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CNN Larry King Live

Encore Presentation: Interview with Howard Stern

Aired January 08, 2006 - 21:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest performer of all time, Howard Stern!


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, exclusive, his first TV sit-down since his last show on free radio. Howard Stern on his future on air and off and more. He's here for the hour next on LARRY KING LIVE.

His first day on Sirius Radio will be this Monday, January 9. It's kind of a historic day in broadcasting history. He's signed a major deal. And this is quite a move for Howard.

Let's take care of a few other things before we get into this extraordinary thing. Tell me...

HOWARD STERN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Larry, first of all, you look beautiful. You have never looked better. We are the two handsomest, Jewy-ish guys on television right now.

KING: We are killers.


KING: With the black, with the white, with the red.

STERN: We look terrific.

In fact, we were both in the dressing room earlier. We were getting our makeup done. And the makeup woman said, you two look like you're ready for the morgue. And she almost -- they almost buried us right then and there.


STERN: But we do -- we are -- we're still surviving. But you look good. Look at you.

KING: OK. Look at you.

STERN: Look at you. Am I annoying you already?

KING: You need a haircut.


KING: First, let's clear up the thing about Emily, your daughter.


KING: She quite the Broadway Jewish play called "Kaballah." The cast included her. She appeared naked. What's the story?

STERN: Big story today in the newspaper.

KING: Big story.

STERN: I opened up the pages, and there was my beautiful daughter in the newspaper.

My daughter Emily is my oldest daughter. She's 22 years old. And she's a great kid. And she's an aspiring actress. And I'm extremely proud of her. And, she -- you know, 22, in charge of her own career. And it is certainly gratifying to me to see her doing well.

And she, you know, went, and did a show. I was unaware of the show. I'm not a -- I haven't seen the show. Don't know too much about the show. But, you know, she -- it's her prerogative. What she wants to do, she does.


KING: She's playing Madonna, right?

STERN: Yes. She calls the shots in her own career.

And, you know, evidently, she had some falling out with the director of the thing. And I have spoken to her since about it.

And it's all rather unfortunate, because she's -- you know, she's a great kid, and like so many people trying to get started in acting, you know, put her faith -- from what she tells me, she put her faith in the director and the cast and had a wonderful cast, but kind of made a deal with the director that he wouldn't use her picture for promotional purposes, and wouldn't single her out. They kind of had a verbal agreement.

And she felt very betrayed by this guy. And I said to her, I think it's a dangerous business, in that, in any business, you can get taken advantage by people.

KING: She quit because she thought nude pictures of her would appear on the Web site?


STERN: No. She quit. It was a big misunderstanding. From what she tells me, she quit because the guy who runs the production promised her not to use her pictures promoting her and single her out as Howard Stern's daughter, Emily Stern. And she felt very, very betrayed and lied to.

And, listen, I said to her, there's going to be a lot of people out there who are jealous of you along the way, and jealous of you along the way and jealous of your father's career and this kind of stuff. Had nothing to do with nudity or anything like that. It had to do with an assurance...

KING: If she chose to be nude, that would be fine with you and...


In fact, I have no problem with nudity. It's -- and it wasn't an issue of nudity. That wasn't the issue. She made a deal with a guy. And he betrayed her. So, she left. So, unfortunately, he's gone to the newspaper looking for some fame and to comment on her.

But I'm so proud of her. I'm telling you, she's a great kid. We have a great relationship. And she's a fine actress. And, by the way, many actresses have appeared nude on stage. I told her that.


STERN: You know, Nicole Kidman's been there a couple of times.

KING: Is it -- is it hard to be daughter, you think?

STERN: Sure.

Listen, I think there's some advantage to it. But I also think, in a kid trying to find her own identity, it's got to be rough.

She's got a father who's very infamous. And, certainly, I'm out there. And I'm a wild guy. And it would -- I would think it would be difficult to figure out who you are in life and all of that. And I think she has done a beautiful job of it.

KING: How did you become Howard stern? In other words, how did you develop this persona?

STERN: Well, you know, I have made no secret of the fact that I have always wanted to be on radio.

