Posts Tagged ‘Howard Stern’

How to improve the Howard Stern show

October 7, 2011
Here are some ways to improve the Howard Stern show. This was prompted because Sirius cut off my service for not paying, but I’ve been in a dispute with them because they’ve been charging me $2 for each bill they send. I think listeners should not stand for this. I’ve contacted Sal, Richard, and a bunch of others but they all say it’s not their problem. I’ve been listening for 30 years, by the way, longer than anyone on the show except for Howard, Robin, and Fred.
By the way, I don’t care about being cut off now because the show is on vacation again. I write articles, so why don’t I just cut and paste and reprint old articles?
  1. Tell Howard to actually do a cutting edge interview like he used to instead of kissing ass to everyone.  Howard is more of an ass-kisser now than Letterman.
  2. Tell Howard it’s AERO-Smith, not ARROW-Smith.
  3. Get rid of whiny, uninteresting, awful Lisa G.
  4. Have more comedians sit in on the news like the old days – Gilbert Gottfried, Richard Lewis, Norm MacDonald.
  5. More strippers, but with interesting angles like the old days.
  6. More Evil Dave and the guy who imitates Schwarzenegger.
  7. Less George Takei. He’s unbelievably boring and Howard overrates him because he liked Star Trek.
  8. Hire someone for Howard 100 News who is either under 70, interesting, or both.
  9. Bring back the roasts. Comedy Central stole your idea.
  10. Tell Howard not to go on vacation every other day.
  11. Don’t play commercials on both channels at once.
  12. More Sour Shoes.
  13. More Fred.
  14. Gary needs to show his personality more like the old days. He’s gotten fat and complacent.
  15. Less Shuli, J.D., Benji, Will Murray, and Jason Kaplan. You couldn’t imagine five more boring people. Stuttering John and Jackie were a lot more interesting.
  16. This has been going on for many years, but less Dancing with the Stars and American Idol.
  17. More prank calls from Sal and Richard. Where have they been?
  18. Get rid of Jay Thomas show, Geektime, What’s Worth Watching, the Intern Show.
  19. Keep Black on Black.

Howard Stern show won’t stop promoting “Private Parts” movie during “History of Howard Stern” – has show jumped shark?

July 10, 2011

For more than a week now the Howard Stern show has been on vacation. That’s fine, but it’s completely bizarre that they have played almost nothing other than the parts of the History of Howard Stern that relate to the movie “Private Parts.”  The only other things they have played have been Fred’s argument with his wife and the Jesus Twins’ appearance, and probably a few more.  The movie was good, but it’s shameless self-promotion to devote almost an entire week to the Private Parts movie.  It just sounds really bad to hype it so much. If we can’t get the show live, at least play Stern on both channels. If you have to play History of Howard Stern, play other things besides “Private Parts.” It’s not like that was the only thing that happened in the history of the show. Howard’s arms must be injured from patting himself so much on the back.

Howard Stern: Get rid of the Phony Outrage

October 21, 2009

Howard Stern has been pretending to be mad at Stuttering John of Jay Leno’s Tonight show lately because John supposedly stole his bit of having a chicken pick NFL games.  But long before Howard did that bit, Washington, DC sportscaster Glenn Brenner was having an elephant pick games.  This happened in the 1980s, and Howard was in Washington from 1981 to 1982 at DC-101.  I’m pretty sure Glenn had not started the elephant bit when Howard was still there.  Anyway, I have a lot of those old Channel sportscasts on tape.  So I’m not saying Stern stole it from Brenner, but at a minimum, Brenner was clearly doing this bit 15 years before Stern did.  I also include a couple of blog entries:

From http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2008/04/25/DI2008042503005.html: Easton, Md.: Your “monkey” stunt brings to mind the elephant prognosticator used by the late, great Glenn Brenner to pick NFL games. Each week Glenn would ask a celebrity guest to pick each week’s winning teams, with the winner receiving a donation to his or her favorite charity. One year the winner was a 90 year old cloistered nun! But far and away the best was his use of a trained elephant. He put the helmets of the 2 teams side by side, and the elephant would indicate his choice with his trunk.

http://dc.metblogs.com/2006/01/14/remembering-glenn-brenner/:  Also popular was the guest prognosticators segment featuring celebrities, local and national, as well as an elephant.

