Monday, July 30, 2007

On the Death of Tom Snyder

tv-He's been missed for a long-time now, but his demise at 71 of leukemia is unfortunate. Was it the cigarettes? Who knows? Tom decided he'd had enough of television long ago. His "Tomorrow show" back in the 1970s and early-1980s was pretty good. Sure, Tom wasn't exactly hip past the jazz age, he loved the schmaltz of the entertainment world, but he was relatively intelligent and gave a lot of weirdos a chance to strut it on television. The "Tomorrow Show" was cancelled in 1982. So many guests, so little time. America wasn't ready for the show then, and isn't today. Then again, neither was Snyder most of the time! Johnny Lydon's going to lie and say he doesn't care, but I'd wager he's feeling sad about this.

His guests ranged from Lydon (who was very unfair in his attitude towards Mr. Snyder), the Plasmatics (Wendy-O-Williams, RIP), Elvis Costello, Ken Kesey, the Grateful Dead (OK, we can forgive him for this), John Lennon, the Ramones, Tim Leary--a whole lot of the counterculture. And he usually SMOKED when he did his shows. You also knew that almost anything could happen on his show, it was daring and took chances that would be unthinkable today. He and the NBC of that bygone era deserve credit for this. They made tv relevant for a few-moments. That's over. Done. Watch a DVD, ignore television. A funny man (sometimes, not on-purpose), with a wonderful laugh.


  1. Tom was a welcome friend back in the days before we had cable out in the sticks. It was Johnny Carson, Tom Snyder, the National Anthem, and then dead air until the Ag report in the morning.
    He certainly wasn't the most polished individual, nor did he aspire to be that. He will be missed, along with the relevent programming that he brought us.

  2. Amen. People forget life before cable. There were usually four-to-five stations--that was it. We were probably better-off with things that way, the culture was more vibrant and people fought City Hall more (though this is coming-back again).