Join 3,433 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The Car Talk garage is closing
June 8, 2012 9:08 AM   Subscribe

After 25 years, thousands of car problems solved, and possibly millions of minutes spent laughing helplessly at themselves, Click and Clack, the Tappet brothers, are hanging up their microphones.

Even though Terry Gross cranks up the volume on her KISS records whenever she hears them say it, Car Talk has been a mainstay of NPR for a quarter of a century, with hosts Tom and Ray Magliozzi providing advice on listeners' cars, relationships and relationships with their cars. The show is generally one of the network's most popular programs, spinning off a PBS animated program (previously) and a musical. The program will continue in reruns, but no new episodes will be produced after this September.
posted by Etrigan (232 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite

 
Does Dewey, Cheatem & Howe have any other clients? Gonna be hard times in their law office otherwise.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:10 AM on June 8, 2012 [21 favorites]


.(sun)
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:10 AM on June 8, 2012 [24 favorites]


I'm going to miss torturing my wife with Car Talk whenever we drive anywhere on Saturday morning. I'm not a big fan of the show, but I'm a very big fan of her visceral hate reaction to the brothers' voices.
posted by COBRA! at 9:11 AM on June 8, 2012 [16 favorites]


....Suddenly I really want their swan song to be having guys from Top Gear feature them as the Stars In A Reasonably Priced Car.

You know that Jeremy Clarkson trying to interview them, and not being able to get a word in edgewise because they're laughing too hard, would be awesome.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:12 AM on June 8, 2012 [75 favorites]


Ever since my childhood, Car Talk has been the soundtrack to driving anywhere with my dad.
posted by entropone at 9:12 AM on June 8, 2012 [14 favorites]


Hearing the sound of my dad listening to Car Talk on Saturday mornings as he washed his Datsun in the driveway is like a fundamental memory of my childhood, I get nostalgic whenever I hear their voices.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:13 AM on June 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


No offense but I hope they won't continue in reruns forever and ever, and thus deprive others of a shot at NPR fame and also a generation of having something to call their own. (See: the comics pages)
posted by Melismata at 9:13 AM on June 8, 2012 [22 favorites]


Car Talk is such a strange show. If you ask me if I like it, I'd probably say no. I'm always a little disappointed when I'm in the car and it comes on. Yet whenever I listen to it, I kind of like it for reasons I can't articulate.
posted by diogenes at 9:14 AM on June 8, 2012 [19 favorites]


They're older than I realized. I'd say they've earned retirement.
posted by tommasz at 9:14 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


My guess is that it's up to affiliates whether or not they'd want to carry the reruns, and that most will drop them pretty quickly.
posted by COBRA! at 9:14 AM on June 8, 2012


Oh man. Their show is totally the memory of being driven to soccer games as a kid. I don't give a damn about cars except when they're talking about them. I love their crazy, grating old man laughs.

End of an era.
posted by dismas at 9:15 AM on June 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


Someone needs to go through the Infodump and figure out how many Mefi usernames were taken from the closing credits. There's gotta be a Haywood Jabuzoff and Erasmus B. Dragon around here somewhere.
posted by bondcliff at 9:15 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now they can finally live their dream - sitting in a room reading random emails to each other and laughing hysterically for no particular reason.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:15 AM on June 8, 2012 [17 favorites]


Good for them! I'm a passing listener in that I listen whenever it happens to be on when I'm driving somewhere, but there was a time when I would listen regularly many years ago in their first years of broadcasting in California. I'm glad they're getting to retire, and while they'll be missed, it's good that they can move on and enjoy their lives. Perhaps I'll miss them, I dunno, but it was fun while it lasted...
posted by Eekacat at 9:16 AM on June 8, 2012


I'm pretty sure this is all Cheatem's fault...
posted by schmod at 9:18 AM on June 8, 2012


Work-Averse Brother Decides that Even One Hour a Week Is Too Much -- An Actual Semi-serious Note from Click and Clack to Their Listeners
posted by zamboni at 9:18 AM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Aw man. My favorite radio show to catch by accident on a Sunday morning.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:19 AM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


It really is a love/hate show isn't it? I find it fascinating and hilarious, although I never deliberately tune in. My SO finds it all kinds of annoying. I'm going to have to make a specific effort to tune in for their last few months.
posted by Joh at 9:19 AM on June 8, 2012


I used to mention them as an example of a reference interview in a non-library setting to library school students.
posted by research monkey at 9:20 AM on June 8, 2012 [12 favorites]


Well hell, now I'll have to find another commute-time podcast. They're irritating bastards, but they'll be missed.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:20 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


After a dozen or so years, I couldn't take the laughing any more.
posted by wrapper at 9:20 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Figures, we own the '62 Beetle for less than a year and they go off the air. Thank god for the archives (which I highly recommend as an internet treasure).

. for a NPR mainstay.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:20 AM on June 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh goodness. This was a Dorky Thing My Dad Was Into, but it was one of my very favorite Dorky Things My Dad Was Into.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:20 AM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Can't we find done young makers/mechanics to take their place?
posted by humanfont at 9:21 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


For a year or two I really enjoyed the show, but after a while it felt like it was the same thing over and over again. I wouldn't have been surprised to hear they've already been in reruns for the past decade. Or that they retired years and now it's just an engineer with an elaborate Click and Clack Soundboard dropping taking calls and dropping in their catch phrases and laughs.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:22 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Click: Hello, Etrigan from Metafilter! Welcome to Car Talk! [laughter] Etrigan, how do you spell that? I think my brother had a dog named Etrigan once. He never feed that mutt. [laughter]
Clack: I thought that was your dog! [laughter]
Click: I didn't need a dog with you always following me around! [laughter]
Clack: I was hoping you'd feed me, too! [laughter]
posted by perhapses at 9:23 AM on June 8, 2012 [25 favorites]


Are they quitting to focus full time on the Rust-eze Medicated Bumper Ointment business?
posted by rh at 9:23 AM on June 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


A list of the NPR staffers who will now be out of work as a result of the cancellation.
posted by schmod at 9:24 AM on June 8, 2012 [30 favorites]


They have, according to my source at WBUR, about two years worth of unaired material as well as the countless hours that have aired.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:25 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


When I was in college in Boston during the late 60s, my roommate would take his Renault R5 to the Magliozzi brothers garage in Cambridge. We never knew what cultural icons Tom and Ray would turn out to be. I bet they haven't run a garage in years, though.

I still listen to CT and laugh my head off every Saturday. I will miss their chauffeur, Pikemop Andropov.
posted by rdone at 9:25 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Huh, that's a shame. I love randomly catching Car Talk on Sundays.
posted by codacorolla at 9:26 AM on June 8, 2012


I have loved the show for years and had no idea they were in their 70's. I figured more like mid 50's. I hope the reruns are somewhere on the web for a long time.
posted by freakazoid at 9:27 AM on June 8, 2012


I'm both comforted and dismayed to find that others love and hate the show as much as I do.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:27 AM on June 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


In the beginning it may have been a fairly straightforward automotive advice show, but in reality, Car Talk is a comedy show that just happens to revolve around "cars, car repairs, and-uh, the new puzzler." Being MIT grads, they probably could have built an equally entertaining comedy show built around science or engineering.
posted by beagle at 9:28 AM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I love the laughing--it always puts a smile on my face. I've always thought that even if you didn't understand English, you could listen to the show and come away with a smile.

Now that I think about it, you'd probably enjoy it even more and laugh along even harder if you didn't understand English.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:28 AM on June 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


For the past few years they've turned the show into a Studs Turkel-lite experience, they'd generally take one serious car question and the rest of the callers just gave them an opportunity to hear funny stories from people across the country. They always made me laugh, I'll miss 'em.
posted by peeedro at 9:28 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


The more I think about it, the more I like the idea; I'm going to shoot an email to the offices of Top Gear tonight to try to make this happen. I'll keep you posted.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:29 AM on June 8, 2012 [19 favorites]


rdone: That garage still exists and Ray (the younger brother, I think) still runs it. I've brought my car there a couple of times, actually. Great people who do a good job (although are infuriatingly cash only.)
posted by Rewind at 9:30 AM on June 8, 2012


One of the Puzzlers was, "All cars have at least one. Some have two. Some have four. None have three. What is it?" I was stumped. My son said he knew. What? How could this seven year old that just tried to lick the bottom of an ice cream cone know? He said, "mufflers, Dad." Good boy.
posted by I'm Doing the Dishes at 9:30 AM on June 8, 2012 [13 favorites]


I love that (at least for me right now) the top search result for "shameless commerce" is the Car Talk online store.
posted by rh at 9:30 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have loved the show for years and had no idea they were in their 70's.


Tom is in his 70's, born 1937. Ray is 63, born 1949. I never realized there was such an age difference between them.
posted by beagle at 9:31 AM on June 8, 2012


.

*cackle*
posted by scratch at 9:31 AM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's how I get my regular dose of Boston accents now that I live so far away.