Brenner was one of the funniest people I’ve ever seen — possibly the funniest person I’ve ever seen in my life besides myself when I’m on (kidding).  I put him right up there with David Letterman from the 1980s.  (In the 1990s and beyond, Letterman seemed to jump the shark for me as he just wasn’t cutting edge anymore, and started being too nice to his guests – sounds a lot like the road Howard has taken).  Brenner made sports interesting and funny.  He was way ahead of his time.  His humor was a lot more genuine and spontaneous than the smug one-liners that ESPN anchors are known for.  He was in another universe than someone like Tony Kornheiser, who thinks that he is the funniest guy out there.  (Though, back in the day, when Kornheiser wrote columns, he was actually very funny – about 25 years ago).  The rapport Brenner had with his news anchors Gordon Peterson and Maureen Bunyan was unbelievable.

Check out some of the youtube clips (unfortunately there are only a few and they only begin to show Glenn’s humor): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxFBvGI_iW8&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo_Zu_uiSQc&feature=related

I have tons of Channel 9 sportscasts from the 1980s on betamax somewhere.

In interned at Channel 9 sports during the summer of 1988, though Glenn was actually off about half of that summer on vacation.  On January 12, 1992, the Redskins beat the Lions 41-10 in the NFC Championship game.  After the game, I was standing about 10 feet away from Joe Gibbs in the locker room when he said the game ball was for Glenn Brenner, who was in the hospital because of an inoperable brain tumor.  Glenn died a couple of days later at 44.  He had collapsed two months earlier while running in the Marine Corps Marathon.

The 1980s was a golden era for Washington TV sportscasters.  Glenn Brenner at Channel 9, George Michael at Channel 4, Frank Herzog at Channel 7, and Bernie Smilovitz at Channel 5 were all stars and great at what they did.  Nobody knows or cares who the current anchors are.

Stern is right that he changed radio and spawned many imitators.  But remember that Glenn did the animals picking NFL games bit first.

Scrap Howard 100 News from the Howard Stern show

August 22, 2009

Howard 100 News.  The concept just doesn’t work for me, and neither do the reporters.  I’d rather have more of the show, and Robin already does enough news.  As for news about the show, most of it is incredibly dull – they make stories out of nothing.  All four of the reporters are boring.  Lisa G has a whiny voice and she never says anything about her personal life.  Ralph Howard is really old and his style doesn’t fit the show.  I’m pretty sure Howard has him on for nostalgia – I think he had an earlier connection to the show.  Shuli is so boring in his style.  He has this monotone delivery that isn’t funny at all.  The questions he asks as well as his interviewees are decidedly minor league.  Who cares what J.D. thinks about anything?  Finally, Steve Langford.  He’s mildly interesting at times but the jingle is old, his overly exaggerated deep voice, alliteration, and pit bull style just aren’t very funny.  You could get rid of the entire Howard 100 News team or at least two of the four, and do other stuff instead of killing time.

Howard Stern: Bring back the Creativity

August 22, 2009

One of my favorite parts of the Howard Stern show has always been the prank calls they play – from the old Captain Janks calls to the current ones by Sal and Richard.  A year or two ago, their calls were amazing.  They can be incredibly creative.  The best was when Richard called a woman using two voices simultaneously.  The problem is that two years ago, the stuff Howard was rejecting because it wasn’t quite good enough to make the air was still very funny.  Now many of the bits that make the air just aren’t that funny, and there aren’t very many of them.  It used to be that there were some funny bits on the “Jack and Rod” show done by Sal and Richard that Howard wouldn’t play at first but would occasionally say, “These were the ones that didn’t make the air.”  Now, the ones that do make the air aren’t even as good as those from two years ago that didn’t.

Howard Stern: Bring Back the Honesty

June 17, 2009

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.  

Artie Lange, Joe Buck, and Howard Stern

June 17, 2009

I’ve been holding this blog for a while, but now seems a good time to post it following the Artie Lange – Joe Buck controversy.  Artie went nuts on Buck’s inaugural show on HBO.  It was kind of a horror show, but I have to admit, some of it was funny, and some of it was riveting, though some of it was also awkward.  I do give Artie credit for being outrageous, but Stern himself is smarter, wittier.  Lange is being somewhat of a caricature.   

Anyway, Stern fans, let me say again, as I say on my other Stern blog entry, that the reason I can criticize the show like this is because I have been a big fan of the show for more than 25 years.  (I also write blogs partly to drive traffic to my websites, such as http://www.mikeneedsakidney.com).  Also, I don’t agree with everything on the show, so for those of you who may think some things on the show are inappropriate, I may agree with you on some of that.  I don’t like anything that is demeaning to women.  But I think the show celebrates women more than demeans them.  And I will admit, that though this missive seems harsh, Artie can sometimes tell a good story and it’s not like he never says anything funny.

Let me preface this by saying that I understand that a lot of fans like Artie.  I mean, a lot of fans love Artie.  But I just don’t get it.  I think the fat, drunk, druggie, tough guy, blue collar New Jersey guy act has been milked for all it’s worth.  Artie wants to be like John Belushi and Chris Farley.  Yes, we get it.  He’s always bragging about how he eats so much, drinks so much, goes to prostitutes, and has a drug problem.  He’s just not that funny at all.  He purposely eats a lot so he can continue this image.  Cupcakes and Hawaiian Punch?  Who actually drinks Hawaiian Punch?  You’re not a little kid living in the 70s.  He also loves the Italian stereotype, but he’s half German. 

He goes on too long with his stories, speaks too loudly, and a lot of his jokes fall flat.  Sorry, but like Howard, I have to be honest and tell it like it is.  Howard gives Artie way too much airtime, and Artie can’t tell a concise story.  Part of the reason Howard has Artie is because he needs a so-called tough guy since Howard was so into American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, chess, and he doesn’t like sports.  But Artie isn’t even a big sports fan.  He likes the Yankees, and he has decent knowledge of baseball, but other than that, his knowledge is pretty limited.  In fact, for someone who calls himself a sports fan, his lack of overall knowledge is astounding. 

I don’t believe Artie is still on drugs but he probably still is drinking.  Either way, they’ve milked all they can out of this.  It’s one thing to be self-deprecating but Artie relishes his image and brags about being a druggie.  Artie loves to talk about it all the time.  It’s as if Howard has gotten bored with the show and just wants to let Artie take over 1/3 of the show.  It’s getting really old.  Remember, Stern listeners are known for listening for a very long time, not just 10 minutes like regular radio listeners, so the show shouldn’t do the same things over and over.   They obsess over Artie’s problems on the Wrap-Up Show and Super Fan Roundtable.  This was old years ago.

I think the Stern show could do just as well by rotating comedians – Gilbert Gottfried, Richard Lewis, Dave Attell, Nick DiPaulo, Greg Fitzsimmons, Richard Belzer, David Brenner, David Alan Grier, Colin Quinn (he’s not doing anything), Greg Giraldo, Paul Mooney, Judah Friedlander (I knew him in school.  Well, barely – I played tennis with his brother.  I know, I’m stretching it on the celebrity name-dropping here), Norm MacDonald (though this might not work because he’s friends with Artie), Jackie Martling, and maybe a few others. 

By the way, I know Jackie isn’t a real comedian, and don’t try to say Artie is a lot better than Jackie because Artie’s role is to tell stories and Jackie’s role was to write one-liners for Howard and pass them to him.  Of the comedians I list above, the ones I could see replacing Artie are Dave Attell or Greg Giraldo, or slightly behind them, Greg Fitzsimmons, David Alan Grier, Colin Quinn, or Jackie.