77-year-old Tom Magliozzi has died from complications of Alzheimer's disease. But you know him better as one of the "Car Talk Guys," the hilarious and immensely popular hosts of a weekend call-in show which aired live from 1987 to 2012 (and still plays in syndication on Boise State Public Radio)
"This is a heartbreaking loss for all of us at NPR, our Member Stations and millions of listeners in the public radio family," read a statement from NPR President and CEO Jarl Mohn.
It should come as little surprise that the Magliozzi brothers' success came as a fluke. After Ray Magliozzi opened a car repair shop in Cambridge, Mass.in the 1970s, a local radio station asked him to appear on a talk show but Tom Magliozzi showed up instead (giving out some terrible/hilarious answers). Tom was so entertaining that he got invited back. But the next time, Ray accompanied his brother and a comedy team was born. Car Talk
debuted on a Boston public radio station soon thereafter and went nationwide in 1987.
The Magliozzi brothers were also immortalized by voicing characters in the Pixar film Cars.
Car talk had an average audience of 4,000,000 listeners.