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Monday, January 9, 2006

Howard Stern

I want to thank Howard Stern for making my birthday the kickoff to his radio show on Sirius. I never listened to Stern regularly, though I did catch him on E! here and there in recent years. All the hoopla surrounding his jump to satellite has me more curious than ever about him.

The first time I heard Stern was on the way to high school one morning during one of my brother’s power trips — he was driving so he controlled the radio. I have to admit, I kept thinking, “Is this all the asshole does? Talk?”

Clearly, I’ll never be a program director. In fact, hearing him interviewed so much recently and realizing how many people now try to do what he does . . . I admire him in a way. I mean, he says whatever he wants, and has built an empire around doing nothing but that.

Nobody does that and has even a percentage of his success. I have this little blog, and I’ve struggled to just “let it fly” for fear of sounding like an idiot or crossing some line I’ll regret later. Other people who have “made it” have these thought out, planned personas. People who try to do what he does usually sound like idiots or immitators or both.

Call Stern whatever you want — except stupid. To go on the air for 20+ years with a freestyle format, and develop what he’s created, is amazing. Isn’t that the goal of every guy who sits behind a mic? Or behind a keyboard typing a blog, for the matter?

If you’re like me, your only taste of Stern will be online at least for a while. With Sirius’ NFL package, I’m actually considering making the jump. The chance to hear Stern any time of the day — I’m assuming — is an added incentive. But since this is also the two year anniversary of my lay-off, and I’m just now seeing a light at the unemployment tunnel, I’ll be stuck with terrestrial radio a while.

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