He’s been called “inappropriate,” “crude,” and “enraging.” In recent years, he has calmed down and his format has evolved into an interview show that is less cringeworthy. Celebs love to come as guests because they can talk about anything. His savvy style has coaxed the most amazing stories from his guests. Here are some of them.
J.J. Abrams shared with the Howard Stern Show the time he had a back brace hidden under his shirt. He was making the first “Star Wars” prequel. He didn’t mention it to the crew, but the truth was, he had broken his back trying to save Harrison Ford.
When Abrams witnessed his idol crushed under a hydraulic door, he sprang into action. He told Stern that the actor’s ankle was wrenched under the door, twisted at a 90-degree angle. The iconic filmmaker engaged his superhero powers and tried to pry the door open. Instead, he heard a popping sound in his back. Later, the doctor said he had fractured his L4.
Howard Stern asked Jon Stewart about making “The Daily Show” amidst moments of political tensions. He wanted to know if the power Stewart had at that desk had any effect. Had he been threatened? Stewart replied immediately, saying he was called to the white house more than once.
The interview took place in 2020, so the famous political satirist was able to share some things. He told Stern that the cultural power “The Daily Show” wielded was not real power. Nothing changed. They didn’t stop the Iraq War, no matter how much influence the show had over the media, it did not have real power.
“Pulp Fiction” was not Quentin Tarantino’s first film — that would be “Reservoir Dogs.” But what is more important to know before auditioning is, this director does not like improvisations. When asked why, he exclaimed he was paying actors to say the dialogue HE wrote.
He likes to write dialogue, and it is one way his films are so cool. Tarantino dropped out of school in the ninth grade. He worked at video stores watching movies all day. And when he was 16, he lied about his age and got a job as an usher at the Pussycat Theater.
When Howard Stern hosted Alanis Morrissette in 2015, he absolutely had to know one thing. Who is the subject of “You Oughta Know?” He also asked her if she gets tired of singing it. To that she said, no, she loves it. But she refused to answer his burning question.
Stern confirmed with the singer that Dave Navarro and Flea from the Chili Peppers played guitar on the chart-topper. Yet she stayed strong refusing to name names. She said she thinks that revenge fantasies are important because they can pull people out of depression and devastation but she doesn’t believe in acting out of revenge.
Howard Stern named Conan O’Brien his “best interview of all time.” The honor came out in the radio king’s memoir. The interview between the two talk show comedians traced Conan O’Brien’s rise to fame after graduating from Harvard.
They also talked about depression. Conan opened up and said he had to get a prescription and that comedians often get depressed. O’Brien quit Saturday Night Live because of his mood. At first, he didn’t want to be medicated, but he told Howard that he’s glad he went that route eventually.
One of the wild stories Dan Aykroyd relayed to Howard was the time he was on track to be ordained as a priest. As a young man, he got into a seminary school in Quebec only to get kicked out for being a prankster. He said he lied that he wanted to be a priest to get into the prestigious institution.
The iconic “Ghost Busters” star also got into his friendship with comedic genius John Belushi. He talked about the tragic last days of losing his “Blues Brothers” partner at 33. Stern, the master interviewer, got Aykroyd to share the craziest times of making movies and SNL during its classic heyday.
Jim Carrey called in from his Los Angeles home to talk to Howard in 2017. He shared his first stand-up gig at age 15. It was a disaster. Club runners heckled him, shouting insults over his act. He didn’t go back to comedy for two years. Carrey also described his work with Homeboy Industries, a charity organization that gets ex-cons back into society.
Carrey teaches them transcendental meditation via his Better U Foundation, and he says it is one of the most rewarding things he has ever done. He led a class of 100 ex-L.A. gang members and joked, “I had one eye open,” but his voice trembled with emotion talking about it, about making a difference.
Jerry Seinfeld told the Stern Show that success is the enemy of comedy. Getting comfortable makes people unfunny. He also talked about a hilarious episode of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” with Eddie Murphy. They talked about how aggravation feeds their comedy. Seinfeld said he’s mean but he can also be nice.
He gets more laughs when he’s kind. He gave an example of it doing stand-up, “There are no important calls, you know why, because they’re calling YOU.” He changed it to, “There are no important calls, you know why? First of all, the people you know, they’re not important.” Shifting the punchline got a laugh.
Working on “The Daily Show” was a terrifying experience for Steve Carell. He came on the political satire program with no real interest in politics.
As a correspondent reporting to Jon Stewart, he told Howard Stern, he was expected to be an actor and an improviser and a journalist, but then, he said, none of those things. It was strange and very stressful. After four and a half years, it was old hat, but then he left in 2005 to do movies and became Michael Scott in “The Office.”
