What Happened to Howard Stern?


You might first be wondering, “Where’s the Week in Radical Leftism?!?” Family Bob is taking a few days of needed R&R, and by the time you read this we’ll be making our way back from Legoland in Florida. I’m actually writing this from our flight down from DC to give everyone something a bit lighter for this weekend’s fare. And becase when I go on vacation I disconnect from current events & won’t have time to write a proper post when we return. That said, let’s get to the subject at hand.

I was lucky enough to experience the golden age of Howard Stern, when he broadcast on WNBC radio back in the mid 80s. His detractors condemned his show as pure filth, and they would not by wrong. But Stern was also an innovator, and love him or hate him, one has to acknowledge that he worked hard to forever change radio, for better or for much worse. Stern changed both morning talk radio as well as how radio personalities would syndicate their shows. His name was usually one of the first to get mentioned when the phrase “Shock Jock” was thrown around, though Stern hated being lumped in with the guys who went on the air and just told dirty jokes between songs. Stern slowly but surely built his fan base, eclipsing even then morning radio giant Don Imus. When the ratings would come out, Stern would gloat over the air, particularly calling out the naysayers in the business who he was now beating – I recall oldies radio’s Cousin Brucie being a target. Stern also had it in for one NY morning zookeeper named Scott Shannon, whose name you might recognize as the announcer for Sean Hannity’s radio show. But how did Stern get there?

A big part of what made Stern popular was that he was relatable. Yes, he was over the top with skits like “Lesbian Dial a Date” and “Out of the Closet Stern”, but the way he talked Stern came off like that crude buddy of yours you could be hanging out with and sharing a few beers. Howard was also more real than other personalities in that he liked to talk about his personal life, his marriage, being a dad, as well as the personal lives of his supporting cast. And when he was at NBC he despised some of his colleages. Apparently Imus was none too kind to the new kid on the block when he started, and Stern never forgot that. He also launched a campaign to get his General Manager fired. if you saw Stern’s movie “Private Parts” it was the character Kenny who I recall in the real world being named John Hayes. I could be wrong on that last part, as it has been a few decades. Stern’s campaign to fire Hayes went along the lines of calling for enough listeners to allow Stern to give an ultimatum to the NBC brass along the lines of “Either he goes or I go”. In the end it was Stern who would get fired, and he moved to FM radio’s K-Rock, where he immediately jumped to their morning drive time slot with a goal of destroying Imus. Which he did, as Stern also did in every market where his show spread.

Another amusing element of Stern’s show was how fans got involved. A favorite activity of Stern’s fans was to call into news or other radio shows and slip in Stern’s name or some other catchphrase and mess with the host. What may have been the most famous was the phony OJ Simpson call (and also one of the show’s funniest moments), where a fan called in and embarassed Peter Jennings (an added bonus) by posing as OJ Simpson’s neighbor after the chase ended with the police outside OJ’s Brentwood hime. Back in ’95 I was the Best Man in a wedding, and the groomsmen were all trying to crack each other up during teh wedding pics by dropping quotes from the OJ call. Fast forward a little while, and after giving my toast I waited until everyone was drinking their chmpagne before pulling the mic back and letting out “And a Baba Booey to Y’all!” It was easy to spot the Stern fans in the crowd, as I made a pretty good number of guests snarf their drinks.

Those who followed Stern also know that back in the 00s he made the jump to satellite radio, at which point I tuned out. I’m too cheap to pay extra for radio when I’m happy with broadcast radio or throwing in my own music. And from what I hear I haven’t missed much. Stern’s original programming has been dialed back, and from what I hear has become incredibly bland. Ace gives a short summary & TuCa clip under the descriptive post titled, Howard Stern Is Now a Babbling, Bent-Backed Renfield Compulsive Masturbator Sputtering Curses in the Dark. Bruce Bawer at City Journal gives a more in depth post, Funny Long Ago. The comments are also excellent – a great trip down memory lane from longtime fans. To make a long story short (and the links I provided tell the tale better than I could), if you’ve heard about Stern in the news lately it’s either from him being the cohost of one of those prime time talent shows, or from him going on some Leftist tirade, usually spouting off once per month. Stern has become the ultimate Covid Karen, joining in the chorus taking pot shots at Joe Rogan, or just random hatred for the anti-mandate crowd. He seems to have become the very establishment media he hated and fought so hard against when Stern was up & coming. I read that Stern is even hanging out with the likes of Jimmy Kimmel, another formerly very funny comedian who is now little more than a PR flak for Nancy Pelosi. As I’m writing this I’m hit by the irony that 20 years ago these two were the minds behind some of my favorite comedy, between Stern on my drive to work in the morning or Jimmy Kimmel on The Man Show with Adam Corolla on Comedy Central. At this point you might be wondering why I’m writing this if I’ve already admitted that others have told this story better than me. Which is where we get to my Unprovable Theory as to why I believe that Stern has become such a Nimrod.

