The Best of Car Talk
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Thread: The Best of Car Talk

  1. #1

    The Best of Car Talk

    Tom is still telling who some of the underwriters are and even saying "Support for 'Car Talk' ...".

    Obviously he wouldn't say "Support for 'The Best of Car Talk' ..." Only Ray can do that because only he was still around when they decided on that name.

    I notice they are telling us about "Support for 'Car Talk'" after the breaks, which only started a couple of weeks ago. Or at least it hasn't been done recently.

    Whether they are putting together the current shows from different time periods is hard to say. They do make sure they have the time of year right. Though several months ago the Dodge Dart was history, and now they're talking about it again as if it still runs. And in the same show, Ray gave two different phone numbers.

    I can say almost with certainty that in one show more than one caller from the same show was used. They put a woman on hold and took another call and maybe even answered last week's Puzzler while she went out to her car. And I think in that show Tom got an answer right and Ray said that happens once a year or something. With the next caller, they got another answer right. But with the woman they had to come back to, they couldn't give a definitive answer so there wasn't going to be three in a row.

    They must be a week behind because the "last week's" Puzzler the week after the show about Tom was from two weeks earlier, and had Tom not died they would have the Puzzler answer the week of the show about Tom. But if they put together a show from different shows, maybe not. Maybe the show they planned to air that week won't happen, except for the Puzzler answer.

    The newspapers where I read their column have "Car Talk" with Ray Magliozzi. He did refer to what he believed his brother would have done, which was nice.

    One of the papers, though, runs the column with just Ray in one section, but in the classifieds on another day of the week it's still both of them.

  2. #2
    Isn't the whole appeal of Car Talk is that it's not really about cars? It's a personality show. The car advice they give isn't even that good. Put continuity in that same category. it doesn't matter. Just have fun with the show.

  3. #3
    Actually, the car advice Tom and Ray gave usually was accurate, the "chumps" didn't get "stumped" very often; but it was their humorous approach that made the show so appealing. It wasn't just for gearheads. Not every episode was great; no one can pull that off, but you liked these guys and wanted to hear what they were doing this week. And more often than not, the show was good, and that's some track record for 25-plus years on the air.

    In our local paper, the last column with the "By Tom & Ray" byline ran just before Tom's death; the following two weeks (of columns previously written) ran with "Created by Tom & Ray," then it changed to "By Ray" with the Car Talk logo replacing their caricatures.

  4. #4
    Accurate doesn't always mean good when it comes to car advice. But again, that's really not what the show was about. Which is why a replay from 15 years ago sounds just fine today. No one listens to learn about cars. They listen because it's fun.

  5. #5
    Yeah, I used to believe they really knew what they were talking about, but once I heard them joke about how rarely they were right, I realized their amazing intelligence about cars wasn't really what I thought it was. I rarely remember the actual advice. Only how funny they are.

  6. #6
    Regarding the newspaper column, it seems to be called "Dear Car Talk". And that newspaper that had two columns per week, one in the classifieds on adifferent day, had a column just written by Ray, though Tom's photo was still there.

    And Ray, in one column, made a comment about his brother than some people might consider an insult but for these guys is just part of their charm.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by vchimpanzee View Post

    And Ray, in one column, made a comment about his brother than some people might consider an insult but for these guys is just part of their charm.
    Just as their putting each other down about "how rarely they were right" was part of it as well. The only place in radio for a guy who likes to brag about how "right" he is all the time is on, uh, "right" wing talk. Tom and Ray's advice was generally solid, especially considering some of the bizarre calls they handled; and they occasionally pulled off some amazing feats of long-distance diagnosis.

    Last weekend I listened to a commercially syndicated auto advice show that maybe wants to be the next Car Talk, but can't hold a candle. Advice-wise, these guys are probably OK, but the atmosphere is strictly gearhead city, and they are endlessly plugging their sponsor's products. One thing though; Car Talk may not have to re-edit their calls for sounding dated after all; the first caller on the other show (brand new episode) was a woman who owns a '97 Chevy Blazer!

  8. #8
    They got a call about a '51 Buick last week!

  9. #9
    Now if you want to hear about a bizarre call that has only an indirect relationship to cars, here's one:

    I missed some of the details since I was getting lunch ready, but it went something like this.

    A woman had an accident and had to take her car to a body shop. The owner of the shop ws the caller. He said she didn't realize how early the shop would close, and she called him, frantic, because she left her dog in the car. Why she didn't come with him I don't recall, but he opened the shop and looked in the car and found a purebred Schnauzer--dead. He called a breeder looking for something close, hoping he could fool her. The dog was going to be very expensive, but when he explained his plight, the breeder found a cheap dog. The woman came in to pick up her car and was horrified. "This isn't my dog! My dog was dead!"

  10. #10
    "Do you remember last week's Puzzler?"

    But there was no last week's Puzzler. They gave us an extra week. Ray said that last week.

    Doesn't really matter. Now that it's The Best Of, they don't have to pretend.

    Though Ray did say he selected a Puzzler this week for those kids that have been out of school for two weeks.

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