Drew Barrymore’s been on The Howard Stern Show several times. At a 2015 visit, she opened up to him. He asked her about the time David Crosby took her in as a 14-year-old. She recently emancipated herself from her parents and said she had to live there for two months. She toured with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and said it was “pretty wild.”
She ended up there after a hardcore cleanup. They forced her to be sober. After a year and a half, she understood her good fortune. “There was no way I was going to be me without that year and a half,” she told Howard and Robin. Welling up, the iconic actress said, “They saved my life.”
Howard Stern introduced Madonna reporting that she is one of four top recording artists in the world. She’s sold 300 million albums, placing her in the same company as The Beatles and Elvis.
She loves art and the first work she purchased was a Freida Kahlo self-portrait. She told Howard and Robin about how she lost a few of her favorite paintings. It was when she was dating Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Madonna fell in love with Basquiat. She loved the street art legend immensely. Unfortunately, he made her give his art back. She regrets it deeply because he painted over every canvas in black.
Howard Stern talked to Kathy Griffin about one of her craziest antics. She posted a photo of Donald Trump on Twitter that was graphic. It showed her holding a gruesome representation of the new president's head. People freaked.
It was just a joke, but Hollywood turned its back on Griffin. She lost the New Year’s Eve gig with Anderson Cooper. She went on the no-fly list. It was a bad year. A few friends stayed loyal, like Jim Carrey, Bette Midler, and Jamie Foxx.
Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. spoke endearingly of one of the last times he was with Marvel creator Stan Lee. He said they were shooting “Civil War” and Lee had a cameo as a UPS driver. His line was, “I have a package for Tony Stank.” It was a funny misread.
But earlier when Lee was delivering the line, he accidentally started to say RDJ’s real name. RDJ said, “It’s wild. Even the guy who created the character thinks of me in a moment where he’s talking about the character.”
Sofia Vergara hates working out. She’s a natural beauty and has never had to in the past, but now she’s finding herself having to work out often. She says she’s in a bad mood before she exercises, while she exercises, and after she’s in a bad mood thinking about the next workout.
The Columbian actress in her trademark accent joked about wishing she had silicone implants now that her real body is falling victim to the aging cycle. But Stern could not stop complimenting her on her natural endowment, a look he characterized as a tall yet petite frame and voluptuous on top.
Howard Stern grilled Arnold Schwarzenegger about his high-profile divorce. He’s got a way of stroking the guest’s ego right after pointing out a huge mistake or failure. With Schwarzenegger, Stern went on about what a major catastrophe “The Terminator” dealt his family, but then cooed about how the actor had a perfect record his entire career, saying the former California Governor is probably used to so much success.
His divorce from Maria Shriver was one of the worst Hollywood scandals ever. And Stern got the actor to get into the dirty details. He talked about seeing a therapist and said it was a nightmare experience. Schwarzenegger, clearly angry at the shrink, called the clinician, “Full of BS.”
When Amy Schumer was a young comedian, she shared with Howard and Robin where she got her start in stand-up comedy. It was in grade school. She said flat out she was “a problem child.” Her most common recognition in school was the title for “teacher’s worst nightmare” and “class clown.” She admitted to talking back to authority and said she said she had Saturday detention every single week.
She would blurt out the funniest thing she could think of and heckle her teachers. She disrespected them on purpose, but only the bad ones.
Paul Rudd stopped by the Howard Stern Show in 2015 and he dished a doozey. Rudd told the story about how he got dubbed “Donny the Dweeb.” It happened after he got a part-time job as a DJ. He was about 18 and did weddings and bar mitzvahs.
At one gig, he was in a funk and began dancing like a spaz. His boss grabbed the mic and introduced him as, “Donnie Dweeb.” It stuck. His silly jig became known as “the dork dance.” Kids would ask him to do it. He also talked about speaking with Stan Lee about the intricacies of the Antman. (Who’s a dork now?)
Howard Stern and Bill Maher locked horns and engaged in a bitter feud more than 20 years ago. It was during the buildup for the War on Terror after the Trade Center events. Maher, provocative as always, said something incredibly offensive to the US military and Stern was not having it.
He banned the outrageous HBO political host. Finally, in 2019, Stern invited Maher back to the radio show and they buried the hatchet.
When Stern had Jake Gyllenhaal on the show, he pressed the actor to talk about doing a love scene with Jennifer Aniston. Stern knew that Gyllenhaal had a longtime crush on the “Friends” star.
