THE HIGHLY Eclectic and most popular TOMORROW Show with Tom Snyder was a sort of emotional come down for late night audiences. Following the heels of Mr. Johnny Carson, the usual format was no audience, in studio with host Snyder doing his best to give us in depth revelations of the famous and infamous from the worlds of Politics, Show Biz and Sports.
THIS INSTALLMENT WAS a definite departure from the norm. There was an in studio gathering of talk-show groupies & fans of the grunt n' groaners fraternity. The producers were giving the 'world' (or at least the USA & Canada) an in depth introspection of that which comes at the intersection of athletic sport & theatricality, namely Pro Wrestling.
WE WERE TREATED to a fully assembled square circle (boxing/wrestling ring) complete with rows of truly "ringside" seats filled with aficionados of that which is widely known as "the King of Sports*", namely Wrestling. Presiding over an entourage of non-stars were the likes of Gorilla Monsoon and the immortal "Italian Super-man", Bruno Sammartino.
THE INTERVIEW BROUGHT out both some very interesting tidbits of mat game trivia, as well as some inevitable regurgitation of the publicity boys ballyhoo. For example: Powerhouse Bruno was truly once a thin and underweight weak teen at about the 90 pound mark, yes.** On the other hand, Sammartino was not runner-up to Paul Anderson for the Heavyweight berth on the 1956 United States Olympic Weightlifting team. Bruno didn't try out.***
THE SHOW DID not go to the expense of having the ring set up for no reason. There were some demonstrations of pro wrestling maneuvers, tactics and holds. These were provided by Bruno; as well by a group of journeymen grapplers. There was even a small feud between the great Italian champ and one trainee-type (Frank Monti, we believe). This ended abruptly with a well placed hip toss and bleach-blond Monti's exit.
DEMONSTRATING HIS SUPERIOR and above the fray level of existence, Tom Snyder chuckled when the Sammartino-Monti flare-up ended. As a matter of fact, the M.C. would do this chortling at all breaks and after each little segment; just to show his viewers that h wasn't taken in with the "When the fact becomes Legendwrestling shtick.
WELL, WE CERTAINLY do miss you Mr. Tom Snyder (1936-2007). We truly enjoyed you work; but sophisticated? NOT!
NOTE * This "King of Sports" slogan was popular in several territories and an obvious play on Horseracing's moniker of "the Spotrt of Kings."
NOTE: ** There is documentation that Bruno Sammartino was indeed a skinny and underweight specimen ala the old CHARLES ATLAS Msagazine & Comic Book Ads.
NOTE: *** The runner-up to Paul Anderson at the 1956 Olympic tryouts was one Lee Phillips. Bruno Sammartino was not among the competitors. Sort of an example of "When the Fact becomes Legend....., etc." (You can lock it up, Schultz!)
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