Bill Maher and Howard Stern Deserve Each Other
The bromance is over — again. Howard Stern announced this week that he and Club Random host Bill Maher are donezo — again — after Maher cracked wise about Stern on his podcast. Talking smack about another celebrity as talk-show fodder? It’s a good thing that Stern would never participate in that kind of ratings-hungry assholery.
This isn’t the first time the two thin-skinned provocateurs have been on the outs. They were estranged for years until Stern appeared on Maher’s Real Time in 2019. “I had years when I didn’t talk to him when we were not friends,” professes Stern. “I did the show as a favor to him because we were repairing a relationship.” Coincidentally, that favor happened to fall neatly in line with his book tour to shill Howard Stern Comes Again. Amazing how reconciliation aligns with self-promotion.
But the on-again friendship is off again after Maher’s recent podcast remarks. Here’s Stern’s version on his SiriusXM show, as reported by Entertainment Weekly: “He took a big shot at me. Basically, he says, ‘Howard Stern always gets on the radio and says he loves his wife.’ I’ve never been criticized for this. He goes, ‘Haven’t we had enough of that? What about his first wife? I feel really bad for her.'”
“What a sexist thing to say. What a convoluted, nutty thing to say. He says it must hurt (ex-wife Alison’s) feelings that I’m in love with a different woman,” Stern continued. “It’s assuming that he knows something about my first marriage. That of course the man must be leaving the woman, and the woman must be devastated and be sitting around pining away for her famous man. He ought to shut his mouth.”
It’s easy to understand why Stern’s MeUndies are in a bundle. Who would want the state of their love life publicly called into question? But you’d think Stern would understand the bit. After all, “we’re alike in so many ways,” Maher said in a reciprocal appearance on Stern’s SiriusXM show in 2019, with a Howard Stern Comes Again cutout looming over both of them.
We see just how similar they are when we return to another segment of the Real Time conversation. Here's how hypocrisy can cut both ways:
Maher gets just as agitated as Stern when his relationship choices are called into question. “You don’t just judge!” Maher protested after Stern argued the comic would be better off in a relationship. “You’re not better or I’m not worse because you have a girlfriend.”
“You’re so angry,” Stern observed. Funny how that works.
In the Sirius XM interview, Maher admitted he’s vulnerable to attacks due to relationships that go south. After all, people can “take a shot at you just because they see you’re an easy target,” he remarked. “People do that all the time.”
And some people, like Stern and Maher, make entire careers out of it.