Tom Magliozzi’s fitting wake

Death is pretty serious business, but there are worse ways to depart this world than to have the people recall the time you made them laugh until things came out of their nose.

And that’s what we got a chance to do today when Car Talk held a wake for Tom Magliozzi, who died this week of the complications of Alzheimer’s.

“I have no doubt that what Tom would want under these circumstances is to have a really good laugh,” Tom’s brother and broadcast partner Ray Magliozzi said at the beginning of Saturday’s broadcast, which was a service for his brother.

It was perfect.

“How do you keep your marriage happy?” Ray asked in one of the old bits.

“You tell your wife she’s pretty, even if she looks like a truck,” Tommy said.

“Let’s take another call,” said Ray.

“A truck?” the caller said incredulously.

It was Tom’s wife (Listen – Scroll to 4:04).

And who couldn’t possibly laugh along with the time the Mama Magliozzi was assigned to read a promotional announcement and said, “don’t turn that dial. If you do, the end of your lipstick will fall off.”

“Not lipstick,” Tom shouted, “dipstick!”

That’s when we found out where Tom’s laugh came from. Here, have a free guffaw. I defy you to listen without crying.

Thanks to the show’s website, we could turn to the faithful in the next pew and share in the service.

Bittersweet just doesn’t cover it. It goes so much deeper. It is hard to understand how a simple radio program; how voices of people I never met could have taken such an important place in our lives, but it did. All good things must end. In their place something even better will most certainly arise.– Mike Marrone

“When I turned the calendar page to November the day before yesterday, I saw a note that I had wisely written to myself months before: ‘Click & Clack recommend Nokia Hakellipita snow tires,'” Kathy of Erie, PA., wrote on the show’s website. “So when I buy my snow tires this month, they will be the Tom Magliozzi Memorial Snow Tires.”

Your show pulled me through some of the hardest moments of my life with your humor, vast knowledge, and irreverence, seriously. I thought maybe some of your kids might be interested? I miss you and Tommy both. God bless you. — Claudia

The program included Christie, the young woman who called in with a car question, only for Tom to recognize the obvious problem was her guilty conscience. She broke the car and didn’t know how to confess. So Tom called her dad (Here’s the segment).”I loved hearing our episode as part of this tribute,” Christie wrote as she listened on Saturday. “My father died last year and he got such a kick out of this recording, which is now about 18 years old. Great to hear the laughter!”

We started with the laughter — the sort of segment that made you laugh just because Tommy couldn’t control himself. We ended with the tears, just prior to the service ending and our being assigned to go back to our lives and live them as well as we can.

“He made so many people laugh and made everybody feel better about everything,” Ray said through obvious tears.

“I know we could all use that right now, so we’re going to let Tommy’s laugh cheer us up,” he said. (Listen)

The only thing missing was the perfect benediction.

“Don’t drive like my brother.”