Talk Show Host Tom Snyder Dies
ALEX CHADWICK, host:
Television lost one of its formative figures yesterday, someone who you might recall from late, late at night.
(Soundbite of "Tomorrow")
Mr. TOM SNYDER (Host): Doesn't surprise you at all? Does that bother you at all? What the hell is going on?
CHADWICK: Tom Snyder came out of that TV screen looking and sounding like someone you hadn't heard before. He had a bold cut of iron gray hair. He had jet-black thick eyebrows, and he had a robust laugh that cut right through the ever-present cigarette haze. This was late at night. And through the '70s on his "Tomorrow" show guests said things that they might not have otherwise revealed, including a very young Steven Spielberg.
Mr. STEVEN SPIELBERG (Movie Director): "Close Encounters" came from my imagination, but my imagination is stimulated by a lot of factual research.
Mr. SNYDER: Do you believe in UFOs?
Mr. SPIELBERG: I'm a want-to believer. I'm really anxious to have an experience myself so I can come on a show like yours and say I believe in UFOs and I'll tell you why. But the problem is, I can't tell you why so I shouldn't tell you I believe in UFOs.
CHADWICK: He'd begun in radio in the 1960s. For a few years in the mid-'90s he hosted "The Late, Late Show with Tom Snyder" on CBS. Here he judged Barbara Walters for not recognizing a marijuana plant, something that many viewers figured Tom had encountered.
(Soundbite of "The Late, Late Show with Tom Snyder")
Mr. SNYDER: Bless you...
Ms. BARBARA WALTERS (Journalist): Does that make me sound awfully square?
Mr. SNYDER: Not at all.
Ms. WALTERS: Well, so be it.
Mr. SNYDER: You're the hippest thing in television, kid. Don't let them tell you otherwise.
CHADWICK: Tom Snyder died Sunday in San Francisco. He was 71.
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