One of the hosts of perhaps the funniest show on any medium, Tom Magliozzi, of Car Talk on National Public Radio (NPR) died earlier this week from complications associate with Alzheimer’s Disease. I was fortunate to come across National Public Radio very many years ago, somewhere around the early ’80s. Tom and his brother Ray had done a car repair call in show on the Boston NPR station for about 10 years, and then I first them as they started doing a brief regular segment on NPR’s Weekend Edition each week. The show went on NPR nationally in 1987 and was on Saturday mornings.
I tried to never miss the show, despite never having much interest in car repair. The two of them together were just plan hilarious, made fun mostly at the expense of each other, and Tom was the kind of guy who make himself laugh so hard he couldn’t catch his breath. He had one of those huge personalities with a genuine laugh that was so intense it sometimes turned into a snort. When me and Lay started dating, he had to listen (since I always did), and learned to love them too, and often said if he could get a “sense of humor” transplant, he would want Tom’s. I completely agree.
The two of them single-handedly changed public radio for the better. They managed to make it approachable, and took out all the pretense. One NPR person said they were often called the gateway drug to public radio, with over 4 million listeners each week.
So I send my prayers and condolences to Tom’s family, and especially to his younger brother Ray. A companion I looked forward to hearing from each Saturday morning for about 25 years has passed on to the big garage in the sky, and I know he will be missed. I’m glad there are 25 years worth of archives. There’s a lot less laughter in the world today than yesterday.