Online Car Talk Columns

Has anyone noticed the online Car Talk columns show as being published in December 2011? It’s pretty obvious Tom and Ray are on at least a partial hiatus since they are recycling old calls on their show, but something weird is going on. I suspect one of them might be ill. Any thoughts?

I saw an article on their facebok page about them doing a PBS special for NOVA. They were in Iceland or some darn place?? Something to do with cars in the future…

Scratch that…I see they did that back in '08.

Maybe they’re having trouble renegotiating their contract like Bob, what was his name? Oh yeah, Villa. Never missed that guy but I sure would miss Tom and Ray.

It’s been like that ever since January. I think the last few 2010 bits got mis-filed. They don’t seem to have a perfect archive system - sometimes they have the same thing repeated two or three times in the same month.

If I was a conspiracy theorist, I might think Tom and Ray have been replaced with robots, and those robots aren’t intelligent enough to interact with callers, so they just do the beginning and end of the shows, with recycled calls in between.

… and then I would adjust my tin foil hat.


I didn’t know that Bob Villa had a show on NPR. You may be thinking about Bob Edwards. He still does talk radio. I catch his show on XMPR. I enjoy the current politics discussions he has on Friday with Doyle McManus. And that would go right along with your Bob Who? theme.

Hi Gang,

No conspiracies, alas. Just a simple misfiling error on the back end tool of our web site, when we loaded the latest columns. Our bad. We’re fixing it now. Tom and Ray are back from their summer vacation, too. Last week’s show was a new one, and we’ll have more coming as their oft-noted deep-seated laziness allows…

All Best,

Doug Mayer
Senior Web Lackey

Bob Villa had a show on PBS…Was the original host of “This-Old-House.”

Don’t know of any show he did for NPR.

Yes, Bob Vila got a little too commercial by endorsing too many products to suit NPR. His successor (forgot his name) had a charming assistant named Joanne Liebeler. Don’t know what happened to them.

Steve Thomas succeeded Bob Vila. He went on to do other things…I saw him on the History channel once on a show about boats (which is his real love). It was about the restoration of a 200yo sailboat. He did commercials for a while…

Joanne Liebeler was on a different show on PBS (HomeTime with host Dean Johnson). I haven’t seen that show in years…I think it still might be on. They’re out of Philadelphia. This-Old-House is out of Boston.

I use to live less then 10 miles (as the crow flies) from Norm Abram. See him around town every once in a while.


Dean Johnson didn’t do this old house he hosted home time with Joanne Liebeler, She left the show and last I heard moved to Los Angeles to pursue work in the entertainment industry.

They did a 2010/2011 season, but it isn’t on the main PBS channel here, it’s only on the SD channel so I guess we didn’t contribute enough during the right beg-a-thon. Or it maybe the Boston group showing its power over the Philly group.

Joanne was back on the show a couple seasons ago, as a homeowner/guest, not as a co-host. They did an office conversion and some landscape/patio work on her house. Don’t know where the house was located though.