The Best Show on WFMU

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the caller from the pretaped show last week with the story about being a kid and realizing that the colorful cartoon character shorts he'd been wearing to school and church were actually boxer shorts, oh man

caller: "i've gotten over it."
tom: "no you haven't."

congratulations (n/a), Monday, 4 March 2013 20:47 (eight years ago) link

and because i want to have a thread to talk about the best show every week

congratulations (n/a), Monday, 4 March 2013 20:49 (eight years ago) link

lol

I need to carve out time to listen to the actual show, but man that's tough to do for such a long stretch. I really start to fade fast on podcasts over 90 minutes or so. I mean I've heard bits and pieces over the years and I listen to the Best Show Gems, but I feel like I miss out not hearing the full show more often.

i kant believe it's not buffon (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 4 March 2013 20:50 (eight years ago) link

i get that. i listen at work while i'm doing boring mindless stuff.

congratulations (n/a), Monday, 4 March 2013 20:57 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...

i can't be the only ilxor obsessed with this show

congratulations (n/a), Wednesday, 1 May 2013 15:08 (eight years ago) link

I used to listen to it a fair amount when my job involved a lot of driving. I like it. Not as good as seven second delay imo.

huun huurt 2 (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 1 May 2013 16:30 (eight years ago) link

ha i was heavy into 7sd for a while but haven't listened in a few years

congratulations (n/a), Wednesday, 1 May 2013 16:32 (eight years ago) link

very into it but it's hard to find the time for the whole thing. esp love the running gags in wurster's calls - stuff like always getting ap mike's name wrong or referring to prison as "the hut"

original bgm, Wednesday, 1 May 2013 16:46 (eight years ago) link

you know, out near where the lady foot locker used to be

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 1 May 2013 16:48 (eight years ago) link

hahaha

original bgm, Wednesday, 1 May 2013 16:54 (eight years ago) link

- the "voice modulator"
- WFMU is a high school radio station
- the death threats
- "yeah. why?"
- "whuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut?"

etc etc etc etc

i will confess i have never listened to the whole show :( only the "gems"

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 1 May 2013 16:58 (eight years ago) link

Four Loko Christmas specials have been my fave bits, just for the general buttondown unhingedness of John Hodgman when he's drunk

Hockey Drunk (kingfish), Wednesday, 1 May 2013 16:58 (eight years ago) link

Or when he'll Bad Company his own friends

Hockey Drunk (kingfish), Wednesday, 1 May 2013 16:59 (eight years ago) link

the bad company thing kills me every time

congratulations (n/a), Wednesday, 1 May 2013 17:09 (eight years ago) link

i get that it's a long show and the wurster calls are the obvious highlights but listening to the whole show is like watching a baseball game, there's something great about sitting down and watching a whole baseball game instead of just the highlights. they're both fun but it's different kinds of fun.

congratulations (n/a), Wednesday, 1 May 2013 17:11 (eight years ago) link

I feel similarly about seven second delay actually, there's a great zen anti-comedy to the show that you miss if you just listen to "the funny parts"

huun huurt 2 (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 1 May 2013 17:14 (eight years ago) link

like andy's show ideas are not just funny in themselves, they are funny because he takes like 20 minutes just to get them going

huun huurt 2 (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 1 May 2013 17:14 (eight years ago) link

I feel like I'm the only person who doesn't like Wurster's calls.

I love the first hour but I rarely last for the whole three hours.

polyphonic, Wednesday, 1 May 2013 17:17 (eight years ago) link

feel like gary the squirrel is a good addition to the cast of characters

#snacks

original bgm, Wednesday, 1 May 2013 17:27 (eight years ago) link

the bad company thing kills me every time

I only listen to a full episode once a month or less but so glad I happened to catch the first Bad Company episode

and when the other caller verbed it: "oh, you're not going to Bad Company me are you?" as it was already swelling underneath him. "No of course not, you're good," says Tom as he quickly fades it down...

charli.xlsx (sic), Thursday, 2 May 2013 00:33 (eight years ago) link

four months pass...

well this thread was a nonstarter but the ever-expanding sound collage blob blows my mind every week

congratulations (n/a), Tuesday, 3 September 2013 20:26 (seven years ago) link

andy's show ideas are not just funny in themselves, they are funny because he takes like 20 minutes just to get them going

absolutely.

that and the way he can put a rape joke into a Pete Seeger advance obit.

