NPR News Programs: Car Talk

Car Talk features the nation’s most humorous auto mechanics as they receive calls from drained car owners from across America. The hosts joke around with each other as well as the callers all while helping them out with their auto and personal woes. This show is loved by car enthusiasts as well as those who know and take little interest in cars alike.

About NPR’s Car Talk

Car Talk is a much adored radio talk show. It was hosted by brothers Tom Magliozzi and Ray Magliozzi. They were often referred to as “Click and Clack, the Tappert Brothers.” The program aired from 1977 until October 2012. The show ended production due to the retirement of the Magliozzi brothers. The show had such a strong following that even after new productions ceased to be made, edited reruns persisted and are accessible for weekly broadcast on NPR.

Format of NPR’s Car Talk

The basic format of Car Talk was a call-in radio show. Listeners would call in with their motor vehicle repair and upkeep inquiries. Generally, the questions were centered around the diagnosis of a problem. The hosts, Magliozzi brothers, would then attempt to isolate the issue. This took place only by means of verbal description and the demonstration of sounds from the caller. Click and Clack interspersed quips and witty remarks throughout the show, both to themselves as well as the callers.

Features of NPR’s Car Talk

The show began with a bried entertainment session, generally witticisms sent in by fans. This segment was trailed by call-in segments (around eight of them). The brothers held a weekly challenge called the “Puzzler.” This would take the form of a brainteaser, sometimes, but not always auto-related. The solution to the prior week’s Puzzler was provided at the start of the program’s “second half.” At the beginning of the program’s “third half,” a new Puzzler was posed. Other features included “Stump the Chumps” and “Where Are They Now Tommy?”

Episodes of Car Talk to check out

  • A Bad Idea is Born – The First Show Ever (Originally broadcast October 31, 1987)
  • Mother’s Day – Lizzie’s Revenge (Originally broadcast May 14, 1989)
  • Is There an Honest Mechanic? (Originally broadcast September 21, 1991)
  • Eggs Prestone (Originally broadcast September 25, 1993)
  • “Yes Dear” or “How to Stay Married” (Originally broadcast April 8, 1995)
  • Men Before GPS (Originally broadcast January 11, 1997)
  • Cheapskates and Duct Tape (Originally broadcast March 20, 1999)
  • Paging Martha Stewart (Originally broadcast March 24, 2001)
  • Men Are from GM, Women Are from Ford (Originally broadcast March 22, 2003)
  • AN Upgrade Made in Heaven (Originally broadcast April 16, 2005)
  • Sorry Dad, I Blew Up the Car! (Originally broadcast July 28, 2007)
  • The Perfect Pinkwater Car (Originally broadcast February 21, 2009)
  • The Yugo in the Living Room (Originally broadcast February 26, 2011)
  • To Mud Flap or Not to Mud Flap? (Originally broadcast March 16, 2013)
  • In Space, No One Can Start Your Audi (Originally broadcast March 7, 2015)
  • Thirty Years of Wasting Perfectly Good Hours (Originally broadcast September 30, 2017)
  • He Can Fry the Fish and Watch the Cat (Originally broadcast March 2, 2019)

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