News of the passing of Car Talk co-host Tom Magliozzi prompted an outpouring of grief from a lot of readers, but it also prompted an outpouring of remembrances. Here are some of the best.
It was fitting that Tom's official Car Talk obituary began with a horrible, morbid, hilarious joke from his brother:
Tom Magliozzi who, along with his brother Ray, hosted NPR's hit comedy show Car Talk for the last 37 years, died Monday morning from complications of Alzheimer's Disease. "Turns out he wasn't kidding," said Ray. "He really couldn't remember last week's puzzler."
But that sort of awful comedy was what brought a lot of people together. And as much as Tom was a part of Ray's life, he was a part of our lives, too. The memories of our readers shows it.
The program was on for 35 years, and its longevity and consistency meant it could be a huge part of growing up, and could even help bridge the doctor-patient divide, as Windzilla notes:
My love for cars was incubated in the warm weekend mornings at my family's home in New England, sitting in the back yard, helping my dad pull the engine, out of our VW camper and do whatever it was that needed doing, while Click and Clack played in the background. Laughter was always a part of those mornings, and that show was a sound track. Later in life, as I went through my medical residency, i would commute to there podcasts, so much of how they operate, diagnosing/mis-diagnosing helped me unwind from stress-filled days, but keep me thinking, and laughing too.
I once used one of his lame jokes, about fixing a car by lifting it up and driving a new one under it, with one of my patients and his wife, the wife loved it, and it relaxed the patient enough to actually talk to me, it let him know that I was another human being.
Thank you Tom.
One of the hardest things in the world is to genuinely entertain an entire family, and My X-Type Is Too A Real Jaguar says that if anyone in the world could do it, it was Click and Clack:
That is very sad, I listened to them for years with my father and mother, we would be driving to hockey games and an hour and a half away from home on Saturday mornings in Maine during the early days of the show and we would all listen and laugh. It showed how incredibly entertaining these guys were that the entire family could be entertained by to guys giving quasi-automotive advice.
I even put one of their bumper stickers on my car in 1996, "Vote Tom and Ray for President Unencumbered by the Thought Process" Of course in true Tom and Ray style the bumper sticker had 92 on it crossed out with Sharpie and 96 written over it.
And while the show did bring together families, it brought practical advice, too, as good, but certainly not sensational says:
As a kid, Tom and Ray helped bring me closer to my dad, listening to their show while running errands with him on the weekends. As an adult, they gave me information that was actually useful for DIY shade-tree mechanics such as myself, in between the guffaws and the ludicrous stories.
Thanks for being the crazy-ass uncle I never had, Tom. May you have a blissful reunion with your '63 Dodge Dart.
Even if, as Mosqvich notes, Tom and Ray couldn't always stay on topic:
Very sad indeed. I was on Car Talk back in 1993 or so. I was having problems with 1972 Ford F-250. I think it was rattling pretty bad. However, the conversation was shanghai'd by Tom when he discovered what I did for work: I was an Air Force Missile Launch Officer. "You mean you have your finger on the big red button?" He asked while laughing in his boisterous fashion. It was a ton of fun.
But it didn't always matter what they were talking about. Car Talk's crazed chuckling could keep anyone, including reader Carl Levine, going through tough times:
Listening to Car Talk on Saturday mornings has been an integral and formative part of my life. I spent the worst years of my 20s listening to the Magliozzi brothers every Saturday morning, religiously, while I occupied myself in the garage with my hands under the hood of various and sundry Swedish cars - it was my escape. Rest in peace, Tom.
One of the things that made the show great was that in many ways, the guys were just like us, even having to deal with That Guy, the one who makes wild claims about their car, as venivelovici tells it:
How sad to hear of his passing. While I've only heard a few dozen of their shows over the years, I always enjoyed them. Though I was born near Boston, my accent disappeared ages ago. Listening to them takes me back to New England...
My favorite show featured a caller from the Midwest who had a Crown Vic that he swore could do 150 mph or so sustained on the highway. Don't remember the reason for his call but the Brothers Tappet were really having fun with/because of the caller.
And the best part about Car Talk is that even when the Tappet Brothers were having fun, the memories still stuck with you (from JMRGPE):
So sad to hear of his passing, but it makes me reflect on all joy they brought to me and so many others over the years.
One caller in particular had always stuck with me, who's car had been frozen to the ground under several inches of ice by successive storms and melting/refreezing cycles. Completely frozen to the ground, with no clear way to get it thawed and moved without significant damage, The Brothers Tappit were, of course, not at all sympathetic to the plight of someone who had left their car parked in the same place for long enough for this to happen, asking the usual "Where's your shovel?" or "Don't you have your husband better trained?" responses you would expect from them before offering a list of increasingly ridiculous and humorous remedies for the situation that required me to pull across 8 lanes of traffic approaching a toll booth to regain my composure and ability to drive safely! Even after she hung up, they continued for another ten minutes laughing hysterically as they tried, in vain, to figured out how to even get the car freed from the pavement and towed to a place were the inches-thick shell could slowly melt away, given all of the things that would prevent the car from even being flat-bedded off; the fact that even if you managed to thaw the tires and wheels so they could spin (without the tires cracking or bursting from rapid temperature differential), you still couldn't open the door to release the parking break or put it in neutral or turn the steering wheel, and the road was so narrow it couldn't simply be dragged sideways out of its spot and then onto the trailer.
I diligently scrape the ice and sweep the snow from my car multiple times during a storm for exactly this reason, and I usually laugh about it at least once while losing feeling in my fingers and thinking, "Could be worse! I could be That person!!" Thank you for all the memories and lessons, and RIP!
Though Ray is still with us, the world isn't the same without both brothers around. Tom, you will most definitely be missed.
Keep sharing your stories in the comments below. They're all great.
Photo credit: Car Talk