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 3 September 2013 20:28 (seven years ago) link

Wait WHAAAAAT? No thread for Scharpling and Wurster?

brimstead, Tuesday, 3 September 2013 23:18 (seven years ago) link

four weeks pass...

Comedy Jamz!

It's been really fun hearing it evolve from random Frankie Teardrop talk to where it is now. It's to the point where it's beginning to sound like a Negativland mix.

Would love to hear a comp of just Frankie Teardrop talk. One of my favorite little moments from the past year was Tom's fantasy of DMX's dogs mauling DMX but not before one of them tuns on an iPod with its snout to play Frankie Teardrop in the background.

Call me Shitmael (CompuPost), Tuesday, 1 October 2013 12:37 (seven years ago) link

I sure hope he's on tonight...seems like he's been out more and more lately. And why Depravity's Rainbow doesn't sub for him is beyond me, I can't deal with "Hatch"

Iago Galdston, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 13:43 (seven years ago) link

four weeks pass...

Ending on Dec. 17:
http://splitsider.com/2013/10/after-13-years-the-best-show-on-wfmu-will-end-in-december/

When I first saw that the show was ending, I assumed it was because Tom had specific alternate plans, but it doesn't sound like he does. I haven't listened to the announcement yet though.

Immediate Follower (NA), Wednesday, 30 October 2013 14:16 (seven years ago) link

Apparently discussed on the Scharpling and Wurster thread last night.

Immediate Follower (NA), Wednesday, 30 October 2013 14:21 (seven years ago) link

I remember late last year he was talking about not getting any recognition for the show, over the course of a couple of shows, and it sounded like he was about to quit. Guess he's actually doing it.

Spectrum, Wednesday, 30 October 2013 14:22 (seven years ago) link

makes ya wonder what the bar of recognition is these days

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 30 October 2013 14:22 (seven years ago) link

He's complained about lack of recognition for years, it's part of the schtick. If he was really worried about it, he wouldn't have done the show for 13 years.

Immediate Follower (NA), Wednesday, 30 October 2013 14:31 (seven years ago) link

he was talking about some podcast award thing. the show after he complained about it sounded like he didn't want to be there, like he was checked out. it was actually kinda sad.

Spectrum, Wednesday, 30 October 2013 14:38 (seven years ago) link

when he was dropping hints about L.A. and being flown out there first class, I was sure it was for some great gig but yeah, sounded more like he didn't have something definite lined up--but maybe he does and he's not ready to pull the trigger on telling.

Iago Galdston, Wednesday, 30 October 2013 14:44 (seven years ago) link

I guess at least I have like 11 years of unheard archives to tide me over for a while.

Immediate Follower (NA), Wednesday, 30 October 2013 15:06 (seven years ago) link

I've been thinking that.

but it's not the same :-/

original bgm, Wednesday, 30 October 2013 15:07 (seven years ago) link

maybe now i'll finally check it out. the length of one show seems overwhelming, much less all the archives + new shows.

festival culture (Jordan), Wednesday, 30 October 2013 15:35 (seven years ago) link

Best Show Gems can be a good entryway to the show though as noted upthread there's a certain pleasure to listening to the full three hours.

Last week's episode was a really good one, despite only having a short Wurster call, if you're looking to start somewhere. Though I don't know how much sense the sound collage will make to a newcomer, and that's like 20-30 minutes of the show.

Immediate Follower (NA), Wednesday, 30 October 2013 15:38 (seven years ago) link

He's working on the Chris Gethard show for IFC, "Stupid Life."

Allen (etaeoe), Wednesday, 30 October 2013 15:52 (seven years ago) link

is that actually a go? hope so. <3 gethard too

original bgm, Wednesday, 30 October 2013 17:03 (seven years ago) link

Josh Kantor ‏@jtkantor
"The Best Show on WFMU" is going off the air. I'll play their theme song on organ at the World Series.

mookieproof, Wednesday, 30 October 2013 18:30 (seven years ago) link

I listened for the first time in awhile last night, and what's overwhelming is more than 18 minutes of it

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 30 October 2013 18:46 (seven years ago) link

just search for his rant about post-Jackie Brown Tarantino maybe (around time of IngBast)