Unprovable Theory is a term I’ve coined for some not so crazy theories I have that I think are true, but freely admit that I have no evidence to support and most likely never will. Unlike conspiracy theories, I know that I have no proof, and if I were to see solid evidence disproving them I’d have no problem admitting that I was wrong. One example that comes to mind is my theory that Donald Trump destroyed the USFL back in the 80s as his hope of forcing a merger and backdooring his way into NFL ownership. In another thoery, I also believe that Michael Moore wound up costing John Kerry the 2004 presidential election. While Moore did a great job of firing up the radicals in the base, I think that the Democrats’ making some anti-American sphinchter muscle their party’s mascot probably turned off far more of the Normals than the number of Extremist votes he turned out. Remember the good old days when Democrats actually had to pretend to not hate America? Good times, good times. But back to my point, both of my theories have credibility, and both are completely unprovavble (unless President Trump were to come out and say it, of coutrse). And I have my own theory about Stern.

Not too long ago, a buddy and I were philosophizing over a few beers and the subject of Stern came up. My buddy thought that Stern is going on these tirades to establish credibility with the Cancel Crowd before they come for his scalp. This would make sense, as one can take almost any single show from Stern’s decades of broadcasting and find some quote that ends him. I think that Jimmy Kimmel is in the same boat, as the moment he stops being useful to the Democrats they’ll finally remember to be offended by Kimmel’s blackface skits as well as constant sexism from The Man Show. I took it one step further and speculated that Stern’s made his money and may be doing this to protect his supporting cast who might get paid on resdiuals or use Stern’s name for their resumes and could lose out if Stern were to get memory holed. What made me think of this was Stephen Kruiser writing about the Cosby Show getting cancelled, and the ones getting hurt the most were the minor actors getting residual checks from syndication. Like I said, completely unprovable, and after reading the City Journal piece I’,m not sure how much I believe it myself. But if you read Stern’s first two books (Private parts and Miss America), Stern came off as someone who genuinely cared for the people who helped make him successful, and I’d like to think that he’s looking out for them.

Or maybe Stern is just an a**hole. What do I know?

Time to wrap up, as our flight is prepping to land and Ltlle Bob and I need to strategize the Ninjago ride. We need to decide who’s going to focus on taking out Master Chen and who will be laying down the suppression fire to blow away his lego lizard people minions.

The Week in Radical Leftism returns next week – thanks for bearing with me!

Brother Bob is no longer on Facebook (although you can see his archives there), and is winding down his presence on Twitter, but is ramping up on Minds and Gab, as well as Parler and GETTR, and has his biggest presence on MeWe.

Cross posted at Flopping Aces
<!– Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog

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I love Howard, but he’s part of the NYC entertainment elite at this point. He’s circled the wagons, with the rest of them.

And I want to say, that I feel NOTHING is beyond an actor to do or portrait. Nothing. This whole “blackface” idiocy is just woke garbage.

No limits exist for an artist. No matter how tasteless or incendiary. That’s one of the main things we’re protecting with freedom of expression.

Which honestly doesn’t surprise me. He’s essentially a jealous jerk who just want to be “in” with the cool kids.

You might first be wondering, “Where’s the Week in Radical Leftism?!?” Family Bob is taking a few days of needed R&R, and by the time you read this we’ll be making our way back from Legoland in Florida. 

I don’t recall you submitting the proper request to us for a vacation. We’ll have to address this when you get back.

Stern came off as someone who genuinely cared for the people who helped make him successful, and I’d like to think that he’s looking out for them.

I never was a big fan, though he did do some funny stuff (the video is an example of him making fun of the leftist culture hiding behind a thin shield of “my black friend”). The more crude the better. But, I completely turned off on him when he fired his producer for cracking a joke about his 2nd wife. I just felt that a guy that poked vulgar fun at everyone and every thing shouldn’t be so thin skinned, but at the time I guess he was powerful enough to call the shots and enforce the rule of “good for me, not for thee”.

That being said, “cancel culture” is absurd and nothing but a leftist weapon to shut up those who the left doesn’t want to have a voice. It’s not totally controlled and sometimes gets used against a fellow leftist, but there is nothing just or righteous about it. Don’t approve of Stern? Don’t listen to him.

No, they must remain faithful to the dogma.

I remember listening to him during traffic to or from work decades ago, but not for decades.
He was only marginally funny after his early years which were pretty good.
His changes in his way of approaching being a celeb is odd in that it seems it’s really important to him to be well thought of altho he scrapes the bottom in so many ways.

I really miss Phil Hendrie, tho.
If you caught one of his shows, you we in for a treat.
He did character voices, pasing them off as guests.
He then “debated” his other voice, slowly going from logical to absurd slowly and surely.
His real joke was that he took real callers on the air who didn’t get that joke.
When he had a good one he would speed up his drift to absurdity until they frothed at the mouth!
Still some callers didn’t realize it was all him!
He’d move from city to city as his shticht was exposed as an act.

Howard never held a candle to Phil.

Never a fan, his formula never appealed to me. Never a hater cause I could simply tune out.
Leggo land, make sure to keep your hard soled shoes on.

Last edited 2 years ago by kitt

I remember the Bee article, you sir are about to walk into the level 4 lab where they were developed. Keep your head on a swivel.