Gyllenhaal shared what happened when filming with Aniston making “The Good Girl” (2002). He said it was torture. He revealed that she used the “pillow technique.” She told him she was going to put a pillow between them. Problem solved.
Howard Stern has a way of getting celebrities to share extremely private stories. When he hosted Stephen Colbert, just as the Comedy Central host was taking over the desk at “Late Night with David Letterman,” he opened up about a painful family tragedy.
His father, a dean of medicine at Yale, and two of Colbert’s older brothers died in a terrible plane crash. Colbert, the youngest of 11 children, was left traumatized from losing a father he loved deeply and his brothers. He thinks perhaps the role of keeping his mom smiling with his humor shaped his dreams of becoming a comedian.
Robin and Howard roasted the actor who played “Star Trek’s” Captain Kirk for a full five minutes before he even entered the studio. Stern demanded to know why everyone he works with hates him. He played a clip of George Takei dissing his former castmate at a previous Stern show.
But Shatner brushed it off, claiming nothing the “Sulu” actor said is true. Stern worked hard to dig up old unflattering stories. He pressed Shatner about how much he lost in his first divorce settlement and that the proud man lived in his truck after “Star Trek” went off the air in 1969.
Stern kicked off the interview with Russell Brand asking about the time he took homeless people into his lavish estate. Russell found it funny because, really, he was hosting his manager, who happened to be without a home at the time.
Brand is a self-proclaimed “egomaniac and [...] narcissist,” so he tries to move toward his caring side by doing kind things. Once, Brand told Howard and Robin, he really did take in a homeless person. Partly because he wanted to prove that people are people, only lacking a home makes someone homeless.
Rock ‘n’ roll is dead. Lenny Kravitz and Howard discuss the shocking revelation. This was several years ago, and Kravitz suggested rock might have some life yet lingering, but admitted, “It’s in ICU.”
Back when the heart of rock and roll was still thumping, Kravitz said he called Madonna and told her he has her next No. 1 song. She listened to “Justify my Love,” and recorded it immediately. It was banned on MTV for being too provocative, so Madonna brilliantly sold videos of it at all the major record stores. It was Kravitz’s first No. 1 hit.
This interview took place before Gavin Rossdale’s life imploded. Before Gwen Stefani uncovered his... let's call it his side hustle. Instead, in 2014, he gushed about meeting Gwen when her band No Doubt was opening for his. As the frontman for Bush, all he could see was Stefani, despite thousands of his cheering fans right there.
Rossdale said it was love at first sight. He called it magic. Stern brought up the death of rock and roll and Rossdale agreed, saying it could not be in a darker shadow. Yet, he said it’s never really dead because the next album could revive it.
The first time Lady Gaga visited the Howard Stern Show was in 2011. She let him in on a lot of the meanings behind her songs. She sang “Edge of Glory” and said that it’s about her grandfather but also about knowing that we may not reach glory until after we are dead.
She sings, “...Live life on the edge, halfway between heaven and hell... let’s all dance in the middle of purgatory.”
Talking to the Howard Stern Show in 2019, Whoopi emphasized, again and again, how great it is to have a gig like “The View.” It’s a great day job with a major network. He complimented her on her Oscar-winning performance of the past, commended her for “The Color Purple” and “Ghost.” She has the honor of the rare EGOT, after all.
Nevertheless, he pressed her, wondering why she doesn’t do high-caliber work like that anymore. She told him that she would, but no one is knocking. But when Stern asked about the drama with Rosie O’Donnell, she only said infighting is just for publicity. ABC likes the publicity.
Howard Stern went on “The View” and said Rosie O’Donnell was one of his best interviews ever, saying a friendship developed between them. The panel was not impressed. They did not say it, but they appeared happy that Rosie left the daytime show.
Stern asked if O’Donnell would return to “The View.” She said no. There was too much bad blood between Whoopi and Rosie. “She was mean to me on live TV,” Rosie told Howard.
Jonah Hill's feature on the show had him confessing that Martin Scorsese is the best director he has ever worked with. He’s also fond of working with Quentin Tarantino and The Cohen Brothers, but for Hill, Scorsese is the king of all directing. Hill went to Scorsese’s house and asked for advice.
Sitting with Howard Stern in 2018, Hill talked about how his idol spent four hours with him, helping him solve all the directorial issues in his latest project. Another reason working with Scorsese is so great according to Hill, is that the iconic director is genuinely interested in how actors are going to play their parts in his films.
Talking to Howard, Paul McCartney agreed that The Beatles were better than The Rolling Stones. Stern, of course, pushed McCartney to agree with the opinion, but he had lots to say about the two British rock legends.