I can remember being 5 years old, and, you know, it goes back. My father was a recording engineer. I have told you this before. And my father used to look at Don Adams and Larry Storch and some of the great voice guys doing cartoons an commercials. And I would go down to my father's studio. Once in awhile, he would bring me.

And I would watch his eyes. And he would stare at these guys. And he would have such reference for the greats. You know, these guys were great. And I would watch these guys working. And I said, oh, my God. If my father looked at me like that, he would be so proud of me.

And I think, early on, when I saw that microphone, and I saw -- I remember to this day -- I was a kid. And Don Adams was recording "Tennessee Tuxedo," a commercial -- a cartoon. And he's standing there in a blazer and a turtleneck. And he looked so damn suave to me. You know, this was before Maxwell Smart.

KING: Yes.

STERN: And I just -- I saw my father looking at him. And I went, wow. I want to do something like this. And I didn't listen to a lot of radio growing up. I can only remember one guy, Brad Crandall, I used to listen to at night.

KING: Sure. Great voice.

STERN: Yes. He was this guy.

KING: But how did you carry it on to become what you have become, to take it to the fullest extent? In other words, you didn't draw any middle ground.

STERN: Well, it was a process.

I -- when I was in college radio, I did a show called the "King Schmaltz Bagel Hour." It was me and three guys. And it was very irreverent. And it has always been my fantasy to go on radio and not do a straight broadcast but to bring the audience into sort of my thought process.

I remember listening to the radio, and you would hear a guy close a door in the background at a news station or you would hear a cart or something drop on the floor. And you would go, what the hell is that? And they wouldn't tell you. They would act like it wasn't going on.

And I kind of had this fantasy where I would create a radio show where I would tell you everything, everything about me, everybody about -- whoever walked in, complete honesty. We strip away all barriers. And this was my -- my thing.

And I went in college radio. And I started this. And I got fired after the third show. We did a bit called "Godzilla Goes to Harlem." And no one ever heard anything like this. And it was a college station, carrier current. And we did this thing. And I got fired right on the air.

And that was sort of an omen of what was to come. And my father wrote me a letter. And he said to me, you know, it is great that you are on the air and all of that. But I listened to the tape. And you go, ah, ah, ah every minute. And you (INAUDIBLE) on the air. And you don't sound professional. And you're not enunciating.

And he said even a clown probably was a trained ballet dancer or something. And you need to go out and do a straight radio show and, in my opinion, learn how to, you know, do radio.

KING: Good advice.

STERN: It was really good advice. And I went and I did a straight show for two years. And I was awful. It was chronicled in my movie. And I said, you know what, though? It was the best two years of my life. I had to do everything at that station. And I kept dreaming in my head of breaking sort of all the walls down, all of those straight walls down.

Someone asked me the other day, gee, did you ever think about doing like a "LARRY KING" show? They said, you're a very good interviewer. Interviewing is a strength of yours. And I said, that's a career that wasn't for me.

I wanted to expose myself and expose every -- so, I didn't want to have any secrets from the audience.

KING: I like the guests. You like you.

STERN: Well...


KING: I mean, you want the show to be into you.

STERN: No, that's -- that's not it. That's not what I'm saying.

You know, the guy who replaced me in New York, David Lee Roth, I listened to his first show. And he said, hey, man, this ain't heavy lifting. This radio stuff is easy.

And I was thinking about that. And I thought, no, radio isn't easy. It's easy -- yes, sure, anyone can go on the air and talk. But to open yourself up and actually break down all the walls and think about all your insecurities, and put those on the air, I think it isn't easy lifting. There's a lot of emotional lifting you have to do.

But, having said that, when a guest comes in, I think the reason people might think I'm a good interviewer is that I'm genuinely curious about a person. I don't make judgments. If somebody's a stripper, that's great. If someone's a prostitute, I -- Robin, who works with me, she decided to work with me.

She heard a tape of me in Detroit. I was interviewing a prostitute. And she said to me, when I heard you do it, you asked her everything, what she ate for breakfast, why she went to the store, who were her parents, how did she get into this sort of miserable life.

