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Unlike other late-night shows, The Late Late Show did not have a house band (a tradition that carried on to its iterations under Kilborn and Ferguson) or any announcer, except for the last episode, when Snyder allowed one of his staff members to announce an introduction.Letterman had offered the Late Late spot to Garry Shandling, a former permanent guest host of the Tonight Show but Shandling turned the offer down in favour of The Larry Sanders Show (NBC had previously approached Shandling about succeeding Letterman on Late Night but he had also declined that offer).While initially saying they would choose a permanent host by the end of October, the process ended up extending into December.Drew Carey was the first guest host on September 20, 2004 and again the following night. It was announced on December 7, 2004 that Ferguson, a Scottish comedian best known from his role as Mr.Saxophonist David Sanborn composed and performed the theme music and several other songs featured on the show, all of which were smooth jazz pieces to fit the show's low-key, middle-of-the-night mood.Sanborn had previously been a guest saxophonist in The World's Most Dangerous Band during Late Night with David Letterman.Letterman then insisted on Snyder despite CBS wanting a younger host with a comedy background and a more traditional late night talk variety format.Snyder would return to CBS to guest-host some episodes of the Late Show while Letterman recuperated from heart surgery in 2000.
David Letterman later said he made the selection based on the recommendation of Peter Lassally. followed by opening credits and a commercial break.
Tom Snyder hosted the program from its inception in January 1995 until March 1999.
The choice of Snyder as host was made by David Letterman, whose contract with CBS gave him (via production company Worldwide Pants) the power to produce the show in the timeslot immediately after his own program and who had an affinity for Snyder, whose NBC late night series Tomorrow had been succeeded by Late Night with David Letterman.
The time slot on CBS previously carried repeats of Crimetime After Primetime.
Snyder departed CNBC to host the Late Late Show on CBS.