McCartney said that The Stones imitated The Beatles. For instance, he said, when The Beatles debuted in America, the Stones announced their U.S. tour soon after. Stern pointed out the Rolling Stones' album cover for "Their Satanic Majesties Request" looked very reminiscent of The Beatles’ “Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.
Michael J. Fox
Visiting the Howard Stern Show in 2013, Michael J. Fox opened up for one of the first times about how it was dealing with the blow of being diagnosed with a critical disease.
The first thing he did as a 29-year-old to cope was hit the bottle. After two years he got help and said it was the best thing he could do. He was getting work again and his marriage “got great.” He and Tracy Pollan have four children together.
Knowing Howard Stern is a big Batman fan, Adam West, THE Adam West, the actor who played Batman on the original television series, brought a big surprise into the studio. Unveiling it and handing it to the host in 1994, West revealed that it is the original cowl Batman wore all those decades ago.
The classic Batman mask headcover from the ‘60s TV show is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and West handed it to Stern to try it on.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
He collects a $100,000 check just for showing up to a couple of events over the weekend. Floyd Mayweather Jr. visited Howard and Robin in 2013. He’s amassed a massive fortune beating people up, but the host wanted to know more. What does it feel like to pummel another person?
Mayweather said he was in the “hurt business.” That’s what he does. He also talked about his brutal childhood. His father was a boxer too and held the younger fighter to a rigid workout routine. The world champion fighter has broken every boxing record.
While Ozzy Osbourne was enjoying his longest period of sobriety, a run that lasted nearly four years, he dropped by the studio for an interview with the King of All Media. He had some good news to share. Ozzy finally got his driver’s license. It wasn’t for lack of trying.
He took the driver’s test 19 times. He flunked it once by falling asleep at the wheel. One DMV agent flatly refused to get in the car with the Prince of Darkness. But after years of driving illegally, in 2009 he passed.
She does “insane yoga” and hangs with Madonna. Courtney Love came into the studio on a good day. It was 1998 and she was in a good place, doing yoga, juicing, being a mom, and staying sober. She says one of her best friends is Drew Barrymore, who is the godmother of daughter Frances.
She likes getting a chance to hang out with Madonna because she totally understands her Hollywood rejection issues. Madonna tells her things like how the history books about the 20th century are going to feature an episode on each of them.
“Better Call Saul” actor Bob Odenkirk shared with Stern the fact that he went bankrupt just before landing the “Breaking Bad” character. He said he got a phone call from his business manager saying he needed to sign for a loan. He had no idea what was going on and learned that the loan, which was for $900,000, was to keep him afloat after running out of money.
It was a huge break to get the role as the corrupt lawyer on “Breaking Bad.” At the time, he had not heard of the show, but Odenkirk was not about to be picky about it.
Howard Stern has hosted Donald Trump many times. He first appeared in 1996, back in Trump’s golden days, at the peak of his wealth. He visited often, the last time being shortly before the 2020 election. Trump asked for Stern’s endorsement, but the radio dude said no. He hasn’t heard from him since.
He loved having Trump on. The conversations were always provocative and sometimes creepy. Once, Trump described his privilege of being able to go backstage at the Miss America pageant and see all the contestants get ready. Granted, some of those women sued.
In the studio with the Stern Show in 2018, Snoop Dogg dropped an amazing real-life story. In high school, he was a top athlete in football and basketball. He probably would have nabbed a scholarship for college, but he joined the wrong crowd, got caught, and was put behind bars. That was where he discovered his calling.
He would compete in rap contests, two dudes rap and other inmates make the call. When he was released, he met up with hip-hop artist Warren G who played Snoop’s first mixtape for Dr. Dre at a bachelor party. Dre was impressed.
As a young comic, Rodney Dangerfield was so poor, he had a full-time job in aluminum siding in New Jersey while doing showbiz on the side. One gig was “The Ed Sullivan Show.” His customers all asked if that was him on TV.
He had lots of stories to tell and a book to promote. His parents were terrible. Dangerfield’s legendary. “Caddyshack” is classic. He is one of the most respected comedians out there, despite getting famous with the line, “I get no respect.” The 2004 show was one of his last appearances, he died that year.
Cardi B danced in a club before she reigned over the music charts. She told Stern about her streetwise beginnings and how she felt ashamed until she raked in $500 and more a night. She felt better about it but had to lie and tell her parents she was babysitting for a really rich family.
