After 13 years on the air, The Best Show On WFMU With Tom Scharpling is calling it quits. Scharpling announced the decision on last night’s show, saying:
It is a huge commitment. It's hard to do something that's more or less a full-time job for free. I've done it for as long as I can do it … I cannot sustain my life and this show and the commitment that this show takes to do right … What the future holds, I have no idea, and I'm not gonna worry about that now. I'm kinda just gonna do the best shows I can do, and we're gonna do the best shows we can do … and we're going to say goodbye on December 17." [via Splitsider]
The Best Show launched in October 2000 on the freeform New Jersey station. It aired for three hours every Tuesday night, becoming a huge cult hit. When the show launched as a podcast in 2006, its fame grew exponentially, with armies of fans—or “Friends Of Tom”—calling into the show weekly.
Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster is a frequent caller to the show, though he almost always calls in as a variety of offbeat characters, most of them hailing from the outlandish (and fake) New Jersey suburb Newbridge. Wurster's characters include Philly Boy Roy (an unabashed booster of his favorite town and the former mayor of Newbridge), The Gorch (an elderly man from Pennsylvania who claims the character of The Fonz was based on him, without his permission), and Timmy Von Trimble (a 32-year-old, two-inch-tall racist). Other frequent callers and in-studio guests have included Todd Barry, Aimee Mann, Ted Leo, Patton Oswalt, and John Hodgman.