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Tom Snyder and Avoiding the “escalating arms race of hipness” July 31, 2007

Posted by William Spear in >> News, >> Out Basket.

The passing of Tom Snyder, host of NBC’s “Tomorrow” from 1973 through 1981, has been noted in many corners. Snyder, who died on Sunday 30 July from complications of leukemia, crafted a talk show different from Carson or any of the current crop.

David Itzkoff’s “Hearts and Souls Dissected, in 12 Minutes or Less” (31 July 2007; New York Times), does a fine job of recounting some of Snyder’s memorable and infamous “guests.” From Charles Mansion to Howard Cosell to John Lydon, Mr. Snyder’s guests were remarkable.

Perhaps more extraordinary was how Snyder and the Tomorrow show were comfortable being so different. Quoting Itzkoff:

“In an industry that has since become an escalating arms race of hipness, Mr. Snyder was happy to sit on the sidelines like Switzerland, a neutral player perfectly at ease with how ordinary and out of the loop he could be.”

Radio can emulate Snyder and avoid the “escalating arms race of hipness.” Thanks for so much great television Mr. Snyder; your late night domain continues.

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