests included everyone from Bertie Ahern, the long-time taoiseach (or prime minister) of Ireland, to the Irish comedian and actor Tommy Tiernan. Without a doubt, one of the highlights was the trip George took to a wee pub in Tipperary to speak with Shane MacGowan, the legendary frontman of The Pogues.
Finally, way back in season 4, George taped a whole week of episodes in the English capital, interviewing everyone from Lord Jeffrey Archer and Kylie Minogue to Ricky Gervais and Sir David Frost. He kicked off the whole week with this short history of London (warning: he might be a little shaky on some of the facts).