Stern wanted to know how she felt knocking Taylor Swift out of the No. 1 spot. But Cardi said her eye was only on the top of the chart, it wasn’t about her competition. She expressed love and respect for Beyonce and Rihanna, and she talked about marrying Offset. The interview is from 2018.
Samuel L. Jackson
Sharing his love of golf, Samuel L. Jackson confirmed his contract includes a clause allowing him three golf days per week on a shoot, plus proximity to a golf club.
The “Pulp Fiction” breakout star who became a phenomenally popular actor, says he is boring. Even more shocking, a 1990 subway ride found him dragged by the train. His ankle got stuck in the door on the way out. He needed knee reconstruction surgery.
Sacha Baron Cohen
He risked his life to film the climactic moment of “Bruno.” Talking to Howard, Sacha Baron Cohen dished the backstory to creating one hilarious scene. In the movie, he introduces himself as “Straight Dave,” reinforcing the image with over-the-top pro-heterosexual bravado.
“Straight Dave” is a fashion journalist from Austria who somehow ended up in a wrestling cage with a crowd of extras made up of 300 recently released ex-cons. So, yes, Cohen, in character, incited a riot by making out with an old ex-boyfriend who happened to be his challenger in the crowd. Chairs were flying, angry men with disagreeable tattoos on their foreheads raged. Cohen ditched them through a trapdoor to an escape tunnel.
This SNL original was one of the most beloved comedians in the world when she died tragically at 42. Gilda Radner, the “Roseanna Roseannadanna” creator was praised and adored by everyone at SNL. So, it was heartbreaking when she left The Howard Stern Show in tears.
In 1983, Radner agreed to an appearance, only to be berated by the uncouth host about her private life. Callers and Stern would not stop asking her about her intimate relationships. Finally, during a commercial break, the legendary comic left the studio. Stern was baffled and acknowledged he's perhaps so dehumanized he doesn’t realize he’s obnoxious.
Steve Martin’s first job was at Disneyland, a brand-new park that was only a bike ride away. Doing magic tricks was his first act when he was fifteen. He performed at his parents’ bridge parties or wherever he could get an audience. He wanted to entertain people ever since he could remember.
Martin is a comedic genius, but he talked somberly about quitting stand-up comedy. He was burnt out, falling ill with heart trouble, and hospitalized for sinus issues. He struggled to write a joke. Suffering in private, he never mentioned it but simply moved on to movies and other gigs.
Stern tried his darndest to get Charlie Sheen to talk about his love life, but, ironically, the actor seemed shocked, or at least overwhelmed by the explicit nature of the radio host’s questioning.
He told a wild story about why he stopped bearing arms. Once, he left a small revolver in his jeans pocket on the bathroom floor. When his girlfriend, Kelly Preston, went to use the scale, she moved his jeans and the revolver fell out, shot a hole in the toilet, and grazed her leg. It made him question why he would have such a thing around.
Bree Olson shared her frustration of being brutally betrayed by Charlie Sheen. She came by the Howard Stern Show, and it seemed like the wound was still fresh. It was in 2015. Sheen’s life was spiraling in spin cycle when she talked to Stern about how he hurt her. She said Sheen lied to her.
She also opened up about Sheen’s anger issues. She felt frightened by his violent ideations when she was living with him.
Howard anticipated this band’s visit for months. Finally, they came into the studio, bringing the entire band and a roomful of instruments. It was the day after playing SNL and Metallica just released their new movie.
They got into the criticism about selling out. Metal fans freaked when Metallica used acoustic guitars the first time, but frontman James Hetfield decided to keep them in. The band played background riffs during the interview. Howard said it gave him chills. Plus, they played live, kicking the set off with “One.” A headbanger’s dream show.
Doctors gave Tracy Morgan a 2 percent chance of living after being in a massive six-car accident. In 2014 on the New Jersey turnpike, a Walmart truck driver crashed into the van he was in. His friend and mentor, comedian James McNair, was in that van too. He didn’t survive. Morgan found out after being in the hospital for two weeks.
He told Stern he was given a second chance by god. The actor sued Walmart, looking for justice, but said there is no way to compensate for that level of trauma and loss.
MSNBC’s liberal queen Rachel Maddow surprised Stern about a friendship she had with Roger Ailes, a former CEO for Fox News. Ailes had recently passed at the time of this interview, so Maddow had a chance to tell her background with him.
She asked him for advice once and she characterized him as “gracious” and “constructive.” Ailes told Maddow he wanted to hire her. He said he’d pay her a full contract, keeping her from working anywhere else, but never allow her to go on the air.
The “No Doubt” singer shared her rollercoaster love story. She talked about the pain Gavin Rossdale, father to her three sons, caused her. The divorce left her deeply depressed but then she started making music again.
