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Op-Ed: Howard Stern – By Bob Lefsetz

He was so NICE!

The highlight of last year occurred…

When I was at this surgeon’s house to see Leon Bridges, a benefit for MusiCares. I was not planning to go, but Lisa said it would end by 9:15, and there was no way I was gonna fall asleep before that.

You see the next morning I was going to be on the Howard Stern WrapUp Show.

So, we’re hanging, it’s me, Lisa, Michael McDonald and Jimmy Kimmel. And Michael got distracted and there was a moment of silence so I told Jimmy I was going to do his buddy’s radio show the next morning, he and Howard are best friends. And Jimmy looked at me quizzically and said “They can do that?” And I told him they’d sent me a suitcase and you hooked it up to the internet and Jimmy said…ARE YOU A MEMBER OF THE WACK PACK?

And then Michael re-entered the conversation.

And I’m standing there thinking Jimmy doesn’t understand, he thinks I’m some oddball and I must set the record straight.

So when a break in the conversation occurred, I told Jimmy I was gonna be on because I wrote this newsletter that Howard gets.

And Jimmy leans back, looks me in the eye and says…YOU’RE BOB LEFSETZ! HOWARD TALKS ABOUT YOU ALL THE TIME!

It’s the little things that keep you going. Money counts, but experiences like this are priceless.

Still, Howard’s a noted recluse, and the last thing I want to do is come across as a creepy fan, so…

I was anxious about the interaction, assuming I’d get to meet him at all. But when we got off the elevator, Steve Brandano told us that Howard wanted to say hi, just before the WrapUp Show began.

And they put you in a green room with your name on the door and it’s funny, being on the Stern Show is the epitome of cool. The mainstream media writes about Jimmy Fallon, but he’s a kiss-ass in a world where people are struggling to get by and only Howard speaks the truth.

And after Bababooey came in to discuss Oldchella, I saw Ronnie Mund through the door. I asked him if he could let me into the bathroom, the same one Beetlejuice crapped all over. I said, “Ronnie…” Like we were old buddies, like we saw each other every day.

And then Steve said to get ready, Robin was winding up the news, the show could end in five minutes…or maybe twenty.

It was closer to twenty when Felice and I were escorted into the inner sanctum. It’s dark, Howard’s behind a bank of monitors, and he looks me in the eye and SMILES!

I immediately notice the dental work, perfect, unlike Gary’s caps.

And I’m wondering, how do I start?

But Howard did. He wanted to know whether I wrote in advance, and after telling him no, that it was all based upon instant inspiration, I apologized for there being too much. But then Howard said he kept them in a folder and he read them all and he’s still smiling and I don’t want to be his friend, I don’t need to be his friend, and I know famous people are different than you and me, but he was so open and warm so…

We continued to talk.

About being sixty. About focusing on what we’re good at.

And then Howard started giving me advice. Well, not really, he wondered if I ever thought of including images, spicing up the mailing, and after indicating that I’d just recently considered this…

Steve came in and said we had to go, the WrapUp Show was gonna start…

I was worried we wouldn’t connect, that there wouldn’t be enough to say, but it was free and easy and stimulating, like someone from summer camp I really connected with, I was feeling all warm and fuzzy and…

Then I was in the studio for the WrapUp Show. Where there were six of us around the table, I never knew it took so many people to make radio.

And we talked about Oldchella. I asked John about “Hit ’em with the Hein.” Gary talked about skipping his best friend’s wedding because Howard was doing a pay-per-view and…

I felt like I could stay there all day, like I wanted to bring my sleeping bag and camp out. It was so much FUN!

Grow old enough and you realize it’s solely about people, the hang, being a member of the group. First and foremost, working for Howard Stern is A BLAST!

We conversed for forty minutes, took a couple of phone calls, I did most of the talking, getting to stretch out just like a guest with Howard and then…

It was done. I cut a promo, we went out to reception and…

I was walking on air.

So what did I learn?

That if you work hard enough and long enough, people will recognize you and opportunities will arise. Not only with Howard, but myself…I’M ON THE SHOW!

Next, that you can never pre-judge a celebrity. They’re all just people, and until you’ve been face to face, you’ve got no idea who they really are.

And third, that everybody there thinks they’re playing for the Yankees, and Howard feels a responsibility to take care of them, to make sure everybody gets paid, even though he hates having to be their father.

Oh, and all the crazy interaction happens on-air. There are no private conversations, Howard doesn’t ridicule Gary off mic, only on.

And there’s a whole subculture.

And you may not care, but so many do. Howard Stern eclipses the vaunted Fallon in listeners. He’s the number one promotion outlet, not only because he has an audience, but because his listeners are passionate, people partake, otherwise why would I have bought the Lenny Dykstra book?

And to tell you the truth, I’m still high. We finished five hours ago but…

I’ve been in the zone ever since. Kinda like the first time you had sex. You jumped a hurdle, it felt so good, and the first thing that crossed your mind was…