Today Tom Magliozzi, one of the co-hosts of the National Public Radio program Car Talk, died of complications from Alzheimer’s Disease. For all fans of the show, it’s a sad day.
Tom Magliozzi and his brother, Ray — who described themselves as “Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers” — were made for radio. Even though I don’t know beans about cars or engines, and couldn’t distinguish a crankshaft from a flywheel if you held a gun to my head, I really enjoyed their show. It was silly, and corny, and funny; the two brothers had an easy affinity with each other, treated callers with a perfect combination of humor and caring, and mixed in puzzles and riddles, self-deprecating jokes and comments, and lots of laughs.
Tom and Ray Magliozzi’s obvious humanity radiated across the airwaves and reached non-gearheads and grease monkeys alike. The show was always good for a chuckle and some useful car-related information. And underneath it all, it was obvious that they were experts who knew everything there was to know about cars and could diagnose just about any problem. Car Talk was a great thing to listen to on Saturday morning — and it still is.
Ray Magliozzi hopes that NPR continues to broadcast reruns of the show, which ceased new shows about two years ago. I can think of no better tribute to his brother, a great radio personality who brought smiles to many.