The Best Show on WFMU with Tom Scharpling

The Best Show on WFMU with Tom Scharpling

Infobox Radio Show
show_name = The Best Show on WFMU

imagesize = 200px
caption = The Best Show on WFMU with Tom Scharpling
format = Talk, Comedy
runtime = 3 hours per episode
associate_producer = A.P. Mike
starring = Tom Scharpling
Jon Wurster
opentheme = "The Best Show on WFMU" by Themeweavers, LLC
country = flagicon|United States United States
first_aired = November 30, 1999
last_aired = present
num_episodes = 335 as of 16 September 2008
website =
home_station = WFMU
podcast =

"The Best Show on WFMU with Tom Scharpling" is a call-in radio show hosted by Tom Scharpling on New Jersey-based radio station WFMU. The show is described by its host as "three hours of mirth, music, and mayhem" [ [ Interview between Tom Scharpling and Ted Leo in The Believer] ] and has occupied the Tuesday night 8pm-11pm slot on WFMU since its conversion to the three-hour format on June 5, 2001 (prior to which it ran from 9pm-11pm). A worldwide audience listens to the show weekly through WFMU's Internet stream, and calls are frequently taken from around the United States and Canada, as well as from as far afield as Sweden, Japan, New Zealand, the U.K., and Ireland. It began podcasting its shows, with the music removed due to licensing restrictions, on January 26, 2006.

Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster is a frequent caller to the show, adopting a variety of personae, such as "Philly Boy Roy" (an unflinching supporter of all things Philadelphia), "Timmy von Trimble" (a genetically modified, two-inch-tall racist), and "The Gorch" (a senior citizen from York, Pennsylvania, who claims that the character of The Fonz on the TV show "Happy Days" was based on him) [ [ New York Times article on Scharpling and TBSOWFMU] ] . Some of these calls have been released on CD by Scharpling and Wurster's [ Stereolaffs] label. Andrew Earles [ [ Interview with Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster on The Sound of Young America (Feb. 3, 2005)] ] , H. Jon Benjamin [ [ Interview with Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster on The Sound of Young America (Feb. 3, 2005)] ] , Sam Seder, Jon Glaser, Julie Klausner, Horatio Sanz, and Matt Walsh have also contributed to the show in the past.

Guests have included comedians Fred Armisen, Tim and Eric, Zach Galifianakis, Todd Barry, Paul F. Tompkins, Jim Gaffigan, and Patton Oswalt; musicians Ted Leo, Ben Gibbard, and members of the Danielson Familie; filmmakers Don Coscarelli, Bradley Beesley, and Jeff Feuerzeig; and authors Neal Pollack, Paul Collins, and Michael Azerrad.

On February 11, 2003, Janeane Garofalo and Sam Seder appeared on The Best Show to discuss the political atmosphere of America. The chemistry between them as radio talents was evident, and their agreement on many liberal political views made them kindred spirits. In the summer of that same year, Garofalo was approached by representatives of Air America Radio to be a radio personality for their programming. She insisted that they hire Seder and that he share the hosting responsibilities. Less than one year later, The Majority Report was born.

Over the past seven years, Tom Scharpling has given himself many titles, including Tommy Tornado, El Goodo, Lord of Living Lightning, The Kid, The Queen, The Hero of the Disenfranchised, and The Neil Hamburger of Freeform Radio.

External links

* [ The Best Show on WFMU with Tom Scharpling Archives]
* [ Official Website]
* [ Stereolaffs]
* [ Written recaps at]
* [ Scharpling & Wurster Clips at The Best Show Vault]
* [ Interview with Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster on AST Radio (July 2, 2007)]
* [ Interview with Tom Scharpling on Gothamist (June 15, 2006)]
* [ Interview with Tom Scharpling on The Sound of Young America (Nov. 12, 2005)]
* [ from American Way magazine]


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