A year ago today Howard Stern came to Sirius. They now have more than 6 million subscribers and I say the show is better than ever. The New York Times has a quite prissy story about it this morning, hauling out the old red herring that Stern needed the FCC and enemies to be funny. Stern argues against that and so will I. The only goal is being funny and now Stern and company are freer to be funny. And, as he says, the real governor is not the law but their own taste. Do they go too far? Yes. And the definition going too far is now not that what they’re doing is illegal but that it’s not funny. That’s what all the pontificators forget about Stern: It’s just a comedy show. Anyway, happy anniversary, Howard.

  • I started listening to Stern in 1986 and listened to him until last January. I haven’t made the switch to sattelite. I do miss the show. I might have to finally breakdown and get the damn receiver.

    I’m not sure the show suffered in the last 5 years or so because of the FCC, I think part of the problem was losing some of the members of the show and content fatigue.

    But I do miss the show.

  • shouskee

    The show has evolved to new levels. In the past the commute was enough to satisfy the thirst for the show. Now the show requires the need to here the whole show. Thank heaven for having the internet to hear the show. (On fm there was no internet show and I did not get fm reception at work.).

    For the millions that have come along, thanks Sirius and the Howard Stern Gang.

  • duneview

    Another year – another jaw-dropping pay day for Howard.

    I doubt I’ll ever invest in the company, but this may be the year I may actually break down and subscribe. However I doubt anything could be more amusing than watching Karmazin and Stern (the Butch and Sundance of radio) raid the coffers of media, while leaving the stockholders holding the bag.

    After all, as Jeff observes, it’s just comedy. But that presumes he got out SIRI a year ago, while everyone else took a 40% hit.

  • Experiencing an allergic reaction to bland FM programming, I chanced across Howard on AM radio in 1984 (tapes of those shows incidentally ended up being played at dinner parties around the world). I haven’t heard the Sirius show but on the basis of intermiitent visits to New York, I have always thought that his broadcasts became very flabby and dumbed-down when he went to the four hour format. Although there was definitely a renaissance around 2004, the energy of the 80s shows has not been matched.

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  • Guillermo

    There must be something about Stern I don’t get.

    I have listened on many occasions. I love T&A like the next guy. I despise the same hypocrisy he does. So many of my friends love the show. And I fully understand the old “don’t take him too seriously, he is punching holes in our hypocritical attitudes about sex when he does Lesbian Dating” argument. I am also a straight man who loves the fact that with all the gay jokes, this is a man I genuinely believe to without an ounce of (or very little) homophobia.

    But how is this infinitely predictable perv funny?

    I am thrilled that those of you who enjoy him have access to him. We all need more laughs and whatever does it for you. The FCC should be ashamed of itself. I hope Sirius makes money.

    Does anyone, though, agree that when it comes to comedy and laughs, Dennis Leary (just to give one example) is infinitely more entertaining.

    I know that comedy is not unlike sexual attraction. Very idiosyncratic.

    But Howard Stern?

    What is the attraction to your average Buzzmachine reader?

  • I think you mean “canard” and not “red herring”.

    Wrong animal.

  • countertop

    I first started listening to Howard back when he was on NBC radio in New York. As a kid in elementry school, I thought the commercials with the old lady drawing devil horns on Imus and a mustache on him were hilarious. I listened, and was then sold on the show – with me and my friends brining a radio along with us wherever we went to listen in.

    When he made the switch last January I didn’t come along – mostly because I couldn’t justify paying for Howard. Too many years with free radio made me reluctant to do it. The Sports Junkies (Stern Replacements here in DC and the general sorry shape of radio) changed all that and I picked up a Sirius reciever as a Christmas present to myself.

    Listening to the replays Christmas week, I was a bit disheartend. First, it was VERY difficult to get clear reception. Frankly, the quality of the FM Modulator is so bad, its almost criminal. The quality of the assistance Sirius provides to resolve the problem is even worse. I detailed my problems here, here, here, here, and here.

    Right now I am looking at purchasing a hard wired FM modulator for $19 from Sirius. Folks, thats outrageous. They sell me a radio for $70 (actually 2), then charge me $20 a month for my subscritions, and if I want to be able to listen to it to drive in to work I have to spend another $20 (and do some considerable work wiring it in)

    That said, even though I have to lean over (and risk accident) in order to hold the radio at weird angles to get reception . . . the smile Howard brings to my face on the driving through DC traffic last week and this week has been worth the unacceptable quality of the Sirius technology and customer support.

  • echy

    I was there on the opening day and I have to say that the show is better than ever. On the rare occasion that I leave my receiver in the house; I resort to turning on the FM and eventually turn it off. I don’t know how people listen to that crap. The endless commercials, lots of static, boring hosts, or the same old music are ponderous.

  • echy


    I am out in Loudoun and have a wired FM modulator and my reception is fabulous. Good luck with it.

  • Bob

    It’s just a comedy show.

    Indeed. It’s just a comedy show on radio. That’s entertainment I won’t pay for. I like Howard’s show, but not so much to pay for it. I had listened since the mid-1980s.

  • Jeff,

    Happy Sternniversary. I upped my investment to the Stiletto this Christmas since my car radio subscription was about to expire.

    Gotta say the Stiletto is a very different way to listen. Since I live in LA, I have it record the show on 100 from 3am till 9am and whenever I wake up I just jump to the beginning of the recording, just like as if it was TiVo, which gives me total control of the show and ability to go back to it throughout the day if need be.

    Despite the fact that the show is finally at its peak in regards to naturalness and total freedom, the two best things about Howard joining Sirius: Scott Ferrell and Red Peters have a place to be their filthy selves.

  • Liz Matson

    There is a much better piece on Stern/Sirius from Sunday’s Boston Globe

  • (To “Fly Me to the Moon”)
    Fly me with balloons
    So I can meet Katherine MacPhee
    I’m a miserable midget
    Who is only two foot three

    I think he’s better than ever.

  • echy

    That’s entertainment I won’t pay for.

    I bet that is what you said about cable.

  • Bob

    I bet that is what you said about cable.

    No, it is not. I grew up in an area that required cable to receive any television.

    The amount of radio I listen to is minimal. The drive-to and -from work. Sometimes on a road trip. Why would I pay for those few minutes daily?

  • I’m a Dish Network subscriber who gets Sirius music but nothing else. I really wish I could get Howard and others, and nobody at Dish Network will tell me how or why I can or can’t get it. ARRGGHH!

    One DN chick actually said, “People complain about too many channels.”

    Go figure.

  • echy

    No, it is not. I grew up in an area that required cable to receive any television.

    No, your parents paid for cable to receive a service that improved on what was available for free. I bet you buy bottled water too.

  • Guillermo, if you like Leary than check out the works of the late Bill Hicks, the comic Leary stole most of his “No Cure For Cancer” show from.


    The FCC never made any show anywhere better except for signal quality and that’s all they should be limited to.

  • chico haas

    Bill Hicks was muy fonny. Stern is muy not.

  • re: “It’s just a comedy show”


    You *gotta* tell us the truth, now! WHY do you like that show? I asked a male classmate once what was the fascination with Howard Stern. He told me it was what men *thought* but didn’t dare say… (I thought that was funnier than Howard’s stuff…)


  • Bob

    No bottled water. I grew up on an island, so I am not certain what was floating through the air 100 miles from a city.