I was very sad to hear of the passing of iconic newsman and broadcaster Tom Snyder at the age of 71 of complications from leukemia.
To me, he had the most incredible blend of magnetism and weirdness of any TV interviewer I'd ever seen (Dan Rather's weirdness was just plain weird). His semi-combover, stern expressions, frequent references to his newscaster days in Philadelphia, and sudden horse-laugh became fodder for many comedians over the years, most notably, Harry Shearer and Dan Ackroyd.
The Tomorrow Show, the landmark one-hour live program starring Tom Snyder debuted in the mid-'70s as sort of a last-snack-before-bed-after-Johnny-Carson at 1:00 in the morning, just before sign-off (remember those, kids?) and I was there from episode one.
I remember the first year was peppered with shows done on remote locations, outside, in case there were any UFO sightings!
The studio set was so basic as to be almost public access-like with a black backdrop, maybe a few plants, his coffee table and a few chairs. His cigarette smoke would give this awesome ambience to the room, and if a guest also smoked, it was almost as if they were speaking from another dimension. (A reminder that in those days, cigarette-smoking was very common on TV.) One of the most wonderful things of seeing it at that late hour is the feeling that only a few people like yourself were still up to watch making it very special (especially in those days before 24/7 television was the norm). It was the perfect gearing down after the much louder and flashier Tonight Show, and seemed to segue perfectly into your local station's sign-off.
I have several great memories of The Tomorrow Show, some of them are available on YouTube, others may never be seen again. Among my favorite episodes: the reunion of the cast of TV's Superman ('50s version), Star Trek ('60s version), The Our Gang Comedies (including an adult Spanky McFarland!), KISS, several other rock and punk bands, political commentators, hard-to-get movie people, and fringe-lunatics. My #1 favorite fringe-lunatic guest was a man who officially changed his name to 1069 (pronounced, "one-zero-six-nine") and lost Tom completely trying to explain it. As far as Hollywood guests, I don't know why it sticks out in my mind, but my memory of Dino DeLaurentis trying to drum up publicity for his version of King Kong on Snyder's show is how I'll always remember him. As far as I know, this was his only TV appearance.
I was not so regular a viewer of The Late Late Show, Snyder's early-to-mid-'90s effort, likely because my work schedule changed dramatically by then. But it was always good to know he was around.
Tom Snyder was a true original and will be sorely missed.
While ED is certainly no stranger to these waters, and has always been a valued special feature writer at Crazed Fanboy, time and situation have, up till now, prevented him from becoming a regular staff writer here at PCR.
As of this week, another historic landmark is set as ED begins RETRORAMA, a regular to-semi-regular column dealing with all things collectible and nostalgic, from toy collecting to DVD reviews and all points in-between. Check out his inaugural column, I think you'll see there are some exciting times ahead!
WOOPS! Website Down! My Bad!
First of all, I gave always found the ultra-hip-by-way-of-urbanity phrase "my bad" to be absolutely replusive and I never use it in day-to-day life, so my use of it here is meant to be taken as sarcasm.
That said....please forgive a little tech-talk to explain a 2-hour website outage that occured last weekend. I'll try to be brief.
Long-time readers, fans and friends of Crazed Fanboy know I am pretty aggressive when it comes to hand-coding this website (I don't use programs) and I'm always in HTML research-and-development mode when I'm not committed to anything else.
This year more than any, I have been experimenting with new source codes in an effort to increase interaction with readers and initiate a smidgeon of automation with the columnists. The former, I'm happy to say, has been very, very successful. (The Message Board, Readers' Comments, the Live Chatroom, and homepage hitcounter have all been very reliable.)
Long story, short. Last Saturday, just before hitting the sack, I began trying to write a few lines of what I thought was a simple script intended to automate uploads for the writers. After several unsuccessful attempts, I was horrified to discover that I'd somehow crashed the website. Relentless diagnostics and many panicky calls to tech support later and somehow, power was restored. I'm still not sure what happened (I think I inadvertantly screwed up the PHP interpreters with misconfigured code). So.....I hacked my own website, that'll learn me. **blushing**. Mea Culpa. Consider me humbled by the gods of the internet.
Please consider making a donation to help support Crazed Fanboy! Click on the "donate" link below and give whatever you can. I sincerely thank you for any and all consideration.---Nolan