Yes yes yes to them on Top Gear, oh my yes!
posted by rtha at 9:33 AM on June 8, 2012


@I'm Doing the Dishes - your son (and the brothers) clearly haven't seen the Lexus LFA
posted by zeoslap at 9:33 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


401 K Advisor Hugh Don Wannano

Boy ain't that the truth?
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:33 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll just put a piece of black (er, blue) tape over this post, and that should take care of the problem.
posted by zeugitai_guy at 9:34 AM on June 8, 2012 [13 favorites]


My folks are huge NPR listeners, but always groaned and changed the channel whenever Car Talk came on. It wasnt till I was out of college and living on my own that I actually listened. I liked it. The show is just so good natured.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:36 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


The big list of staff credits. It's really a big list.
posted by peeedro at 9:36 AM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I never tune in to the show on purpose, but always enjoy it, and their rapport with each other and their general joie de vivre is inspiring. These guys have a good time.

NPR will probably hurt some for their departure, but people will listen to the reruns.

If only we could get rid of that dreadful, dreadful Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and banish the ever-so precious RadioLab instead!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:37 AM on June 8, 2012


The last line in Tom Magliozzi's Wikipedia entry reads like the set-up to one of their puzzler questions:

Tom has at least one son and two daughters. Like his brother, Tom is colorblind.
posted by rh at 9:37 AM on June 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


I've liked their show for quite awhile, but man oh man a few years ago they tried doing a cartoon that ran on PBS and it was McSucky, suck suck... squared.

But on the plus side, they had some PBS special (NOVA?) where they explored up and coming alternative cars (say like the Tesla) and fuels, that I thought was pretty darn good.
posted by edgeways at 9:38 AM on June 8, 2012


Oops, schmod beat me to it.
posted by peeedro at 9:38 AM on June 8, 2012


Yeah, this show is a guilty pleasure sometimes, actually educational about car sometimes, and old guys cackling too loud sometimes. But it's also a breath of fresh air to NPR's too-stuffy mainline programming, so I always leave the radio on when their show starts.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:39 AM on June 8, 2012


The only thing I really really dislike about Wait Wait Don't Tell Me is when they have PJ O'Rourke, I stuck it out for a few years even with him on, but nowadays it's an automatic turn the damn radio off if he is a guest, they guy is just a flat out asshole.
posted by edgeways at 9:40 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I hope they are as happy as they sound. They've been on the air for 35 years if you count their pre-NPR broadcasting. The only thing I've done consistently for 35 years is breathe and poop.
posted by mecran01 at 9:41 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I guess I will have to settle for reruns but what next, Carl Kassel retires to a remote cabin in Wisconsin where he can irritate an also retired Garrison Keillor?

On second thought, maybe NPR does need some new blood.
posted by Ber at 9:41 AM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yet whenever I listen to it, I kind of like it for reasons I can't articulate.

1) They're not out to cheat, hustle or scam anyone. They're not pushing product, they're actively helping. They readily call out dishonest dealing by mechanics and product marketing.

2) Laughter is infectious. My toddler loves that show, because when they laugh, she laughs. It doesn't matter if it's forced sometimes, or over something not terribly funny - they just love to laugh, and make no apologies for it.

3) They're always operating on the level of the caller, never putting them in over their head and never talking down to them. Conversely, they'll never dumb it down needlessly, and can go toe-to-toe with very tricky technical issues.

4) Everything is funny to them - the noise one lady makes when imitating her car, the unneeded troubleshooting steps a seasoned shade-tree mechanic took diagnosing an electrical fault. They treat everyone the same, regardless of background, interest or education. We're all friends.

5) They are focussed on safety and practicality and fuel economy and responsible car-ownership. In sea of self-entitled jerks flaunting "conservative" or "libertarian" credentials, they're an island of sanity - it's possible to be a progressive and love driving.

6) They know what the hell they're doing - they are very involved in their shop's everyday work, and keep current with tech bulletins from the major makes and models. Their memory for detail is amazing.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:43 AM on June 8, 2012 [111 favorites]


Car Talk is a staple of my commute podcast playlist. And I've actually learned something about cars along the way too.
posted by COD at 9:44 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Often times when you finally see a picture of people whose radio voices you know, you are surprised what they look like. However, Tom and Ray look exactly what I always imagined, which is a comfort.
Car Talk is such a strange show. If you ask me if I like it, I'd probably say no. I'm always a little disappointed when I'm in the car and it comes on. Yet whenever I listen to it, I kind of like it for reasons I can't articulate.
This is exactly how I feel. Taken as its component parts, there's nothing I should like about it, but I just do, making it my anti-Prairie Home Companion (a 'live radio variety show especially heavy on folk and traditional musical guests' should be something I like based on my other tastes -- but I can't stand it)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:45 AM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Laughter is infectious. My toddler loves that show, because when they laugh, she laughs. It doesn't matter if it's forced sometimes

Your toddler must love Fox NFL Sunday.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:48 AM on June 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Laughter is a curious thing -- when you're in a receptive mood for it, it's infectious and elevating, but when you're in the wrong mood, it's like a scene from a movie where the character is losing their mind and you see their anguished, contorted visage in the middle of the frame, surrounded by a carousel of madly cackling faces.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 9:49 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Aw man, I've loved listening to Tom and Ray since I was a kid. I guess no my girlfriend can look forward to a day when I no longer yell my guesses at the radio.

Bad engine mounts!

*cackle*
*snort*
*cackle*
posted by ghharr at 9:50 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


CarTalk is the kind of sentimental pleasure that I have only recently become comfortable admitting to, and would never try to convert others to. I have actually learned something about cars in the four or five years I've been a devout listener, but mostly I'm there for a sense of warm nostalgia. They remind me of the best qualities of my grandfather: conscious of the absurdity of life but not cynical, opinionated but also curious and tolerant, and just happy to be where they are. Exactly the antithesis of what comes to mind when I hear the phrase "talk radio."

(On the other hand, looking forward to hearing those re-runs from 20 years ago!)
posted by inkfish at 9:53 AM on June 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Aw, since I've moved down South it's my weekly dose of Boston. I don't remember radio without them.
posted by Constant Reader at 9:53 AM on June 8, 2012


Yeah, I agree, edgeways, As the Wrench Turns, their PBS animated series, felt like it was well into its third half during episode 1.

While I'm here I feel compelled to ask: what's the joke in "the Tappet brothers"? Is it just like, "tap it," (i.e., knock on something repeatedly, in hopes of fixing it)? I know they're known for bad jokes, but even this one has always kinda puzzled me.
(And for a long time, I thought they may be saying "Tappert", but in the Boston accent. That was even more puzzling, but I was clearly wrong on that one.)
posted by mean square error at 9:53 AM on June 8, 2012


Photo of their offices (Dewey, Cheatham and Howe) above the reopened Curious George store in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA ("our fair city").
posted by ericb at 9:54 AM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I unabashedly love Car Talk...as long as I listen to it no more than four times a year.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:55 AM on June 8, 2012


While I'm here I feel compelled to ask: what's the joke in "the Tappet brothers"?

I assumed it was this.
posted by ghharr at 9:56 AM on June 8, 2012


Tappet: A hydraulic valve lifter, also known as a hydraulic tappet or a hydraulic lash adjuster, is a device for maintaining zero valve clearance in an internal combustion engine.
posted by Windopaene at 9:56 AM on June 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


When my children were little, I would use public radio to keep them in line when they got too rowdy in the car. "If you kids don't settle down, I'm turning on NPR!" Car Talk was especially hated. Thanks Tom an d Ray for many hours of enjoyment.
posted by Daddy-O at 9:58 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bummer! Well, best of luck to Click and Clack in their retirements. I imagine they have plenty of side projects they want to work on. Some cars up on blocks in the yard, etc.

I love to listen to them while I'm cleaning the house on Sundays. I've even sent in puzzler guesses from time to time. In spite of the theme of the show, I could never listen to them while actually in the car. I can't handle all of their cackling in a small, enclosed space. It makes me feel like I'm transporting a couple of lunatics to the asylum.
posted by Elly Vortex at 9:58 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


They never sounded 'old' to me, so I guess that means I'm getting old, too. I always thought they were maybe in their 50s. Finding out that one of them is 75 was startling.

It was also surprising to realize that they've been on the air that long. I've only really been aware of them for, um, maybe five years? Hearing 25 years was a bit of a startle. (and then it's really 35, I gather, counting pre-NPR time.)
posted by Malor at 9:59 AM on June 8, 2012


Your toddler must love Fox NFL Sunday.

We're going to be all serious and rapid-fire and loud in our serious rapid-fire analysis that we deliver with a furrowed brow and a firm scowl and ohshit the laugh light came on, someone make a face so Terry can fall out of his chair!
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:00 AM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ever since my childhood, Car Talk has been the soundtrack to driving anywhere with my dad.

Cleaning house for me. I never listened that closely but they were voices in the room, which is my primary use for NPR at all times. Except when Bob Simon is on. Then it's time for the Two Hour Hate.

Figures, we own the '62 Beetle for less than a year and they go off the air.

Man, if you got on the air, they would eat you alive. They were always waving people off when they talked about getting a Bug. They regard those cars as death traps.

Also: Slugbug!

