Monday, July 30, 2007

Bob Randisi; Tom Snyder

I can't remember who said (paraphrase) that life is what happens while you're making other plans but Bob Randisi has cleverly made a thought much like that relevant to mid-listers:

"I'd often thought over the years that I was writing something I didn't want to write because my more serious career had not been successful, until I realized . . . this IS my career." RJR

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Tom Snyder, R.I.P.

He was everything and all things--witty, wise, stupid, inane, pompous, gracious, boorish, coy, even boring--but Tom Snyder was nearly always great TV. Sometimes he was all those things on the same sixty minute show.

Any number of times he hit on pretty female guests; and any number of times he sounded like a parish priest when he criticised young men for their sinful ways. He was, to use the phrase Norman Mailer applied to Jack Kerouac, sentimental as a lollipop but like Kerouac he had that great big sloppy American heart pounding away at all times. And a kind heart it was, too.

One of the traumas of the Seventies was when the local station delayed running Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman so that it ran against Snyder. I alternated nights until Hartman was put back against Carson.

He wasn't mean, he wasn't angry, he was just a modestly self-involved man who had a great time being a TV interviewer. And his pleasure was catching. He was almost always fun to watch.

About all we're left with now are those dead-on Dan Akroyd lampoons of him. As I recall, Snyder invited Ackroyd on and they laughed together over a couple of the lampoon segments they played that night.

How innocent he looks twenty-five, thirty years later. All too soon came the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.

3 comments:

Todd Mason said...

Hell, before there was Tom Snyder as talk-show guy, there was Joe Pyne and Wally Something spewing reaction...but while I don't forgive Snyder for his treatment of Gahan Wilson, his shows had been rather unlike everyone else's...it was clear he loved to be able to converse with a camera, and with the audience at the other end. Bob Costas has been the only interviewer in his old NBC very-late slot who was worthy of the gig.

TM said...

Wally George.

Anonymous said...

Snyder was underappreciated for years. In fact, there was no one like him before he arrived on the scene and certainly there has been no one like him since. He relentlessly conveyed his love of what he was doing. Ed is on the money (as usual) -- for all his faults (the ego was always as obvious as the enthusiasm) Snyder remained genuine and he never came across as hateful (which, for me, often seems the defining trait of today's late-night hosts).