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Whatever the case, the often larger-than-life antics that initially drove the show -- practically to the brink, no less -- are what turned the Queens, NYC native into a celebrity whose legend is still being written. As luck would have it, that celebdom ultimately propelled his show into becoming the flagship of the once-fledgling Sirius XM satellite radio. Yet despite his many successes, viewing Howard as an exemplar of the First Amendment seems a stretch, as it remains unreasonable to believe the Founding Fathers inserted Freedom of Speech into the Constitution so anyone such as Stern would be enabled to spew a brand of verbal pornography that even his most steadfast devotees sometimes struggle to defend.
Toward the end of his 30-year run on terrestrial radio, Stern claimed he hadn't fully implemented the kind of show he had wanted to do in a decade. As it turns out, many listeners and advertisers frown upon games like "Lord of the Anal Rings." Still Howard is not a man devoid of talent and congeniality. His interviews with exercise magnate Jack LaLanne, former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle and Senator Arlen Specter, among several others, were mostly respectful. Yet the self-described "beast" inside of him, which has kept Stern in psychiatric therapy for over 10 years, will always bring Howard back to his obstinately provocative roots.
Perhaps fronting a radio program that allows for the perpetual rehashing of innumerable life traumas has worked to his benefit. But judging from the quotes below -- originally collected by yours truly during the week of September 27, 2004 for a project that was eventually scrapped -- one has to question the kind of show Stern aspired to host, prior to his departure for satellite radio, if the FCC didn't allow for a leash long enough to suit his preferences. Maybe that question is answered by a list of his current advertisers, which includes AshleyMadison.com (adultery-on-demand website), Cheaterville.com (the opposite of AshleyMadison.com), and something called "Fresh Balls" (you can figure that one out yourself), which makes his Last of a dying breed farewell speech on December 16, 2005 more pretentious and comical than triumphant.
But I'll let you be the judge.
Note: You are likely to be offended by at least some of what you are about to read.
* "I'm wearing these tighter, sexier jeans, but I don’t know whether my balls are sweaty or what, but I've got bat-wings going majorly... I want to put talc on my balls, but I'm afraid of cancer. I know there's some sort of powder like cornstarch you can use for your balls... Wouldn't there be more warning about your balls getting full of cancer from talc if that was true? Like wouldn't you read that more often? ... I'm constantly trying to get my bat-wings off my leg."
– Stern expressing concern over his repulsive testicles
* "Did you take anything off? ... Did Jenna take anything off? ... [Did] you just start, like, rubbing against each other and stuff? ... Did you feel her boobs? ... And she felt yours? ... Did she touch you below? ... So did she touch you under the bra, or were you not wearing a bra? ... Did you get, like, aroused? ... Was your underwear wrecked?"
– Some of Stern's questions to television personality, Jillian Barberie, regarding her encounter with porn star, Jenna Jameson
* "Yeah what about that? How about that? How about getting naked in the studio and letting me bang you hard? ... Do you talk a lot in bed when a guy's doing you? ... Like 'f-me hard'? ... Still using a vibrator? Imagine if I gave it to you hard. ... I got enough man meat for you. I got enough man meat for all you girls. ... I had sex with my girlfriend last night, she had two orgasms."
– More questions and comments from Stern's interaction with Jillian Barberie
* "...and no fake boobs, I like it... I'm not a big fake boob guy... You've done threesomes? ... So you’re saying you would have a relationship with me that would be purely sexual... So how could I take you up on this? Let’s say I want to have sex with you... But now seeing me here live in person, do you feel maybe you don’t want to have sex with me? ... Oh I'd ride the Perry train, hard and fast. ... When did you have sex with the chick? ... Were you drinking? Were you doing pot? Were you doing hash? Ludes? ... Making a lesbian move is interesting. ... You mean, giving a woman oral [sex], you tend to be good at it... And then you did the guy? The both of you did the guy? ... When was the last time you had sex? ... If I was a hot chick, I’d just go out get some sex. ... You got a little vibrator? What, you got the pocket rocket? ... What about your rear-end? Is there any fun going on back there? ... Do you ever have any fun back there?"
– Some of Stern’s questions and comments directed at VH1 personality, Rachel Perry
* "I used to pleasure myself to her ten times a day."
– Stern referring to his admiration of the original "Catwoman," Julie Newmar
* "Yeah, I'd bang her hard."
– Stern commenting on "According to Jim" actress, Courtney Thorne-Smith
* "We're gonna work on getting the 'World's Largest Hemorrhoids Contest' on there, too."
– Stern referring to an upcoming contest that was to appear on his E! Channel show
* "Imagine me sitting there, waiting for my erection. Hours, hopelessly waiting."
– Stern scuttle-butting about the "low cost Viagra" e-mail spam he frequently receives
* "The religious Right owns him, and he likes it. He bends over for them, and he is their bitch."
– Stern glossing about George W. Bush prior to the 2004 presidential election
* "I wonder if those Desperate Housewives do anal."
– A comment Stern was apparently inspired to make just as "Desperate Housewives" star Teri Hatcher was to make an appearance on his show
* "G-d damn, you look luscious. ... I might consider having sex with you. ... Did I blow it when I sent you that sexual e-mail? Did that do us in? ... Your body looks awesome. ... When's the last time you had sex? ... How hot must it be, Teri Hatcher is like in her room at night, has no man. She gets completely nude, she's spread eagle and doing the vibrator to herself. How hot is that? ... As far as I'm concerned, you can never be too thin. If you were my girlfriend, you’d weigh four pounds. ... You have the most perfect set of boobs I've ever seen in my life. ... Are they fake? Did you get a lift? ... You're a C-cup, right? ... I wanna know what I'm in for when I finally have sex with you. ... I was so busy bangin' women after my divorce, I accidently, I think, might've even banged my ex-wife. I don't even know. ... Would you ever go lesbo with any of them ["Desperate Housewives" co-stars] ... Did you use a vibrator while you were married? ... Anal beads? ... So you went out and bought a gangsta dildo... Would you ever wear high heels if I had sex with you? Negligees? Dress up? We could videotape one another granted that we erase it? ... Oh man, I'm so aroused. ... Hey Teri, you wearing panties? G-string? ... Oh would I have just banged you so hard. ... When I'm doing you and stuff, let's keep the kid out of it."
– Some of Stern's comments to "Desperate Housewives" star, Teri Hatcher
And one final thought from the man himself:
"I've got a real f--king issue. I'm mentally ill, I know that."
– Howard Stern, from his April 2006 interview in Entertainment Weekly