I figured this would be happening soon -- the shows sound so canned, so phoned in of late. Ashley Judd on the call in, for example. Give me a break! It was so sad to see them fall to the endemic NPR Celebrity Suckup routine.
posted by y2karl at 10:01 AM on June 8, 2012


While I'm here I feel compelled to ask: what's the joke in "the Tappet brothers"?

When valves are out of adjustment (or collapse in the case of hydraulic lifters) a car will make a clacking noise.
posted by Daddy-O at 10:01 AM on June 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh no! I also know pretty much nothing about cars, but I LOVE to listen to car talk episodes. I'd download the old ones to my ipod & listen while walking to work for years. Man, this is sad news. I've had so many times when I was walking down a sidewalk listening to them on my commute and would have to fight to keep from totally cracking up over something they came out with.
posted by lyra4 at 10:03 AM on June 8, 2012


I've always found it fascinating how stereotypically NPR-esque their callers' cars were. There's always a caller or two with a Saab or a Subaru or a VW per episode. Totally out of proportion with how often I see those makes on the road, but totally in proportion with how often those makes have bumper stickers supporting public radio, environmentalism, etc.
posted by thecjm at 10:05 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Even though Terry Gross cranks up the volume on her KISS records whenever she hears them say it

Please, please tell me they actually used that joke on the air.
posted by straight at 10:06 AM on June 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


possibly millions of minutes spent laughing helplessly at themselves

I think they've only laughed 15 minutes total over the last 35 years. What you're hearing is laughter endlessly spliced into the recording during post-production.
posted by slogger at 10:09 AM on June 8, 2012


Slap*Happy: "Yet whenever I listen to it, I kind of like it for reasons I can't articulate.

...
6) They know what the hell they're doing - they are very involved in their shop's everyday work, and keep current with tech bulletins from the major makes and models. Their memory for detail is amazing
"

I'll add #7: They consistently, if implicitly, reinforced the viewpoint that there's a lot in the world you can figure out, solve, or make better through a combination of Knowing Stuff, Learning Stuff, and Using Your Brain. They spend a third of the show on brain teasers, for crying out loud (some involving important and/or profound logical issues -- I still use their World War II bomber puzzler as an example when I teach MIT engineers, and they dealt with the "you can't do it... unless the answer is TWO" debacle not only with humor but with a really excellent discussion of how easy it is to fall in love with a sexy/clever solution and stop looking for more.)

It makes me a little sad that this viewpoint is so rare in the media, but in among all the snorting and guffawing they did an incredible job of representing it.
posted by range at 10:09 AM on June 8, 2012 [25 favorites]


Live, unscripted comedy is rare. And I've learned a lot from listening. I will miss their accompaniment on my Saturday morning errands.
posted by ahimsakid at 10:09 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aw. That sucks.
posted by crunchland at 10:10 AM on June 8, 2012


Sorry, but I find the laughing bits pretty infectious, especially when Tom basically loses it. I can't help but start laughing along.

Also: it's your CV joints.
posted by jquinby at 10:10 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does anyone else think that the voices and the looks don't match? I'd listened to them forever, and had seen some pictures of the pair of them, but when I watched that NOVA show, Tom looked like he should have Ray's voice, and Tom's voice was coming out of the guy I was certain to be Ray.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:11 AM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


There goes the last honest source of info on automobiles, well, pretty much anywhere.

Also, Bahstahn, owah fahyar city.
posted by tspae at 10:11 AM on June 8, 2012


My first job out of college was as a programmer for cartalk.com. This was in 1997, when the web was very new and undefined.

Tom (not so much Ray) was always passionate about the website and wrote much of the site copy himself. Most of the site's interactive features were his idea. We tried to provide useful data that was unavailable elsewhere at the time: reviews of mechanics, aggregated data about cars, traffic accident statistics. The site had an active message board from the minute it went live; people met and got married. Both guys are exactly the same in real life as they sound on the radio.

I don't know how much of that remained true after I left, but it was great first job and I was always proud to work on a site that was fun, genuine, and actually useful.
posted by nev at 10:11 AM on June 8, 2012 [50 favorites]


Car Talk was the show that played on NPR when I was being shuttled to judo on Saturdays in 5th grade. The call that stuck with me the most was in 1995, when a man saw a beautiful woman on the side of the road, pulled over to help her, found out that she was posing for Playboy, and then scrambled to a payphone because he knew nothing about cars and HELP.
posted by chinesefood at 10:14 AM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Guess they finally raised the rent too high in Harvard Square. They'll probably turn the office into a gastropub.
posted by maryr at 10:16 AM on June 8, 2012


I always loved those guys. Loved 'em even more when I followed advice I found on their website, and convinced Honda of America to pay for a $2000 repair my only four-year-old CRV needed. Click & Clack 4-ever!
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:16 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


They remind me of the best qualities of my grandfather: conscious of the absurdity of life but not cynical, opinionated but also curious and tolerant, and just happy to be where they are. Exactly the antithesis of what comes to mind when I hear the phrase "talk radio."

There was not a mean spirited thing about that show. And little that was NPR, which makes their #1 show popularity so ironic. It was a show even FOX viewers could love. In theory, at least.

Also, what Slap*Happy said.

They really knew their onions and safety was priority one for them.
posted by y2karl at 10:17 AM on June 8, 2012


Also, Bahstahn, owah fahyar city.

Cambridge. Or "Trans-Caroline Boston", if you must.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:17 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


range, I followed your link and did some googling, but I still don't know the story of the Mango puzzler "debacle." Got a link with more details?
posted by straight at 10:18 AM on June 8, 2012


Do they have recordings on when they were on WBUR?
posted by nightwood at 10:21 AM on June 8, 2012


They didn't answer my questions but they did send me a photo! (self-links)
posted by cjorgensen at 10:22 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't listen to it, but I love that it exists. It's one of the foremost arguments for the existence of NPR that I know -- not for everyone, but amiable, approachable for those who love it and those who need it, much smarter than it first appears, and just quietly being there and helping people for years and years. It's not for everyone, but it is for enough people to keep it on the air, and being somewhat insulated from the whiny demands of the marketplace it's been able to persist for two-and-a-half decades being utterly unique.

This is the kind of show that the Discovery Channel should, by all rights, be airing all over. Instead: GHOOOSTS. The profit motive has given us a lot of good things, but it also has a disturbing tendency to wreck things that should be good.
posted by JHarris at 10:25 AM on June 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


They managed to be excellent troubleshooters amidst the yucks, and the principles they used to solve problems with cars (e.g. establish rapport, keep an open mind, gather as much relevant information as possible) could be applied to any kind of troubleshooting.
I was impressed by this when a woman called up whose car alarm would squeak every time she opened the trunk. After a few preliminary questions, she was asked if she happened to be a teacher. "Why yes, I am", she replied. The source of the problem was that a student was playing a prank on her with a remote, every time she got her books out of the trunk. Nice work guys.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 10:27 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would love to see a google map with push-pins identifying all the towns/cities of their callers. Click & Clack always seem to take such an interest in where, exactly, each person is from I used to imagine they had a giant map in the studio and they would put a new pin in it for each person.

125k callers? That could be a neat map.
posted by wabashbdw at 10:28 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I loved the actual car questions, but at least recently those are only a small fraction of the show. I'm just not interested in the cackling, puzzles, or other stuff they used as filler.
posted by Forktine at 10:29 AM on June 8, 2012


I'm having trouble tracking the full story down online but I'll keep looking. The short version is that 2 is a number that will carry you through any number of gates (give half away, give one back). By the way, here's the original problem statement.

But they didn't say how many you have to end up with, just that you have to make it through all the gates. Two is the "magic number" and the most clever, but as (for example) Dr. Math points out, it's a periodic solution with a unique answer for every number of "end" mangoes -- if you start with 386, for instance, you end up with 5 at the end.

When this was pointed out to them by approximately 50,000 math nerds they (a) had a nice discussion about how easy it is to be seduced by a "cute" answer, and (b) used a clip of Tom saying "you can't do it... unless the answer is TWO" with ominous reverb approximately a billion times for years and years afterwards, anytime it seemed like Tom was going out on a (logical) limb.
posted by range at 10:29 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


(Sorry, that's "give half away, GET one back" -- you have two, give away half and have one left, get one back and now you're at two again -- so every time you pass through a gate your number of mangoes doesn't change.)
posted by range at 10:30 AM on June 8, 2012


ONE DOWN! ONE TO GO!

PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION, YOU'RE NEXT! GRAAAAAAAR!

seriously, this show is 50% of the reason I am terrified to turn on NPR over the weekend...
posted by jph at 10:31 AM on June 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Now how will I waste all of those perfectly good hours?!
posted by quiet coyote at 10:31 AM on June 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm not a regular listener, but even as someone who has never had a license, let alone a car, I always enjoy the show when I happen to catch it. And as other ex-Bostonians have mentioned, it has the added value of reminding me of home. But I can totally see how others woundn't like it. To each their own. May the "Tappet bothers" enjoy good health and good running cars for many years to come.
posted by kaybdc at 10:32 AM on June 8, 2012


Oh no! Listening to them on the way into work is the only positive to coming into the office on a Saturday. The accents make me nostalgic for my college years in Mass; their laughter makes everything a little funnier; and by the time I get to work, I have this aspiration to take some mechanic classes , because it might be fun. Maybe now I finally will.
posted by Fig at 10:32 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I never realized that people were so divided over Car Talk. I can't imagine not enjoying listening to two such incredibly knowledgeable people talk about their area of expertise. I know nothing about cars, but I always loved hearing them work through a problem with often the vaguest of hints from the caller. And yeah, they laugh a lot. That's a bad thing?
posted by yoink at 10:37 AM on June 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


Answers for the haters above:

Garrison is gone in 2013. Carl Kasell has already officially retired, but who knows about his Wait Wait stint.

Sadly for you also, RadioLab's Jad Abumrad just won a MacArthur genius grant, following on the previous Peabody award, and shows around the country are scrambling to sound more like his work, so good luck with that.
posted by mykescipark at 10:41 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Kudos to you!
posted by MarvinTheCat at 10:42 AM on June 8, 2012


I am old, I am old, I shall wear my trousers rolled.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:45 AM on June 8, 2012


leftcoastbob: I love the laughing--it always puts a smile on my face. I've always thought that even if you didn't understand English, you could listen to the show and come away with a smile.

Now that I think about it, you'd probably enjoy it even more and laugh along even harder if you didn't understand English


Sadly, no. I used a short clip of theirs once in an ESL class I was teaching, and was met with only confusion. Something about humor not translating well and Boston accents ...
posted by moonbiter at 10:45 AM on June 8, 2012


.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 10:47 AM on June 8, 2012


I just talked to someone close to the show. It is not ending. Every year, they negotiate with NPR about renewing the show, and part of the negotiation is how many new-call segments will be done. That number has been shrinking year-by-year, and the portion that's old material has been growing. This year, the number of new-call segments will be zero. If you hadn't been told, you might never have noticed.

All the other aspects of the Car Talk output will continue unchanged.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:49 AM on June 8, 2012 [8 favorites]


The laughing is totally polarizing. Some people hate it; for me, once you have two people talking and you know they both are being funny on purpose and they're not in character, it sounds very weird if they don't laugh. I mean, if you put yourself on the radio as a funny person, you already think you're funny and your show is funny. Laughing doesn't exactly break any particular spells for me. You're not in character on a sketch show; you're on a conversational show as yourself. I don't quite get the value of not laughing, but viscerally, it's a huge, huge turnoff for a lot of people.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 10:49 AM on June 8, 2012


Answers for the haters above: [snip] Sadly for you also, RadioLab's Jad Abumrad just won a MacArthur genius grant, following on the previous Peabody award, and shows around the country are scrambling to sound more like his work, so good luck with that.

And the haters are wrong about Wait Wait being bad anyway, because it's awesome. So nyah.

....One of my favorite moments was once when they took a call from a gentleman who said his name was Arup Gupta; the guys just really, really liked the sound of that name, and after complimenting him on how it sounded, spent the next several seconds just saying "A-ROOP GOOP-ta!" over and over to each other with delight (and finally stopping when they got the sense that Mr. Gupta was juuuuuuust starting to get a little annoyed).

On paper that sounds like kind of a dickish thing, but it was obvious that they had nothing but good will, and really and sincerely thought that the name "Arup Gupta" just really, really sounded cool.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:51 AM on June 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


The only reason I ever had for listening to NPR is going away...guess I'll have to restrict my radio listening to KTUH from now on. Tom and Ray are like Dr. Demento for car people; knowledgeable but able to explain things without having to use a professional mechanic's vocabulary to do so, and entertaining as well. Especially to themselves, but to nearly everyone else too.
posted by motown missile at 10:52 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Answers for the haters above:

I loves me some RadioLab and am saddened by the prospect of Keillor's and Kassell's departures. I miss Bob Edwards, for that matter.

But, tell me, when's Bob Simon leaving ? Huh ? Huh ?
posted by y2karl at 10:53 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do they have recordings on when they were on WBUR?

The show has always been recorded and produced by WBUR since it first aired in 1977. I suspect you mean recordings of broadcasts which aired locally before it was picked up nationally.
posted by ericb at 10:54 AM on June 8, 2012


It's funny—of the NPR programs to which I either actively or passively listen, Car Talk has been the one that's sort of complicated, because it's such a mixture of highs and lows. The laughing, that interminable laughing, is like icepicks in my ears in the same way that hearing Alan Alda laughing (or crying, because it wasn't a chicken—IT WAS HER BABY!) always made me want to attempt suicide by sticking my head in an oven, even all I could find was an electric one. The cheesy humor doesn't really dig in because I'm a lifelong fan of radio theater, which is rife with that sort of thing.

The saving grace, and it's a big one, is that they are very, very smart mechanics and absolutely brilliant diagnosticians. I'm a pretty splendid diagnostician, myself, after years of owning the most insanely inappropriate cars ever sold in the US, down to being able to suss out things that my friends have been wasting hundreds of bucks on without much luck.

"I don't know exactly what it is, but it makes this terrible sound when I—"

[clunk]

"Engine mount," I say. "Let your foot off the gas for a sec—"

"What?"

"Engine mount at the front of the engine."

I'm good, but they're consummate. I sometimes wonder if there's some secret editing that goes on to cover up long periods of silence while they're looking stuff up, but I suspect the reality is that they just really know their shit, a belief amplified by that accelerated decrepitude that comes to any vehicle doomed to the horror of driving year-round in Massachussetts, which makes for the best training ground this side of poverty-stricken parts of the Third World.

The laughing just...well, I imagine you get used to it the way that receptionists in dental practices have to not wriggle in agony at the constant zzzzzzzzhhhzzzzzhhhhrrrrzzzhhh of the drill. In the moments where they're laughing, I just think of England, or continue my ongoing search for dwarf gay bear porn on the internet. The rest of the time, I'm there, because we're all gearheads on this bus, and I learn new things on every show. Plus, they love stupid, awful cars that I've owned and loved in spite of all reason, and that's endearing.

I do not forgive the automotive Francophobia, but that's a tiresome common thread among Americans, who largely seek out the dullest, most soulless cars imaginable because everyone else is doing exactly the same thing.

I'll miss them.
posted by sonascope at 10:55 AM on June 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


They regard those cars as death traps.

And rightly so since it doesn't even have the split steering column that won't skewer the driver in a head on, I figure they're still safer than a motorcycle or scooter though I'm sure someone will contest that somehow. As a once-a-week, fair weather only driven, secondary car... for us it works out pretty well.

TL;DR - Beetles are deathtraps but fun and easy to work on. Bonus points for it being the ultimate in reusable parts from a local VW graveyard.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:56 AM on June 8, 2012


ah, this makes me sad. i have a car with a weird electrical problem (interior chime constantly going off for no good reason) that i guess i'll never get to call in to imitate. bing bing bingbing bing.
posted by marshmallow peep at 10:56 AM on June 8, 2012


True story: for years, my father worked in the same building as the studio where the Magliozzi brothers recorded the show (the Communications building at BU), and he can attest that they are exactly like that in person. The building had an atrium with a staircase, and they all worked on the second floor. Once in a while, he'd be walking down those stairs, and, could hear them coming up, laughing and bantering a mile a minute. They'd stop for a second and nod at him when they passed, and then pick right back up again, all the way to the studio.

On and off for the last decade or so, I've been living away from Boston, and I always love those Saturdays when I catch them on NPR while I'm doing my Saturday errands. Those guys are just so Boston in a way that goes beyond their accents. I'll really miss that, although I guess re-runs are ok.

Also, I'm really bummed I never got to call into the show! And I hope they keep the website up - their mechanics' directory has never failed me.
posted by lunasol at 10:57 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Forget Bob Simon - is Jonathan Schwartz on nationally? Or is that just a New York thing?

Because I so would not miss his show - yes, I understand it's good to have a place where the old standards and jazz and show tunes get a broadcast, but blegh.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:57 AM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Awwwwwwwwwwwwww.

I don't care one whit about cars except in that they allow me to get from point A to point B, and I certainly don't care about car repair and so forth. But I love this show.
posted by Flunkie at 10:58 AM on June 8, 2012


The only reason I ever had for listening to NPR is going away.

No, it isn't. The show goes on. New call-ins do not, but you've been getting less and less of them anyway.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:58 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]



Because I so would not miss his show - yes, I understand it's good to have a place where the old standards and jazz and show tunes get a broadcast, but blegh.


Schwartz's voice drives me UP THE FUCKING WALL and I do not know why and he's on for like 16 hours.
posted by The Whelk at 10:59 AM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure why everyone so uniformly praises their advice. I've heard them give some terrible advice, as pertains to rather specific problems common to a couple of models I happen to know something about.

Also, the default sexism of their humor, mild though it may be, is tiring. So is the hammy pleased surprise at encountering a mechanically inclined female listener.

In short: get off my renewable hardscape, geezers.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:06 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


They will be sadly missed, despite my utterly not giving a shit about cars.
posted by Artw at 11:08 AM on June 8, 2012


They will be sadly missed, despite my utterly not giving a shit about cars.

