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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Talk Show > Rock Music > Comedy > The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder - Punk & New Wave

The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder – Punk & New Wave


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Episodes: B+



Though Dick Cavett was the intellectual and Johnny Carson was the king, Tom Snyder was an entity unto himself.  A radio personality as well, Snyder followed Carson on the great Tomorrow Show, which was as cutting edge as the original Saturday Night Live and with the later hour, Snyder pushed the talk show into new directions no one else would have considered at the time in both subject matter and approach.  Punk & New Wave is a remarkable set that captures acts that hardly anyone knew would be so relevant a generation later.


Snyder manages to ask all the right questions, best questions and adds the most heartfelt involvement in ways hardly anyone else in TV ever had or ever will in his work.  Snyder was always underrated and underappreciated, but these discs serve as a testament to his great work, work that has rarely been equaled and never surpassed.  Just read this amazing list of shows:



Disc One:


10/11/77: Paul Weller of The Jam, legendary promoter critic Robert Hilburn, record producer Kim Fowley, Bill Graham and Joan Jett during her Runaways days (Lita Ford appears in the film footage) in which the non-musicians talk for a few segments, then are joined by Weller & Jett.  Fowley’s ideas are particularly amusing.


2/3/81: Elvis Costello  & The Attractions talk and perform, along with Reverend Donald Wildmon at the start of his extreme Right Wing crusade against all culture when he was soft-selling what would be a rabid movement and Frank Capra reflecting on his career.


2/12/81: Ricky Schroder at the beginning of his child star career, economic writer Jerome Smith on his guess at bad economics in the 1980s and Iggy Pop shows up with his band singing three classics and talking to Snyder.


5/20/81: The Plasmatics perform, which includes destroying a car and Wendy O. Williams’ also being interviewed.  Attorney Rick Horrow talks about new laws against violence in sports, which he sees at the time as being on the increase.  Reverend Rex Humbert talks about Pray TV is on the rise and was more correct than expected.



Disc Two:


5/11/78: Patti Smith shows up and performs, while two other guests with names similar to known media people today also surface.


6/25/80: Johnny Rotten returns to the show as John Lydon launching Public Image Limited (PIL) and Keith Levine, but film producer Allan Carr starts the show with a very interesting interview where he talks about Can’t Stop The Music and how he intended to rebuild a glamorous Hollywood.  The film soon bombed, while Lydon’s continued antagonism with Snyder continues.


5/27/81: Paul Weller is back, bringing The Jam to perform.  James Michener and (then famed film critic) Miss Judith Crist show up to talk about some scandals over The Pulitzer Prize, while Dick Maurice talks about his participation in the insanity.


9/1/81: Kelly Lang guest hosts The Ramones for Tom, but interviews Stanley MacDonald in between after being a court case winner against a major medical company who bought and shelved his innovative invention.



These key music artists get to speak their minds in ways they rarely did or were able to in a public forum.  Much of all this is truly priceless.  All eight shows remind us of a time when TV was at its peak of intelligence and progress before several developments in the 1980s changed everything.  Some were technological, others ideological.  Snyder even returned to TV later.  Punk & New Wave is a very strong release from Shout! Factory.  Let’s hope they get to release more of this catalog.


The 1.33 X 1 image is all in color and good for its age, but some of the flaws of the NTSC image cannot be helped.  Otherwise, this looks good.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is as clean and solid as talk shows of the time and play back well.  The music also sounds good, but it is a shame this was not recorded in stereo.  There are no extras, but each disc is so loaded that you will not notice as much.  The menus deserve special note for giving you the option of isolating the Punk acts and their songs.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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