May 12, 1936-July 29, 2007
By David Letterman
I worked at one of four local TV stations in Indianapolis, all of which signed off at, like, 12:45 a.m. So when The Tomorrow Show started, it was like a wonderland. I'd never seen anyone speak the way he spoke or behave the way he behaved. The idea that he was alone in this studio in Burbank, Calif., in the middle of the night was very compelling.
There was nobody better in a live interview. He was so great at creating a real pressurized sense of exchange of controversial information. Or he could just be a complete boob. In either case, it didn't make any difference because he was so entertaining, you just couldn't keep your eyes off the guy.
What I learned from him over the years was this: Some nights you're going to have great guests, some nights you're not going to have great guests, but you still have to do a show, so you, as the host, have to provide a lot of that show. Boy, he did.
Snyder died of complications from leukemia in San Francisco.
Image Credit: NBC/Globe Photos
David Letterman honors Tom Snyder, Regis Philbin recalls Joey Bishop, Gay Talese remembers Norman Mailer, and 19 other fond farewells