INCOMING: The Best Show Comes Alive

The Best Show ON WFMU


INQUIRER: The Best Show is set in the mythical town of Newbridge, New Jersey — which is sort of the Lake Woebegone Of Lame —  populated by a cast of hapless, deeply-flawed-but-somehow-likeable characters, voiced by Superchunk/Mountain Goats/Bob Mould Band drummer Jon Wurster, who take turns calling into the show each week to peddle their various strains of hilarious B.S. to a skeptical and bemused Tom Scharpling. There’s Philly Boy Roy, a Tastykake-chomping, Jersey-dissing, Rizzo-loving 700 Level-er with a wardrobe composed entirely of Philadelphia sports team jerseys and the occasional Wawa t-shirt.

There’s Hammerhead, the aging hardcore (which he pronounces ‘hawdcaw’) punk and arthritic mosh pit habitue. There’s Count Scharpling-WursterRockula, aka Todd, who’s been stocking the shelves at Newbridge’s CD Submarine in a sailor’s uniform and nametag for 20 years, patiently awaiting the rock stardom he is certain remains impending.

There’s Dali-mustachioed Terrance Shropshire, his head crowned with a white terry cloth sweatband and his manatee-like physique disguised by an oversized Stryper t-shirt, who grew up in Brooklyn back before it was cool and he’s doing his level best to keep it that way.

The Best Show is at its best when it locates the humor in the implacable hubris of white male cluelessness, men so self-unaware they don’t even know how much they don’t even know. “We’ve always been kind of obsessed with people who don’t have the clout that they think they do,” says Scharpling, on a break from a table reading in New York for a forthcoming TV show he can’t discuss. “People who talk the talk but they don’t necessarily walk the walk.” MORE