Colortinis for Everyone

31 Jul

I feel like the news of Tom Snyder’s passing has been given the shaft this week, relative to the news of other deaths (Ingmar Bergman, Bill Walsh, Michelangelo Antonioni, etc.). I can’t pay as effective tribute to Snyder as, say, The New York Times did today, but I wanted to use my blog to share, briefly, that we’ve lost a really great television personality here.

I got to “know” Tom and became a fan in 1995 when he was named host of the first incarnation of The Late, Late Show, the program that comes on right after David Letterman’s show (now hosted by Craig Ferguson). And if I didn’t stay up for the whole show, I at least made it to the first commercial break, which was introduced by Tom’s catchphrase, “Fire up a colortini and watch the pictures as they fly through the air.” Tom’s cool, minimalist broadcasting style was always a soothing presence at 12:30, and it’s meant as no insult to say that I enjoyed falling asleep watching his show. He wasn’t perfect, and he had his old fashioned opinions that often clashed with some of the more modern, current guests. But he also had an engaging, folksy charm, plenty of stories to share, infectious laughter, and a self-depreciating wit that served him well.

In short, Tom made for great TV that I really enjoyed watching. I wish there were more examples on YouTube to share, but I found a brief one that seems to sum up why I liked Tom. It’s from an interview with Barbara Walters, during which Tom discusses smoking pot at a party. And then he goes and makes a mistake previewing the next guest and, well, it’s pretty fun. Fire up a colortini and see for yourself.

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