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July 30th, 2007

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10:05 am - 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.

(8 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:July 30th, 2007 03:22 pm (UTC)
Wow, Ingmar Bergman was still alive? That shocks me more than his death, actually.

Tom Snyder was a really, really great interviewer. It's a shame he's passed on, but really, not all that surprising. Didn't he announce the fact he had cancer something over two years ago? He had a really long time between being diagnosed and dying. Come to think of it, I think Dan Rather was still hosting CBS evening news when that story was on.

I think an interview with Ayn Rand and Johnny Rotten at the same time would have been fabulously cool.
[User Picture]
Date:July 30th, 2007 04:01 pm (UTC)
I think an interview with Ayn Rand and Johnny Rotten at the same time would have been fabulously cool.

I thought the exact same thing.

AR: And so, see, objectivism serves the greater human-

JR: [burp] Aw, shut it, you fookin' wench.

TS: Listen, youngster, let the lady speak, you'll have your turn.

JR: [grabs crotch]

AR: And see, Mr., umm, Rotten is the perfect case study for how objectivism makes society a bet-

JR: I said, Shut it! [bashes Ayn Rand over the head with a pint glass]
[User Picture]
Date:July 30th, 2007 04:53 pm (UTC)
I didn't see the Wendy O. show where she blew up the tv, but I did see the one where she chopped into a car with a chainsaw.

Then again, I may be misremembering things. I was young and goofy then.
[User Picture]
Date:July 30th, 2007 05:08 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's really sad.

That Johnny Rotten interview was when he'd first reverted back to his given name, right when he'd formed Public Image Ltd. As I recall from the much-bootlegged video I borrowed from a friend he had guitarist Keith Levene with him and Levene just dropped cigarette ashes all over the floor the whole time. Looked the textbook definition of BORED.

Tom- "Well, what do you want?"
Lydon- "We...we just want to be left alone to GET ON WITH IT."

Very sad day for journalism.
[User Picture]
Date:July 30th, 2007 08:42 pm (UTC)
There are a couple of Tom Snyder Show DVD's

- Electric Kool Aid Talkshow - interviews with Grateful Dead, Dr. Timothy Leary, Ken Kessey, Tom Wolfe

- Punk & New Wave - with Elvis Costello, The Jam, Joan Jett, John Lydon (mentions spat between them in the description), Plasmatics (the blow up the car episode), Iggy Pop, Ramones, Patti Smith and Paul Weller.

There's also two DVD's called Celebrity Train Layouts with Tom Snyder.

There, did I spend enough of your money?
[User Picture]
Date:July 31st, 2007 12:16 pm (UTC)
Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn. That's a hell of a collection. Or two. Or eight.

Wonder if I can sell plasma or something.
[User Picture]
Date:July 31st, 2007 12:10 am (UTC)
First I lived for years under the delusion that Ingmar Bergman was a woman. Now I find out he's dead, when I thought he was already dead for years!
Date:August 2nd, 2007 02:52 pm (UTC)
To be honest, I remember Dan Acroyd's SNL parodies of Mr. Snyder better than Snyder himself.

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