Click and Clack's As the Wrench Turns

Click and Clack's As the Wrench Turns
Genre Animated Sitcom
Created by Howard Grossman
Doug Berman
Written by Doug Berman
Tom Magliozzi
Ray Magliozzi
Doug Mayer
Tom Minton
Directed by Tom Sito
Voices of Tom Magliozzi
Ray Magliozzi
Kelli O'Hara
Juan Hernandez
Cornell Womack
Barbara Rosenblat
Opening theme "The William Tell Overture"[1]
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 10
Executive producer(s) Howard Grossman
Robert Harris
Bill Kroyer
Running time 26 minutes
Original network PBS
Original release July 9 – August 13, 2008
External links

Click and Clack's As the Wrench Turns is an animated television series that follows the adventures of the brothers Click and Clack from their auto repair shop Car Talk Plaza. The program stars Tom (Click) and Ray Magliozzi (Clack), also known as the Tappet Brothers, from National Public Radio's Car Talk.[2] The Wednesday night prime-time series debuted on July 9, 2008, and additionally in various time slots depending on local station scheduling.[3] The series aired its ten-episode season in two-episode blocks for five weeks.[4]


Executive producer Howard Grossman began pitching a television series based on Car Talk in 2001. On July 11, 2007, PBS announced that it had greenlit the series for debut in the summer of 2008.[5] This is the first prime-time animated series in the history of PBS.[3] While at first a direct adaptation of the radio show had been proposed,[1] the final product is an animated sitcom featuring a new cast of fictional characters alongside the radio-show hosting Click and Clack.[4]

The opening theme and other music for the series are produced by Carl Finch and composed, arranged, and performed by Finch and his Grammy-award winning band, Brave Combo.[1][6]


Click and Clack's As the Wrench Turns received a largely-negative response, with The New York Times commenting that "television seems to flatten and confine" Tom and Ray's spontaneity and that while the series is "indisputably adorable" it "lacks the magic of the Magliozzis unplugged."[7] The Boston Herald opined that fans of Car Talk will be "excited to hear that Tom and Ray Magliozzi have expanded to PBS and television. Until they see the show." The show is described as "silly like a bad Saturday morning cartoon" and that the Magliozzi brothers are portrayed as "low-grade scam artists instead of the cheery, charming guys we know they are."[8]

Judge Christopher Kulik of DVD Verdict wrote in his review of the 2008 Paramount DVD release: "As a long-time devotee of Car Talk, I found this series to be a mixed bag. The humor is certainly there, and the Magliozzis' comic punch is still hitting hard, except their famous improvisation and spontaneity is practically thrown out the window. The result is Click & Clack 2.0, as the friendly voices are there but not the belly laughs or jolly merriment the boys' audibly display every Saturday morning. The out-there stories themselves set up some big laughs, like when the boys' discover pasta as an alternative energy source for automobiles, pissing off the local Mafioso in the process. Others lack any ingenuity whatsoever. The animation itself harks back to the 60s and 70s: very dim and dry, lacks real color and pizzazz, occasionally rough around the edges. Nothing special, unless you want to return to that old-fashioned, old-school look which was prevalent in George of the Jungle. Since the humor will whisk over children's heads, it's clear this show was created specifically for the older crowd, ones who are too slow to catch every gag in The Family Guy. The show does earn points for its rich character design, courtesy of Stephen Silver, who also did the Clerks series with Kevin Smith. [9]



