It's just this little chromium switch, here... (derspatchel) wrote,
It's just this little chromium switch, here...
derspatchel

fire up a colortini, sit back, relax, and watch the pictures now as they fly through the air

Ingmar Bergman passed away, we all heard that this morning, and now news has come in that Tom Snyder, late night interviewer par excellence, has passed at 71. I remember watching his Late Late Show on CBS in the mid-90s, though Conan O'Brien took over our hearts in the 12:30 timeslot eventually. He had a great, laid-back interviewing style, brought in punk acts because the suits felt they were better suited for the late-night time slot and, in the 70s, smoked excessively on set. It was the smoking that did him in, as you may well have guessed.

What you may not have known was that Snyder was also a serious model railroader. Had a Lionel layout at home and everything. It would have been interesting to listen to him talk shop with Neil Young and, knowing Snyder's gift of gab, the interview would have been compelling to everyone.

His "Tomorrow" show in the 1970s had an incredible variety of guests and I wish they'd be released on DVD, judging from the guests listed: Charles Manson (who apparently would just randomly switch from moments of lucidity to sheer madness), John Lennon's final interview in 1975, Ayn Rand and Johnny Rotten in 1979 (er, separate interviews), and Wendy O. Williams, who blew up a television set onstage and annoyed NBC greatly as they were taping the NBC Nightly News a few studios down at the time.

Most famous was his Halloween interview with KISS back when they were the big thing. Ace Frehley was drunk as a skunk, and his back-and-forth with Snyder is hilarious.

SNYDER: So you're kind of like a spaceman, huh?
FREHLEY: Actually, I'm a plumber.
SNYDER: Well, if that's the case, I've got some pipe you can work on backstage.

At any rate, before Viacom finds out, take a look at Snyder's interview with KISS when you can. It's fascinating. Here's Part 1 and Part 2.

Godspeed, Tom. You made television a better place.
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