Although he’s joked about it on air for the past few years or so, Splitsider is reporting that WFMU D.J. Tom Scharpling will be ending his long-running radio show/podcast The Best Showon December 17. And to quote Johnny Maestro of The Brooklyn Bridge, this is “the worst thing that could happen to me.”
An enduring cult favorite amongst a legion of comedy nerds, the “weekly comedy/music radio show” began in October 2000 and will probably be best remembered for the elaborate, pre-written comedy routines Scharpling performed with his partner Jon Wurster. The Best Show also played host to some of the biggest names in the alternative comedy scene such as John Hodgman, Julie Klausner, Tim Heidecker, Todd Glass, Louis CK, Patton Oswalt, Adam Resnick and Chris Elliott.
“I’m not joking around now”, Scharpling said after his announcement last night. “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.” Scharpling added that The Best Show was, “the best thing that has ever happened to me comedically.”
On a personal note, I became obsessed with The Best Show after discovering it in 2010. Scharpling’s prickly yet strangely warm presence has helped me through many troubling times in my life including severe bouts with depression and exceedingly nasty break-ups. I loved the show so much that I dressed up as Wurster’s Gorch character (the “real-life inspiration behind Fonzie”) one Halloween (even though everyone thought I was Howard Stern). It’s going to be difficult, for me at least, to get through life without The Best Show.
On the plus side, as Splitsider notes, “[Scharpling] has a script in development with IFC co-written by and starring Chris Gethard and has become a sought-after music video director”. So even though we may not have The Best Show anymore, at least Scharpling is still out there actively pursuing other projects.