And you didn't make judgments. And that's what the show's always been about. I myself don't really have outrageous behavior, I don't think. But I'm a voyeur.


STERN: I like to watch outrageous behavior and I like to learn about outrageous behavior.

KING: Boy, do you. STERN: Howard Stern is our guest.

Monday's a big day in his life. We will talk about that right after this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest performer of all time, Howard Stern!

STERN: I want you to experience radio the way I think it should be, the future of radio. Sirius Satellite Radio will dominate the medium. It is the death of the FM radio, the death of the FCC interference, the death of the FCC. Down with the FCC!



KING: By the way, your lovely girlfriend -- fiancee is here. Are you married? Getting married?

STERN: We went away to Mexico for a week. After I got off regular, old, boring radio, after I left dumpy, commercial-loaded radio, my girlfriend and I went to Mexico together and we had a great time relaxing for the week before I was coming back to get ready for the big launch on January 9th and it was written in the "New York Post" that we got married while we were away in Mexico, and being P.T. Barnum, I went ahead and said I will answer the questions about my marriage on January 9th on Sirius Satellite Radio.

KING: Pulling in more listeners.

STERN: Pulling in more listeners. That's the game. I have tremendous insecurity. I would like -- you wouldn't believe it looking at me, but I would like everybody who used to listen to me to come over with me. And maybe that's an impossible dream, but that's my dream. I think people will have a great time ...

KING: But when you say "my marriage," you have already hinted that you got married.

STERN: And maybe I smart enough to sort of lead you in that direction, you see, I am doing a mislead, so you're going to have to -- let me tell you about the first show. Because people say, what's the first show?

KING: This is Monday morning.

STERN: Monday morning, January ...

KING: 6:00?

STERN: 6:00.

KING: Eastern. STERN: We have something planned that I think is going to be great for my fans, and that's the great thing about satellite. We no longer have to sit and worry about programming to the masses.

KING: FCC don't care.

STERN: FCC, we don't care. Religious right. Government interference, gone.

KING: OK. First day.

STERN: First day we are doing a revelation show. Each one of us. Each of the major cast members have agreed to reveal something about themselves that we've never revealed on the air and that has to be -- has to meet a certain standard.

KING: Which is?

STERN: Which is we put a guy in charge. We each had to go into a confessional booth and confess our sin or secret or something that humiliated us or embarrassed us. And if it didn't measure up, we had to go back and come up with something else.

KING: It had to be humiliating.

STERN: No, it doesn't have to be humiliating. It might be something that we didn't want to share. It could be a secret, it could be ...

KING: A disease. Might have a disease.

STERN: Could be a disease. Could be that dreaded disease that you have. I might get it too. You don't know.

But Larry -- so, this is dangerous radio for me. This is a high wire because I went into the confessional, I admitted what it is and the guy said, whoa. And that whoa is what I'm looking for. So we've got some good stuff.

I do have to address whether or not Beth and I got married. There is plenty on the table. We just left this huge radio experience. Probably the most successful radio show in the history of radio and walking away from that, I have to tell you that I had no emotional experience about it until the day after, when I woke up.

I woke up and I realized I'll never hit that button again and have that kind of access. Millions and millions and millions of fans.

KING: Now this is your first public appearance since then, since leaving.

STERN: Right.

KING: And you go on the new on Monday.

STERN: Right. KING: Do you -- are you scared?

STERN: Well, I don't feel scared. Well, maybe a little bit because I don't want to disappoint people and I have to tell you, we've done two run-throughs this week and this is the great thing about having your own channel. All of the sudden, I said, when we're doing the run through, just pop on the run through.

So in essence we've been on twice already and whoever was driving in their car, all of the sudden we just popped on the radio and that's fun. And the run through was liberating.

I had the most amazing radio experience New Year's Eve and I'll tell you why satellite is great and why every broadcaster should be involved in this. New Year's Eve they said it's the first time your voice can be heard on your own channel. I was out of my contract with Viacom. Would you call in? I said, I don't know, if I'm up.