Season 1: 2008

# Title Original airdate Code
1"Campaign"July 9, 2008 (2008-07-09)CT105
Click and Clack try to save the network by running for President so they can qualify for Federal matching funds.[10] James Carville plays a political consultant named Jimmy.[11]
2"Outsourcing"July 9, 2008 (2008-07-09)CT104
Click and Clack are overwhelmed with work so they outsource the radio show to India with unpredictable results.[12] Garrison Keillor has a brief cameo as himself.[6]
3"Boston Blackout"July 16, 2008 (2008-07-16)CT103
Mechanic Stash invents an auto repair robot called the Wallet Vac to help out in the garage, but its need for electricity cause a massive power outage in the northeastern U.S.[12] Carl Kasell cameo as radio news anchor "Carl Carousel".
4"Pasta Wars"July 16, 2008 (2008-07-16)CT102
Click and Clack invent a pasta-fueled vehicle, the Fusilli 500.[13] Jim Lehrer has a cameo as news anchor "Jim Lahair".
5"Gigantic Motors"July 23, 2008 (2008-07-23)CT107
Click and Clack lose their main sponsor and are forced to sign with Gigantic Motors who have nefarious plans for the radio duo.
6"Fidel vs. Zuzu"July 23, 2008 (2008-07-23)CT106
When the Dog Tickler claims garage dog Zuzu can diagnose car problems with her sense of smell, Fidel feels slighted and quits the garage.
7"Abercrombie & Wrench"July 30, 2008 (2008-07-30)CT101
When a high-tech repair shop featuring hunky mechanics opens nearby, Click and Clack fight back with a nod to the disco era.[14] Jim Lehrer has a cameo as news anchor "Jim Lahair".
8"Pocket Full of Motor Oil"August 6, 2008 (2008-08-06)CT108
Crusty's niece is coming for a visit and she thinks he's still a professor at Harvard University.[15]
9"Gotcha!"August 13, 2008 (2008-08-13)CT110
Click and Clack play practical jokes when a potential network benefactor visits the garage.
10"Casino"August 13, 2008 (2008-08-13)CT109
Click and Clack, believing they are of Native American descent, turn the garage into a casino.[12]

DVD releases

US season one DVD release

PBS Home Video and Paramount Home Entertainment released the entire run of As the Wrench Turns on DVD.[5] The two-disc set was released in the United States and Canada on September 30, 2008.[11][16]


The legal disclaimer at the end of each episode notes, "The persons in this film are not real... duh. O.K. fine, Click and Clack are the radio guys. But hey, any other similarity to actual persons or events is serendipity at best." The copyright notice on each show reads, "CTTV LLV created this hilarious show to make an honest buck, so cut us some slack and don't be knocking it off or we'll come and get ya, we swear we will. This motion picture is protected under the laws of the U.S., other countries and James Bond himself. We're not kidding here, unauthorized duplication, distribution or exhibition may result in a bad day in court and a stint in the slammer. We mean it, man. We really do."


  1. 1 2 3 Breeding, Lucinda (2008-07-07). "Click & Clack add oompah; Brave Combo provides musical nuts and bolts for animated TV series". Denton Record-Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2008-08-28. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
  2. McDonough, Kevin (2008-07-09). "TV Guy: Cartoon series stars Click and Click". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
  3. 1 2 Barnhart, Aaron (2008-07-11). "Lunch with Paula Kerger". Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on 2008-12-08. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
  4. 1 2 Hughes, Jason (2008-07-01). "NPR's Car Talk becomes PBS's As the Wrench Turns". TV Squad. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
  5. 1 2 "PBS Greenlights 'Car Talk' Television Series" (Press release). Public Broadcasting Service. 2007-07-11. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
  6. 1 2 Catlin, Roger (2008-07-09). "Click And Clack Get Their Own Public Television Show". Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on October 21, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
  7. Bellafante, Ginia (2008-07-16). "Motor Heads Take a Detour, With Cartoon Carburetors". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
  8. Kushman, Rick (2008-07-07). "This week looks like a strange one in TV land". The Boston Herald. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
  10. Justin, Neal (2008-07-05). "Click and Clack go clunk". Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
  11. 1 2 Kauffman, Jeffrey (September 30, 2008). "Click and Clack's As the Wrench Turns". DVD Talk.
  12. 1 2 3 Belcher, Walt (2008-07-10). "'Car Talk' cartoon's a clunker". Lynchburg News & Advance.
  13. "Programs A-Z: Click & Clack's As The Wrench Turns". KQED. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
  14. Hughes, Mike (2008-07-30). "Must see TV tonight". The Jackson Sun.
  15. "TV Highlights". Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. 2008-08-06.
  16. Lambert, David (June 10, 2008). "Click and Clack's As the Wrench Turns - The 'Car Talk with Tom & Ray' Guys get a PBS Series: Debuts On-Air in July, to DVD in Sept.". TV Shows on DVD.
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