Around the middle of 2012, public radio said farewell to perhaps the most successful show in the history of the medium. The Car Talk radio show was a phenomenon… the unlikely pairing of automotive call in advice and humor. And Tom and Ray Magliozzi were a bit of a puzzler themselves. Two Boston mechanics with degrees from MIT, taking questions about car problems on the radio? The concept alone was worth listening in.
But the innate charm, self deprecating humor, and absolutely spot on automotive diagnoses provided by Tom and Ray (a.k.a. Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers) proved to be a public radio sensation, and faithful listeners tuned in every weekend for 25 years, until last year, when the Magliozzis announced their retirement from live broadcast.
As saddened as fans were, they were bolstered by two things. First, the Car Talk show would be syndicated, with subsequent airings culled from the 25 year archive and recycled in the usual slot. So no new material, but funny is still funny, so fans should be happy for a good long time to come. And second, Tom and Ray are still active in the automotive advice scene, but now they publish a blog.
The Car Talk blog is presented in much the same format as the Car Talk radio show. Questions are posted, and the answers are written in the back and forth style Car Talk fans had come to know and love in the past quarter century. Less time is spent guessing the etymology of the names of the questioners, and the banter is naturally more one sided, but the spirit of the show shines through, as Tom and Ray continue to offer advice, solutions, and tips and tricks for frustrated car owners. Only this time, they do it without the questioners trying to imitate the noise.
We can still get our dose of puzzlers, jokes, and those puntastic Car Talk credits in the syndicated version, but the live show will always be remembered fondly. And it is comforting to know that Tom and Ray are still out there, diagnosing cars from great distances away, and making us smile.