Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Howard Stern still has it

Howard Stern's talent outshines all others. This morning before work I listened to part of Howard's interview of Danny Bonaduce and it was terriffic. The combination of Stern, who will ask anything that comes to his mind and Bonaduce, who will say anything that comes to his mind, was just outrageous radio. The best parts of Howard's show today, however, were later in the show when he interviewed Jay Thomas, who has had a radio show on SIRIUS (ch. 103, 2-5p weekdays) longer than Stern has but is better known for his many acting roles in TV (Murphy Brown, Cheers and Mork & Mindy). Jay had so many great stories -- Robin Williams and the crazy stuff Williams was doing around the time of Mork & Mindy; his experience of being fired from Cheers because of telling jokes in an interview about how unattractive Rhea Perlman (Carla on Cheers) was; and the fact that he was picked for the role on Mork & Mindy over Jay Leno because according to testing by ABC, Jay Leno's face scared children. A few interesting connections between Thomas and Howard are that Howard listened as an adolescent to Jay as a radio host, and eventually, Howard took over Jay's timeslot when Jay left radio for Mork & Mindy. Also, does anyone remember that Jay hosted the original TV show "Who wants to marry a multi-millionaire?" These interviews go on for 45 - 50 minutes without a commercial break, and sometimes continue after the breaks. You just don't hear this type of interview anywhere else. ANYWHERE.

In addition to those great interviews, Howard also had on the band Train so they could re-record the songs they played live on Howard's show back on terrestrial radio. Before the songs Howard interviewed Pat Monahan, Train's lead singer, and Pat's girlfriend Amber. Again, fantastic and compelling radio. Train then played a piano-and-vocals-only version of their hit Drops of Jupiter as well as a cover of Aerosmith's Dream On. Later in the show Train did a cover of Led Zeppelin's Ramble On as well as Train's new single Cab. Unbelievable. Great sound and great performances.

This was a great show, no doubt, but the amazing thing, and what drove me to write this post, is that starting with Train's appearance I listened to the show's evening replay after work. For three hours. I actually paused Howard's show while I watched NCIS on TV (unpausing Howard during commercial breaks), then continued with the show, popped some frigging popcorn, and listened until the show ended.

This satellite radio thing just might catch on. It's not only Howard Stern. The original, refreshing, freeflowing talk and commercial-free music are very compelling. I'm sold.

Related link: rundown of Howard's show today on Howardstern.com.


Tim G. said...

Howard is the King.

Danny was tough to listen to on his own show, and proved that you need to know what to say and not just talk to be interesting on the radio.

Howard has it, and Danny doesn't

Stern Critic said...

I agree completely. The show has gotten way way better since the move to Satellite.