Sundays With Snyder No. 40

From Bryan Olson: Eva Marie Saint reminisces about working on Hitchcock’s North By Northwest as well as her work in theatre and radio.

Wikipedia reports that Saint, who turned 86 last month, has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – one for motion pictures and another for television.

The all-time Walk of Fame record for multiple stars is held by Gene Autry, who has five – for motion pictures, radio, recording, television and live theater.

I’m happy for Gene, but somebody needs to tell me why Dudley Moore has only one star, awarded for motion pictures. Moore did live theater on Broadway (Beyond The Fringe and Good Evening with Peter Cook). Moore played piano in The Dudley Moore Trio, which recorded quite a few albums.  His television series with Peter Cook, Not Only But Also, was hugely successful in England. Gene Autry gets five stars? Dudley Moore certainly deserves four.

That means Peter Cook deserves three stars; and he has exactly zero at present, which makes him tied with Tom Snyder, who is also yet to be recognized for his television and radio work.

When they rip up Hollywood Boulevard or Vine Street to correct these egregious omissions, they should use the opportunity to add a radio star and theater star for  Eva Marie Saint. Then she’d be tied with Dudley Moore.

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Sundays With Snyder No. 38

April 25, 1990.

The guest is Herb Alpert. It’s a short excerpt – about 10 minutes.

The program comes from Bryan Olson.

This post missed Sunday by 5 minutes here on the East Coast.

Thank God it’s still Sunday out West.

Interesting talk about the format change from vinyl to CD.  Also- whatever happened to Abba?

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Sundays With Snyder No. 36

How delighted was I to find that this interview with Bruce Dern dates back to the release of The ‘Burbs, a favorite movie of mine. The soundtrack music by Jerry Goldsmith is memorable, as is Brother Theodore’s turn as old man Klopek.

Since Tom and Bruce grew up fairly close to each other, much of the interview has the boys reminiscing about the old neighborhood, but the talk also turns to Hitchcock – Bruce’s role in Family Plot, and Tom’s dinner with Alma and Hitch where the discussion was about cockney rhyming slang.

Bruce Dern has such an instantly recognizable voice.

Again, this one comes from the collection of Bryan Olson.

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Sundays With Snyder No. 35 - Adam West

Michael  Keaton as Batman? You’ve got to be kidding! The guy who played “Mr. Mom”?

There is only one Batman, and his name is Adam West. Adam had a real career going before he decided to do a commercial hawking Nestle’s Quik. Cast as an ersatz James Bond, West was spotted by the folks at Warner Brothers and cast as TV’s Caped Crusader. For his voice, if you ask us. After all, when your face is hidden behind a mask, you’re essentially doing radio. And Adam West had the voice to pull it off.

Adam is in NYC, Tom is in L.A., and it’s tough to tell much. Is Adam West playing it straight? Does Tom like Adam?

You be the judge.

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Sundays With Snyder No. 34 - Roger Corman

From the files of Bryan Olson: Tom’s guest is filmmaker Roger Corman, author of the boldly titled How I Made 100 Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime.

Corman, who has made more than 100 movies in Hollywood and lost his share of dimes on his duds, seems perfectly happy with the level of success he’s achieved, but Tom suspects that Roger really wants to make a big budget movie and pursues this line of questioning rather relentlessly.

Corman is still doing very nicely, thank you… or did you miss last night’s SyFy airing of Corman’s Dinocroc Vs. Supergator? Yes, I admit, I did, too. But Entertainment Weekly called it “impeccable Saturday-night junk entertainment.” And no special effects whatsoever – all shot on a Florida golf course with real dinocrocs. (YouTube trailer from Dinocroc Vs. Supergator).

Just Corman doing what Corman does best.

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Sundays With Snyder No. 33

Cary Grant IS James Bond.


Hoagy Carmichael IS James Bond.

Lee Pfeiffer, author of  The Incredible World of 007 says that Hoagy and Cary were both considered. Pfeiffer is the guest on this Sept. 1, 1992 edition of the Tom Snyder Radio Show, which again comes to us courtesy of Bryan Olson.

