“Car Talk,” the venerable NPR program featuring brothers Ray and Tom Magliozzi, a.k.a. Click and Clack, is calling it quits -- at least as far as live shows go.
The Boston-based brothers, who turned their experience as mechanics into one of public radio’s most beloved programs, informed listeners Friday morning with their signature winking style in a blog post titled: “Time to Get Even Lazier.”
“The good news is that, despite our general incompetence, we actually remembered to hit the ‘record’ button every week for the last 25 years,” Tom Magliozzi said, adding that the show will continue in reruns pulled from more than 1,200 programs, beginning in October.
“Sorry, detractors,” his brother added. “We’re still going to be on the air!”
The brothers urged fans not to be sad.
“We’ve managed to avoid getting thrown off NPR for 25 years, given out tens of thousands of wrong answers, generated lawsuit threats from innumerable car companies, and had a hell of a lot of fun talking to you guys,” Ray Magliozzi said.
With their distinctive Boston accents, the brothers’ speech is familiar to anyone who has ever heard the show.
Their pop-culture status helped earn them the parts of Rusty and Dusty Rust-eze for Disney’s “Cars,” playing the sponsors that embarrassed Lightning McQueen.
They began the show on the National Public Radio affiliate WBUR-FM in Boston after their do-it-yourself car-repair shop was a bust. The Good News Garage started in 1973 as a self-help shop where car owners could rent tools to fix their automobiles; it eventually became a full-service shop.
Tom, who is a dozen years older than Ray and turns 75 later this month, was a marketing executive and taught at the Boston University School of Management. Ray had been a volunteer with VISTA, the national service program started in the 1960s to fight poverty, prior to running the car shop.
NPR officials said in a statement that, beginning in October, the programs’ production team “will actively produce new shows built from the best of its 25 years of material” and the brothers will “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.”
But fans took to the Web to plea for an encore.
Said one commenter on their wesbite: “Come on guys! You are part of American Culture! You may as well rip up the Constitution... Now what’s going to happen to the Time Space Continuum. I can see it now. All the cars in America stopped dead unable to function without your input. Say it isn’t sooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!