Yesterday, Click and Clack, the Tappet brothers, (Tom and Ray Magliozzi) who always warn their listening audience, “Don’t drive like my brother! And don’t drive like my brother!” announced to the world they were retiring in September after their 25-year run of hosting their radio show “Car Talk” on NPR.
I found out they were retiring while I was at work yesterday, when G. sent me the link to their announcement. I felt like I was losing my best friends on Saturday mornings and I almost cried in my cube. I’m glad I waited until I was home, safe in the privacy of my own living room, to read their note to listeners.
The note/blog post was titled, fittingly, “Time to Get Even Lazier, ” lazy, something they always lovingly accused each other of being, and the tone of the note was a combination of their lighthearted banter and positive attitude that made them so fun to listen to on Saturday mornings–and a hint of seriousness and genuine gratitude. THAT made me cry. They aren’t supposed to be sentimental and serious! It was that, and the listeners’ comments wishing them well and telling them how much they’ll be missed; how much their show meant to them and their families, sometimes, for generations.
I remember cruising around in the car running errands with my Dad on Saturday mornings when I was a kid, listening to these guys on NPR giving car and impromptu marital advice (good and bad advice) and giving each other a hell of a ribbing each week. It was (and is) so refreshing to hear their self-deprecating humor, joking about the supposedly poor quality of their advice and their jokes.
And who can forget their puzzlers and Tom’s inability to remember the previous week’s puzzler without help from Ray? Or “Stump the Chumps,” when they would revisit a previous caller and see if their car advice was right or if they’d have to call their attorneys, “Dewey, Cheetham and Howe (Do we cheat ’em and how).”
I LOVED their accents when I was a kid (and now) because they reminded me of the accents of my Dad and his friends from the northeast. “This is Cahh Talk,” and, always humble, “Even though Ira Glass cringes whenevah we say it, this is NP-Ahhh.”
Even the listeners who commented on their letter said as they were reading it, they could hear Tom and Ray’s voices. These guys were that distinctive. I think they even voiced two vehicles in the Pixar movie, “Cars.” How fitting.
I’m going to miss their distinctive laughter and giggles and their easy-going attitude about life so much. They were hysterical because they never took themselves too seriously and their cornball jokes were simple and not over-the- top–they always really brightened my Saturday.
I confess, I just had to “Wikipedia” this (now a verb, like Google) to make sure I got the spelling “correct” and because sometimes I can’t understand what they’re saying because of their accents (Hey! I was raised in Georgia, okay?).
One of my favorite parts is the ending credits of their show mentioning their staff, giving them names such as “customer care representative Haywood Jabuzoff (Hey, would you buzz off), meteorologist Claudio Vernight (cloudy overnight), optometric firm C.F. Eye Care (see if I care), Russian chauffeur Pikov Andropov (pick up and drop off), Leo Tolstoy biographer Warren Peace (War and Peace),” and, my personal favorite already mentioned above, “law firm Dewey, Cheetham and Howe (Do we cheat ’em and how).”
I’m glad they’re still going to run their “best of” shows on NPR, at least for awhile, once they retire in September (NPR would be crazy not to)…but I know I’ll cry when they do their final sign-off. The sign-off that has made them famous on NPR for 25 years:
“Well, it’s happened again – you’ve squandered another perfectly good hour listening to Car Talk.”
Not true, Click and Clack. Not true. Never was.
And now I must post this because it is coming on right now and I can’t miss it.