Tom Snyder - Rotten Tomatoes

Tom Snyder

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A paragon of interviewing skill and one of the most engaging personalities on the glitter box, Tom Snyder did much to reshape broadcasting in the 1970s, '80s, and '90s. Snyder brought his unique temperament to bear on the talk-show format, with a sharp, cutting, straight-to-the-point attitude, a wry, subversive sense of humor, and complex politics that often could not be pinpointed. All of these elements elevated programming to an entirely new sphere by adding a level of class and polish rarely seen before or since. Born in 1936 in Milwaukee (a fact that he seldom let viewers forget), Snyder first came to national attention with his Tomorrow Show, the series that followed Carson on a nightly basis from 1973 to 1982. The program will always be remembered for its unique look. Gone was the amiable Mike Douglas style of a broad stage with guests filmed in full shot, in comfortable chairs, and beneath soft studio lighting -- Snyder replaced this with harsh, unflattering light; tight, uncomfortable close-ups; and a slightly intrusive style. He also puffed away on his cigarettes throughout interviews, lending a smoky atmosphere to the studio set -- and responded to quips and amusing stories with an abrasive, clipped laugh. All of this led The New York Times to summarize in an October 1973 headline: "NBC's Brash 'Tomorrow' Aims to Provoke." Yet those elements also kept the program on-air for nine years. The program was nothing if not colorful; Snyder's memorable guests during this period included Charles Manson, Johnny Rotten, and Wendy O. Williams. In 1982, the network's decision to shift format to a late-night variety series, Tomorrow Coast to Coast, with Snyder and Rona Barrett, proved disastrous; it obliterated ratings and brought the series tumbling down. After a stint on radio in the 1980s, and a period in which he anchored local news in New York City, Snyder returned to national television twice -- first as the host of his own eponymous CNBC talk show in the early '90s, then as the host of The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder from 1995 to 1998. Throughout his various television incarnations, Snyder wrapped each broadcast with the same stock phrase: "Fire up the colortinis, and watch the pictures as they fly through the air." After several years out of the spotlight, in 2005, Snyder announced to the press that he had contracted chronic lymphocytic leukemia. He died two years later, in July 2007, at age 71.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Tomorrow Show With Tom Snyder: John, Paul, Tom & Ringo
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Great Lionel Layouts
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet Troubadours
  • Actor
  • Director
2001
No Score Yet A Century of Legendary Lionel Trains
  • Narrator
2000
No Score Yet Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's
  • Actor
1997
No Score Yet Fire and Rain
  • Narrator
1989

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet The Mentalist
2008-2015
  • Director
  • 2015
  • 2014

Quotes from Tom Snyder's Characters

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