#273, Car talk with Car Talk’s enduring executive producer, Doug Berman

James Raia

Doug Berman is the unofficial third brother of the admired comedy team and automotive soothsayer duo of Thomas Louis Magliozzi and Raymond Francis Magliozzi. They were more well-known as “Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers.” They were co-hosts of Car Talk, the NPR radio show, for 25 years.

Thinly disguised as a weekly program about automobile repair, the program was more about the banter between the brothers and an endearing relationship with their call-in audience. The former mechanics diagnosed engine problems, but they also provided advice, notably about relationships. Comedy reigned.

Brothers Ray Magliozzi (Le) and Tom Magliozzi co-hosted Car Talk on NPR for 25 years.
Ray Magliozzi (L) and Tom Magliozzi co-hosted Car Talk on NPR for 25 years. Image courtesy of cartalk.com.

Behind the scenes, Berman has coordinated the show since its early days. A former production assistant and then new director for NPR and several affiliates, Berman took on the producer’s role of the then-fledgling auto show as a volunteer. He’s remained in charge since.

The creator of the NPR show, “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell,” Berman is our guest on this episode of The Weekly Driver Podcast. A guest at the recent Best of the Bay gathering of the Western Automotive Journalists (WAJ) in Santa Rosa, California, the long-time journalist spoke with co-host James Raia and guest co-host John Berg about the enduring enterprise that is Car Talk.

Tom Magliozzi died in 2014 at age 77. We discuss with Berman the brothers’ relationship and how the program has continued in syndication and most recently, the rebroadcast of the long series from the first episode in podcast format.

Berman details his relationship with Tom Magliozzi and his current role editing www.cartalk.com as well as collaborating on the syndicated newspaper column the brothers wrote. Berman also runs the program’s vehicle donation program, writes car reviews and is the impetus for the enterprise’s continuing success.

Car Talk show was honored with a Peabody Award in 1992, and the Magliozzis were both inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2018.

Article Last Updated: October 18, 2023.

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