June 8, 2012
Anna Christopher, NPR
Click and Clack Stepping Away from Mic this Fall After 25 Years
Weekly Show Continues Built from Archives
MEDIA RESOURCES DETAILED BELOW
"My brother has always been 'work-averse,'" says Ray, 63. "Now, apparently, even the one hour a week is killing him!"
"It's brutal!" adds Tom, 74.
"My brother has always said, 'Don't be afraid of work. Make work afraid of you.' And he's done it. Work has successfully avoided him all his life," says Ray.
The brothers have been taping Car Talk at WBUR in Boston for 35 years, and the show has been a staple on NPR Member stations for the last 25 years. With older brother Tom turning 75 this year, the guys decided it was time to "stop and smell the cappuccino."
"We've managed to avoid getting thrown off NPR for 25 years, given tens of thousands of wrong answers and had a hell of a time every week talking to callers," says Ray. “The stuff in our archives still makes us laugh. So we figured, why keep slaving over a hot microphone?"
NPR will continue to distribute the weekly show, an enormously powerful program in public radio, to stations across the country. Beginning in October, the Car Talk production team will actively produce new shows built from the best of its 25 years of material – more than 1,200 shows – with some updates from the brothers. The guys will also still write their twice weekly Dear Tom and Ray column, and put their feet in their mouths in surprising new ways on the web and Facebook.
"Tom and Ray have become icons to millions of fans, including me, over the last 25 years," says NPR President & CEO Gary Knell. "I'm thrilled that they will continue to entertain and engage today’s fans and future fans for many years to come."
Eric Nuzum, Vice President for NPR Programming, adds: "We're certainly disappointed that they're not going to do this forever. But despite their protestations about work, they've earned this. And they’re leaving us an incredible body of work that ranks up there with some combination of the Marx Brothers, Mark Twain, and Mr. Goodwrench. The work they did five and 10 years ago is just as funny now as it was then."
Asked if they would consider coming back at some point and recording more new Car Talk shows, or doing something else on NPR, the brothers engaged in the type of back-and-forth that listeners know well:
RAY: "It's possible. You never know."
TOM: "Absolutely not. My brother can go chase himself."
RAY: "Well, what're you going to do with yourself?"
TOM: "I'm retiring."
RAY: "If you retired...how would you know??"
The brothers will mark their 25th anniversary on the air this fall, and then put the series in the hands of their producers, who will continue to produce the show.
Tom and Ray ended their note to listeners with this: "Thank you for giving us far more of your time than we ever deserved. We love you. And know that starting this fall, for the first time, we'll be able to sit at home, laughing at Car Talk along with you guys on Saturday mornings."
“Work-Averse Brother Decides that Even One Hour a Week is Too Much”
A Note from Click and Clack to Their Listeners
June 8, 2012
Car Talk Pressroom (photos, quotes, clips)