NY- A synthetic heartbeat pounded. “Join the revolution” scrolled across the screen followed by 1-888-9-A**HOLE. Farting sounds to the theme from 2001: Space Odyssey played for more than a minute. Stern’s new show featured a lot of what you’d expect (flatulence) and a little of the unexpected (discussing his yoga practice).
Howard Stern’s Sirius radio show had hit the airwaves.
After dealing with about 20 minutes of technical glitches that forced him to play music for the first time in years, Stern hit his stride touching on topics from his purported marriage to the war in Iraq.
Though technically uncensored, Stern used little profanity. However, he didn’t shy away from X-rated material peppered with bad language, and his staffers frequently cursed. From 6-10 a.m., we counted approximately 172 swear words.
Here’s a look at the top news from Monday’s opening show:
•After much build-up in the press and on the show, Stern announced that he had in fact married longtime girlfriend Beth Ostrosky. Staff expressed shock and outrage. Just five minutes later, he recanted: “No I am not married … I wanted to see the reaction around the room.” He continued: “Beth and I are on a roll. I am in love. She appears to be in love. It’s a nice feeling that we get along great. We don’t feel that if we got married it would enhance the experience anymore. We don’t want to f– it up.”
• Stern introduced a new segment called “Revelations,” where the staff anonymously reveals deep secrets and listeners and staff try to pair revelations with their confessor. Among Monday’s 11 revelations: “I cheated on my wife and she caught me,” “I have spent well over $10,000 on Internet porn,” and “I once had my stomach pumped for alcohol poisoning. And when I woke up in the hospital an acquaintance of the same sex was fondling my genitals.”
•Star Trek star George Takei, a frequent guest on Stern’s previous show, will be the new voice of the show. He’ll be live in the studio throughout the premiere week, and then will continue to do show voice overs. Stern took plenty of time to harass Takei about recently announcing he is gay, and prompted Takei to talk at length about his first homosexual experience.
• Stern attempted to contact David Lee Roth, his replacement on CBS Radio, to offer advice. When attempts were unsuccessful, Stern plodded ahead, criticizing Roth for not taking negative calls on the air. “If you’re that brave, confront the negative phone calls,” Stern said. “What he needs to do is not make it easy, and not make it comfortable for himself.”
• Though Stern did not use much profanity, he did take advantage of his ability to play X-rated sound bites. He replayed – uncensored – the series of dirty voice mails allegedly left by Insider host Pat O’Brien for a female companion. He played a sketch with David Letterman impersonator “Evil Dave” where Evil Dave was anally violated by a female porn star.
• Stern repeatedly, almost in excess, sang the praises of Sirius radio. “I feel that this is the culmination of a dream for me. (Satellite radio) represents a dream for all broadcasters. When management now holds you by the (testicles) and says there’s no place for you – now there’s a place to come.” Stern . He also said there was a run on the Sirius satellite receivers this weekend and that Sirius was delayed 9.5 hours in activating subscriptions.
• Stern hosted a yawn-worthy, 90-minute-plus press conference featuring national and local press. Among the attendees: Access Hollywood’s Maria Menounos, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Entertainment Weekly’s Gary Sussman. He addressed questions about his family, the FCC and the price of satellite radio (“Only 43 cents a day.”)
• In traditional Stern form, he poked fun at himself and made candid personal confessions. Among them: He wears a condom during sex with his girlfriend because he is not good in bed; he sees a therapist four times a week; he practices transcendental yoga; his favorite restaurants are Da Silvano and 66 in New York; he’s a big fan of the show Dancing with the Stars.
• The show wrapped with a heated debate on the pros and cons of men shaving their genital region.