All Howard Stern Ever Really Wanted Was the Legitimacy of Interviewing a Sitting President

Post-Scores Howard has his dreams come true
All Howard Stern Ever Really Wanted Was the Legitimacy of Interviewing a Sitting President

Howard Stern’s evolution from Lesbian Dial-A-Date Host to Respected Celebrity Journalist reached its apex today when President Joe Biden sat down for an interview on the former shock jock’s SiriusXM show. But was the unlikely conversation a misguided stumble for both men?

First off, what the heck is Biden thinking? Going on Stern isn’t brave in 2024 — it’s not as if this version of Howard Stern is going to ask the president if Ivanka Trump is “a piece of ass,” a subject that Stern and Donald Trump agreed upon in a 2004 interview. So who does Biden think he’s reaching here? Does he believe hip, young voters are listening to the 70-year-old Stern? I thought that’s why Biden did Smartless, a middle-of-the-road, left-leaning podcast that seems downright bleeding edge in comparison to this version of Stern, who literally phones it in these days.  

TMZ speculated that Biden might have been reacting to criticism in The New York Times that he’s been avoiding interviews, but a Stern chat probably wasn’t what the Gray Lady had in mind.

It’s much easier to see how Stern will view this as his shining moment, proof once and for all that he’s worthy of his wife and his daughters’ love. The guy practically spits on the old version of himself, writing in Howard Stern Comes Again that he won’t display books like Private Parts in his home. “I think of (those books), and of the interviews I did with my guests during those first couple decades of my career, and I cringe,” he wrote. “I was an absolute maniac. My narcissism was so strong that I was incapable of appreciating what somebody else might be feeling.”

But Stern remade himself, even going so far as (allegedly) directing staff members to scrub the internet of old clips where brothers fondled their sisters for cash prizes. Now it was his in-depth interviewing skills that made him a Radio Hall of Famer (not that he’d want to belong to a club that would have him as a member). “These in-depth interviews — that’s what I’m most proud of,” he explained in his latest book. “It’s one of the things I want to be remembered for before I die of a noncancerous cyst.”

And now, look at Ben Stern’s little boy! It doesn’t get much more legit than this — except who is Stern impressing? 

His long-time fans don’t care much for this version of Hollywood Howie, an aging, insecure host looking to other famous people for validation. The r/HowardStern subreddit was noticeably void of compliments about the interview, instead asking questions like “You think he’ll ride the Sybian?” and “Do you think the President knows who Eric the Actor is?”

As for the content of the interview, who cares? Biden retold some old stories, Stern got to play armchair therapist, and Mariann from Brooklyn waited on hold. But nothing all that interesting, much less shocking, came from the conversation outside of Biden saying he was willing to debate Trump.

In the end, it was just a couple of older guys trying to make each other feel relevant.


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