Howard Stern Birthday Bash: Superfan Favorite Moments
by Tanya Edwards (Super Fan)
There is much so say about Howard's Birthday Bash, which was likely the party of a lifetime for the fans and celebs in attendance, but while seeing Robert Downey Jr. was really cool, there were so many special and exciting moments for fans. From JD's date Megan, to Rob Zombie opening the evening with "American Nightmare," this was a party for the fans. This is one Superfan's (me!) take on Howard's big night.
Meeting Megan (JD's Date)
I was lucky enough to get to the bash early while the crew was still setting up, and watched from the lobby as celebs, Wack Packers and staff came into the Hammerstein Ballroom after walking the red carpet. I talked to Megan, the winner of "Win a Date with JD Harmeyer" to the Birthday Bash, who was wearing a teeny mint green dress and looked smoking hot. Not only that, she seemed like a really nice girl, who was really sweet to JD. Like a lot of fans, I really like JD and am rooting for this to work out for him -- if ever there was a guy who needed a girlfriend, it's JD.
My Moment with Yucko
The Wack Pack had their own special VIP balcony -- more on this later -- and the first one seated was Yucko the Clown. I made my way over, a little nervous (he's not exactly known for being nice!) and said hello to the Stern show's favorite dirty obscene clown. I asked him what he wanted to see that night, and he told me without missing a beat, "I'm excited to see Robin's titties!"
Get in line Yucko, we all love Robin's big brown mounds.
While I hate to throw Yucko under the bus (well, not really), but he was really nice -- for a filthy clown.
Niiice: Jeff the Drunk (Before He Got Really Drunk)
The main bar for the event was in the lobby of the Hammerstein -- it was all top shelf liquor (team Tracey Millman for life) -- and of course, that's where I ran into Jeff the Drunk. Early. Often.
Of course, I said hello to Jeff and complimented his new tux, and asked him who he was looking forward to seeing. "Billy Joel!"
Um, sorry Jeff, wrong show.
The Show Open: American Nightmare
Joey Kola (Jimmy Fallon's warm-up guy), in a top hat and tails, started warming up the crowd a little before 6 and trying to get the star-studded audience (the amount of famous people there was frankly, insane) to sit down and shut-up.
Rob Zombie kicked off "The Great American Nightmare" (the theme to the show, from the Private Parts soundtrack).
In what would be the first of many out-of-this-world moments of the evening, I realized I was rocking out to Rob Zombie with…Barbara Walters and Dr. Drew.
Kimmel Kick Off
As we'd been hearing for weeks, Howard's hetero life-partner, Jimmy Kimmel, hosted the show. He was a perfect ringmaster for the evening. Hitting the stage and his stride fast, Kimmel opened by announcing that the Wack Pack were invited and quarantined to be "sterilized by the North Shore Animal League." Smart plan.
He went on to introduce the man of the hour, "Howard Stern is the most profoundly self absorbed man on the earth," to deafening cheers.
Tan Mom Trainwreck
Jimmy also shone the spotlight on Tan Mom, Patricia Krencil, who walked the red carpet on (a very patient) Sal Governale's arm, while flashing the cameras and falling down. From all the way up in the top balcony, Tan Mom slurs her way through "Happy Birthday." At least that's what it sounded like before the microphone was wrestled away from her.
Steve Brandano's Triumph
When the Black Keys -- an amazing rock band -- took the stage after an introduction from Show regular Johnny Knoxville and ripped into "Lonely Boy," I started cracking up. How many times has he pushed to get the band -- reportedly big fans of Howard -- on the show?
They were awesome, but I was kind of waiting for Howard to shoo them off the stage just to piss off Steve.
The King of All Prize Winners
I ended up talking to the couple who won the grand prize trip to the Bash for a few minutes, and you couldn't find a nicer pair of Superfans. They were both thrilled to walk the red carpet and have a birds-eye view of the show, telling me "It's overwhelming."
This is why I love Stern Superfans. Chris Christie, embattled Governor of New Jersey, took the stage to introduce Jon Bon Jovi! I was sitting in the Wack Pack box while Jon sang "…Dead or Alive" with house band Train, and the sing-along with the Wack Pack was one of the best parts of the night.
As soon as the song was over, High Pitch Eric and Bobo ran out for another drink.
Wack Pack Adventures
Following them into the lobby (High Pitch can clear a path through any crowd), we ran into Nick Cannon, host of America's Got Talent. I stood back and watched as Nick was ambushed by High Pitch, which Nick totally rolled with. Until Eric tried to hug him, then Nick headed for the door -- and can you blame him?