Meeting Blake Shelton felt like fate. They both were at “The Voice,” and they had both gone through a divorce recently. They were great friends and they fell in love bonding over their destiny. She put out an album called “This is What Truth Feels Like,” about her experience. They married soon after this interview.
Not long after Steve Miller was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he stopped by the studio. He told stories from the ‘60s. It was 1969, the summer of love, the first Woodstock rock festival, and Miller got the chance to jam with The Beatles.
The Beatles and Steve Miller were recording albums in the Olympic Studio in London. He watched them make music in awe. He was honored when George Harrison invited him to stay at his place saying, “Hi Steve, I’ve listened to all your stuff. Children of the Future, Sailor, they’re such great records.”
Remembering Prince, Sheryl Crow is humbled recalling when the iconic music maker called her up to say he really likes her song, “Every Day Is a Winding Road.” He even covered it.
She also discussed that in the early 2000s, there was a moment she almost joined Fleetwood Mac. She said she wished it would have worked out, but Lindsey Buckingham was not for it, and she felt right away she should just forget it.
Roseanne has stopped by several times. This time, she talked about making 20 cents for every dollar that her classic sitcom “Roseanne” makes on DVD. She said she’s getting into Kabbalah, out of fear of going to hell, and commented about her endless battle with weight.
Talking about living in luxury, Roseanne said she is happiest with ‘just’ a 6,000-square-foot home. And she thinks of those who don’t have homes. Suggesting people should give a third of their money to charity. She complained that she sees people living in trash cans while others live in mansions.
Addressing her famous moment tripping up the Academy stairs, Jennifer Lawrence said, “I would give anything to be able to go back and redo that moment.” Holding her Best Actress Oscar, she was so flustered she failed to thank several key people in “Silver Linings Playbook.” She had a whole speech but ended up randomly thanking people and then “stumbling off” to her seat.
Then she told Howard she’s getting a reputation for being clumsy. She broke a heel in England and tripped on a traffic cone a year after the Oscars. She thinks she is so constantly overwhelmed that she’s just not paying attention.
If you ask him, Kendrick Lamar will tell you he is one of the greatest rappers alive. But he felt like he was just a kid from Compton when he got to go to Prince’s Paisley Park mansion to meet him. The next thing he knew, Prince is inviting him on stage with him. He said it was a surreal moment performing with one of his greatest idols.
He had flown out to Prince’s place hoping to collaborate on a song for his next album, but getting to go up on stage with Prince, made him forget all about making the song.
Bono and The Edge
Bono said he hates listening to his voice and so he never listened to “The Joshua Tree” once it was recorded. The sound of his voice is “excruciating” to hear, plus the songs affect him emotionally.
The Edge gave the King of all Media a nice treat. He demonstrated the iconic opening to “Where the Streets Have No Name” in the studio, then shared how he put the song together. He said he first came up with a set of chords and built tune from there.
Led Zeppelin is rock’s most dominant group. The band of British rockers were so great in their day, Elvis Presley asked to hook up with them. The King wanted to hang out with the band because he knew what a sensation they were and wished to understand the buzz.
Robert Plant said that they hung out with Elvis at a soiree in his penthouse hotel room talking about music for hours. Plant noted that Elvis’ presence was indescribable when he walked into the room. “He just grooved his way through the people,” is how he put it.
In 2020, Charlize Theron talked about being single and having no desire to marry. She’s never felt lonely. She had no regrets about breaking up with Sean Penn. She is a tough nut.
If she doesn’t have a hardcore training regime to commit to for a movie, she’s not happy. She was nearly paralyzed shooting her first movie, and in “Old Guard” an injury ripped the ligament in her thumb from the bone.
When David Letterman and the King of All Media spent an hour and a half together, old-time stories came out. At one point, Stern asked about the time Letterman invited comic Don Rickles and himself onto the Letterman show. Letterman said that the idea of those two together was too much fun to pass up.
Ironically, Stern hated it. Rickles is known as the insult comedian, and the radio disc jockey found it sucks to be on the wrong side of Rickles’ jokes. He totally idolized the insult master but told Letterman that he’s only hilarious if he’s targeting anyone else.
A lot of people know that Ashton Kutcher met his wife Mila Kunis when she was 14 on the set of “That ‘70s Show.” Back then, it was more like a big-brother, little-sister relationship. Kutcher helped her with homework.
Stern talked to Kutcher about something most people would not know about him. He is astute in the world of finance. He helped fund Uber as a startup, so he’s made a killing there. He also admitted to enjoying raking in $700,000 per episode replacing Charlie Sheen on “Two and a Half Men.”