Went out, had a bunch of drinks, fell asleep, but at midnight I heard fireworks coming out of the park and it woke me up and I said, ah, what the hell? I'll just call in. I started talking stream of consciousness into this telephone receiver, kind of drunk, a little bit hung over, and I've never had that kind of freedom before.

I didn't use any foul language. It wasn't about that. I didn't have to worry about the constraints, what topics I could talk about. I didn't worry about the average quarter hour maintenance, crossing the quarter hour, how many listeners I had. Whoever was there, it was fine with me, and it was the most intimate radio I have ever done, just talking into that receiver.

KING: What do you think about the gamble that they're taking, Sirius. That's a heavy load that -- it's been printed. It's no secret that you're getting a ton of money.

STERN: Right.

KING: They're -- they're giving you even more in stock deals, etcetera. You're wealthy forever.

STERN: I have heard anywhere -- I have heard that I'm either going to have $200 million, $500 million. Today, I heard $600 million. And I still don't have any paycheck from them. So, I'm...


KING: But you know they're rolling a lot of checks.

STERN: I'm waiting for this money.

KING: They're rolling a lot of checks.


KING: Does that give you pressure?

STERN: You know, it did.

So, I signed the contract in 2005, a year ago. And, you know, it was weird. They had 600,000 people listening to Sirius Satellite Radio. And I would have to say, out of the two satellite services, Sirius was really not sort of in the forefront.

KING: Way behind XM.


KING: Which is -- there's only two.

STERN: There's only two.

And I -- and I signed the deal. And, you know, right away, they said, you have got to get a million people to come with you if this thing is going to be profitable.

KING: Sign up for the service?

STERN: That's right.

So, you know, who knows what it is going to be? But I have the loyalist -- loyalist fans in the world. You know, I put out a movie. They showed up. A book, whatever it is I have done -- and I don't think I have ever betrayed my audience. I have always delivered to them the best product I could deliver, possibly that I could deliver.

And I think they appreciated that. Well, lo and behold, so, here we are, a year later. I haven't done my first broadcast yet. And, today, they announced 3.3 million people have signed up. So, we have -- today, that was the announcement, 3.3 and growing. Haven't hit the air yet.

KING: What do they pay a month?

STERN: It's $12.95. And I can...

KING: So, you made -- they made it back?

STERN: They have made it back in spades.

KING: Yes.

STERN: So, people say, well, is it a -- are you a loser? Is this a lose-lose situation? I go, lose? I can't -- you know, I can't imagine a loss in this.

My fans are coming with me. I'm free to do the kind of radio I want. I am happier than I have ever been. The studios are beautiful.

KING: Yes, they are. I have been up there.

STERN: Gorgeous.

And, you know, the only thing that's different is, I'm starting something new. And in order to start something new, I had to give something up. I had to give up the thrill of hitting the button on terrestrial radio. But I was done with terrestrial. I was dead in the water.

KING: Let me ask about that. Ted Turner did it here.

STERN: Sure.

KING: Had to take -- those guys rolled a risk.

STERN: Do you ever feel like a loser for leaving radio and coming here?

KING: Never.

STERN: Never. I mean, that's how I feel.

KING: We will take a break, be right back with Howard Stern. We will also be including your phone calls. Don't go away.


STERN: So, you're doing good?

PAMELA ANDERSON, ACTRESS: I'm doing good. I'm doing good.

STERN: I love you.


STERN: All right. That's...

ROBIN QUIVERS: Do you want to propose? Should we all leave?

STERN: I propose.

ANDERSON: Do I need to get married again? I don't know.

STERN: You do, to me.

ANDERSON: Especially, you know, if it's not going to -- you just need to be madly, crazy, wildly in love. And that certainly isn't a way to get married.

STERN: You can't even look at me. So, you must be in love me.

ANDERSON: I'm looking at Robin all the time.

STERN: Yes, what is that?

ANDERSON: It's a -- I don't know, girl -- it's just a...

STERN: You're afraid of me.

ANDERSON: I'm checking her out.

I'm not afraid of you.

STERN: I must be repulsive to you, the way you don't even look.

ANDERSON: You have this big mike like...




STERN: What did you take the show off the air for, Pig Vomit? Huh?