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 30 October 2013 18:49 (seven years ago) link

tried searching for "tarantino scharpling" but don't see any rants. I do see a morbs post from 2010 on the first page of results though.

polyphonic, Wednesday, 30 October 2013 19:01 (seven years ago) link

kewl

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 30 October 2013 19:06 (seven years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9N3MacZfwg&feature=youtu.be

Three Word Username, Thursday, 31 October 2013 12:25 (seven years ago) link

First thing on BuzzFeed I've ever been tempted to repost/link, kudos to Matty P: http://www.buzzfeed.com/perpetua/signs-youre-from-newbridge

Immediate Follower (NA), Thursday, 31 October 2013 17:02 (seven years ago) link

Sad news (TBSOWFMU has been a pretty central and essential part of my comedic intake for the past decade) but also good if it means Tom & Jon are moving on to bigger and better things. I'm about a year behind on the show. Guess this is the kick in the seat I needed to get caught up.

Wayland Flowers and Madame's® brand Mustard Pork Rub (Old Lunch), Thursday, 31 October 2013 17:57 (seven years ago) link

Getting caught up is nice but I encourage you to listen to the live broadcast a few times instead of just listening to the archive.

polyphonic, Thursday, 31 October 2013 18:03 (seven years ago) link

Yeah I need to try to listen to some of the last episodes live.

Immediate Follower (NA), Thursday, 31 October 2013 18:04 (seven years ago) link

He's working on the Chris Gethard show for IFC, "Stupid Life."

― Allen (etaeoe), Wednesday, October 30, 2013 11:52 AM (Yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Word from the man himself over on the FOT board that Gethard's show was not picked up by IFC...too bad

Iago Galdston, Thursday, 31 October 2013 18:07 (seven years ago) link

Whoa.

I'm still fairly behind and only just listened to the 2016 election show a little while back. It was...triggering.

OrificeMax (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 3 November 2020 01:03 (eight months ago) link

wasn't that the fake "vintage" show?

error prone wolf syndicate (Hadrian VIII), Tuesday, 3 November 2020 01:05 (eight months ago) link

Yeah, the conceit that started breaking down halfway through as reality began to intrude.

OrificeMax (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 3 November 2020 01:10 (eight months ago) link

Jason said on FB that it's a new ep tonight

TRANCED INTO RADIOACTIVE PUREE (Will M.), Tuesday, 3 November 2020 01:14 (eight months ago) link

Yeah, the conceit that started breaking down halfway through as reality began to intrude.

Honestly one of the most astounding acts of broadcasting ever.

edited for dog profanity (sic), Tuesday, 3 November 2020 01:32 (eight months ago) link

indeed

error prone wolf syndicate (Hadrian VIII), Tuesday, 3 November 2020 01:40 (eight months ago) link

a completely amazing hall of fame feat that i can never bring myself to listen to ever again

turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Tuesday, 3 November 2020 13:05 (eight months ago) link

two weeks pass...

It's funny that this new episode comes almost exactly (+/- 2 days) 23 years after the original broadcast of the OG Rock, Rot & Rule episode which brought Tom from a regional audience to a national audience, and here 23 years later Tom has basically morphed from "Tom the straight guy" into a more basic Ronald Thomas Clontle.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 19:52 (eight months ago) link

i mean he's still the straight guy in wurster calls. everyone's fine with him talking shit about billy joel for years and years but they get awfully touchy when it's steely dan's turn

i haven't really been listening to any podcasts but i was excited to listen to the show live last week and then all i got was 20 minutes of him talking to the oreo lady before i had to turn it off

na (NA), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 20:34 (eight months ago) link

I just find his taste in music so difficult to parse. I don't mind him hating on Steely Dan, but I'm kinda amazed that he seems to like Car Seat Headrest. Like, really?

