I never used to be a fan of Howard Stern but over the years I have been slowly converted. It can be best summed up by this exchange I had with someone on the bus a few months ago:
“What are you listening to guy?”
“You still like Howard Stern? Dude fuckin’ sold out.”
“Well I’m kind of a newbie, I don’t really know-”
“He’s not funny anymore. Show used to be nuts. Farting contests, strippers, he didn’t give a fuck. Now he’s all yelling about gay right-this or adopting cats-that. He’s a sell-out pussy. I really don’t need to hear a week of George Takei, that’s not what I signed up for.”
Maybe that’s why I didn’t care for his show back in the 90’s. Fart jokes and strippers were never appealing sources of entertainment to me. A week of George Takei sitting in while Howard jokes with Seth Rogen before launching into an angry tirade about Sarah Palin? Perfect. In-depth interviews with Bryan Cranston and Anderson Cooper right before diving into a series of prank phone calls? Beautiful. Whatever the show has become, whatever it is that drove his disgruntled old fan-base toward Opie & Anthony or Adam Carolla, this is my cup of tea.
Though I will admit I missed out on his self-congratulatory annual birthday bashes with performances from David Bowie or antics from Mike Judge pretending to be Beavis & Butt-head. I never realized that was an old Stern tradition until the hype began to build for his 60th Birthday Bash.
…and boy did it live up to the hype. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and full house band (Train!) with appearances from Bryan Cranston, Robert Downey Jr., Louis CK, a roast from Lena Dunham, doing shots with Jimmy Kimmel, killer performances from The Black Keys, David Grohl, Aerosmith feat. Slash, John Mayer, John Fogerty and a surprisingly revealing interview with his hero David Letterman.
The radio event may have passed but a full video of the bash will be streaming for free on the official Howard Stern website, Monday June 23rd, starting at 6am. Take a look at the trailer:
If you want some highlights and spoilers, Buzzfeed did a cute little list of some of the crazier things that happened that night.