I just talked to someone close to the show. It is not ending. ...This year, the number of new-call segments will be zero. If you hadn't been told, you might never have noticed...All the other aspects of the Car Talk output will continue unchanged.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:10 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, the parts of the show in between the call-in segments will continue to be made.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:16 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


EmpressCallipygos: " Because I so would not miss his show - yes, I understand it's good to have a place where the old standards and jazz and show tunes get a broadcast, but blegh."

Just once I'd like to hear him introduce a death metal band or something that would require a little excitement. Can't STAND his voice.

Didn't mind Click and Clack's laughter. Was learning too much to care.

And fie on all the Wait Wait haters. Charlie Pierce's laugh is infectious.

Also, Etrigan, this line: "Even though Terry Gross cranks up the volume on her KISS records whenever she hears them say it," made me laugh out loud. Kudos. In case anyone isn't familiar with the reference, here's a transcript of Gross' interview of Gene Simmons back in 2002. It goes off the rails around where she asks him about his studded codpiece.
posted by zarq at 11:19 AM on June 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


So, is the laughter live or not?
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:20 AM on June 8, 2012


Charlie Pierce's laugh is infectious

THANK YOU. I love his laugh so much it's unseemly.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 11:22 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


My toddler tells a Car Talk joke. Well, technically its a Car-Talk-guys-in-Cars joke, but he tells this all the time. He looks at me and says, "Are you saying he doesn't have headlights?"

Then I have to say, "Racecars don't NEED headlights, because the track is always lit."

And he says, "SO'S MY BROTHER, BUT HE STILL NEEDS HEADLIGHTS!" and laughs hysterically.

It's funnier because he has no idea why it's funny.

I will miss listening to Car Talk, I always listened to it on the way to my Sunday class that I taught for like 9 semesters in a row. My favorite one was where the guy from Antarctica called with a problem. And they fixed it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:30 AM on June 8, 2012 [20 favorites]


So, is the laughter live or not?

As slogger stated above: "What you're hearing is laughter endlessly spliced into the recording during post-production."

Was it here on MetaFilter that someone linked to a NPR segment on how they adjust the levels, splice in sounds, etc.? I think in it they talk about the adding of their laughs.

Maybe it was on NPR itself. I'll get my Google-fu on to see if I can find it.
posted by ericb at 11:30 AM on June 8, 2012


Found it! It's a MeFi FPP -- Behind the Curtain at NPR posted by loosemouth.
posted by ericb at 11:34 AM on June 8, 2012


Also -- an AskMe: Why does NPR sound so unique?
posted by ericb at 11:35 AM on June 8, 2012


On The Media: The Dark Room Magic of NPR
"We also learn the Car Talk guys sometimes pipe in their own recorded laughter to goose their seemingly off-the-cuff humor."
posted by ericb at 11:37 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: It goes off the rails around where she asks him about his studded codpiece.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:37 AM on June 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Was it here on MetaFilter that someone linked to a NPR segment on how they adjust the levels, splice in sounds, etc.? I think in it they talk about the adding of their laughs.


I know a kid who worked as an audio engineer for a show on NPR. One of his jobs was to cut out all of the "uhs" "likes" "ums", stammers, and other general oddities of actual human speech.

One day he assembled them into a 30 minute long string... just "uh um uh f-f-f like ugh em t tsk uh eh ya em tt" for 30 straight minutes. It was brilliant. It was so stressful to listen to. It made you feel like you were having a stroke or a panic attack. I used to have an .mp3 of it, it was great to put on as the "the party is over folks, get the fuck out of my house" song.
posted by nathancaswell at 11:41 AM on June 8, 2012 [19 favorites]


That garage still exists and Ray (the younger brother, I think) still runs it. I've brought my car there a couple of times, actually. Great people who do a good job (although are infuriatingly cash only.)

I took my car there a few times in the late 90's, and Ray was always there. And yes, cash only, though when I, ignorant of this rule, went to pay with a check, Ray graciously (if grudgingly) accepted it.
posted by schoolgirl report at 11:41 AM on June 8, 2012


For those who don't like Wait Wait, have you tried the new NPR quiz show Ask Me Another? It has Jonathan Coulton!
posted by ocherdraco at 11:47 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just talked to someone close to the show. It is not ending.

Yes. From the first link in the FPP:
“The stuff in our archives still makes us laugh. So we figured, why keep slaving over a hot microphone?”

The duo will continue writing their “Dear Tom and Ray” column twice a week, NPR said.

... The staff has stored and logged some 12,500 phone calls since the show began, rating them in order of their entertainment value, Berman said. They will take the best and use them for the repurposed shows. Berman said he figured there was about eight years’ worth of strong material without the show having to repeat itself again.

“I’m the producer of all their shows and I can’t remember most of” the calls, he said.

“Car Talk” has tested out the repurposed show and is convinced they will work. There’s a strong wish among NPR stations to keep the show going even if there isn’t fresh material, he said.
posted by ericb at 11:49 AM on June 8, 2012


Even though Terry Gross cranks up the volume on her KISS records whenever she hears them say it

Please, please tell me they actually used that joke on the air.


I remember them using it, but I remember lots of awesome stuff that never actually happened, so I'd put the odds at around 80 percent.
posted by Etrigan at 11:52 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Doug Berman, Executive Producer of Car Talk was on another WBUR show (Here & Now) today talking about the announcement (w/ audio).
posted by ericb at 11:52 AM on June 8, 2012


Peter Sagal (of the apparently divisive Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me!) talks about Tom and Ray.
posted by dismas at 11:55 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


"The guys are now 'trending' on Twitter."*
posted by ericb at 11:57 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


NPR's front-page post on the announcement.
posted by ericb at 11:59 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always liked the what felt like more real moments when some dumb ass would call in to talk about some foolhardy thing they were doing with their car and were all blase about it and then, like catching a quick glimpse of the real, the brothers would get stern.
posted by angrycat at 12:00 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Good stuff, ericb. Thanks.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:04 PM on June 8, 2012


The staff has stored and logged some 12,500 phone calls since the show began, rating them in order of their entertainment value

I really hope they'll do a Stump the Chumps follow-up segment with whatever poor slob was their Least Entertaining Caller Ever.
posted by RogerB at 12:05 PM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Everyone who is talking about "Bob Simon": Do you mean Scott Simon, host of Weekend Edition Saturday?

I love that guy
posted by purpleclover at 12:21 PM on June 8, 2012


PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION, YOU'RE NEXT! GRAAAAAAAR!
seriously, this show is 50% of the reason I am terrified to turn on NPR over the weekend...


Have you considered trying ketchup? It contains natural mellowing agents you know.

Threads like this just serve to remind me that there is nothing that I love that someone else won't point to and say this needs to end, and now.

And concerning Wait Wait Don't Tell Me you haters can all cut it out, any show that could work up the nerve to ask Bill Clinton trivia questions about My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is AWESOME.

Brought to you by Be-Bop-A-Rebop Rhubarb Pie.
posted by JHarris at 12:25 PM on June 8, 2012 [10 favorites]


I haven't listened for years, but growing up it was a weekend staple in our house.

And I have never been much of a car person, per se, but something I never gave much thought was how much this regular childhood listening taught me about problem solving in general - about listening, asking questions, utilizing information, and deciding what is essential to the solution and what is a distressing distraction you can put a piece of tape over and ignore.

Also, when you are trying to help someone with a problem, you should get them to make funny sounds. Because it's highly relevant information. And funny sounds are funny.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:29 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION, YOU'RE NEXT! GRAAAAAAAR!
seriously, this show is 50% of the reason I am terrified to turn on NPR over the weekend...


I lack the words to fully describe my dislike of Prairie Home Companion. The self-satisfiedness, the hokeyness... To their credit, they have an amazingly distinct sound; I can identify it within a few seconds if I happen to turn on the radio when it is on.

Where I live, there's a solid block on weekend afternoons of Prairie Home Companion and those awful shows like Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, with Car Talk nestled in there somewhere. I just treat those hours as No NPR Time and remember to keep the car radio pointed elsewhere.
posted by Forktine at 12:38 PM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't get the hate for Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. A bunch of funny people (admittedly some funnier than others) laughing about the news. Limericks. Celebrity guests. Carl Kassell's voice on your home answering machine.

I guess it can't be for everyone, but hating it seems like, I dunno, hating blueberry muffins or something.

It's harmless and it provides a chuckle. I wish more things were as awful as that.
posted by bondcliff at 12:46 PM on June 8, 2012 [13 favorites]


At last! Another hour available for Whad'ya Know with Michael Feldman.

Wilhelm Scream
posted by hal9k at 12:50 PM on June 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


I guess this is the time to admit that I strategically pretend to like Car Talk more than I actually do as an embattled northeasterner in the Midwest, but this still makes me a little sad.
posted by invitapriore at 12:51 PM on June 8, 2012


And concerning Wait Wait Don't Tell Me you haters can all cut it out, any show that could work up the nerve to ask Bill Clinton trivia questions about My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is AWESOME.

