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I'm about to hit the I-5 north, but I had to post a little clip of my beloved Tom Snyder. If you know me, you know I haven't had a good night's sleep since 1973. While this has wreaked havoc on my education and employability, it's been good for me from a pop culture standpoint. What other five year old saw every episode of the first season of Saturday Night Live? Every local ghoul-hosted horror movie, every episode of Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, the Midnight Special, Saturday Night Live With Howard Cosell, Fridays, that new kid David Letterman, and perhaps best of all, the Tomorrow Show. There's not a huge amount of Tom in this clip, just enough to get a sense of his irreverence and weirdness (teddy bear?)and his marvelous unpolished, unprocessed brilliance as a host and interviewer. Most of this clip is, of course, the US network debut of an obscure band called U2. I remember this show well. And that's more of the beauty of Snyder--the Tomorrow show was world headquarters for up-and-coming bands, writers, filmmakers, early-career talents that couldn't get booked on a late night television show now to save their lives. On slow nights in the early 80s, Letterman used to book random transients. Now to get 90 seconds on one of these shows you have to be in major studio features or have a major-label hit record. And authors...well, if they were telegenic they'd be actors, right? It was not always so. For all the bands and writers and filmmakers you introduced me to, for all the hilariously real and quirky and unpretentious conversations, and for all the nights you kept the monsters at bay, here's looking at you, Tom.


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August 2009

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