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 20:49 (eight months ago) link

his appearance on analyze phish was v frustrating and the less i hear him talk about music the better. steely dan shits on billy joel from a great height, i say this as someone who listened to every record by both lol

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 20:52 (eight months ago) link

lol yeah i did a double take when he mentioned car seat headrest too

tbh the thing i miss most from the 'old days' is the music talk, even if his taste is hard to parse and sometimes infuriating i'd rather hear him argue about records with people than talk about oreos or whatever 10 times out of 10

turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 20:58 (eight months ago) link

matador probably sponsors the show or at least sends him records to play

na (NA), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 20:59 (eight months ago) link

yeah ive assumed that since he left fmu he cant afford blanket broadcast licensing with ascap/etc and must have worked out individual deals with merge/matador/whoever else

turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 21:05 (eight months ago) link

Fair play and I don't blame him, but even within Matador I feel like there's better stuff to hype than Car Seat Headrest.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 21:06 (eight months ago) link

first time hearing that band tbqh, can't remember a thing about it other than the name.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 21:08 (eight months ago) link

my musical taste aligns with his pretty closely but he does have some odd opinions that don't gibe with my own. my problem with "call in and defend steely dan" isn't that i think steely dan is perfect but that it's a boring concept for a show. people have been arguing about steely dan for like 50 years, what else is there to say at this point? but maybe it's funny, i haven't listened yet.

na (NA), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 21:09 (eight months ago) link

It's not. That's the real problem with it.

Judi Dench's Human Hand (methanietanner), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 21:10 (eight months ago) link

i'd rather hear him argue about records with people than talk about oreos or whatever 10 times out of 10

― turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Wednesday, November 18, 2020 3:58 PM (thirteen minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

100x otm

early-Woolf semantic prosody (Hadrian VIII), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 21:12 (eight months ago) link

or candy bars wgaf?

early-Woolf semantic prosody (Hadrian VIII), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 21:12 (eight months ago) link

his musical taste seems to have evolved on a pretty similar path to other aging indie rock/underground dudes from his cohort ive seen, where they end up listening to three basic categories:

-classic rock stuff they liked as a kid but spent their 20s and 30s hating/being embarrassed by
-albums by friends (or friends' labels)
-a random dartboard of new stuff that makes them feel like theyre not totally unplugged from whats happening (Lana Del Rey, etc)

(I'm a bit younger than him but not exempting myself from this eventual path)

turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 21:13 (eight months ago) link

i think of this genre as “journalist rock” i.e. when some blogger you really like decides to do a youtube embed because it’s Friday and you’re like..... oh no

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 21:24 (eight months ago) link

I stopped listening to the Best Show a while back because I got tired of Tom's incessant whining about how underappreciated he is. I realize that's at least partially a bit, but it just got too tedious. And I was a big enough fan to have pre-ordered the Scharpling & Wurster box set.

JRN, Wednesday, 18 November 2020 21:37 (eight months ago) link

okay, I *finally* got to the end of the show and admit I laughed more than I thought I would at his cover of "Deacon Blues". Wish Drag City would have used Tom's vox on the Callahan/Oldham/MacKay cover from a few days ago.

And also, he's right: Just listen to Can instead.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 22:00 (eight months ago) link

Yeah that was funny. Easily the best bit of the show.

I'm not sure who but a basic RTC couldn't written RTC... but your revive made me laugh, Al

maf you one two (maffew12), Thursday, 19 November 2020 01:12 (eight months ago) link

could've*

maf you one two (maffew12), Thursday, 19 November 2020 01:12 (eight months ago) link

I mean, he’s basically evolved into the Wurster “Musical Scholar” character who evolves into repping Limp Bizkit.

Really enjoyed his rant in last week’s episode about how people should be getting less conservative the older they get.

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Thursday, 19 November 2020 01:19 (eight months ago) link

ITT we complain about the Best Show being the Best Show I guess?

You will notice a small sink where your sofa once was. (Old Lunch), Thursday, 19 November 2020 01:48 (eight months ago) link

Show would be great if Tom would stop complaining and if that one guy would stop calling for half an hour at a stretch pretending to be different people who somehow all have the same voice.

You will notice a small sink where your sofa once was. (Old Lunch), Thursday, 19 November 2020 01:50 (eight months ago) link

i think of this genre as “journalist rock” i.e. when some blogger you really like decides to do a youtube embed because it’s Friday and you’re like..... oh no

rude to call out Drew Magary like that

onlyfans.com/hunterb (milo z), Thursday, 19 November 2020 01:55 (eight months ago) link

two months pass...

social media suggests tom and terre aren't together anymore and he's with a different woman now? i haven't listened to the best show in a long time, has he discussed this at all?

na (NA), Monday, 15 February 2021 16:50 (five months ago) link

no. he went out of his way to avoid ever referring to his marriage before, i would doubt he would discuss it now

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Monday, 15 February 2021 17:10 (five months ago) link

kinda figured as much since he's been in LA for over a year now and hasn't mentioned Terre or Dogmo even in passing in about as long or longer, but yeah, it would be out of character for him to mention anything about it directly on the show since he had (has?) that running gag about being married to Jillian Barbarie for so long to shield against personal talk.

