I have a thesis that anything can be made interesting, if it is just presented in the right way. I’m not all that interested in cars, but I love Car Talk, NPR’s auto repair call in show, in which “Click and Clack, the Tappett Brothers” solve mechanical mysteries in a most hilarious and interesting way.
One of the brothers, Tom Magliozzi, died on Monday of Alzheimer’s disease. Car Talk stopped its live programming in 2012, but the re-runs may go on forever, or at least until the internal combustion engine fades away.
Tom Magliozzi, a Boston-area mechanic and MIT graduate who became an unlikely radio star as part of the brother duo that hosted “Car Talk,” one of public radio’s most popular show’s ever, died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 77 years old.
On “Car Talk,” Tom and his younger brother, Ray, dispensed sound advice about repairing cars mixed generously with sharp one-liners, self-deprecating humor and off-topic digressions on philosophy and other mysteries of life.
“I like to drive with the windows open. I mean, before you know it, you’re going to spend plenty of time sealed up in a box anyway, right?” Tom once quipped on-air.
“Car Talk” reached more than 4 million people a week on more than 600 radio stations across the country at its peak. It continued to be a top-rated show even after the brothers stopped taping live shows in 2012 and the network began airing reruns and archived materials.
Tom Magliozzi died on Monday.
“He and his brother changed public broadcasting forever,” Doug Berman, Car Talk’s executive producer said in a statement. “Before Car Talk, NPR was formal, polite, cautious …even stiff.”
The duo, which called themselves the “Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers,” always ended their shows with a catchphrase, “Don’t drive like my brother,” delivered in their signature Boston accents.