When Ice-T was the celebrity guest, they asked him questions about pantyhose. Totally freaked him out.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:51 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Years and years ago, I was temping as a receptionist in Cambridge, MA, when I took a call for the VP. It was his mechanic, who, instead of leaving a message, gave me a long, detailed description of what had been wrong with the VP’s car, complete with definitions for all the various parts involved (I’ve forgotten what it was) and what the plan was to fix it.

But! They didn’t have the parts to fix it, and this mechanic absolutely insisted that I call the VP immediately to let him know that his car wouldn’t be ready and that he’d need to get a ride home. Which I thought was a nice idea, if a bit pushy, and I found myself telling the mechanic that no, it was cool, I’m sure he can carpool home like he usually does. No, he doesn’t have to pick up the kids at day care, I don’t know if he needs to run errands, and if he can’t get a ride home from someone else I’ll drop him off myself. No, really, it’s fine. So, when did you say the parts will be in? Tomorrow? Excellent. No, I’m not going to call the VP right now, because he’s at the doctor’s office. Because I’m not going to interrupt him, that’s why. He’ll find out in less than an hour, when he’s back at the office. Yes, I’ll let him know as soon as he walks in the door. It’ll be fine.

After, like, fifteen minutes hearing about my boss’s car problems, then reassuring his mechanic, I finally was able to hang up, shaking my head about this mechanic who was way too involved in his job.

But five minutes later, I – having understood the mechanic’s detailed description because I grew up listening to Car Talk – thought, “wait, he could put the old parts back on for a night. I bet he would, since he’s so concerned about the VP’s evening travel plans.”

So I went to call the mechanic back and realized I’d never gotten his number. But I had the name of the garage – The Good News Garage – so I went to the business white pages to look it up. Wasn’t in there. Yellow pages? No luck. What kind of mechanic doesn't advertise? It's like they're unlisted. Weird.

Just as I was about to ask around the office to see if maybe someone used the same garage, the mechanic called back, and said, “I just realized: I could put the old parts back on! And then he could get home!” And I said, “Yes! I was just thinking the same thing, except I couldn’t find your phone number!” And we congratulated ourselves on how clever we were, great minds think alike, and he used the phrase “in the interests of customer care” several times in a somehow ironic and yet absolutely genuine way, and we were both quite happy that the VP could get home and back, and we laughed and crisis averted.

The VP generously listened to the entire tale once he was back in the office, and I mentioned that his mechanic sounded familiar. And he said, “Do you listen to WBUR on the weekends? My mechanic has a radio show.”

Schwartz's voice drives me UP THE FUCKING WALL and I do not know why and he's on for like 16 hours.

Can we cancel both him and Danny Stiles, or at least cut them down to, say, under 25% of the weekend schedule?
posted by mgar at 12:51 PM on June 8, 2012 [18 favorites]


Yea, I can respect the hate, but I honestly don't understand it either. Not liking a show is way, way understandable for some, even all, of the non-news/non-community programs. Personally, I enjoy most of them all in some way, shape, or form. But I think if you're finding yourself actively campaigning against the show and avoiding the station with this one show as the cause, I just don't see it being that worthwhile.

Wait a second, I suppose if I had to listen to a BBC station for 6 hours a day or something I'd go a little crazy too, but God did give us earplugs for that sort of thing....
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:54 PM on June 8, 2012


Wait a second, I suppose if I had to listen to a BBC station for 6 hours a day or something I'd go a little crazy too

Our local PBS station plays the BBC news feed during times when they don't have their own programming or syndicated shows from NPR, and I have to confirm your suspicions. Radio journalism schools seem to teach presenters there that their inhalations are as necessary to a radio broadcast as anything they actually say, like "And in Pakistan today [EXTREMELY OVERWROUGHT INHALATION OF AIR RIGHT BY THE MICROPHONE] a drone attack left...." There is one female presenter who has a pleasant breathy voice and always manages to sound like she's covering a garden party no matter the topic, but I actually find her kind of fascinating.
posted by LionIndex at 1:03 PM on June 8, 2012


Thank God. This was about 15 years overdue.
posted by crazy_yeti at 1:07 PM on June 8, 2012


Thank God.

Oh, THBPBPTHPT!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:12 PM on June 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


Martin Guitars: Car Talk Edition
posted by dubold at 1:22 PM on June 8, 2012


I am surprised to hear that so many people find their voices, but especially their laughs, annoying. Like wow.

They were always the definition of adult happiness for me.

But I did marry a girl from Boston so maybe I have no perspective
posted by French Fry at 1:28 PM on June 8, 2012


Don't drive like my brother.

.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 1:45 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, geez, I love those guys, but I *HATE* their show.

Which, I realize, makes no sense. For twenty-odd years I have been turning off NPR at 10am on Saturdays. I think the genesis of this behavior was that they came to national distro partway thru my time in college, and Saturday mornings were customarily reserved for nursing a hangover and working on writing assignments, tasks VERY ILL SUITED to raucous North End laughter.

On the plus side, what's my favorite car I ever owned? A white '67 Dodge Dart with a rebuilt engine I scored for $300. Who else loves the Dart? You know who.
posted by mwhybark at 1:47 PM on June 8, 2012


Seriously, though, I discovered Car Talk during college. While living in Boston for grad school, I almost called with a curious barbecue smell emanating from my car. Man, that totally would have made air.

Turns out, there were raccoons going through my apartment's trash and putting someone's old ribs up on my engine for safekeeping. Mystery solved. Hell, I still should have called and shared the story.

And dammit, I love Wait, Wait... as well as pretty much all of the talky shows that WABE down here in ATL mostly refuses to air. I tend to listen to WBUR online still, most every day while working.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 1:49 PM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I guess I'm in the group of folks that never really liked Car Talk (or any weekend NPR programming we get here in RI -- I'll take 48 hours of On Point and Tell Me More reruns over their regular weekend schedule), though I certainly understand the appeal of the show. I mean, I definitely find Car Talk much less irritating than, say, a Terry Gross interview or listening to Ira Glass talk. It is, however, occasionally amusing to listen to callers attempt to reproduce the sounds their cars are making.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 1:51 PM on June 8, 2012


I also don't get the hate. If it's a terrible thing that genial, kind-hearted, if hokey, people get an hour or two on the occaisional radio station, once a week, then if I have to suggest that you are experiencing a first-world problem.

There are certainly worse things that could be put to air, like everything on every other station since Clear Channel bought them all up. Or TALK RADIO. Because around these parts those are the only three choices -- NPR's genial, slightly irritating liberals, the wastelands of modern pop, or THE OILY LAUGHTER OF BAALEZEBUB.
posted by JHarris at 2:26 PM on June 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


I also don't get the hate.

I also don't get why people feel the need to come into a thread and express their hate. It's the 'your favorite band sucks' syndrome.

Next up: 'Is this what I need a radio to understand?' syndrome remarks.

Followed by 'Haters gonna hate' syndrome.

Back. Forth. Back. Forth.
posted by ericb at 2:31 PM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


The worst part about people irritated at Click & Clack's laughter is that the radio airwaves are CLOGGED with genuine assholes laughing at their own sexist, racist, and homophobic "jokes" -- hours and hours of mean-spirited laughter every single day.

On a radio dial filled with truly vile laughter, what gets you upset is one hour of a couple guys laughing good-naturedly at silly, harmless jokes while they help people figure out their car problems?
posted by straight at 2:57 PM on June 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


I unabashedly love Car Talk. It was one of the few things my dad and I (who have extremely different views on things) could happily listen to together. And one of the first things I did when I arrived in Harvard Square last August was to find the offices of Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe (just above the Curious George store!!!). Good luck, Click & Clack!

...What will happen to my Saturday morning KQED line-up?!
posted by smirkette at 3:07 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


... and people will make fun of women/men interactions with cars and each other until the judgement bell rings us all to the great car lot in the sky. Making that even a discussion point is pretty much choosing to die on the molehill while the mountain is just a few radio stations away.

Seriously, I hear them give shit to callers/husbands/wives pretty haphazardly, it's 100% not "Oh women/men, they are so ignorant when it comes to cars." The gist I've always picked up is more of "Oh watch out, he/she was right, now you're going to get it when you get home."

Not that I'm an uber-feminist nor do I or really have the ear for political incorrectness that some people here have as well, but honestly, the car talk guys are pretty much equal opportunity smack talkers.
posted by RolandOfEld at 3:08 PM on June 8, 2012


I do not find laughter, in and of itself, a bad thing. I do, however, find people who constantly laugh at their own jokes to be extremely, extremely annoying. And they do this all the time.

They also have a pretty awful sense of humor which never rises above the level of this guy that they simply cannot restrain in places where it wouldn't be necessary or welcome. I thought their MIT Commencement address managed to be both not at all funny and uninsightful, but they were convinced that this was the most clever thing ever.

That said, they are brilliant. Just not funny. I wish they had stuck to their core competencies.
posted by deanc at 3:13 PM on June 8, 2012


    ___  / ?
 __/___\/ ?   \O/
/__|____|__\  /  
 (*)    (*)  /\

posted by wobh at 3:21 PM on June 8, 2012 [17 favorites]


I also don't get why people feel the need to come into a thread and express their hate.