PAUL GIAMATTI, ACTOR: This isn't funny, Howard.

STERN: Oh, it's not funny? What are you talking about? It is funny. I think it's very funny. And how would you know what's funny, anyway?

GIAMATTI: You're not bringing that in here, Stern.

STERN: I don't see anybody in here in a meeting, do you?

GIAMATTI: You gotta go. You gotta go.

STERN: I got to go? Why do I have to go? Why don't you explain to my audience why you had to shut down the show?


GIAMATTI: I don't answer to you, Stern. I don't answer to you.

STERN: Yes, you do, you big idiot scumbag.


STERN: I'm your boss. I'm your boss.

GIAMATTI: Let's go.


STERN: Hey, what's this?


STERN: Robin, it's everybody's salary on his desk.

GIAMATTI: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) damn it, get out of here!

STERN: He hit me, Robin. He's hitting me.

QUIVERS: Hit him.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: The marvelously successful "Private Parts," Howard Stern's autobiography on film.

STERN: That was my most fun in my career, making that movie. The idea that I wrote a book and they turned it into a film was unbelievable to me.

And that guy in that scene, Paul Giamatti, when we first saw him on tape...


STERN: He auditioned like three times for the part. And every time we saw him, we said, this guy is going to be a major star.

I remember my agent turned to me. He goes, how can I represent this guy? He's so good. And what was amazing, he played the part of my program director, Pig Virus.

KING: Yes.

STERN: And he nailed it. He was so the guy. And he's never met the guy. So, that's the sign of a great actor. It sort of just happens.

KING: Bart Giamatti's son, the late commissioner of baseball.

STERN: Right. Right.

KING: All right. Is this new show going to be -- would the FCC have been fining you every day if this were on commercial radio?

STERN: Here's a weird thing that's going on right now.

I have done two test shows. And I found -- I set up a rule on the show so far. I don't want to curse on the show. I don't want to use foul language. And...

KING: There will be no F-words?

STERN: No F-words. Well, wait a second.

So, I did two run-throughs and I broke the rule five times already. I didn't use the F-word. And some of the words that I used, I don't think they are foul words.

KING: Are they any of George Carlin's words?

STERN: One of them was George Carlin's word.

And the fact of this matter is, I happen to think foul language is funny, used in its proper context. You know, if it becomes this drone, I even said to my guys, because we -- we were so liberated that, every bit we were writing, had seven dirty words in it, at least. So, I said to some of my guys, Sal (ph), this guy Richard (ph) -- these are names that work on my show. I said, you know what? No foul language for you. You -- you are banned. I am now the FCC. I am telling you, it's got to be awfully funny for you to come out with a word.

KING: Why have you made this decision?

STERN: Because it can go the opposite way. Everyone thinks they are so damn funny using this foul language, that it can go the opposite way.

If there's some sort of rule -- I don't care if it's the government or anything. You make your own rule, and then you break it, it just seems so much better.

KING: You are programming two networks, right?


We have two channels, Howard 100, Howard 101. And the beauty of this for me, this is the first time in my career I can service my audience 24 hours a day. We have a 17-person news department filled with great ex-CBS, ABC, INS reporters. A guy is from "A Current Affair," Steve Lansford (ph).


KING: ... Baghdad?


If they cover Baghdad, they have to go to Baghdad and say, "How do you feel about Howard Stern?" to the soldiers.

KING: Oh, I see. It's a Howard Stern news...


STERN: It's about -- you know what it is?

It's -- for my fans, they are serviced the way "National Lampoon" could service the audience, the way "Rolling Stone" magazine looks at the audience. It's a full lifestyle network. I will give you an example.

I developed a show called "Meet the Shrink." So, we're on in the morning. And "Jeff the Drunk," who has a lot of emotional problems, or, oh, I don't know, "John the Stutterer" has a lot of issues with his stuttering. And we're talking to him.

We say, you know what? You got a lot of problems. Why don't you go on "Meet the Shrink." So, at night, we have a full psychiatric session that goes on, legitimate...

KING: Live? STERN: ... therapy live, a real session, where you are broken down, made to look at yourself, and see ways of improving your own life.

