In order to set the tone for all the content that is about to come, I thought that it would make sense to kick-off with my first (and thus far only) Howard Stern Superfan Story.
I’ve listened to Howard since I was in high school when I’d listen to his show in a ’72 Nova on the way home from school with my friends.
Once high school was over and I went to college outside Stern’s radio coverage area and I couldn’t wait for the summer so that I could take a plumbing assistant job and listen to Howard all morning. I had always admired his sense of humor, honesty, and way of making me feel like part of the show.
This admiration led me to wake up one cool, April morning in Albany, New York and do my best to see Howard win the nomination for governor of New York.
The atmosphere outside the Italian American Center in Albany was electric. After slugging down a few freshly mixed Bloody Marys in a parking lot littered with hundreds of other Stern fans. There was “Melrose” Larry Green, The Jesus Twins strolling around singing songs and playing guitar and Miss Albany from the New Years Eve Show. I positioned myself in front of Howard’s bus while he addressed the crowd.
Although his comments were everything you would expect to hear from Howard, I heard determination in his voice. It seemed that Howard really wanted the governorship.
As his crew exited the bus and headed into the Italian-American Center to attend the nomination proceedings, I latched onto the end of the line. Feeling like a true wack-packer (a wack-packer is a Stern Show guest that typically has some physical or mental challenge but is a dedicated Howard Stern fan), I marched into the secured building behind Howard’s staff, Fred Norris, Baba Booey, Jackie the Jokeman, and the Stern entourage.
Once inside, Howard addressed the crowd while live on the air, and that was the moment when I had my one and only interaction with Howard.
As Howard addressed the crowd, he seemed to be searching for the right words to describe his gubernatorial run. During his rant, as I stood in front of Fred and Jackie, Howard seemed to be searching for someone to compare himself to. It was April 23, 1994, one day after President Nixon died. Knowing that Howard liked to relate to current events, I blurted, “Like Nixon!”
Howard glanced in my direction and belted out something along the lines of “Yes, like Richard Nixon.”
For years, I had heard Jackie and Fred feed Howard lines from behind the scenes and thought that I could be there with them. That day, I was there, and had a split second interaction with Howard that ended up on air. Man, I would love to have a copy of the audio of that show so that I could see if my memory is in line with reality.
What’s Your Stern Superfan Story?
Do you have a Stern Superfan Story? Be a part of my next book! I ran into a lot of Howard fans during the writing of Stern Rules! and many of them had stories of inspiration that sprang from listening to Howard.
It occurred to me that there are a million stories and that they’re interesting to fans of the show, so we decided to collect them and if we got enough interest, we could publish them. Submit Yours Here