Tom Scharpling announced on the air last night that his long-running radio show/podcast The Best Show on WFMU will end its run with a final episode on December 17th. Scharpling made the announcement at the end of last night's Best Show at the 2:56:30 mark.
Scharpling, who's kidded about ending the show for years, said, "I've joked around about this before, and I'm not joking around now," before announcing the show is ending. Scharpling called Best Show "the best thing that has ever happened to me comedically" and "one of the most special things that has ever happened in my life" but explained that hosting the show has become too time consuming.
For the uninitiated, The Best Show is a weekly comedy/music radio show that Tom Scharpling started out of New Jersey in October of 2000 before the program grew a devoted international audience thanks to it being released online in podcast form. Clocking in at three hours each week, Best Show finds Scharpling taking listener calls, playing music, doing popular pre-written bits with his comedy partner Jon Wurster, and playing host to a slew of comedy and music elite as guests like regulars Patton Oswalt, Aimee Man, and John Hodgman.
"It is a huge commitment," Scharpling explains. "It's hard to do something that's more or less a full-time job for free. I've done it for as long as I can do it … I cannot sustain my life and this show and the commitment that this show takes to do right … What the future holds, I have no idea, and I'm not gonna worry about that now. I'm kinda just gonna do the best shows I can do, and we're gonna do the best shows we can do … and we're going to say goodbye on December 17th."
Scharpling and Wurster will probably be pulling out all the stops in these final seven Best Shows, not that they ever aren't. Although Scharpling says he doesn't know what his next move is, he has a script in development with IFC co-written by and starring Chris Gethard and has become a sought-after music video director, so you can expect to see him continue to follow those paths.
UPDATE: Tom Scharpling posted on the Friends of Tom forum that his IFC project with Chris Gethard is dead, writing, "IFC chose not to move forward with it. Too bad, the script is one of my favorite things ever and working with Chris was an absolute dream."