Monday, July 30, 2007

Marking the passing of a true original...

Sad news to report today. Tom Snyder, journalist and interviewer, has died at age 71.

Snyder hosted Tomorrow, a late night interview show from 1973 until 1982. The antithesis of Johnny Carson's Tonight show, which his show followed, Snyder interviewed a wide and deep variety of the famous and not-so famous, presenting real conversation that sometimes could not have been shown on broadcast television any earlier in the evening during that era.

I was a fan from the beginning Tomorrow's run, often dragging myself to school in the morning with my eyelids at half-mast because I'd been up until 2 a.m. watching the show (at that time, Tonight ran for an hour and a half, from 11:30 p.m. until 1 am, with Tomorrow following from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m.). The interviews were often serious, sometimes hilarious, and almost never run-of-the-mill.

Snyder hasn't been on television for awhile, but his presence has been sorely missed, at least by me. In a time when "talk show" has become synonymous with tabloid trash like that presented by Jerry Springer and Maury Povich, or with politically correct interviewers like Oprah Winfrey, I wish someone like Tom Snyder would come along again and inject some reality into the genre. He wasn't always politically correct. Some of the individuals Snyder interviewed could likely find a place on some of the tabloid shows. And some of those he interviewed (such as Charlie Manson) were likely presented at least partially for their value in gaining ratings. Still, Snyder's show was never sordid like so many of those shows are today.

Sadly, I doubt we'll see his like again.

No comments: