PUNISHING HIS AUDIENCE FOR NUDITY

PUNISHING HIS AUDIENCE FOR NUDITY

Jon noted he had a clip of the first time a woman got naked on the show, which Gary remembered was a bit that took place on a Friday in the fall of 1984 at WNBC, but didn’t go as planned. In the clip, Howard announced the woman who agreed to get nude decided right before the broadcast that she didn’t want to take off her clothes. Given this, Howard asked if there were any other women in his audience who’d be willing to go through with the stunt, so he asked at least one of them to make an unplanned trip to the studio to show off her body. However, since no women came to the studio, Howard said he was going to “punish the audience” by not being funny until a woman came in and got naked.
During the next show, which took place on a Monday, Howard again was making his audience “suffer” because no women took him up on his offer. In fact, Howard was so upset by his audience members’ lack of cooperation that he decided to play the worst songs he could find to continue their “punishment.” When women from an NBC tour group came into the studio in the middle of one of the songs, Howard offered them $60 to strip, but none of them would do it.
Howard was finally given what he wanted the following day, though, as three women stopped by to disrobe for him. As the women took off their clothes, Robin commented she was “disgusted” by the sight, as was Howard’s mother, Ray, who called in to say her neighbors were talking about the incident while it was happening. Ray went on to note she didn’t like hearing Howard with the naked women, explaining she preferred listening to him when he was creative, which she didn’t find the particular bit.
After the clip, Gary reported the studio’s blinds and door were blocked during the segment so nobody could see what was happening, and that Howard insisted no one be let into the studio at the time either. Because of Howard’s demand, Gary recalled he refused to let a lawyer into the studio who claimed he needed to see if what was happening was obscene, telling him he could’ve made his determination without actually viewing what was going on. Gary added he thought he was going to get fired because of the confrontation he had with the lawyer, but said Howard praised him for his reaction instead.