Best Show, November 13, 2012.

The Best Show on WFMU is one of my favorite things.  It’s a three-hour comedy radio show with character-based calls from Jon Wurster, excellent stories from host Tom Scharpling and a mixed bag of phone calls from listeners. The Best Show has been a weekly source of joy for me for more than five years.  Every other week since April, I’ve written mini recaps/reviews on the show for The AV Club.  It’s been a blast getting to write regularly about something I love so much.

Due to a mix-up between myself and the other gentleman who writes Best Show stuff for Podmass, the recap I wrote for the November 13 episode did not run. It’s not my best effort, but since I wrote it and no one will see it otherwise, here’s the LOST Podmass review for the November 13, 2012 episode of The Best Show on WFMU:

The three-hour running time and free-for-all nature of The Best Show ensure that few episodes maintain a predictable tone. One week after Tom Scharpling’s touching tribute to the resiliency of Sandy-battered New Jersey led into a more familiar razzing of Tom Waits, the show continues its schizophrenic streak this week. The episode is a Jon Wurster-less one, but Scharpling still gets to play the straight man in a wonderful character-based call with Tim Heidecker, who plays himself as a doomsaying right-wing microblogger. Real-life character Fredericks from New Port Richey adds another head-scratching entry to his long string of bizarre, gravel-voiced appearances with a delirious call that includes some talk about the alleged dangers of fluoride in water. The show takes on a more somber tone as Scharpling and a caller share a moving conversation about Tristan Devin, a Seattle comedian and Best Show fan who was found dead Sunday. It’s evidence of the program’s enduring quality that a show with such a wide variety of moods can be so consistently great. [TC]

“Sometimes after I do my show, I’m too wired. Can you imagine Leonard Cohen after doing a show? It’s like he’s ready for bed. He must just go right back to the hotel and zonk out. ‘Leonard Cohen has left the building….asleep.'” – Tom Scharpling, The Best Show on WFMU