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Arts & Culture

PBS Ventures into the World of Adult-Friendly 'Toons with 'As the Wrench Turns'

The similarities between the radio program and the cartoon are few and far between. The unmistakable voices of Click and Clack are there, but the cartoon follows the guys out of the recording studio and into the Good News Garage on a series of crazy misadventures. Callers have been replaced with wacky Good News mechanics, young PBS producer Beth Totenbag, and ZuZu the dog.

One of the funniest scenes involves Al Gore descending angelically from the heavens (on solar power, of course) and declaring, "I'd like to show you a little slideshow."

The cartoon is the first of its kind for PBS; geared toward adults and aired during prime time. Think of it as the Family Guy for the public broadcasting set.


Reflective of the PBS audience, the average age of panel attendees hovered around a mature (in Comic Con years, at least) forty-five.

Click and Clack by KPBS, on Flickr

Everyone waits in line at the Con, even celebrity cartoon cut-outs.

We were treated to clips from the show (the brothers using & Indian outsourcing for Car Talk drew the most laughs), a lively Q&A with the creators and animators, and a pre-taped audio message from the Maggliozzi Brothers who joked that they decided to go animated because "their real faces scared little kids."

Like a true swag hag, my favorite part of the morning was snagging a handful of ATWT car air fresheners. SCORE!


So back to our devoted Car Talk junkie Tess. Was she impressed with the cartoon counterparts?

"It was soooo funny, I'll definitely be watching."