Sundays With Snyder - Number 11

This is mostly a “Nightside” hour of listener calls, but it does contain the end of an interview with Sarah Purcell. The reason so many segments are joined in progress is the haphazard nature in which cassette tapes were either saved or discarded. (I used to tape The Radio Show and listen to it in the car on the following day). Sarah Purcell co-hosted “A.M. Los Angeles” with Regis Phibin from ‘75 to ‘83.

In this clip, we learn about Tom’s primary source material vis-à-vis the facts of life; we hear Tom’s warning about how not to visit Disneyland; and some comments about the impending last episode of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show

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Sundays With Snyder - Number 10

June 16, 1992. Guest Ed Meese, President Reagan’s ex-Attorney General. The interview is joined in progress. Then we have the Nightside Hour for phones.

Don’t think Tom was terribly fond of Mr. Meese. If you remember the Hanna-Barbera character “Mr. Jinx,” his signature phrase springs to mind…

Commercial breaks are included from the Meese interview – some seem germane, some were just funny or interesting. Once again, the topics still seem current, although many of Meese’s positions have not stood the test of time… deregulation, for example. I love the caller who was “disenchatized” with Meese’s handling of Oliver North.

There’s quite a bit of the Snyder philosophy available in the Nightside Hour.

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Sundays With Snyder - Number 9

August 25, 1992: Tom takes a live feed from a newsman awaiting Hurricane Andrew (“Will New Orleans come away clean from this?”), interviews political pundit Eleanor Clift and actress Dana Delaney.

We’re in the beginning of the Bush/Clinton campaign, post conventions, which Tom covers with Eleanor. (The more things change…)

Dana Delaney is, in a word, delightful.

(Photo: 1968)


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Sundays With Snyder - Number 8

Tom is ready for his interview with Martin Gross. You can hear it – he calls Gross’s book terrific; he’s laughing as the interview starts; he likes the idea that someone has documented waste in Washington.

But – very quickly – Martin Gross says things that strain Tom’s credulity. Tom’s smile disappears; he asks Gross to repeat a statement. For Tom, the answer is totally overboard. Tom realizes that he’s got nearly an hour to go with this wacko. The tone of the interview changes; Tom starts taking shots at the guy… well, listen. You’ll hear it happen.

Also – a partial (sorry) interview with comedian Rita Rudner.

From June 22, 1992.

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Sundays With Snyder - Number 6

Tom Snyder in Philadelphia circa 1965.

According to a radio hall of fame, Tom Snyder was a bit of a wiseguy back when he was doing the local news at noon in Philadelphia. One day, the sports reporter at the station couldn’t make it back to the studio in time, and Tom said he’d cover. Tom’s sports report, in total:. “A partial score just in: Philadelphia 5. Now, turning to the local news…”

Tom often repeated two curse words over and over right up to his on-the-air cue. This required the audio man to keep Tom’s microphone closed, which complicated the job of simultaneously managing the opening music, the opening announcement, and Tom’s mike. If the audio man had ever opened Tom’s mike too early, both he and Snyder would have lost their jobs.

A different Sunday With Snyder – in this half-hour interview of Tom early in his career. Recorded February 1967 at the student-run station at Temple University.

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Sundays With Snyder - Number 2

Some investment advice in today’s rocky economy. If you had bought a thousand dollars worth of Nortel stock a year back, today it would be worth about forty six bucks. If you had bought a thousand dollars worth of Miller Light (the beer, not the stock), and drank all the beer and redeemed the cans at the redemption center, you’d have about a hundred and five dollars. Given the current volatility in the market, my advice is to drink heavily and recycle! – Tom Snyder, July 30, 2002.

This is our second Sunday With Snyder: every Sunday, ILT “rebroadcasts” Tom Snyder’s ABC Radio Show.

Tonight: From May 20, 1992: TS with guest John Astin (partial) and Nightside hour. John Astin talks about the Addams Family (recording sessions for the animated version) and with a member of his own family. Also: acting with Charles Laughton. On the Nightside hour: Dan Quayle has attacked sitcom character Murphy Brown, who chose to have a child outside marriage; Tom creates a yogurt controversy.


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The Mouseketeers (And A Mooseketeer) on Tom Snyder's Tomorrow Show, 1975

The original Mickey Mouse Club presented five new hour-long episodes each week during the 1955-’56 and 1956-’57 TV seasons.

In ‘57-’58, the show started slipping away, cut to five half-hour programs per week.

In ‘58-’59, the lights were still on in Mickey’s Clubhouse, but nobody was home.

Production had shut down, and Disney resorted to re-cut half-hour reruns. The loyal viewers who remained to watch the repeats had the unusual opportunity to relive a portion of their childhood while they were still children.

By the Autumn of 1959, these kids had no idea what to do with themselves at 5 p.m. on weekdays. It was in that forlorn condition that they entered the sixties, mere months later, which might just explain the entire decade.

After three years of clublessness, reruns of the show again became available through local syndication, and MMC ran in this manner for another three years, from 1962 through 1965.

If you were eight when the show had premiered, you were a teenager by the second go-round, and distinctly embarrassed if not appalled by how much you used to love this juvenile entertainment. It was left to a new group of eight-year-olds to pick up Mickey’s fallen banner.

As the Mickey Mouse Club returned to the air in September of 1962, the Beatles went into the studio with their new drummer, Ringo Starr, to record six tracks. By the time the MMC “went dark” again, the Beatles had played Shea Stadium and received their MBE’s.

The show then made a strong bid for obscurity, remaining “dark” for ten long years. Depending on my math skills – and the month of our fictional eight-year-old’s birthday – the kid is now 28.

Not old – but not feeling so young, either. “The Sixties” really began in ‘63 or ‘64 (the Kennedy assassination or The Beatles, take your pick) and really ended in ‘74 or ‘75 (Watergate or the draft, your pick once again). This third time around elicited acute nostalgia from the original audience, now fueled by memories of what, in retrospect, seemed a far simpler time. Some of them were watching as the Club reconvened on January 20th, 1975, when the second series of reruns began.

That same evening, The Tomorrow Show With Tom Snyder videotaped an episode featuring original Mouseketeers Darlene Gillespie, Sharon Baird, Lonnie Burr, Cubby O’Brien, Tommy Cole, and Cheryl Holdridge (who died earlier this month at 64). For the many original viewers who were now allowed to stay up late and watch people smoke, the hour-long Tomorrow Show was the electronic equivalent of a grade-school reunion. And, especially for those who were watching their first rerun, it must have been something of a shock.

You see, each morning, you get up, you look in the mirror, and, barring misfortune, you see almost exactly the same face you saw yesterday and will see tomorrow. You never see yourself age. You only come to realize how old you are obliquely, by encountering some other face you haven’t seen in a long while. At that point, logic kicks in: I don’t feel older, but if that person is older, then I must be older.

If it weren’t for those damn Mouseketeers, and those damn memories of winter days when the fading sunlight in our TV rooms imperceptibly accomplished a cross-dissolve with the blue glow from our black and white sets, we could have stayed young forever.

As always, I suggest a visit to The Original Mickey Mouse Club Show fan site.
Why? Because I like you.

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