Listening to Howard made working in a NY publishing office bearable in the 1990s, Every employee in the office had his show on in the morning while they downed their coffee and bagel. If I busted out laughing in the middle of proofreading, you knew why, and it wasn’t the article about how to braid a Barbie doll’s hair. Howard’s show at that time featured Robin Quivers, Billy West, Jackie Martling, Stuttering John, Ba-Ba-Booey, the Underdog Lady, the KKK Guy etc.…and the regular callers like the mad Jamaican lady-er- what was her name?
The WWOR TV show ran from 1990 to 1992, and it was tacky, low-budget New Yorker on the streets genius. Even the academic feminist types I knew watched and listened to Howard, and we always joked about his “Whack Pack” and the assorted tacky sluts on his show. He’s demeaning women, you might protest, citing “Butt Bongo Fiesta”, the “Miss Howard Stern Contest” and other gems. But these female (and in some cases, shemale) attention-mongers were on the show willingly. And, let’s face it, you didn’t get the crème de la crème of high society on Howard’s show- unless you meant High Society, the old skin mag.
I‘ve only been to one political pep rally in my life. That’s right, Howard Stern for New York governor in 1994. It was at a magic shop in the West Village, where I loitered with other attendees like David Peel and Elephant Boy.
When you listened to Howard during the K-rock days (1990s-early aughts), you laughed in spite of yourself, you laughed because you never really heard anything like that before on the radio. Of course, people talked about disgusting things all the time, but not on FCC controlled airwaves. Once satellite radio and podcasts took over, a PG-rated, non-sexual talk radio show became the exception rater than the norm.
My favorite part of Howard’s show was the news. Robin read it and Howard would expound on the stories of the day, offering funny yet obscene bits that ended up as insightful commentary on the usually idiotic happenings. And, of course, everyone n the office loved it when Howard bickered with his parents or his (ex) wife Allison. We were all mortified when Allison and Howard announced their divorce. It was odd to think of Howard as single, but he rebounded quickly, dating and then marrying model Beth Ostrosky.
But no AGT for Howard.* Yeah, he might be able to do it. The last time he was on Letterman, he wanted to talk more about meditation than lambaste people in the news, so he may be mellowing out. But then again, mellow for Howard is full-tilt annoying for the average person.
*Howard was signed on to AGT 12/15/11. Say good-bye to namby-pamby niceties from judges and hello to the truth, AGT contestants.