And I don't get why people think that threads about some element of pop culture should only be appreciation of said element of pop culture. A radio show is being wound down. People are expressing their opinions of said radio show. Some of them may disagree with you. If that disagreement has some substance to it, what's the problem?
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:27 PM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, it's not nice. Everything should always be nice. I hope you come to understand that soon. If not, there's always the cornfield.
posted by Jestocost at 3:43 PM on June 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Metafilter introduced me to the idea that there were people with souls black enough to dislike Tom and Ray. Those guys have more fun doing, apparently, anything at all then any of us do in our entire lives.
posted by cmoj at 3:45 PM on June 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


My love for Car Talk knows no limit. Have listened for years. Every week I learn something new about car repair and ownership, and I love to laugh along with them. Sorry to hear that they're going, but I'll bet they have the best retirement ever.
posted by magstheaxe at 3:58 PM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Splunge at 4:11 PM on June 8, 2012


Yes. Everything must always be NICE!
posted by ericb at 4:11 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I do, however, find people who constantly laugh at their own jokes to be extremely, extremely annoying.

How about people who overuse intensifiers?

The thing about pop culture snark is, there are more and less acceptable targets. Things that can rightly draw the target sight of ire upon you: self-importance, inescapability, unapologetic stupidity, proud ignorance, and hatefulness.

Car Talk is guilty of none of these things, but you'd be forgiven for not knowing the rules as there's certainly a lot out there that is, which could give the impression that if it's broadcast it must be fair game.
posted by JHarris at 4:17 PM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Car Talk was certainly inescapable for NPR listeners, if nothing else. And while other might not care, it does bother me that they cavalierly gave bad advice right along with the good for entertainment value (which might be lost on some listeners), and undeservingly ran down certain brands for similar reasons (ditto).

I'd also note that a lot of people's warm impressions seem to rely on the idea that Click and Clack are possessed of superhuman reservoirs of mirth and the ability to find the humor in any situation—whereas, what they are in fact possessed of is a laugh track.

Which is, in and of itself, interesting in terms of what people assume when they listen to a program like Car Talk.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:37 PM on June 8, 2012


You're way more invested in disliking these guys than I am in liking them, so I guess you win this thread.
posted by Etrigan at 6:03 PM on June 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


I'm not at all "invested" in disliking them, nor do I care about winning anything. I elaborated only because I was basically accused of threadshitting, for failing to join in the chorus of praise for what is, in my opinion, a drag on NPR's weekend schedule. For what it's worth, the vast majority of the thread is filled with adoration. But, hey, sorry if what occurs to to me when I hear "Car Talk is winding down" is not the same thing that occurs to you and that therefore you feel someone must "win."
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:12 PM on June 8, 2012



(In fact, my opinion clearly loses–and I'm totally fine with that. But I used to do radio, I now listen to a ton of NPR, support my local stations, and have a basis for my impressions. With that, I will go away.)

posted by snuffleupagus at 6:20 PM on June 8, 2012


I elaborated only because I was basically accused of threadshitting, for failing to join in the chorus of praise for what is, in my opinion, a drag on NPR's weekend schedule.

I think you must have been reading a different thread, there have been some wistful memories but not a lot of unqualified declarations of love.
posted by JHarris at 6:32 PM on June 8, 2012


(forgot the quotation italics, oops)
posted by JHarris at 6:33 PM on June 8, 2012


NOoooooooooooooooo
posted by _paegan_ at 7:15 PM on June 8, 2012


Martin Guitars: Car Talk Edition
Holy shimmy! Tom plays stand-up bass and Ray picks guitar! Who woulda guessed?
posted by exphysicist345 at 8:49 PM on June 8, 2012


But, hey, sorry if what occurs to to me...

I think it is not so much the initial declaration but the quantity of time and effort that has people thinking you are so invested in "winning".
posted by edgeways at 8:54 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Even though I like thinking about what could be wrong with them, I basically hate cars.

But I have always loved Tom and Ray.

I knew this was coming because of the changes in Tommy's voice, and I've been very worried about him.

I once wrote into them suggesting that the garlic smell some catalytic converters give off when they're new-- questions about which I heard them try to answer at least five times-- was due to selenium contamination of the precious metal used as a catalyst rather than the sulfur content of the gas as they always used to say, but I don't know if they used it on the air, though I think they didn't.

I think Ray is a genius, and Tommy is something even rarer than that, verging on a Papa Schimmelhorn-like mode of thought at times.

They've been doing celebrity calls for years, y2karl. My favorites are the series they did with Daniel Pinkwater.

They definitely did use the Terry Gross/KISS joke at the end of one show I heard not more than two years ago. It was the high water mark of that segment in the history of Car Talk as far as I'm concerned, and I took it as a nod of acknowledgement to the funniest hour that has ever aired on NPR without any real possibility of exception. If Terry Gross ever gets tired of being pushed around by right wing morons with the title of "Ombudsman", she could make some real money going around the country narrating a blow-by-blow (by blow job demand) of that interview she did with Gene Simmons. It is the only thing I've ever listened to on the radio that I needed outside confirmation in order to believe had actually happened.
posted by jamjam at 9:08 PM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


....Suddenly I really want their swan song to be having guys from Top Gear feature them as the Stars In A Reasonably Priced Car.

That would be absolute magic. I'm ready to buy tickets now.
posted by mgar at 9:09 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do you mean Scott Simon, host of Weekend Edition Saturday?

D'oh!

I love that guy

Not as much as he loves himself, or so it seems--as if there were an actual time machine, he would go to the future and get himself cloned twice and marry one and adopt the other. But your mileage may vary.

I will say this -- I like him on TV. He's done great work on Need to Know.
posted by y2karl at 9:16 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


So for all you NPR listeners you're missing out by not listening to the CBC.

You think Prairie Home Companion is syrupy? WAIT UNTIL YOU HEAR The Vinyl Cafe. Oh man those Dave & Morley stories lay it on thick and heavy.

I'll admit that Rex Murphy seems a little impenetrable if you don't actually give a shit about the issue of the week on Cross-Country Checkup but man, can that guy run a call-in show.

And Gian Gomeshi takes Terri Gross' horrific interviewing style out behind the barn and kicks it's ass every day on Q.

But I could go on and on. Seriously people, NPR is nice and all and it's slowly growing on me, but it's just no CBC Radio One.

At any rate I figure that to replace Tom & Ray the most logical thing to do would be a call-in show about the inescapable contrivances that ruin the average person's life now that cars are basically perfect... computers.

CALLER: So I have this old Commodore 64 and when I try to load Archon the disk drive makes a sound like this GRONK GRONK GRONK

NOT-TOM: Do you have a fastload cartridge?

CALLER: No...

NOT-RAY: Well call us back when it's done loading then! HA HA HA HA HA

NOT-TOM: HA HA HA HA HA
posted by GuyZero at 10:32 PM on June 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


You think Prairie Home Companion is syrupy? WAIT UNTIL YOU HEAR The Vinyl Cafe.

It comes directly after the Prairie Home Companion rerun on Sundays here. The radio equivalent of a diabetic coma ensues.

And the CBC, huh ? How about that As It Happens theme music ? That qualifies as a crime against humanity.
posted by y2karl at 11:54 PM on June 8, 2012


As a person with less than zero interest in cars I always loved listening to Car Talk and it has been one of the things I miss about living in the States. Still, all good things, and all that. 25 years is a good run.
posted by Decani at 4:32 AM on June 9, 2012


The staff has stored and logged some 12,500 phone calls since the show began, rating them in order of their entertainment value, Berman said.

As someone whose call has already been used three times, I'm honored!

I too hope that the reruns would include some of the pre-NPR shows from Boston.
posted by texorama at 4:54 AM on June 9, 2012


bondcliff: "Someone needs to go through the Infodump and figure out how many Mefi usernames were taken from the closing credits. There's gotta be a Haywood Jabuzoff and Erasmus B. Dragon around here somewhere."

Well there was Hugh Janus but I don't think that came from Car Talk. Maybe Ass Talk.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:08 AM on June 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can't believe that anyone would actually enjoy all that hyena-like laughing. Do you people stay at home and step on rusty nails for fun, too?
posted by dunkadunc at 9:58 AM on June 9, 2012


Okay, so here's the thing about all that hyena-like laughing. If you had a friend who laughed like that, it would be unbearable one-on-one. But as long as it was the sort of friend who could take a joke, it would be great at parties or at the pub.

I mean, you'd still have to put up with the laugh. But in return you could get hours of cozy entertainment out of mocking it, imitating it, telling jokes about it, making oblique references to it, and just generally taking the piss out of the poor guy — who, if he was a good sport about it, would earn the right to mock the rest of us back for our own foibles, and then one of us would buy him a drink and it'd all be good warm friendly fun.