Judi Dench's Human Hand (methanietanner), Monday, 15 February 2021 17:22 (five months ago) link

I also just assumed this was the case because of the move

John Wesley Glasscock (Hadrian VIII), Monday, 15 February 2021 21:02 (five months ago) link

His new squeeze posts a fair deal of him/them on her IG.

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Monday, 15 February 2021 21:13 (five months ago) link

His new squeeze is the creator of Netflix's "Twelve Forever" and was an animator on Powerpuff Girls.

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Monday, 15 February 2021 21:32 (five months ago) link

Not being in New Jersey anymore is an even bigger shock to me.

Mosholu Porkway (Boring, Maryland), Monday, 15 February 2021 21:50 (five months ago) link

three months pass...

I was truly sad to hear, at the end of this week's show, that regular caller "Kat from Raleigh" had passed away. Kat always seemed liked a genuinely sweet person, and I was always happy when they showed up on the program. RIP.

edited for dog profanity (cryptosicko), Sunday, 13 June 2021 16:41 (one month ago) link

As an update to my post from yesterday, Cat's family (I had the spelling wrong yesterday) has set up a Go Fund Me for a memorial scholarship at North Carolina State University: https://gofund.me/41c5f0cc

edited for dog profanity (cryptosicko), Monday, 14 June 2021 17:42 (one month ago) link

the fb group had some very nice remembrances of them in the comments

Kompakt Total Landscaping (Will M.), Monday, 14 June 2021 18:29 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

i didn't preorder tom's book and now it appears to be backordered everywhere except amazon :/

na (NA), Wednesday, 7 July 2021 20:33 (three weeks ago) link

I ordered mine from Amazon due to a gift card I got for my birthday (and my being out of work til the Fall). Hasn't shipped yet.

edited for dog profanity (cryptosicko), Wednesday, 7 July 2021 20:50 (three weeks ago) link

Yeah, I saw the same thing when I checked a couple of independent stores so I bit the bullet and ordered from Amazon. Mine showed up in less than 24 hours, so there is that...

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 7 July 2021 20:52 (three weeks ago) link

Didn't realize the preorder was shipping a full week before the release date! Started reading before the holidays and just picked it back up. Some dark and revelatory stuff in there.

nabbed mine off the shelf at an indie store, guess i got lucky. no spoilers but two distinct "holy shit" revelations for me (both within the fist 100pgs iirc?)

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Tuesday, 13 July 2021 12:51 (two weeks ago) link

My biggest “holy shit” moment came exactly 104 pgs in.

edited for dog profanity (cryptosicko), Tuesday, 13 July 2021 13:08 (two weeks ago) link

Yes, although that bomb was softened somewhat by the ones he dropped in earlier pages.

I've started relistening to the earliest episodes this week after I finished reading Tom's book. The first episode is indeed very rough but I wish he wasn't so insistent about it never being heard again because it features the first Todd Billups call, which is an all-time Wurster character imo. Not sure how far I'm going with this (having already heard all of the WFMU episodes) but it's interesting to hear some of this stuff with hindsight.

Just an aside: it's, uh, pretty impressive that in 2001, when people were fishing for info on the as-yet-unnamed second Star Wars prequel, Wurster (in the guise of a psychic) got the name of the third prequel exactly right, four years ahead of its release.

(He also predicts that Dick Cheney would refuse treatment for typhoid and start intentionally spreading it. So he may in fact have access to some hazy window into the future.)

Got about 65-70 pages into it last night, really enjoying it.

Wish a verified purchase of the book could earn me an unblock from Tom on Twitter tho :/

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 15 July 2021 14:01 (two weeks ago) link

Finished this Sunday night, absolutely loved it and I cannot recommend it highly enough, even to folks who aren't already Friends of Tom. Just as funny as you'd expect, but more touching and affecting that I'd ever have imagined.

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 16:52 (one week ago) link


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