Radio shock jock Howard Stern has been regarded as shocking, inappropriate, controversial, obnoxious, sexist and vulgar. However, throughout his more than 40 year-career in radio, first on commercial radio and now ruling the airwaves with his own channel on Sirius XM satellite radio, there is one irrefutable fact about Howard Stern: he certainly knows how to conduct a good interview.
And throughout his 40 years in radio, Stern has had the privilege to interview thousands of the biggest names and personalities in the entertainment world, where the conversations were fun, exciting, revealing, and at times highly personal.
Howard Stern Comes Again
For his third book – more than 25 years since his blockbuster best selling memoir “Private Parts” was published – Stern decided to focus on his radio show and showcase some of his favorite celebrity interviews, which is called Howard Stern Comes Again (which has already reached the #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list).
The book begins – oddly enough – almost as a continuation of “Private Parts” and its best selling 1995 sequel “Miss America”. First he relates how reluctant he was to write a third book, until Jonathan Karp, the current president of Simon & Schuster, somehow managed to convince Stern to take up the pen again by presenting him an officially bound, printed and written prototype of the book. When Stern looked through the copy and began to edit and correct passages, it became the launching point for him to take the reins and turn this sample into a bona fide third book.
As well, Stern recalls how a cancer scare and his decision to undergo psychotherapy made him a changed person, and compelled him to become more self-analytical and put things into perspective; it’s this reflective approach that dominates the tone of this book, as it shows a more humanist side of Howard Stern that we are starting to hear more and more of on his radio show.
Howard Stern’s favourite interview
This massive (550-page) tome is a collection of some of Stern’s favourite celebrity interviews over the past 20+ years as they were originally broadcast over the commercial and satellite airwaves. It’s an impressive collection of A-list musicians, comedians, actors and journalists, such as Paul McCartney, Michael J. Fox, Madonna, Jerry Seinfeld, Rosie O’Donnell and Gwyneth Paltrow. Each featured interview contains an introduction by Stern, as he reflects back on the story behind each interview, how it came about, how it turned out and any repercussions. But when you read each interview, it shows Stern’s strong abilities as an interviewer, as he credits thorough research and preparation to get a better understanding of the interview subject in question, so that they can open up to him, reveal some never-heard-before details of their lives and turn into some compelling radio listening.
For example, Conan O’Brien reveals his hidden battle with depression; how Bill Murray mistakenly mixed up Joel Cohen for Joel Coen (half of the Oscar-winning directing duo) and ended up being the lead voice in the “Garfield” animated feature; when Stern got unlikely music star Sia to open up about her past suicidal tendencies, and broke down in tears live on the air; and in one of the more unusual interviews in the book, Stern surprised director Vince Gallo (who directed the universally panned “The Brown Bunny”) with a phone call from the late Roger Ebert, who was one of the critics who panned the movie, and Gallo allegedly cursed him with cancer).
Also, the book features a series of five sidebars that feature interview snippets dealing with subjects such as drug addiction, sex and relationships, religion and spirituality, and the trappings and price of fame. And as an added bonus, the book features 20 years’ worth of interviews between Stern and Donald Trump, as you witness the so-called evolution of Trump from flashy real estate magnate, to reality TV star, to presidential candidate.
Howard Stern – King of all media
Howard Stern Comes Again is the long-awaited literary comeback by the “King of All Media” that his multitude of fans have waited for nearly 25 years. If anything, it proves that Howard Stern excels in the media outlet that has earned him plenty of fame, fortune and notoriety. It’s certainly a far cry from the Howard Stern who was known for “Butt Bongo Fiesta”, the rather uncomfortable Stuttering John celebrity interviews and his fascination with lesbians.
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