SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Tom Snyder, whose smoke-filled interviews were a staple of late-night television, has died after a struggle with leukemia. He was 71.
Snyder died Sunday in San Francisco from complications associated with leukemia, his longtime producer and friend Mike Horowicz told The Associated Press on Monday.
Known for his improvised, casual style and robust laughter, Snyder conducted a number of memorable interviews as host of NBC’s “The Tomorrow Show.” Among his guests were John Lennon, Charles Manson and Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols.
These clips are a collection of some of Tom Snyder’s best interviews. His television program “The Tomorrow Show” ran fom 1973 until 1982 immediately following Johnny Carson at 1 am in the morning, NBC’s first foray into late late talk show programming. In 1980 the time slot changed to 12:30 am. By the end of it’s run it was known as “Tommorrow Coast to Coast.” and included an additional host. “Late Night With David Letterman” would eventually occupy it’s time slot. In 1995 Tom would return to late night chat with “The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder” on CBS. He was later replaced by Craig Kilborn in 1999. Interviewed guests in the segment include Elton John, Stephen Spielberg, Johnny Rotten, Bono and “The Edge” from U2, Cheech and Chong, Alfred Hitchcock, Charles Manson, and Muhammad Ali.
Even when Synder was bad, he was at least fun to watch. At his best, he was required viewing.
Hey, TV networks, listen up. People like Snyder interviewed subjects who are now historical figures. Do you really think you can squeeze any pennies out of these old shows by releasing DVD compilations of shredded clips? Do the nation a favor and digitize all these old interview/talk programs and put them up on the Internet for free. Do something in exchange for all those decades you had the broadcasting spectrum and blithely ignored the part about “broadcasting in the public interest.”