Howard devoted a section of the show to retiring some Gary Garver and Stuttering John interviews, as well as some musical performances that took place on the show. Howard started off playing one of Gary's interviews with Buddy Ebsen, the patriarch of "The Beverly Hillbillies." After Gary asked Buddy questions about his financial situation and what advice he had for people looking to make it in the entertainment business, Howard stopped the tape because there was so much phlegm in Buddy's throat that it sounded like he was speaking underwater and it was making Howard sick. Howard then played a clip of Gary talking to Wilbur from "Mister Ed," Alan Young, who called Gary "a bastard" after he asked how many times Alan had been married.
Howard proceeded to play a tape of Stuttering John interviewing conductor, Sir Andre Previn. The first question John asked Andre was who he was, which Howard noted was the most inflammatory thing anyone can ask a celebrity. When John next asked why people were afraid to badmouth Woody Allen for his relationship with Soon-Yi, Andre called him a "bloody fool" and demanded that he get away from him. Howard then played clips of John asking former Dallas Cowboys coach, Tom Landry, nothing but hat questions, and Werner Klemperer, who played Col. Klink on "Hogan's Heroes," whether he preferred Jay Leno or David Letterman, and where he was when he heard that "Herman Munster" died.
Retiring 20 Years of Great Music
Howard pointed out that he was the first talk show host to have musicians come into the studio and play their songs acoustically, and that right after he developed the format, shows like "MTV Unplugged" came into existence.
Howard also said that since he doesn't have enough time to play all the musical clips that he'd like, he'll focus the next 18 shows, a tally that included today's broadcast, on retiring just the ones that meant the most to him and everyone else on the show. The first clip Howard played was of Ann Previn singing "Torn," which he followed with Green Day's performance of "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" and Everlast's in-studio version of "What It's Like."
After the next tape of John Mellencamp playing and singing portions of "Jack and Diane," "Pink Houses," "Small Town," "Peaceful World" and "Paper and Fire," Artie commented that that performance was one of his favorites of all time.
Gary agreed with Artie, and recalled that John was the biggest musician to play a montage of songs as the cast and crew blurted out requests. Howard went on to retire Aerosmith's beat-box rendition of "Pink," The Cowsills performing "Hair," Dave Grohl doing "Hero" and Artie singing "You Shook Me All Night Long" with Angus Young.
Howard promised that he'll devote most of the final 17 shows to playing clips like these for the final time. Before Robin started the news, however, Capt. Janks called in and said that Howard had to play his favorite musical moment from the past 20 years, which was when Elton John sang "Why Isn't Howard Stern on TV?" Following the clip, Howard mentioned that Elton was scheduled to have nodes removed from his vocal chords in the days after this performance, and that he was advised not to talk, much less sing the way he did.
Gary also recalled that Elton's people instructed Howard to avoid topics like Elton's homosexuality during his interview with him, but that Elton nixed those plans and was willing to talk about anything Howard wanted. Howard declared that Elton's performance was a testament to how important everyone on the show is, because Fred wrote the lyrics to "Why Isn't Howard Stern on TV?" the night before the song was played.