I think one of the big reasons I liked Car Talk growing up was that I never listened to it alone. It was always on the radio on family excursions — me and my dad at least, and maybe my mom or my little brother or a family friend. And so it basically was like going down to the pub to meet the same regulars with the same familiar annoying habits and have some good-natured fun at their expense. We'd sit there in the car together and roll our eyes and groan at the dumb puns and make heckling comments back at the radio and give each other Knowing Looks when the laughter went on too long — "oh, there he goes again" — and it was a good time for everyone.

I really haven't listened to the show since I moved out of my parents' place. I don't have kids, and out of my friends my own age I never lived with anyone — or took long car trips with anyone — who'd grown up listening to the show. So that just took all the camaraderie out of it. Now it's just me sitting alone listening to two dudes crack each other up, with nobody with me on my end to exchange Knowing Looks with, and where's the fun in that? It's like looking in through the window of the pub without getting to go in and sit down.

On the other hand, I'm sorry, but if you're not a regular here, you can not just come in and start insulting two of our longstanding beloved pains-in-the-ass. Because they're our pains-in-the-ass, and we've been buying them drinks and putting up with their stupid laugh for decades now, so you can just shove off.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:25 AM on June 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sure a lot of this hate is of the your-favorite-band-sucks variety, but seriously, fuck Garrison Keillor.
posted by secretseasons at 11:59 AM on June 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


Shee-it. Fuck Garrison Keillor indeed.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:14 PM on June 9, 2012


Car Talk was at least informative. On a long drive, I'd listen to the show and absorb some automotive knowledge amidst the braying.

But the words that will make me turn off the radio every single time are:

"I'm John Diliberto, and you're listening to Echoes..."

There are window-mounted air-conditioning units that make better ambient music than what he delights in torturing the airwaves with. "This next composition is a musical collage of traditional Tuvan throat singing and a snare drum submerged in mayonnaise. It's called 'Ontology'. We'll be back in 47 minutes."

MUST. DRIVE. CAR. OFF. NEAREST. CLIFF.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:24 PM on June 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


secretseasons - wow, I would never have guessed.

Kind of wish I could unread that.
posted by Artw at 12:43 PM on June 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Artw: "secretseasons - wow, I would never have guessed.

Kind of wish I could unread that.
"

You can always revisit that here.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 1:40 PM on June 9, 2012


That's a lot of heartbreak.
posted by Artw at 1:54 PM on June 9, 2012


Wow. Just, wow. I've always disliked his show (as I mentioned above), but I had no idea -- or had managed to forget, if I had seen that FPP -- that he is such a vile person as well. Yuck.
posted by Forktine at 1:55 PM on June 9, 2012


To re-rail the thread: contrast all this ugliness with the good-natured joy of the Car Talk guys!
posted by secretseasons at 2:22 PM on June 9, 2012


Well, until someone releases the Car Talk White Power transcripts or something...
posted by Artw at 2:54 PM on June 9, 2012


Count on metafilter to drag whatever you hold dear through the mud.
posted by crunchland at 3:51 PM on June 9, 2012


Hey! I'm not saying the transcripts exist, I just read that Garriosn Keillor thing and yeesh, anything is possible.
posted by Artw at 4:15 PM on June 9, 2012


I have loved these guys for all the years they've been on.
Ugly ( i.e being offended, IMHO), is in the eye/ear of the beholder, as is Beauty.
So the wise man said.
posted by primdehuit at 4:45 PM on June 9, 2012


ahimsakid: "Live, unscripted comedy is rare. And I've learned a lot from listening. I will miss their accompaniment on my Saturday morning errands."

Car Talk was scripted. You would call them, they'd take your problem and say they'd get back to you if they thought it would make good radio. Then they'd call you back, you'd tell them your problem and they'd figure things out in a minute while belting out the laughs.

ericb: ""We also learn the Car Talk guys sometimes pipe in their own recorded laughter to goose their seemingly off-the-cuff humor.""

And here I was thinking they had an actual medical condition that meant they couldn't help but laugh all the time.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:11 PM on June 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I'm John Diliberto, and you're listening to Echoes..."

You must be driving your car off the cliff because you have achievd nirvana. Otherwise you're another 4/4+backbeat pop-slave recoiling in mindless horror from a wider universe that neither knows nor respects your musical boundaries.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:54 PM on June 9, 2012


The thought of Bitter Old Punk as "another 4/4+backbeat pop-slave" has got me driving off cliffs because I'm distracted from laughing so hard as he's just about the last person I'd describe that way.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:11 PM on June 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


*quick siderail*

Just emailed TOP GEAR. Got a canned form letter back (which I was expecting), but one that at least promised that "we read all emails and while we may not answer, we pass them on to the appropriate people."

Cross your fingers.

* end quick siderail*
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:40 AM on June 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


you're another 4/4+backbeat pop-slave recoiling in mindless horror from a wider universe that neither knows nor respects your musical boundaries.

Rage on, brother. Fight the power.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:05 AM on June 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Is it too late to say I also despise Garrison Keillor with the heat of a thousand supernovae? And that I felt that way about him even before I discovered he was a dreadful reactionary old bastard?

The first and only time I heard "Prairie Home Companion" I dreamt of thumbscrews and inquisitors that night. And for several nights afterwards.
posted by Decani at 12:36 PM on June 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Is it too late to say I also despise Garrison Keillor with the heat of a thousand supernovae? And that I felt that way about him even before I discovered he was a dreadful reactionary old bastard?

The first and only time I heard "Prairie Home Companion" I dreamt of thumbscrews and inquisitors that night. And for several nights afterwards.


You are not alone, my friend.
posted by codacorolla at 12:42 PM on June 10, 2012


The Secret Genius of Car Talk.
posted by ericb at 1:27 PM on June 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm really sad that Car Talk is going away just as I'm about to buy my first car.
posted by Sara C. at 4:10 PM on June 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


OK - for probably not the last time, Car Talk is not going away, at least not now. The radio show is not going away. The website is not going away. The newspaper column is not going away. The only thing that is going away is new call-ins to the radio show. That does not mean that you won't hear any call-ins that are new to you, even if you have memorized every show. There are many call-ins that have not been used yet. All of the other parts of the show are still being produced.

Stop mourning. Nobody died.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:22 PM on June 10, 2012


But how am I going to determine the optimum position for gas mileage vs. domestic harmony of the rear fold down seats in my '92 Dodge Dakota? How will I know approximately where my town is located, whether Click or Clack have been there, anywhere near there or anywhere with a similar name? Who's going to guess how to spell my name without new call-ins??
posted by cmoj at 6:42 PM on June 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Kirth Gerson: " Stop mourning. Nobody died."

I hope you realize how condescending you sound.

Some of us would have liked to be able to call in to the show in the future with our car issues, and now won't be able to. Also, the show was actually a decent source of info for people who have relatively new cars -- not necessarily brand-spanking-new off the showroom floor, although those questions do come up rarely -- but those that are a year or two old and are suddenly acting up. The repeats aren't going to help folks in the future who may have issues with their 2013 and newer models. As time goes on, the show itself will no doubt become decreasingly relevant, and the CT online community will become more of an essential resource.
posted by zarq at 7:16 AM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I consider Garrison Keillor's voice the equivalent of fingernails scraping over a very mellow chalkboard.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:23 AM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


~.~
posted by tilde at 7:26 AM on June 11, 2012


I hope you realize how condescending you sound.

I hope you realize how self-absorbed you sound. I was not talking to you, unless you're one of the people who was actively mourning, and I don't think you are. Those folks are acting as though the whole Car Talk phenomenon is ending, even though a bunch of us have pointed out that it is not.

There are other places you can get your newer-car questions answered, one of which you included in your comment.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:54 AM on June 11, 2012


Kirth Gerson: "I hope you realize how self-absorbed you sound."

I worry about that fleetingly on occasion, but then I remember how awesome I am and all my concerns just melt away. ;)

I was not talking to you, unless you're one of the people who was actively mourning, and I don't think you are.

Nope.

Those folks are acting as though the whole Car Talk phenomenon is ending, even though a bunch of us have pointed out that it is not.

The show is essentially ending its original run and continuing in re-runs. Is Car Talk going to disappear, never to be heard from again? No. But yes, this is clearly an ending.

There are other places you can get your newer-car questions answered, one of which you included in your comment.

Well sure. You could get information about car repairs by logging into several different websites. Including AskMe. With luck, your question would be knowledgeably answered. But of course there's a difference between asking questions of and receiving answers from a trusted source, and asking of a car forum full of random users on the internet. With the former, you know you're going to get a solid, useful answer. With the latter, it's hit or miss. That said, I see now that they're continuing their column, so they'll still be available.
posted by zarq at 11:21 AM on June 12, 2012


Say it ain't so!


.
posted by WestChester22 at 7:57 AM on June 13, 2012


There are many call-ins that have not been used yet. -- Diminishing returns. How useful will it be to hear about someone trying to fix up their 1992 Honda in 2019?
posted by crunchland at 2:02 PM on June 13, 2012


Depends. Amish Car Talk's show on converting it to a two horse power carriage would be eternally useful, provided you could get the requisite 78s delivered by post in a timely fashion.
posted by y2karl at 2:14 PM on June 16, 2012


« Older Calls are growing for a special counsel to investi...  |  In 2005, Florida passed contro... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments