Looking Back on the Channel 9 Show

Remembering Howard Stern's classic late-night sketch show

December 1, 2014
Photo: The Howard Stern Show

Occasionally, someone will call up and beg Howard to release his legendary Channel 9 Show – the late night sketch show that aired in the early 1990s – on DVD. Unfortunately, Howard doesn’t own the show, but he’d love to be able to edit and package it for the fans because it remains something he, Robin, Fred, and Gary are all really proud of.

The show was ‘an insane asylum’, according to Howard and he painted a pretty crazy picture of his life during those (too short) years. They’d do the radio show every weekday morning, then he and Jackie Martling and Fred would write the sketches for that week’s show. The show was shot on Friday night. All of Saturday was spent editing the episode in an edit bay Howard installed in his basement and then BOOM! It was on the air on Saturday night.

Everybody got to reminiscing about their favorite Channel 9 Show sketches.

Howard thought back to a segment called ‘Black People Who Look White’ where he interviewed an actress from the Cosby show while dressed as a black person who looked white.

One of the most controversial Channel 9 shows featured Wack Pack legend Celestine – a street musician with no arms or legs – who played the piano and demonstrated how she still ate with a knife and fork.

Howard’s longtime stylist Ralph Cirella (who calls in any time Howard talks about anything even remotely related to him) chimed in that his favorite bit was the ‘Head Injury Club for Men’ where Howard interviewed Gary Busey while Ralph secretly pumped applesauce out of the side of Howard’s head. Mr. Busey was not amused. Ralph alleged that he wanted to kill Howard. Thankfully, he didn’t.

Stern Show Executive Producer Gary Dell’Abate was particularly fond of a segment where they flew fried chicken around the face of an 800 lb man.

Howard loved the whole concept of writing a character – like his now-famous Ted Kennedy – and having Ralph rush out and create the prosthetics and wigs and costumes that transformed him.