I called Ray today and was pleased to be able to visit with Alexandra. I had taped two of Ray's appearances on Tom's shows but had a feeling he had been there more than that.
Ray said that he had been on six times, once with Sam Peckinpaw. He said that Tom had a great sense of humor.
Ray went over what was coming up in regard to his plays and sounded very good.
Tom Snyder had a dirty sense of humor. I loved it.
One joke he told that I'll never forget went like this.
These two twelve-year old boys are walking on the beach when they suddenly see a woman nude sunbathing. Both boys stop in their tracks. One quickly turns and faces the opposite direction. The other boy, still staring in amazement, asks him what the heck he is doing, why isn't he looking. He replies, "My mother told me that if I ever see a naked woman I'll turn to stone... and I think it's starting to happen."
"Years from now we want to go into the pub and tell about the Terrible Conflagration up at the Place, do we not?"
I can just see Snyder telling that joke, then the smile and the off-camera glance to see if he got by with it, then the laugh, then, in that radio-days voice, "We'll be right back with. . ."
The in-depth interview is an art that gets past the sound bytes, clips, and plugs, and Snyder had it mastered. He had a keen eye for the absurd, and didn't think it unprofessional to share a laugh on the air. Not too many current interviewers come close to doing what Snyder did with ease.
For a brief time Tom Snyder worked at NBC Channel 4, here in Los Angeles. The studio was near where I lived and every so often we'd be dining with him at the local Bob's Big Boy.
John King Tarpinian
You know what you are, Mr. Bradbury? ... You are a poet! -- Aldous Huxley
The joke reminds me of the ending of FAREWELL SUMMER and the short story, "Junior". Pretty funny stuff, I thought. The end of FAREWELL SUMMER takes the "hardening" theme more seriously (as a part of a vibrant life) whereas "Junior" has a much lighter take on the subject.
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