The Future Of 'Car Talk' On KBSX

Nov 21, 2014

Tom Magliozzi (left) and Ray Magliozzi got their start in radio by accident.
Credit Richard Howard

As most of you now know, Car Talk’s Tom Magliozzi passed away earlier this month from complications due to Alzheimer’s Disease. Tom and Ray, best known as "Click and Clack," have ruled the Saturday-morning airwaves across the country -- including here in Boise -- for more than two decades.

We’ve learned from NPR that there has been a tremendous outpouring of kindness and support for Ray and Tom’s families. So far some 20,000 listeners have taken time to leave comments in Tom Magliozzi’s online guest book. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, listeners donate to their favorite station.

The radio show began as a fluke. Someone from Boston’s local public radio station, WBUR, booked an on-air panel of six car mechanics from the area. Tom was the only one who showed up. “I was a panel of one,” he later said. He was impressive enough to be asked back the following week, when he brought along his fellow mechanic and kid brother, Ray, and Car Talk was born.

The brothers’ unique combination of hilarious, self-deprecating banter and trustworthy advice was picked up by NPR in 1987, and Car Talk soon became the network’s most popular entertainment program ever, reaching audiences of more than 4 million people a week. The program has continued to be a top-rated show on NPR stations in syndication, even after the guys stopped recording new shows in 2012.

Car Talk has been an extremely important show to Boise’s NPR listeners. Boise State Public Radio plans to continue airing the renamed Best of Car Talk in its usual time slot, Saturdays at 10 a.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m.

Doug Berman, the show’s executive producer, is going to great lengths to edit shows in a way that will honestly present the very best of the Tappet brother’s radio craft.

Simple translation: the laughs and bad car advice will continue.