Kevin Hart’s mother was the strong one and raised him right. But when she died in 2007, it was devastating. She didn’t get to see his success. On the upside, his dad is by his side. Hart bought his father a house and put him through a program to rid him of his vices. When he was young, his father wasn’t around. Hart always sees the positive side of any negative situation.
He also talked about all the top comedians who showed him the way. Keith Robinson was his mentor, but he would sit around and hear the greats like Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Romano, and Colin Quinn.
They started punk rock, they said, but didn’t get credit. It’s a little tongue-in-cheek because The Ramones are absolute legends in rock and roll lore. They defined punk as being about the things that matter, “Passion, heart and soul,” not anger.
Visiting in 1996, Joey and Marky Ramone announced to the Stern Show their retirement. Marky said he did not want to split up the band, but that Joey and John did. The backstory was Johnny’s political views veered too much to the right. Oh, and Johnny stole Joey’s girlfriend.
Quentin Tarantino famously pays actors to say his lines, and his lines only, and Jamie Foxx can prove it. In a hilarious interview with the King of All Media, Foxx gives examples of working with Tarantino, plus a brilliant impersonation of the director. Foxx said that working on “Django Unchained,” he dealt with a “tyrant.”
The vibe was, ‘Do not [freak] my film up!’ The first time Foxx delivered his lines, Tarantino walked in, closed the door, and laid into the actor. It totally helped and Foxx said he would work with the tyrant, time and time again.
Sitting down at the radio show with an acoustic guitar on his lap, Ed Sheeran covered Coldplay and 50 Cent, but Sheeran also talked about writing one of Justin Bieber’s biggest hits, “Love Yourself.” He talked about writing songs and sharing them with other artists. He developed a close phone call friendship with Elton John, which grew into frequent FaceTime calls.
He talked about getting a Best Song Grammy after being nominated 13 times before. He flew his parents out each time. Before he was big, he was taken in by Jamie Foxx after doing a gig at the Foxxhole on SiriusXM and recorded some of his first music.
Sarah Jessica Parker
This is wild. Sarah Jessica Parker got fired from “Antz” (1998). She said they got rid of her because she was a “bad ant.” In the animated film, SJP was going to voice Princess Bala. She found out later the part went to Sharon Stone.
SJP was also axed from another animated film in which she was supposed to voice a cow. The interview took place in 2017 and she also discussed how difficult it was dealing with behind-the-scenes “Sex and the City” rumors because SJP said they loved and supported each other very much.
Billie Eilish and Finneas
The success of “Bad Guy” surprised everyone in Billie Eilish’s camp. One of her biggest supporters, her mom, didn’t expect the song to get what it deserved, and neither did Jimmy Fallon, who felt it was great right away.
Billie and her brother, songwriter Finneas, played a moving performance of “When the Party’s Over.” The pair, who took five Grammys home in one night, also made up a song on the spot. Howard picked an idea, and with Finneas on keyboard and Billie improvising some lyrics about sleep paralysis, they said that’s how they do it.
Daltrey talked about his contentious relationship with The Who cofounder Pete Townsend. Townsend wrote songs and played guitar while Daltrey only sang. The dueling egos exploded in a fight on stage once. Townsend went after Daltrey with a guitar, and Daltrey knocked him out cold. Crazy time.
The Who’s definitive song “My Generation” was written by Townsend. Roger Daltrey had trouble reading his handwriting and stuttered out the lines like, “F-f-f-f-fade away.” They were making fun of stuttering, but it stayed on the track.
The pop star shared her bonding moments with other female musical artists. She is very close with Joan Jett, and she tattooed a message Yoko Ono sent to her on her shoulder: “I’m proud of you, Yoko.” Dolly Parton is Cyrus’ godmother.
She’s also tight with Stevie Nicks who calls the younger singer “Smiley Baby.” Cyrus was really touched when Nicks allowed her to use her song “Edge of Seventeen.” She says Nicks gave permission to use any of her songs. While in the studio, she covered several tunes including Led Zeppelin and Courtney Love’s song “Doll Parts.”
Anna Nicole Smith
She said she loves the paparazzi. Her lawyer and companion Benjy was with Anna and kept Stern at bay with some of his crude questions. She was a bit on the heavy side at the time, and Howard, whose comedy isn’t above body shaming, struck again. He literally told her to weigh herself.
She talked about waiting for the settlement from her dead ex-husband’s estate. Stern wanted to know how it was intimately with her 90-year-old husband. Benjy objected, but she said he was very happy.
