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Howard Stern’s ‘Ridiculous’ First Celebrity Interview

Andy Greene

Howard Stern’s new book Howard Stern Comes Again is a compendium of his best interviews with everyone from Lady Gaga and Conan O’Brien to Alec Baldwin, Paul McCartney and even Donald Trump. But as he reveals to Rolling Stone in this exclusive video, he wasn’t always able to land such big name guests.

In 1979, when he was a local disc jockey working a public affairs program in Hartford, Connecticut, Stern mostly interviewed car dealers and other local figures. But one day, his program director came to him with the exciting news that the radio station had landed an interview with Laverne and Shirley actors Michael McKean and David Lander as their characters Lenny and Sqiggy to promote their new novelty record Lenny & Squiggy Present Lenny and the Squigtones.

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Stern’s boss forced him to count down the days until they phoned in. “All I can remember is they called into the show from an airport,” Stern says. “It was so lame and so ridiculous and I’m carrying on like Lenny and Squiggy are the Beatles. I guess that was the first time I can remember interviewing a celebrity or celebrities and I’m sure it was god-awful because it was on the phone and you can barely hear them and they could barely hear me. And it was absolute nonsense. But I did it have Lenny and the Squigtones for you fans out there. Those are my earliest memories of interviewing people on the radio.”

For more from the radio icon, check out Howard Stern: The Rolling Stone Interview where he talks about everything from his relationship with Donald Trump to the interviews from his past he feels he hopelessly botched to his feelings about former sidekick Artie Lange and who he might book on his final radio broadcast. 

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