There are a lot of important issues to write about this morning: the mid-term elections, the situation in Jerusalem and other critical issues which should be on all of our minds. But, in the eclectic spirit of this blog, I want to write about someone who performed a very important function for many of us. He made us laugh and maybe taught us something about our cars in the process.
Tom Magliozzi died yesterday at the age of 77. He was one of the “Tapett” brothers, who brought the show Car Talk to people across the country and around the world each week on NPR. I have to admit that I had never listened to the show until about a year ago. I’m not that interested in cars and even knowing they were from Boston, didn’t make me want to listen to two guys named Click and Clack talk about automobiles. But, a year or so ago, I turned to one of the NPR stations on Satellite Radio which was airing an old episode of Car Talk and I realized what I had been missing all of these years.
Yes, they were talking about cars and I actually learned a little from their conversations. But, what I particularly found endearing was their way of talking with callers. I love to observe how different people in various areas of broadcasting interact with the public and they had a knack for laughing with people, pushing their jokes just far enough to stop short of insulting the caller, chit-chatting with them while they were trying to figure out a good answer to their problem and generally made them feel good about calling the show. That is one of the two things about their show that I particular liked as both Tom and Ray (and don’t ask me which was which, I’m still not sure) made their callers and their listeners laugh.
But, for me, the highlight of the show came at the end of each hour and with Satellite radio playing three hour long episodes each afternoon, we got to hear this three times each day. They would always end by reading the “credits’, the names of fictitious individuals who contributed to their show and they were the most marvelous puns I have ever heard and that is not an exaggeration. I don’t know who wrote them but they were fantastic.
Among the best: the Russian chauffeur Picov Andropov, the airplane seat tester: Wilma Buttfit, the head of the working mother’s division: Erasmus B Dragon and my particular favorite, the videographer from the Tel Aviv office: Shlomo Replay. If any of these escape you, stick with it, you’ll figure it out and then just type in Car Talk Credits on an internet search engine and you’ll get the entire list.
Thanks Tom for all the laughs. Some things live on after our death and good humor and good memories certainly do.