« Protecting our Kuntry from obscenity | Main | I'd be more excited if it was bobble-head night »

July 30, 2007


D. McEwan

It was, of course, those omnipresent cigarettes I never saw him without that killed him at 71.I heard a news promo on KNBC this afternoon that actually said: "Tom Snyder dies today at 5." I was aware he was already dead, so what terrible false advertising. Think of the all disappointed people tuning in to see his execution.It's up there with the boneheaded critic (I don't know his name) filling in for Roger Ebert last week on "Ebert & The Dork," who, in reviewing GOYA'S GHOSTS, actually said "Natalie Portman plays a woman wrongly tortured." This guy could work for the Bush administration.I was never a fan of Snyder, but you are right, compared to Larry King, he WAS Edward R. Morrow.

Richard  Jensen

I always loved watching Snyder. Espically when he had Harlan Ellison on.The two of them together created their own no bullshit zone.


Tom Snyder actually listened to his guests, thus was able to engage in a conversation. He never made it all about himself, yet was informed and more importantly, *interested* in what his guest was saying. That made him worth his weight in gold. I'm not intellectual enough to understand Ingmar Bergman.Bill Walsh was an upstanding man and coach.


Tom Snyder was a talented broadcaster colorful character who basically did radio on television. Even the sets on both of his late night shows were designed for a one on one experience. He had style & a great sense of humor. Neither Larry King, Bill O'Reilly or whomever is the latest smug host of the Late Late Show could ever be as interesting or entertaining. We'll miss you Tom.

R.J. Marcej

"Snyder, Ingmar Begman and Bill Walsh, too. Bad things come in threes. RIP to all."Actually four. Don't forget Bill Robinson (I'm sure Ken as a baseball announcer remembers Bill).


allen lCassell's3266 W. Sixth St.Mid-Wilshire, CA 90020


David Letterman was obviously a major fan, and put Snyder on after his own show when he moved to CBS. My second favorite moment from Snyder's Late Late Show was an interview he did with Robert Blake (prior to Blake's, uh, troubles), when Blake told a story about shooting a movie in New Orleans --- one night he spies a guy running full speed away from a number of pursuers. As the guy gets closer, he sees it's Steve McQueen, who yells "Run Bobby!" Blake starts running with McQueen, who eventually takes off on his own, leaving the angry guys chasing Blake --- they corner Blake and seem about to pound him when out of nowhere McQueen reappears on a fire escape, with a shotgun, and chases the mob off with a warning shot. Snyder loved it (he had Blake on a number of times and seemed to really get a kick out of his stories)My favorite moment on the Late Late Show came about a week or two later, when TS had Letterman on. Dave started off with, "I was in New Orleans with Steve McQueen..."


I loved Tom Snyder. My mother got me interested in him. And when I worked as an inviewer, without realising it, I was conducting them like a conversation much like Tom years later. It would fall to me at the small studio I worked at as an associate producer of an arts show to train new junior journalists wannabes on how to ask questions and what type of questions. I always told them to think of stuff to ask they would want someone to ask if they were sitting at home watching the interview air, and I also told them to relax and talk to the person like you were equals and having a friendly chat. That seemed to put a lot of them at ease enough to ask total strangers all kinds of things about their esoterical works of art. I like to think Tom Snyder had a very subtle influence on a lot of broadcasters over the years without even trying. Goodnight, Tom. Enough your well deserved rest.Stacey

Mr. Hollywood

Had the joy of spending a day with Tom many years ago...Sheraton Universal Hotel...NBC press tour...we had rooms and patios next to one another by the pool. Between interviewing NBC TV stars (Tom was then anchor at WNBC in NY) he shared many stories with me...was interested in what I had to say, and we both had a lot of laughs. A mensch...a pro...and a personality, three things sadly missing in today's world of Ryan Seacrest and Anderson Cooper and Katie Couric.


Tom had on a guy and his wife, the guy had a penis implant, a new thing at the time. When Tom asks "How does it work?" his wife jumps in with "GREAT!!" Too funny, I always remember that. Tom just busted out laughing.


I want to second the props given to Snyder's great interviews with Harlan Ellison.Even for a master interviewer like Snyder, those were especially fine.He will be missed.


Always loved Snyder, though I had to miss years of his show thanks to the NBC affiliate in Evansville, IN, which at that time decided they could make more bucks with Rockford Files reruns (nothing against Rockford, but sheesh). Even after Letterman took over the slot, they kept showing Rockford. As a fan of Letterman's morning show, that irked me, too. They also used to bump first-run episodes of St. Elswehere for local basketball games, without rescheduling. Luckily, I got to see Snyder more regularly after Dave got him the CBS gig. How great it was to hear and see long conversations with interesting people who weren't necessarily plugging anything.


Another memory of The Tomorrow Show - The extreme close-ups. This was in the days before big screen TV. Another way to connect us up close to the personalities.His opening ramblings really made you feel like he was talking to you.Larry King is so obviously peppered with pre-written questions by his staff. "What do you make of... fill in the blank" ... Or rejoinders like... "Well said."But Tom gave the distinct impression he was hooked into the subject matter at hand.When I started out in standup, one of my impressions that resonated the most with audiences was Snyder. I felt as if I was channeling him. (I even did it once on an impromptu visit to the SNL offices, during which Aykroyd, himself, gave his seal of approval.) Impressions aside, Snyder was an original. An ego big enough for TV, but small enough to make you feel like he was one of us.


My favorite Tom Snyder memory: one night around 1978 his guest list was Ed "Too Tall" Jones and the Dalai Lama.That's it, that's the point, just that pairing of guests. The spiritual leader of millions of devout souls, and a pro football player turned pro boxer (didn't last as a boxer, went back to the Cowboys) with a hokey nickname. Only someone both incredibly omnivorous in his interests and with a touch of ditziness would have that particular combo. Which, I guess, was our Tom.


I didn't see the Tomorrow Show the first two years it was on the air because I was working the morning shift at a small 1000 watt radio station in Bay City Michigan. I had to go to bed at 9 o’clock at each night, and I only heard about the show. This was before VCR’s.The thing I liked the most about Snyder was that he listened to his guests and he always asked great questions, the kind of questions people wanted answered.By the way, Larry King was a great interviewer and storyteller on his late 70’s, early 80’s Mutual radio show. The first hour and a half of the program were simply King and a guest, the second hour and a half were phone calls to the guest, and the final two hours were open lines. It was great program.

Paul Duca

cobI discovered some interesting perspectives on Tom Snyder, in fact, in a biography of Jessica Savtich I read. Before Los Angeles, Tom was co-anchor at the NBC station in Philadelphia, where Savitch would work after he left. Even then, he was colorful--known for pranks and escapades (riding a bicycle around the news studio, dumping a plate of spaghetti on one co-worker's head, sticking a sweaty sneaker under the nose of another reporter) that earned him the nickname "Snidely Whiplash". Later it discusses the deal that brought him to the network after his success in L.A. While many felt this was part of a route that would lead to his taking over the anchor chair at NBC NIGHTLY NEWS from John Chancellor, the big brass didn't see that happening. They felt that viewers would never give themselves to trust Snyder fully, and they felt he gave them reason. One executive was quoted as saying the brass felt "Tom would say 'Shit' on the air"


My mother and I both loved Tom.I never thought about the comparison with Jack Parr, but there sure was one.We loved him too. He is as early a late night TV host I can remember.One of my favorite Snyder guests was the late Sterling Hayden.A veteran of WWII and countless films (the crooked police captain in The Godfather) Hayden looked like an aged hippy on the Tomorrow show. He told Tom how much he enjoyed smoking weed and listening to the Beatles with headphones.Tom did the Akroyd laugh throughout the interview.


His sterling hayden interview was my favorite. i wish they'd offer dvd's of the tomorrow show.

The comments to this entry are closed.


    Ken Levine is an Emmy winning writer/director/producer/major league baseball announcer. In a career that has spanned over 30 years Ken has worked on MASH, CHEERS, FRASIER, THE SIMPSONS, WINGS, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, BECKER, DHARMA & GREG, and has co-created his own series including ALMOST PERFECT starring Nancy Travis. He and his partner wrote the feature VOLUNTEERS. Ken has also been the radio/TV play-by-play voice of the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres.
Powered by TypePad