The Best Show on WFMU was a three hour radio program on WFMU from Jersey City, New Jersey. The program was hosted by Tom Scharpling on Tuesday nights from 9pm to Midnight starting on October 24th, 2000 and airing its final episode on December 17th, 2013. It later returned as The Best Show with Tom Scharpling in December 2014 as a self-produced internet radio show and podcast.

AP Mike was the long-time call screener and Associate Producer and remains with the show in its current incarnation. Characters on the program have been portrayed mostly by Jon Wurster and Andrew Earles (from 2001-2006). Several albums have been released by the comedy team Scharpling & Wurster. Other contributors to the program include Tom's protege, the H-Man and Best Show scrivener, Omar.


Tom refers to the format of the program as "three hours of mirth, music and mayhem." The Best Show was primarily a call-in show with Tom setting a topic for callers to discuss. Tom also plays music at the beginning of the show, though over the years, the music portion of the program has been minimized. Tom often has guests including comedians, musicians, film directors and more.

Recurring callersEdit

Many callers to the program become regular contributors. Some of the groups of callers include celebrity callers, mutants, supercallers (later powercallers), fake callers and other regulars.

Other important callersEdit

John Junk

Officer Tom

MC Steinberg


Purple Shirt



Celebrity callersEdit


Matt Fraction

Ben Gibbard

Nate Hartley

Julie Klausner

Ted Leo

Henry Owings

Patton Oswalt

Poster Children

Horatio Sanz

Paul Scheer

Sam Seder

DJ Terre T

Jesse Thorn

Paul F. Tompkins

Jason Woliner



Captain Jack

Larry the Perv

The Leader

Fredericks from New Port Richey

No Smokin Joe or Boring Owen

Julie From Cincinnatti

Fred from Queens


Stevie Blue


Supercallers are a select group of callers who Tom says are always high quality. These callers can call in before a topic has been announced and will always be moved to the front of the line.


Dave from Knoxville


Laurie from Miami

Samir from Florida


Tom frequently hosts guests on his program for promotional purposes. Many of these guests are comedians who are friends with Tom and will stop by the studio.

Fred Armisen

Michael Azerrad

Todd Barry

Bruce Campbell

Andy Daly

Jeff Feuerzeig

Jim Gaffigan

Zach Galifianakis

Janeane Garofalo

John Hodgman

Human Giant

Jen Kirkman

Harry Knowles

Patton Oswalt

Robert Popper

Ian Roberts

Paul F. Tompkins

Tim & Eric

Matt Walsh

Fake CallersEdit

One recurring segment of the Best Show was regular contributors calling as humorous characters. Most of the fake callers on the Best Show are voiced by Tom's comedy partner, Jon Wurster. Tom and Jon have released five compilations of their humorous calls under the name Scharpling & Wurster on their own label, Stereolaffs. Other contributors to the Best Show as fake or humorous callers include: Jon Benjamin, Andrew Earles, Jon Glaser, Sam Seder, Patton Oswalt, and Matt Walsh.


Music was an integral part of the Best Show, although Tom has played less music as the show has become more popular. Tom frequently champions his favorite bands such as Guided By Voices, Volcano Suns, and Redd Kross. Bands occasionally perform on the show, including Yo La Tengo and Boss Hog. The Best Show was also instrumental in the reunion of '80s rock band Big Dipper.