What the Hell Happened to Howard Stern?
Howard Stern and his show have gradually taken on an improbable new dimension. Scattered among the gleefully vulgar mainstays are now long, starkly intimate live exchanges — character excavations that have made Mr. Stern one of the most deft and engrossing celebrity interviewers in the business and a sought-after stop for stars selling a movie or setting the record straight.
“He’s truth serum,” said the comedian Amy Schumer, who has been on the show four times in the last five years. “It’s like you’re under contract to be totally honest in there, and even though it’s being broadcast, it feels super intimate and protected, even though you definitely aren’t.”
By all accounts, the metamorphosis has been slow — the result of a combination of therapy, his second marriage, mainstream acceptance and a sixth sense Mr. Stern has about how to evolve with the times.
Mr. Stern, 62, has not dropped the adults-only material, and the freedom of satellite radio allows him and his crew to indulge an unconditional love for profanity. But he seems warmer now and his interest in people has never had greater depth or range. The interviews give the show a heft that it didn’t formerly have, turning his New York studio at SiriusXM into a destination of choice for those who a decade ago might have steered clear.
From “Confessor. Feminist. Adult. What the Hell Happened to Howard Stern?” by David Segal for the New York Times; Photo by Chad Batka
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