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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Aaron Barnhart on Tom Snyder and More

Today I talked with Aaron Barnhart about the death of TV legend Tom Snyder and the possibility that Jimmy Fallon will replace Conan O'Brien when the latter takes over "The Tonight Show" from Jay Leno in 2009. Listen.

I was always a Tom Snyder fan, from the "Tomorrow" show to his ABC radio show to anchoring "Primetime Sunday" to his CNBC talk show to his Letterman-assisted return to late night on CBS in the mid-90s. Snyder obviously loved being on camera, and was the consummate TV entertainer. Like Regis Philbin, he commanded your attention, whether doing an interview or telling a story about something he'd noticed earlier that day. Even after he retired from TV, I kept up with him via his now-defunct website, where he shared stories, rants, and Colortinis.

It's a shame that NBC hasn't released more of his classic "Tomorrow" shows on DVD. For now, there's one 90-minute show with Tom and the Grateful Dead, Timothy Leary, and Ken Kesey, and another compilation with Tom interviewing punk and new wave acts like Elvis Costello, Joan Jett, and Patti Smith -- plus his raw encounters with John Lydon of the Sex Pistols and Wendy Williams of the Plasmatics. It's riveting stuff, and there's certainly more in the NBC vault that should see the light of day (or night, in his case) again.