This is interesting stuff – even if you’re not a die-hard fan of the series. Most of the talk is about the early days, including a well-deserved nod to Maurice Binder, designer of the’”gun-barrel” opening sequence. Binder is also responsible for the credits for two of the hundred or so films in my official Top Ten List: Bedazzled and Two For The Road.

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Sundays With Snyder No. 30 - Jack Benny Clips

Every once in a while – or so it seems – Tom’s personal interests and hobbies Tom Snyder 1998were catered to by the guest-booking department on The Radio Show. It’s hard to imagine that radio network executives desperately wanted an hour of “The Best of Jack Benny,” but Tom did that show, and more than once, with able assistance from Marty Halperin of Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters. (Another show preserved by Bryan Olson – thanks!)

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Sundays With Snyder - Number 15

It’s a slimefest! It’s a deathfest! It’s about as low as the Tom Snyder Radio Show would ever go! And somebody… let’s hope not Tom… thought the program was good enough for a rerun!

Gravelly-voiced John Austin (author of More Of Hollywood’s Unsolved Mysteries) rattles off the deaths and the dirt at breakneck speed. Seems he knew everyone and has the low-down on every Hollywood scandal and murder ever.

While I was listening, I was thinking, “Boy, I’ve already heard all of these, and I probably know this stuff as well as this guy does, but I wouldn’t talk about it in polite company, let alone on the radio.” At that moment, a caller asked which Hollywood star had a restaurant and was mixed up with the mob. Austin is at a complete loss. No idea. I’m here thinking “That guy is asking about Thelma Todd, her Sidewalk Cafe, and her unfortunate connection to Pat Di Cicco, connected in turn to Lucky Luciano’s mob. I guess I do know this stuff better than this guy does.”

Later in the show, Tom brings up Thelma Todd… and Austin has the whole story. He’s wrong, but he has the whole story.

P.S.: does Austin use a racial epithet just before one of the commercials?

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Sundays With Snyder - Number 14

May 1, 1992.

This is Tom Snyder’s Radio Show from the day after the worst of the riots. A semblance of order has been restored in Los Angeles and wild-eyed fears of country-wide “race warfare” seem to be diminishing.

At right: A cross section of wood with veneer finish. Caption: “Many man-made boards are ugly to look at and veneers (very thin layers of real wood) can be stuck to them to make them look solid…”

The country is left to reflect upon the durability and thickness of the veneer that makes civil society look solid… and how deep and how ugly it might be just below that surface.

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Sundays With Snyder - Number 13

April 30, 1992. I’ve been looking for this edition of The Radio Show for quite some time – and here it is.

Tom Snyder broadcasts live from Los Angeles as the city suffers through the violence and rioting that follows the acquittal of the policemen who beat Rodney King. If you don’t have a sense of what that day was like, you will after you hear this recording.

It is an historic Tom Snyder program, incredible in so many ways, not the least of which is Tom’s insight, compassion and ability to convey the horror of what’s taking place while remaining, as ever, the consummate host and reporter. Forget Tom’s Charles Manson interview, essentially just a freak show with a person who’s insane – this may be Tom Snyder’s most impressive achievement, as he works to make sense of a city gone insane.

This is history – a sad day in the history of the country – and  it happened less than twenty years ago. It is well worth your time.

As the program begins, the rioting is spreading throughout the city, phone lines are down, and Tom announces that he may have to end his broadcast prematurely and “send it back to New York.” What follows… seems unreal.

At the very end of Tom’s interview with one of the jurors is a bizarre moment of unbelievable, unintentional gallows humor which escapes both “Madam Juror” and Tom, though a caller later points it out. Listen carefully to the last sentence spoken by “Madam Juror.”

This is a partial program which contains the full first hour and the majority of the second hour, with most commercials and local segments deleted. I’ve left portions of newscasts in, as well as a few commercials which seem to provide unintentional oblique or ironic commentary.

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