Howard Stern: Bring Back the Honesty

I’ve been a loyal Howard Stern fan since 1981 when he worked at DC-101 in Washington, so I’ve listened a lot longer than even Stern show Producer Gary Dell’Abate has.  I think Stern is the greatest entertainer in the history of radio.  Obviously, Howard has been a creative and revolutionary force, with such a huge influence that he completely changed radio.  But in my opinion, somewhere along the line in the last couple of years, things seem to have changed.  The show is still great, but it’s missing something.  That something is honesty.     

For example, the fight in 2001 between A.J. Benza and Stuttering John was real.  However, last summer and again this year, there were several arguments back to back that seemed to be greatly exaggerated.  After each one, I list my best guess as to whether the “arguments” or situations were real, fake, or partly real but exaggerated. 

  • The Rev. Bob Levy complained on the Miserable Men show that he wasn’t getting enough airtime on Howard’s show.  Howard pretended to be outraged and a mountain was made out of a molehill.  Best guess:  It started out as real but was greatly exaggerated. 
  • Ronnie the Limo Driver got angry when Lisa G. asked him whether he was going to get a colonoscopy.  I’ve seen less fake outrage in a political campaign.  They went on ad nauseam about this.  Best guess:  It started out as real but was greatly exaggerated.
  • The argument when Tracy the intern yelled at former Stern staffer Steve Grillo seemed way over the top.  And it wasn’t worth it to have Artie constantly do an impression of her rant.  Best guess:  It started out as real but was greatly exaggerated.
  • When Sal argued over the selection of the Baba Booey song parodies, it was truly an argument about nothing that didn’t make sense.  Best guess.  It was real.  Sal would do this.
  • Earlier this year, Artie ripped Dr. Drew on the show for supposedly taking advantage of addicts on his TV show.  Best guess:  absolutely fake.
  • Gary Dell’Abate’s wild opening pitch at the Mets game.  Best guess:  fake.  Gary knew it would be good for the show to throw a wild pitch so he did it on purpose.  Plus, nobody could throw that badly. 
  • The controversy about Sal not being invited to Howard’s wedding.  Best guess:  real. 
  • Of course, the granddaddy of them all was when Artie walked off the show after getting in a fight with his assistant, Teddy.  Best guess:  I don’t have a good feeling about this one, and I could be wrong about this, but I think it was fake. 
  • Robin’s romance with Jim Florentine.  This wasn’t an argument, but I’m listing it here anyway.  Best guess:  they may have sort of gone out for a while but it’s a stretch to think that they had a real relationship.

The show is still mostly honest, but they need to be all honest, all the time.  That’s what made the show, not the outrageousness of it, contrary to popular belief.   

Even though I don’t agree with everything about the show.  It can still be great.  If there are any loyal fans that are reading this and are upset about it, just realize that you can like something and still criticize it because you want it to be better, or as good as it used to be.  Take Philly fans for example.  Please.  They love their teams but that doesn’t stop them from booing when necessary (although I do think their criticism of Mike Schmidt and Donovan McNabb was way over the top).  I’m a big Redskins fan but I criticize them because I want them to be better like they used to be.

Anyway, I figure this is a good time to put this up, following the Artie Lange – Joe Buck HBO controversy.  Another reason I write my blog is to publicize my other websites, including www.mikeneedsakidney.com.  Just being honest.  

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