Eddie Vedder joined Pearl Jam in 1990. He had been discovered by Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Jack Irons. His connection also found him recording with Chris Cornell’s Temple of the Dog. They released the single, “Hunger Strike,” in duet. Cornell was already established in the grunge scene with his band Soundgarden.
Howard asked Pearl Jam’s lead man about the loss of Cornell. Sadly, Vedder said his death in 2017 came on the heels of losing his youngest brother a year earlier. Vedder said it took concerted effort to not let the double loss drag him into a really dark place.
Stern asked Neil Young if he’s still irritated about the filming of the movie at Woodstock. On stage with David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash, he was trying to play music and they were in the way. Apparently, no one had told him about filming ahead of time and he made his objection clear.
So, when the Woodstock movie came out, there is footage of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, but no Young. He still finds it funny that they had to smudge his name out of the introduction recording.
Jay-Z has a couple of Andy Warhols. He collects art and he buys what he likes. Growing up was tough in some ways, his dad abandoned him, and he says he uses his music and lyrics as therapy.
As a kid, he was on the streets a lot. Once, he was in a car that contained a large dubious supply in the trunk. The cops were waiting for K-9s to sniff it out, but the dogs were a no-show, and they were free. That was the inspiration for “99 Problems.” He told Howard you can hear the K-9 reference.
She’s a television personality and the other half of Wilson Philips with her sister. Their father is Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys. But when Carnie Wilson did the Howard Stern Show, he was cruelly disrespectful. She said he literally made her step on a scale and made fun of her weight on air.
The radio program secretly weighed her. The producer told her to step on a spot and then the number 233 came up. She had recently gone through surgery for her weight.
He went to The Actor’s Studio and has won accolades for acting and directing, including making the Oscar-winning movie “Silver Linings Playbook.” He and Jennifer Lawrence’s chemistry came out in that film. They work together great, but Cooper emphasized the point that the two would never be a couple.
When he visited the show, he was promoting “Burnt.” But he also got into it about voicing Rocket Racoon in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Stern confronted him saying he heard Cooper would not do Rocket for the second “Guardians of the Galaxy,” but Cooper said that was untrue.
Talking about projects Ben Stiller had passed up, Stern wanted to know which one Stiller regrets the most. It was an easy answer. The prolific actor/director replied, “Good Will Hunting.”
Stiller laughed at himself, recalling how he let his ego get in the way. When he got the script, he scoffed that the two young actors wanted to play the lead roles. As a director, he mused, only he gets to do the casting. He made fun of his hypocrisy that it’s okay for him to get attached to writing, but not Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.
Lots of artists wanted to make music with him, but Billy Joel is not a collaborator. He paired up in a rare move with Cyndi Lauper in “Code of Silence,” the only co-writer he ever worked with. Writing music for the Piano Man legend is difficult. He suffers while writing songs but loves when it’s completed.
By 2021, he stopped writing lyrics, preferring music in its abstract form. His last album came out in 1993. Amazingly, he was only 15 when he signed his first contract. He regrets not being able to see Jimi Hendrix live at Woodstock. The sanitary conditions were too disgusting, so he left.
One of James Taylor’s best moments was being in the studio while The Beatles recorded “Revolution” and other tunes from The White Album. One of his worst moments was running into John Lennon’s killer, Mark David Chapman, outside the subway station. The “Fire and Rain” singer said he was creeped out by Chapman’s demeanor – babbling, eyes dilated, and crazy-looking.
He spoke to the man for a few seconds. He remembered hearing him mumbling something about “John.” As he returned to his place in the famous Dakota building, he heard five shots ringing out.
“Parks and Recreation” funny lady Amy Poehler joined Howard Stern back in 2014. She talked about her divorce from Will Arnett. The former SNL comedian also got into her date with John Stamos.
She did not actually know if it was a date, but the two went out not long after her marriage went south. Poehler told the self-proclaimed, “King of all Media” that she could not get over how attractive the “Full House” star is. He had a part in a movie she was making, and he asked her if she wanted to hang out, but she was never sure if it was a real date.
Sitting down in the studio with an acoustic guitar on his lap, Chris Cornell described in 2007 how he wrote “Black Hole Sun.” He was driving home in his car at 4 a.m. and the whole song came to him. He kept it in his head on repeat. When he got home, he whistled it into a tape recorder, in case he’d forget it. He didn’t need that recording. It’s one of his biggest hits and he performed it live on the show.
Cornell stopped by again in 2011. He played a beautiful acoustic cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You.” Thank you. What a loss.