Studs Terkel and Gladys Knight both appear on the program. Terkel appears in promotion of his newest book, My American Century.
00:00 The video begins with the intro for The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder.
00:24 Tom Snyder welcomes his viewing audience and gives a quick run down of the guests that will be on the show tonight. Singer Gladys Knight and author Studs Terkel appear on the program. Snyder then gives a short opening monologue. In the monologue, Snyder briefly recalls his time spent with Terkel on a Chicago television show in the 1970s.
03:57 Cut to a commercial break.
07:10 Fade back into a shot of Snyder as he introduces Gladys Knight to the program. The two talk about a variety of subjects including: Knight’s new biography, Between Each Line of Pain and Glory: My Life Story; her career in the music industry; her involvement with Motown Records; and her struggle with compulsive gambling. The two also take a couple of calls from the viewing audience.
15:48 Cut to a commercial break.
18:58 Fade back into the second part of the interview with Knight. She and Snyder take a couple of calls from viewers who ask a question or two of Knight.
26:19 Cut to a commercial break.
30:23 Fade back in to the last part of the interview with Knight. Snyder and Knight begin to talk about her struggles with gambling. This lasts for only a few minutes before the interview ends.
39:26 Cut to a commercial break.
42:00 Fade back into a shot of Snyder as he introduces Studs Terkel to the program. Snyder jokes with Terkel while introducing him and refers to him as “Count Dracula.” Snyder first asks Terkel about his work in early Chicago television. Terkel enthusiastically talks about “Chicago Style” TV and its many components, specifically the use of improvisation. Snyder then asks Terkel about his blacklisting in the 1950s. Terkel discusses the effects of his blacklisting and amusingly blames it on his big mouth and ego. He talks about an instance in which he was confronted with a couple of network executives about his so-called communist ties. Terkel had signed a number of petitions that included signatures from suspected communists. He states that it had cost him a lot of job opportunities at the time. Snyder then begins to talk about broadcaster/ storyteller John Henry Faulk and his bout with blacklisting in the 1950s. The two share their memories about Faulk and talk about his lawsuit against those who blacklisted him and the many other Hollywood celebrities. Terkel goes on to recall a time in which both he and gospel singer Mahalia Jackson were confronted the negative effects of blacklisting.
48:20 Cut to a commercial break.
51:35 Fade back into the interview with Terkel. Snyder asks Terkel about the late Mike Royko. Terkel has many kind words to say about Royko and his work as a writer. Terkel tells a story about an incident in which he was mugged at gunpoint. Royko had heard the story and wrote a humorous piece about it criticizing Terkel for not getting an interview with the mugger. He describes the story very vividly and paints a great picture for the audience. Terkel also recalls another story about a swindler that he used to give money to all of the time. Royko had written another article poking fun at Terkel for getting taken advantage of in that situation. Terkel however, sees it in a different light, and states that he had given the swindler money because of how good of a performance he gave in order to get the money. Snyder then asks Terkel about his affinity for cigars. Terkel explains that he still smokes in private and makes sure to do it when his wife is not around. He goes on to say that the “yuppies” have ruined cigar smoking for him. Snyder then asks Terkel about the notion that America as a whole is becoming “leaner and meaner.” Terkel talks about the notion of being “leaner and meaner” in the business world. Terkel briefly talks about the competitive nature found within American society today as well. Snyder then thanks Terkel and ends the interview.
55:58 Cut to commercial break.
58:01 Fade into a shot of Snyder as he closes the show.
58:53 Tape ends.