Listening To “The Best Show”: 2/17/09 Episode

bestshowlogobA weekly review of The Best Show On WFMU, Tom Scharpling’s call-in/comedy/music show broadcast every Tuesday night from Jersey City. The three-hour program is available for free download at iTunes.

It’s The Best Show Awards show! Scharpling announces the winners in various categories, including Saddest Caller, Most Delusional Caller, Worst Caller, Best Guest, Lifetime Achievement Awards and Best Scrivener. As to the last category, Tom declared that “the dude from MAGNET, who hasn’t done a recap in a while” placed second! What a thrill!

Second place is an honor, except there were only two nominees: me and Omar, who recaps the show at This has my blood up a little bit. I have to do better. Dig deeper. Show up for work once in a while. Tom brings it for three hours every week; I was too busy converting MAGNET’s library of Chokebore vinyl to microcassette. (Really, you wouldn’t believe how much Chokebore product we have around here.)

Regarding awards that were actually won, Ted Leo was honored for “The World Is In The Turlet,” a composition penned during a Best Show episode, with lyrics contributed by callers. Laurie from Miami won Best Caller, inexplicably. And no awards show is complete without someone crying; Tom broke down in remorse and ended the show abruptly without presenting the final trophy for Best Call.

We also have some catching up to do. Without further a dude [sic], here are the (mostly music-oriented humor) highlights from the past few weeks:

*Bernie Taupin‘s Music Tarp: an inspired call from Jon Wurster posing as Elton John’s lyricist. Love the foundation for this sketch, mainly because it takes the two facts everyone knows about Elton John/Bernie Taupin (namely, that Elton sells a lot of records and nobody really cares about Taupin) and bats them around.

*A musician from upstart band the Psychedelic Sitting Room calls in to cajole Tom to play the group’s latest song, only to be duped into introducing a cover of Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping.” Does the caller not listen to the show? Saw this coming a mile away.

*An acute observation (and kind of scary even to the MAGNET staff): One caller’s Chewbacca impression apparently reminds Tom of the drop-out/screaming part in Dinosaur Jr’s “In A Jar.” The song is promptly cued up and the results are in: It’s a match.

Big news: There’s a new podcast called Best Show Gems—a biweekly greatest-hits mini-version of The Best Show. The first episode is available now. It’s the place to start with The Best Show (besides the beginning).

Big speculation: Tom keeps playing songs from Ram, the 1971 album by Paul and Linda McCartney. Something is afoot with Ram and the upcoming WFMU marathon—maybe a compilation of artists covering songs from Ram? A Ram jam? Stay tuned!