Howard Stern seems larger than life, and standing at a towering 6′ 5″, he really is. As a radio pioneer, respected author of “Private Parts”, movie and TV star, he certainly boasts the showbiz resume to prove it beyond any challenge, but unlike many a mega celebrity, he’s not so inaccessible to fans who listen to him daily and adore his uniquely twisted charm. Indeed, many a fan has grown up listening to SiriusXM’s ‘King Of All Media’ and has used Stern’s raw comedic wit to influence their own particular brand of comic instincts. Big Hollywood names like Fred Armisen and Jim Breuer – both Saturday Night Live cast alumni – are among the bright stars who point to Howard Stern as being influential in their professional careers.
When Fred Armisen, one of the standout comic talents on NBC’s “Saturday Night Life”, recently came into the SiriusXM studio to meet and be interviewed Howard Stern, it was truly a beautiful love fest. The genuine adoration in Armisen’s voice told all who were listening just how much of a fan he has been and is of Stern. Armisen, a gifted comedy chameleon with his gymnastic voice and arcane, silly body language, has become well known for his great impressions on SNL, especially of rock star Prince and President Barack Obama, among the many others which he’s crafted and showcased over the years on the veteran variety show. Armisen praised Stern during their chat as someone who influenced so much in his life – even helping to shape his political instincts about the world.
Artie Lange is perhaps best known from his days as a MAD TV regular, the take no prisoners comedy sketch show on FOX. Lange managed to not only meet an idol from his childhood – Lange started listening to Stern at the tender age of 13 – but got a long running gig from him as part of the daily Howard Stern show, as it transitioned from a terrestrial broadcast show to satellite radio. Lange joined the Stern wack pack in 2001 and left the show in 2009. Sadly, his public battle with his inner demons, fueled by violent bouts with his struggle with drugs and booze, have become juicy tabloid fodder. Lange now co-hosts “The Nick & Artie Show” – a radio show mixing sports with comedy alongside comedian Nick DiPaolo
Jim Breuer may be forever known for two unforgettable SNL skits – the incredibly bizarre Goat Boy and equally surreal The Joe Pesci Show. That the former is fictional and the latter based upon real life and respected actor Pesci, doesn’t seem to matter much, the bottom line is the comedy quotient is above normal. Breuer has co-starred in wacky feature films like “Half Baked”, opposite fellow funnyman Dave Chappelle, and he’s the kind of comic that stays with an audience long after an appearance. On a recent guest appearance on The Howard Stern Show, Breuer praised Stern as being one of the true, even historic luminaries of radio – perhaps going down in history as the most influential and cutting edge personality ever to grace radio’s broadcast airwaves.
Natalie Maines, lead singer of the country music super group The Dixie Chicks, isn’t a lady to not speak her mind. Maines fronted the music group to super stardom and helped snag thirteen Grammy Awards for her vocal efforts. Like the outspoken Stern himself, such complete honesty has gotten the vocalist in a few controversial scrapes herself, most notably in 2003, during President George W. Bush’s administration. A huge fan backlash happened in response to something she said while the group was in concert in London, England. Commenting on the then ongoing war in Iraq, she stated she was against the armed conflict and was ashamed that President Bush was from Texas. It’s not surprising Maines is a real Howard Stern fan and a friend of his as well. In a recent visit to Stern’s SiriusXM’s studio, Maines chatted with one of her favorite comedians and performed some of her new music.