The Joke You’ll Never Hear

June 23, 2009
Photo: The Howard Stern Show

During a discussion of the Chris Brown/Rihanna saga, Artie said he’d heard a joke but wasn’t sure if he should tell it, as it might be racist – even though he heard it from a black comedian. Howard had Artie write down the joke and pass it over – and after reading it, suggested they move on. Howard claimed he didn’t even think it was a joke: “I don’t understand it.”

Artie asked Howard if he thought he should go through with the reality show he’s been developing. Artie explained that the show would follow him on the road as he travels around doing stand-up gigs and promoting his book. Howard thought it might not work: “If you think you’re just gonna be walking around doing stand-up, it’s gonna be bad…you have to orchestrate scenarios. You have to be willing to mix it up.” Howard added: “Scenarios have to be set up that are interesting. Characters have to be introduced.” Artie said the producers’ title choice, “Saving Artie Lange,” had given him pause: “I don’t wanna be a trainwreck.” Howard refused to get involved: “I don’t know the people involved. I don’t know what they have in mind.”