Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tom Snyder 1936 - 2007 RIP

Tom Snyder 1936-2007 RIP
During my years in high school, I'd come home to see my parents watching the news. Not just one channel, but all three. When the electro-magnetic channel switcher broke from my father's constant use, he would command my mother, who sat on the floor with her back against the couch and her coffee cup on the table beside her, to get up and change the channel. From ABC to NBC to CBS and back and all over again. This situation would worsen during the local news. Then the available stations would increase from three to seven, adding KTLA, KHJ, KTTV, and KCOP. (I think I've got that right. I did that from memory. I didn't look it up.) Increasingly, my mother would get irritated, but they repeated the same ritual each night.
Anyway, in those years, Tom Snyder anchored the KNBC local news. "He was a pistol" as my mother might have said, but I don't remember. Was he acerbic? Yes. Obnoxious? Not really. Entertaining? Yes. Charming? Go fuck yourself.
Like Howard Stern, we wanted to see what Snyder said next. Quite frequently, Snyder asked the questions we wanted to ask. Those are his best moments, whether they proved to be an embarrassment to the guest or embarrassing of Snyder himself.
In regards to the constant cigarette smoke during his show, Snyder turns out to be the seventies generation's Murrow, but in color.
Besides the dead-on impersonation, complete with Snyder's verbal and physical faults, Dan Ackroyd's representation actually shows us how passionately this man loved his work. I don't remember Snyder's politics, but I remember his enthusiasm.

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