Tag Archives: Tom Scharpling

Ep. #226: Scharpling & Wurster

Scharpling & Wurster is a beloved and very funny comedy duo consisting of Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster. While they mainly work together on The Best Show radio program and podcast, which airs every Tuesday from 9 pm to midnight ET at thebestshow.net, they’ve been making rare live appearances around North America since the Numero Group released The Best of the Best Show 16 CD box set this past spring. They’re closing out 2015 with three shows at the Mod Club in Toronto on November 28, The Sinclair in Cambridge, Massachusetts on November 29, and Union Transfer in Philadelphia on December 13.  Here, Tom and Jon and I discuss their busy 2015 and doing these live shows, comedy frontman versus drumming in a band, doing Late Night with Seth Meyers and condensing comedy for their appearance on the show, going out a different way, how the Scharpling & Wurster live show works in each city they perform in, whether the stage show is as interactive as The Best Show, what the live show brings out in Tom and Jon, Tom’s confidence, Jon’s physicality, local references, Tom’s history with Toronto and the city’s Best Show fans, their love of SCTV, when Jon met Tom, Tom’s history with Superchunk and Mac McCaughan, how Jon and Tom began working together, “Rock, Rot, and Rule,” the Newbridge infomercial, getting into more TV stuff together, what the Best Show box set meant for the trajectory of the duo, how the new Best Show feels, the future, the phone call “OnStar,” and then we hung up our Skypes.     

Related links: scharplingandwurster.com thebestshow.net vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #154: Tom Scharpling

Tom Scharpling is a comedic writer, performer, and personality who hails from the state of New Jersey. He founded a fanzine and record label called 18 Wheeler in the early 1990s, he was a writer and executive producer on the TV show Monk during its eight year run on the USA network, he made contributions to the show, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, and has directed music videos and short films for people like the New Pornographers, Ted Leo, the Postal Service, and Aimee Mann among others. But along with Jon Wurster, Scharpling is most beloved as one-half of the comedy duo Scharpling & Wurster and for hosting the popular and influential call-in music program The Best Show on WFMU in Jersey City, New Jersey. Scharpling commandeered the Best Show for 13 years, before ending its run in December 2013. This past October, he announced that the Best Show would be returning as a podcast, which can soon be found at thebestshow.net, and the Numero Group is also releasing a 16-CD Scharpling & Wurster Best of the Best Show box set this coming March. Here, Tom and I discuss soggy New Jersey, getting over winter, the current status of The Best Show, why the original Best Show stopped, quality trumps all, volunteering at a non-commercial station like WFMU, no money, working real jobs while putting a lot of time and energy into a volunteer project, working for Monk, whether or not the consumption of free content means that content has been devalued, people value phones more than the entertainment they’re consuming, the elimination of singles and music industry mistakes, loving the things that people make, making a living, The Best Show will be less a podcast and more of a live-on-the-internet type show, no doubt, commercials, I convey envy for some reason, how the end of The Best Show on WFMU impacted people, growing up lower middle-class in New Jersey, getting into comedy and music at a young age, loving game changers like SCTV, SNL, David Letterman, Bill Murray, and Howard Stern, starting a zine and record label, writing a screenplay, performance anxiety, getting into WFMU as an overnight DJ, how other people’s work might influence your own, it wasn’t really the best show, when The Best Show and Scharpling and Wurster began to click, there’s no fun in fundraising, the best is yet to come, Julie Klausner’s How Was Your Week? and Marc Maron’s WTF, not listening to other people’s stuff when you start making stuff, calling upon independent podcast and radio hosts for interviews, perceptions of success, the Scharpling & Wurster box set is special, reflection, Patton Oswalt, Julie Klausner, Jake Fogelnest, Damian Abraham, and others contributed to the liner notes in the box, Tom and Jon each wrote descriptions of the tracks, Fucked Up rule, future plans and media appearances, Letterman, going to Late Night with Conan O’Brien tapings, whether or not Tom was at a taping of The Chris Getheard Show featuring Sleater-Kinney instead of doing Jon Solomon’s WPRB radio show, what the Best Show might look like, smashing a phone with hammers, the song “Sun Glass” by Fucked Up, and that’s the end.

Related links: thebestshow.net numerogroup.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #25: Jon Wurster

Jon Wurster is one of the best drummers in rock music and he has proven this to be true by filling that role for people like Bob Mould, Rocket From the Crypt, R.E.M., A.C. Newman, Katy Perry, and many more. He’s also a comedic writer and performer, often appearing on The Best Show on WFMU with Tom Scharpling and he’s been featured in music videos and commercials that you might very well have seen. Aside from his relatively recent post in a great band called the Mountain Goats, Wurster is likely best known for playing in Superchunk from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. There is no band like Superchunk; they are a kinetic, power pop force that have been inspiring people with their work for close to 25 years. The band’s 10th studio album is a mighty one called I Hate Music, it was released on August 20 via Merge Records, and Jon and I spoke about why he thinks it and its predecessor, Majesty Shredding, are Superchunk’s best records, why he can’t get into Breaking Bad or Arrested Development, the distance he keeps from the work of lyric writers in his bands, escaping the Calgary flood, what’s up with Laura Ballance’s hearing issues and why he thought Superchunk should stop, a hat burned by Kurt Cobain, and how Aerosmith’s Joe Perry might not actually know how to play the solo in “We Will Rock You.”

Related links: mergerecords.com/artists/superchunk twitter.com/jonwurster vishkhanna.com

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