16 years ago tonight, on Monday, January 9, 1995 “The Late Late Show” with host Tom Snyder premiered after David Letterman’s “Late Show” on CBS’s late night lineup. It would make Snyder the first and only person ever to follow both Johnny Carson and David Letterman on the late night schedule.
Tom Snyder previously hosted “Tomorrow” (aka “The Tomorrow Show”) on NBC from October 1973 until January 1982. It aired right after Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show.” Both “Tomorrow” and Snyder’s version of “The Late Late Show” were unlike today’s post-11:30 talk shows. They had no audience and no band. They were talk shows, with the emphasis on TALK, although “Tomorrow” expanded its format in its later years. But let’s not talk about that disaster.
“Tomorrow” went off the air in 1982 partly to make room for “Late Night with David Letterman.” Perhaps that’s why Letterman selected Snyder to host the new program slated to run after his “Late Show” in 1995. “The Late Late Show” was, and still is, produced by Letterman’s company Worldwide Pants.
Snyder would host “The Late Late Show” until March 1999, when he was replaced by Craig Kilborn. Kilborn left the show in August 2004 and current host Craig Ferguson took over in January 2005.
CBS must have picked January 8th to premiere “The Late Late Show” because the network had had such good luck with the date 6 years earlier. That was when “The Pat Sajak Show” hit TV screens across America.