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Old Stern, New Stern, Rich Stern, Blue Stern

Howard Stern debuted this morning on pay radio, and even his new phone number, 888-9ASSH---, is designed to stick it to old-fashioned broadcast radio (and I suppose to family newspapers, too).

Stern's maiden voyage on pay radio sounded an awful lot like his shows over the past decades, but for the dozens of F words and other explicit bits that would have the Federal Communications Commission racking up the fines were he still on the open airwaves.

Stern aired with no commercials and proudly announced that he could hold his bladder and keep yammering throughout his show. Today's edition was All Things Scrotal and All Things Vaginal and yet it felt hardly outrageous at all, but just more of the same faux outrageousness that has kept Stern going in recent years.

"If it's just the F Word, then it's just pornography," Stern said, and he promised to be more clever than ever, with shows on his two 24-hour channels such as Crack Whore View, in which "four real crack whores" will chat about the same topics made boring on the TV talk show The View.

"I control my universe," Stern said proudly of his new home, and he seems to have brought a number of his fans into that $13 a month pay universe, as callers phoned in with the usual blend of sycophancy and naughty bits.

Of course, Stern remains a master of radio, and this morning he offered listeners 11 revelations, juicy bits about himself and his cast members, with no names attached.

So we learned that somone spent more than $10,000 on Internet porn and someone else pleasured himself with meat and vegetables, and we'll get to hear just who did these things...next week. Even in an ultra-explicit, anything-goes radio universe, it's the tease that counts.

Oh, and by the way, Stern did not get married.

There, I've just saved you this month's $13 subscription fee.

By washingtonpost.com |  January 9, 2006; 2:09 PM ET
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