Arnie Reisman began writing his Washashore column for the Gazette in 2012. The following column, about the end of Says You!, the long-running comedic quiz show he was a panelist on, was filed last week. Mr. Reisman died Monday morning at the age of 79.

I can see a headline now. SAYS YOU! Says Adieu!

After 25 years on public radio stations across America, the weekly comedy quiz show called it quits. The show ceased production of new episodes at the end of September and will return only as an offering of classic reruns.

Although the archives are full of great shows, I for one will be wistful, if not sad, to see it go boldly into the past. Along with my wife, Paula Lyons, I was in the cast from Day One. In this fickle business of fan-based success, we had a good run for the money. A Prairie Home Companion was on and off for 40 years. Car Talk did live shows for 30 years. We’re in good company.

In the final analysis, Says You! succumbed to Covid. The pandemic crippled the show’s continuing escapades into the land of live audiences. With venues closed, with travel inadvisable, with online presentations being the only opportunity for new episodes, the show in all honesty could not go on. With each cast member in a different location, popping up in different boxes on computer screens, there was no feeling of chemistry. And without a live audience to play with, there was no mutual admiration society.

We need live shows. Sometimes we would appear before a crowd of a thousand. We felt like a rock act. The audience is actually part of the cast, goading us on with a fervor, laughing where we hope to hear laughter. A performance needs a stimulating environment.

On the other hand, once this pandemic was over, there would still be another wrinkle staring us in the face — it’s that wrinkle in the face in the mirror. The combined age of our original six panelists is now equal to the combined ages of the starting lineups for both the Red Sox and Yankees. By pop culture standards, I was an old man at the start of this series. Time to make way for younger performers, younger ideas.

Of course, the series received its first body blow in February, 2015, when our lovable and ingenious host-producer-creator, Richard Sher, died of cancer. The captain of our ship was gone. We bravely sailed on, but it wasn’t the same. This death in the family left an abyss. If classic reruns are the way of the future, it will be great to hear his voice and playfulness again. Like listening to Car Talk reruns after the exuberant Tom Magliozzi, one half of Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, passed away — three months before Richard Sher.

As our chief cook and bottle washer, Richard came up with lots of the questions, directed us on-stage, directed the audience, edited the program in his home office, booked us into venues across the country, booked us onto airlines and into hotels, and ate-slept-dreamt Says You! He created the show and got it on the air in 1996. The concept was fairly basic: Hire two teams of three “personalities” each — preferably extroverts not afraid to make fools of themselves. Tailor questions to what seem to be their possible bailiwicks. Bring on-stage two of the youngest audience members to be scorekeepers. Hire a musical group to keep folks entertained in the dead spaces.

Richard also asked audience members and radio listeners to send in questions, not to stump the panels but to amuse them. He always used to say, “It’s better to like the answer than know the answer.”

The show’s popular categories include: Definitions & Derivations, Melded Movie Titles, New Words in the Dictionary, Geography in Puns, Not So Famous People at Famous Events, Common Thread, Odd Man Out.

That last category early on earned me my public radio “cred.” I was asked the question: “Who does not belong in this group and why? Paul McCartney, Babe Ruth, John McEnroe and Eric Clapton.”

I thought for what seemed like an inkling and blurted, “Eric Clapton. He’s the only one who’s right-handed.”

Richard looked at me as if I had fired a dart into his belly. “That’s right!”

My stunned wife looked at me and said, “Who. Are. You?”

It helps to have a photographic memory, which I inherited from my father. The show was the perfect recycling center for all the trivia that made my brain a storage bin. The show also built my public confidence, making stage fright a thing of the past. After many years, when I walked out of the wings it was like going into a living room. For the next two-and-a-half hours (we did two shows separated by an intermission), I was in a performance zone, completely focused on “Be here now.” There was no rehearsal for these performances. To achieve this zone, I drank three cups of coffee and turned off the editor who sits inside my head.

Live audiences got to hear a lot of jibes and jokes the radio audience never heard. Richard’s clever process was to edit out all topical references, all newsy humor. Each show ready for broadcast has a timelessness as a result. In other words, these evergreens are ripe for reruns.

I saw a lot of this country and met a lot of radio fans, clearly smarter in many ways than the panelists. I will miss them. I will continue to schmooze with cast and crew. And I will really miss Richard Sher.