Car Talk's New 25th Anniversary 2 CD Set

Staff Blog

Staff Blog | Nov 19, 2012

Car Talk’s got a brand-spankin’-new CD set, just released in celebration of 25 years of our lousy show. You can grab a copy right now, in our Shameless Commerce Division.

What’s on it? Here’s the DL from Associate Producer David “Calves of Belleville” Greene…

When we decided to create a 2-CD “Best of” collection celebrating 25 years of Car Talk, we started by focusing on the material that truly lived up to NPR's standards for clarity, accuracy, and intelligence.

Unfortunately, that left us with about 5 minutes of content.

So, we decided we needed to go in another direction. We've put together a collection of the moments that have helped define Car Talk, for good or bad, over the last quarter-century. On this two-disc set, you’ll hear legendary wacko callers, including...

  • Dinesh, who was planning to walk across Death Valley.
  • Max, with the strangest shaggiest dog story of all time.
  • John, one very bored astronaut, calling from a few hundred miles above sea level.


Is this the face of a man who would take advice from Tom and Ray? Apparently so. (NASA Photo)
Is this the face of a man who would take advice from Tom and Ray? Apparently so. (NASA Photo)

We've got other great moments, too, including:

  • The Bosnian vowel drop.
  • The Andy Letter, which posited that two people who don't know what they're talking about know less than one person who doesn’t know what he's talking about.
  • The birth of Foreign Accent Syndrome.

And, there’s plenty more. So, if you need a shim for your dining room table, a gift for someone you don’t like very much, or just an excuse to waste a couple of hours laughing, head over to our Shameless Commerce Division, and grab your copy of 25 Years of Lousy Car Advice.

And, if your favorite moment missing from this collection, let us know. We've already begun taking notes for our 50th Anniversary collection.

P.S. The staff at Car Talk Plaza has all heard this stuff a few dozen times, and it still makes us laugh. Here are a few of our favorites:

Ray Caught Working
Reviewer: Doug “Subway Fugitive” Berman

I've always loved this moment, because I remember exactly how it came about.  We had recently moved into our new office in Hahvard Squayah.   We owed a half a dozen pieces of furniture.  We had a round table, three chairs, one phone, and.... at the insistence of Ray, a large, black couch.  By the way, the department store, Jordan Marsh, refused to deliver the couch at first, because they were sure the order was a joke.  After all, it had come from "Dewey, Cheetham & Howe."  After a long phone call with several customer service representatives, we finally got our couch.  Then Ray proceeded to show us how it's supposed to be used. 

Office couch napping requires years of training. Here, a young Ray trains at home.
Office couch napping requires years of training. Here, a young Ray trains at home.

Tollbooth Fugitive
Reviewer: Ken “The Diaper Slayer” Rogers

As the call-screener for about a decade, I had the most fun when we surprised a caller by adding another 'interested party' to the conversation. Usually this meant reaching someone's spouse or parents while the caller was confessing some grievous automotive sin on the show. For "Gail from PA" who was feeling guilty about speeding through a tollbooth without paying, we decided to turn her over to the authorities during the call to see what would happen.

Remember That Time I Blew Up Your Car, Dad?
Reviewer: Catherine “Frau Blucher” Fenollosa

Here's one of Click and Clack's best attempts to mediate a family squabble and expose some long lost familial secrets. And it's one of my personal favorite calls of all time. Deception, a cover-up, and a blown engine—it’s consummate Car Talk! Tom and Ray are at their best making a sticky situation worse… and then better again!

Richard, His Goats, and Doris
Reviewer: David “The Calves of Belleville” Greene

We’ve had a lot of great calls about animals over the years. We’ve also had a lot of great calls about relationships. But, we’ve had very few in which the two subjects intersected to send the entire show running off the rails in such a spectacular way. Richard is a very nice guy, who helps rescue goats. But, they keep climing on his cars, so he’s thinking of using shock therapy to get them to stop. That’s wacko enough, but then Richards girlfriend Doris enters the picture, and somehow this entire saga ends with an old Don Rickles joke.

The Andy Letter
Reviewer: Doug “The Old Gray” Mayer

For years, I was the one at Car Talk Plaza who waded through our collective inbox, looking for listener missives that Tom and Ray would enjoy sharing on the show. Coming across the Andy Letter was the literary equivalent of swinging your pick into a pile of coal, and suddenly having The Hope Diamond staring right back at you. The results on-air were no less spectacular. And, to this day, The Andy Letter remains the paradigm against which all other letters are judged. When it comes to Car Talk, there is no greater thesis to consider than, “Can two people working together know less than one by himself?” It’s a letter for all time. Andy, wherever you are, we tip our greasy caps in your direction.

Dave from Bemiji
Reviewer: Carly "High Voltage" Nix

What a great road-trip-from-hell story this is! As the resident Midwesterner, and a fan of Minnesota to boot, I've always had a special place in my heart for Dave from Bemidji. The backwoods of Northern Minnesota are filled with wackos like Dave, and it's high time America heard more from them, in my humble opinion. And fixing a car with socketless wrenches and part of a grill? This guy’s a bleedin’ genius!

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