Tom Snyder, a former host of the Late Late Show which follows the Late Show at 12.35am, has died aged 71.
Tom first gained fame presenting the Tomorrow Show on NBC in the 1970’s. Famous editions of the show include interviews with U2, Kiss, John Lennon (his final televised interview) and members of the Star Trek cast. The show also gave Weird Al Yankovic his network television debut. David Letterman and Billy Crystal also made a long appearance on the show.
Following the cancellation of the Tomorrow Show, Tom went on to work at a number of TV and radio stations including CNBC in the early 90’s. The gap that was created by the cancellation was filled with a new show – Late Night with David Letterman. When Letterman joined CBS in 1993 he was tasked with creating a show for the 12.35am slot, and having idolised Tom for some years selected him to host the Late Late Show in 1995.
The show was different from the Late Show and other late night talk shows. Tom had a history in news rather than comedy, possibly the reason for the show taking a more intimate one-on-one approach with interviews, which were also longer and more indepth. Tom Snyder left the Late Show in 1998, and Craig Kilborn took over having left The Daily Show.
There are many videos on YouTube featuring The Late Late Show and the Tomorrow Show. One of particular interest might be this one, which features a fascinating and amusing interview with David Letterman via a link from the Ed Sullivan Theatre. Speaking personally, it’s some of the funniest Letterman I’ve seen, and includes a clip at the start from that appearance with Billy Crystal on the Tomorrow Show. The interview took place the week after the London shows.
New York Times: Tom Snyder, “Tomorrow Show” Host, Dies at 71
YouTube: David Letterman on Tom Snyder Part 1