New Jersey–based freeform community radio station WFMU will replace The Best Show on WFMU in January with a program hosted by comedian and musician Dave Hill.
Hill has appeared as a guest on Best Show, as well as public radio’s Wits and This American Life. He produces his own podcast of interviews and emcees a live variety show at New York’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Hill and Ken Freedman, WFMU’s station manager, are still discussing plans for the content of the new show, but it may also include interviews, according to Freedman. Like most other WFMU DJs, Hill will hold down his show as a volunteer.
Hill’s program, unnamed as yet, will air in the 9 p.m. to midnight Tuesday slot currently occupied by Best Show, the comedy call-in program hosted by comedian and TV writer Tom Scharpling. Scharpling announced last month that he would end Best Show’s 13-year run Dec. 17.
As he sought a replacement, Freedman looked for a candidate who could hold onto some of the outgoing host’s fan base. “Dave’s a really, really inventive, talented comedian and writer, and I think that he’s going to be able to retain a part of that audience,” said Freedman. “I wouldn’t even dare to say most of it, but I think part of it.”
Freedman also wanted a host who had previously worked with Best Show.
Hill has a tough act to follow. Scharpling’s Best Show on WFMU debuted in 2000 and grew into WFMU’s most popular program and biggest fundraiser. Explaining his departure to listeners, Scharpling said, “It’s hard to do something that’s more or less a full-time job for free, and I’ve done it for as long as I can.”
“I hope that we will be getting input from Tom,” Freedman said. “I just want a nice handoff from Tom to Dave.”
Scharpling gave Hill his blessing. “I think he’s really funny,” Scharpling said. “I’ll support him however I can. My goal is to finish up these shows and take a break.”