Saturday, June 09, 2012

Dewey, Cheatam, and Howe Are We Going to Live Without Them?

My Fellow Comedists,

It is a sad week indeed. After 35 years, Tom and Ray Maglozzi have decided to hang it up. Car Talk will continue in a rerun type format, but in a few months, no new craziness will emerge from atop of Car Talk Plaza in Cambridge. It has lasted this long because it is a funny show, improbably funny. Tom and Ray are not comedians, they have great timing and make the obvious jokes, but they are just a couple of smart goofballs who -- no matter what you are doing -- are having a better time than you.

In part, it is sympathetic humor. Just as we can mirror the heavier emotions of others, so too we can find humor in something simply because we are seeing or hearing someone else having a good time. In India, laughter yoga is being investigated for its health effects. Being around people who are laughing makes you laugh. Every comedian knows about humorous inertia. Once the laughter is rolling, it is much easier to keep it going than it was to start. Tom and Ray start their own laughter yoga class each week.

As a punster myself, however, my favorite part is the end (because it's almost over, the boys would say). The ending credits are always magnificent:

"The Accounts Payable Clerk, Moscow Office is Dasha Chekhov. The Complaint Line Operator is Xavier Breath. The Exercise Guru is Liza Round. The Marine Biologist is Frieda Wales..."

Great stuff. Tom and Ray, thank you for years and years of laughs.

Live, love, and laugh,

Irreverend Steve