Why Howard Stern’s Staff Deliberately Created Offensive Moments To Get Celebrities To Run Away From Interviews

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Why Howard Stern’s Staff Deliberately Created Offensive Moments To Get Celebrities To Run Away From Interviews


  • Howard Stern’s shocking and scandalous radio career involved pushing boundaries and angering various groups and celebrities.
  • Stern and his team faced fallout, including lawsuits and management interference, but it nonetheless became the most iconic radio show in history.
  • The show deliberately created awkward and offensive situations for the celebrity guests, considering it a win if someone left the set.

Nowadays, Howard Stern is best known for his exclusive celebrity interviews. But simmering hatred for him lives on in certain spaces online. This is primarily because of the radio legend’s past. Not so much his personal past, as Stern has been in two long-term monogamous relationships and avoided public controversy. Instead, that’s what the self-proclaimed King of All Media did on the radio.

Without a doubt, Howard Stern was the most shocking and outrageous shocker in radio. For the first half of his career or more, Stern was not afraid to anger numerous conservative groups, liberal groups, government agencies and even his interview guests. Stern brilliantly managed to get some celebrities to reveal personal information that they later regretted, such as what happened to Wilmer Valderrama. However, he has also publicly shamed or insulted celebrities and even had them leave the show.

According to two of Stern’s most prominent staffers, Robin Quivers and Gary Dell’Abate, that was always the goal…

Why was Howard Stern perceived as offensive and scandalous?

During Robin Quivers’ appearance on SiriusXM’s Channel 101 show, Summer School, she revealed his true feelings about the Stern Show’s controversial past. The topic was heated when co-hosts Gary Dell’Abate and Rahsan Rogers talked about reuniting the staff after COVID-19. The events sparked much discussion about their past and offered a moment for reflection.

The things

“Robin, you and I talked for hours a few weeks ago and started thinking about things. And there was a topic that you brought up that really resonated with me,” Gary Dell’Bate, co-host of The Wrap Up Show, Summer School and longtime producer of The Howard Stern Show, said. “It was words like, ‘We were crazy when we were younger.’ We were crazy.”

“Yeah,” Robin Quivers agreed, remembering how they pushed the limits of what was acceptable on the radio… and in general…

Howard Stern and Stern Show producer Ba Ba Booey Dell'Abate
Via: Getty

Dell’Abate went on to reveal that he and the rest of Stern’s gang used their bosses’ “craziest s***” at the various terrestrial radio stations they worked for.

“And we were like, ‘What are they going to do, fire us?’ And then they did,” Dell’Abate laughed. “Even when we got to KROQ and Channel 9 and stuff, we were known for saying, ‘Yeah , we get it, we get it,’ and then we just did whatever we wanted. Looking back on it now, how do you see it?”

“It’s been our whole career,” Quivers replied.

Related: Artie Lange Praises Howard Stern After Quitting His Show, Rekindling Bitter Decade Feud

Quivers then recalled how he first met Stern and immediately believed that he knew more about radio and how to engage with an audience than any of their bosses. Although their employers were constantly lecturing them and punishing them for disobeying orders, she and Stern knew what they wanted was a fire in a bottle. And the ratings back up those claims. Eventually, Stern and Quivers became the most famous radio personalities of all time.

“It occurred to me that it would be better for everyone to shut up and just listen [Howard]and no one was doing it but me,” Quivers said.

Howard Stern and Robin Quivers
The things

As Stern and his team challenged the norms and did whatever they wanted on the radio, they faced consequences. This includes lawsuits from the FCC, which hates the sexual nature of his show. The management also had to step in when he wanted to perform various stunts such as Trick Or Treating at Woody Allen’s house during his famous scandal with Mia Farrow or shooting Johnny Knoxville while he was wearing a bulletproof vest.

Related: Howard Stern’s daughter Ashley pushed him to overcome his crippling disease just in time for her wedding day

But nothing stopped their rise. The Howard Stern Show has become the most iconic radio show in history. It continued to be successful when it switched from terrestrial to pay satellite radio. Of course, this is where Stern made his transition from shock jock to respected celebrity interviewer who still has a pension for inappropriate humor.

Howard Stern’s staff wanted celebrity interviews to be offensive

During their Stern Show Summer School conversation, producer Gary “Ba Ba Booey” Dell’Abate and co-host Robin Quivers talked about how controversial some of their celebrity interviews have become.

“I remember leaning on [studio] door as a publicist was trying to fight his way to get the guest off the air [because they were sharing too much]” revealed Gary Dell’Abate. “We were freaking out. We were crazy.”

“Absolutely, and just imagine you’ve done that and now you have to talk to publicists [when you book guests on the show],” laughed Robin Quivers. “You were that crazy guy who held the door and lied and baited and switched people so they wouldn’t listen to the show at a certain point. All those things we did to keep people on the air and get guests … it was crazy.”

Related: This is what Howard Stern’s youngest daughter is doing now

Quivers went on to say that they booked celebrities who had no idea what was going to happen on the show and a lot of the time they were trapped. Either they’d be put in a really awkward situation or sketch, or they’d be downright insulted.

Quivers and Dell’Abate recalled casting Star Trek star Nichelle Nichols in a lesbian skit or making Gary Buzzy inadvertently part of a male head injury joke.

Howard Stern's staff wanted celebrities out of interviews during his most controversial years
Via: TheThings

“Sometimes people would get it right away and stick with it,” Dell’Abate said of celebrity guests who had a twisted sense of humor or didn’t take themselves too seriously. But those who either had no idea or felt uncomfortable were the ones who really wanted to.

Why? Because the audience was always in on the joke. While celebrities hated it, listeners flocked to their radio stations.

“Those were always the greatest moments because it was like, ‘How do we keep them in it while they’re literally falling apart?'” Coovers said.

Quivers then continued:

“We were so mad that we considered it a win if someone left.”

“It’s like if we had someone come off the set — it was like, ‘Wasn’t that great!?'” We weren’t the kind of people who were like, ‘It’s good if it actually works,'” Robin Quivers admitted.

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