Bobo and Mariann from Brooklyn were taking pictures in the photo booth, and I grabbed Bobo to get his thoughts. "This is over the top," the bewigged one told me, "it's the best birthday ever." Bobo was super happy to be there, and I am super happy to report that toupee is a work of art.
Say My Name
BRYAN F'ING CRANSTON!
One of the biggest surprises of the night, Walter White himself walked onstage and went straight into a spot-on JD Harmeyer impression, which had fans screaming with laughter and surprise. Cranston went on to say, ""I am not the danger, the real danger is Howard Stern. He is the one who knocks. We've all heard him yelling at Gary, that is some scary shit."
Girls, Girls, Girls
Introducing Sarah Silverman and Natalie Maines, Lena Dunham confessed to being a longtime fan of the show, said when a friend called and said Howard was talking about her, she tuned in to hear him say she "looked like Jonah Hill and was raping his eyes." The two famously made up, and Dunham thanked Howard, saying "I do believe that you are a champion of women in the arts." Silverman then took the stage with a guitar, looked over and said "Howard and Jimmy…you used to be my world." She started singing and was joined by Maines for a filthy, amazing original song with the chorus "Stop the Clock." I need this on the show every morning.
Finally, the Letterman Interview
The interview Howard has been waiting for happened on the couch at his birthday bash. I'm guessing fans at home heard more of this than those of us at the party did, but it went on for over 20 minutes and I can't wait to listen to the whole thing again on Monday. It was also so wild seeing David on the other side of the desk.
Silver Nickels, Golden Dimes
I had been having hard time getting William Shatner's version of Howard's 6th grade classic out of my head. However, when Jewel took the stage at Hammerstein, she made the song truly beautiful, sending a hush over the room. And she reminded us, and Howard, that "you are the brightest star here."
John Fogerty Was Amazing
I'm not saying this as a Howard fan, I just need to get that in here. Wow.
The Queen of All Media
Superfan, Extra host and Medford, Massachusetts' own Maria Menounos joined Howard, Fred and Robin onstage for an interview, and asked Howard who he was most excited about having at his birthday.
"Miss Robin Quivers," he answered to cheers from the audience. A chant of "ROBIN, ROBIN, ROBIN" drowned out everyone onstage because the fans agree with Howard. Robin, it was good to see you.
Speaking of Robin...
Oh my. After Howard speaking emotionally about his longtime friend and colleague, It was time to salute Robin. Song parody masters Little Mikey, Psych and Eli Braden took the stage and serenaded the queen.
Seated in a gold throne, Robin (and the rest of the women at the Bash) really lost it, laughing and blushing during Braden's "Robin's Vegucation" when Ryan Phillippe took the stage and performed a striptease.
Wow. Thanks Eli!
There Goes My Hero
Longtime guest and generally awesome guy Dave Grohl took the stage and played a stunning acoustic version of "Everlong," which he first performed on the show at KROCK in 1997.
After playing, he hit the couch and told Howard that if he hadn't played that song on the show, he wouldn't be here today. And it wasn't even his idea, Howard had requested it. Dave explained that he never really played accoustically before and thought it was an interesting request.
Well, the song went on to be a huge hit for the Foo Fighters, in large part because of exposure on the show.
Grohl went on to play "Hero" for an emotional Howard -- he's always said it reminds him of his father.
With the night growing long, an emotional Robin spoke about her relationship with Howard, her best friend. "I would go to the ends of the earth for you," she told him through tears. For this fan, it was a very special moment, followed by the entire ballroom singing happy birthday to the King of All Media.
Academy Award winner Robert Downey Jr. took the stage to share that he is a daily listener, promises to come on the show to promote every movie he makes going forward and introduces Steven Tyler who takes a seat at a baby grand and starts belting out "Dream On."
If that wasn't enough, Slash comes on stage and joins him. Fans and celebs are freaking out, singing along and having a blast.
Howard Says Thanks
At this point Howard spoke from the bottom of his heart thanking Gary, Fred, Robin, his agent Don Buchwald and the fans. "I never envisioned I'd make more than $96 a week in this industry or be part of anything this big," he said. "When I look around this room, I am overwhelmed and, I mean this, it was the most incredible night of my life."
And when he was a boy, all he wanted was to get on the radio and be heard, "and if it wasn't for you guys" -- the fans -- "I don't know where I'd be."
Goodbye Until Tuesday!
Wrapping the night with "Walk This Way," with Dave Grohl joining on drums, everyone from Cyndi Lauper to Tom Arnold (lucky to be there) joined in while Howard danced with the lovely Beth.
Tanya Edwards is a writer and editor who has written for Glamour as the lead writer for the Conversation and iVillage as a daily contributer. For more information, visit her website Superfan Media and follow her on Twitter @MissTanya