“Like It Is” with Gil Noble comes to an end on TV

Gil Noble Like It Is

After my normal routine of zapping between the early Sunday news programs with a hot cup of black coffee, I scanned the day’s TV program guide to see what NFL games were scheduled for the afternoon.  It’s been a ritual of mine to get ready for some Sunday football, after of course watching “Like It Is” with producer and host Gil Noble at 12 noon on WABC channel 7 in New York.  To my surprise the show did not air today, and after looking online I found out that Gil Noble, 79, was hospitalized after suffering a stroke recently.  The good news is that he is said to be recuperating and resting comfortably with family by his side, and we wish him all the best. The bad news is that Mr. Noble, who was born in Harlem in 1932,  will not be able to return to hosting the show, and it appears that WABC will not continue to broadcast past “Like It Is” programs on Sundays anymore!

Now, for those who are not aware, “Like It Is” has been on the air for over 40 years, covering the struggle and success of African Americans, past and present.  As there is a great archive of “Like It Is” programs featuring topics that are not covered elsewhere on television,  I believe that WABC is straight-up wrong to drop the show so quickly, and I’m sure I am not alone.  Sure, you can go to ABC online and watch segments from Like It Is shows, but that will never be the same for me.  Just last week I was watching a show Gil Noble did on the incredible life of Paul Robeson, and the week before, it was all about Adam Clayton Powell Jr.   Yes, I also saw both shows years ago, but that is the point.  I always learn something new from Like It Is shows that were originally broadcast in the 1970’s, 80’s, or 90’s, and I believe that would be true for young viewers and long time viewers alike.  Just check out the long list of guests and topics that have appeared on the show throughout the years and you’ll see why the Emmy Award-winning program has played such an important role in Black American culture for so long.

Thanks brother Gil, for many years of passing on knowledge and telling it “Like It Is.”

If you would like to send your thoughts and well wishes to Gil Noble, please do so.

Watch the 1st “Like It Is” segment on Paul Robeson in the video below:

7 Responses to “Like It Is” with Gil Noble comes to an end on TV

  1. alan young says:

    I’ve never watched “like it is” or even knew of Gil Noble as I am not a New Yorker. The Article is well written and certainly a tribute to a visionary and renaissance African American. My prayers are with this respected man of vision and his loved ones. Thank you Tony E. for a very inspiring and articulate article. Thank you Gil Noble for giving me the chance to delve into the archives of what is arguabley one of New Yorks finest local programs for the last 40 years.

  2. bnell says:

    Tony thanks for the update on the status of “Like It Is.” I was aware that Gil Noble has been hospitalized since having a stroke some months ago. Over the years I have tuned into this show to hear Gil Noble address issues that affect people of color. Sadly, your brief article is the only one I could find that even informed people that the show is no longer on the air. Unfortunately, this move by ABC was very predictable. I commented to my friends a few weeks ago that I believed the show would be cancelled as I’m sure the network has been chomping at the bit for a long time. Mr. Noble being ill was the perfect opportunity. However, even sadder is the fact that ABC was so confident that they could make that move with no resistance. I’m sure that Mr. Noble would want the show to continue. There are certainly many qualified people that are able to step in as the host of the show. Any talk of a boycott?

    • Tony E says:

      Thanks for your comments everyone. Since this post, WABC -Channel 7 New York had a tribute show to honor Gil Noble and “Like It Is”, but unfortunately the links to “Like It Is” videos are no longer available on their website. Did they just brush brother Gil aside after 40 years on the station? If anyone runs into good quality video of “Like It Is” shows online, please share the links here.

  3. Tony,
    Please give Gil my fondest regards. Tell him “Oochie” sends his love. Film maker Atticus Brady has done a new documentary on Erroll Garner and I’ve got a copy of it. The trailer is No One Can Hear You Read — A documentary and the link for it is
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIQxBmKNENY if you could pass that link on to Gil. Since Gil is a huge Garner fan, I know that he would be interested in seeing the clip and know that he will be pleased that someone besides himself is passing Garner on to the next generation. All of New York intelligencia will miss Gil’s show and miss Gil’s presence on the air. Thanks for passing the note on. Sincerely, Ernest McCarty

    • jcavano says:

      A long-time admirer of Mr. Garner, I’d like to know more about the new documentary. Is it presently available, and if so, where?
      Also, I’d be interested in knowing if the program Mr.Noble did with Erroll is also available.
      An author myself,I thought about Erroll when developing the character, Phineas Biggers, in “Phineas Rising” in my short story collection, Half-past Nowhere. I believe it was only the second story I wrote for publication. I was more than thrilled when Glimmer Train selected it as a finalist.

  4. London says:

    If Gil was an empty headed man with little to no intelligence and morality, ABC would honor him and his memory by keeping the show and fan base via replacement host. Indeed a new “fresh and young” prospective on the same conflicts that are just as significant today as they were 40 or more years ago.

    I blame Black America and the lack of interest in anything other than comedy, rap music and video games! What a shame, I will miss him and the Black America I use to admire and love. Whatever happened to our never ending quest to learn, earn and excel? I’m over 25 and Gil’s legacy will be missed and preserved in the hearts, minds and hopefully video that some of us have. (Please post if you do!) It’s never too late to say Thank you for 20 years of pheonominal content! I will miss you and try to carry the torch, now that the last of the more significant BLACK talk show is off the air, I will resume writing ASAP!

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