Larry, it's beautiful. In fact, I want to get you in on a couple of sessions. Believe me, that would be interesting.


STERN: Who the hell knows what's going on with you? You still married or what?

KING: Yes. Oh, you used to kid marriage a lot, and now you got divorced.

STERN: There you go.

KING: You used to make fun of divorce.

STERN: I did.

KING: And you got divorced.

STERN: I did. I am a hypocrite.

KING: Right.

STERN: I ended up getting -- hey, you know, what can I say? But come on. You got me beat, eight marriages.


KING: Not eight.

STERN: How many?

KING: Are your still friendly with your wife?

STERN: Yes, we are.

We have three children together. And we certainly discuss the kids. She is remarried. She got remarried a year later, after we got divorced. Her husband is a great guy, really nice guy.

KING: Good to the kids?

STERN: Very good to the kids.

KING: He's a -- a terrific guy.

You know, a lot of people don't know that, off the air, you are kind of a regular guy.

STERN: Well...

KING: I mean, you are not wacko. STERN: No. Well, that's the key to the show.

KING: So, wacko is a persona of yours?

STERN: No. I don't think I'm wacko on the show.

I think, if anything, I'm the voice of reason. I think that's why the show is popular. I think people can depend on me to say to someone, what the hell are you doing? You know, I sort of have a high moral -- what some people would term moral -- lifestyle. I'm monogamous.

I'm a guy who goes to bed at 8:00. You have a wilder night life than I to.

KING: Well, why do you...


STERN: You know you are out dancing on tables at...


KING: Oh, yes. Why do you...



KING: Why do you need nudity? Why -- why -- when some people say you overdo it?


STERN: Well, people who say that aren't fans of the show, because they -- you know, I think that rap got on us because, when we did the TV show for the E! Network, they found that, if you take the most salacious moment of the show -- Pam...

KING: Which they did every night.

STERN: Which we did every night.

And I think that was a mistake. But we would get these huge ratings, because people like to see it. But I think, if we had shown other elements of the show that, while it would have been lower rated, I think, eventually, those would have become more popular elements.

It just sort of needed time to find itself. So, we kind of took a quick fix. And, if you listen to the show, it's not about someone coming in naked or someone being a prostitute or someone going to the bathroom in the middle of a floor.

It's, why would somebody do that? Why would you come into my studio, pull your pants down, and move your bowels?

KING: Why?

STERN: I mean, you have done it, Larry.


STERN: And I always say to you, why the hell do you do it?

KING: It was kind of fun.

STERN: It was good. You liked it.

KING: I can't explain it.

STERN: He did it.

But, you know, the...


STERN: The thing is that that's sort of interesting drama. It's the first reality show.

And, you know, there was a TV critic, Marvin Kitman, used to write for "Newsday."

KING: Oh, yes.

STERN: Great guy.

And he wrote an article about our show. When I syndicated into Los Angeles, into Hollywood, he wrote this article. And he said, Howard Stern's radio show going into Hollywood will change television. You will start to see more real television, because I believe Howard Stern breaks it down. The language is more real. It is a more real experience, and Hollywood needs a dose of that.

And then we saw reality TV. And I believe we're a reality radio show.



KING: We will come back and take your calls -- lots of other things to talk about with a broadcasting phenomena, Howard Stern.

Don't go away.


KING: Before we go to calls with Howard Stern who starts on Sirius radio this coming Monday morning, it will be well listened to and well-reviewed, I might add. I guess a lot of people are.

STERN: I hope so. I mean, you know, I am not a well-reviewed guy in terms of my radio show. My radio show is the thing that gets the worst reviews. My movie got fantastic reviews. Critics were very kind. My books, well-reviewed.

KING: Those critics aren't -- you appeal to a younger audience and most critics are not. Isn't your audience in their 20s?

STERN: No. We have a 25 to 54-year-old audience. We were the No. 1 demographic, in every major market was 25-to-54. We have a very adult audience. That's the funny thing with the FCC talking about protecting kids. We have -- I had no teen numbers. I wish I had.

KING: Were you pained all those times you got fined?

STERN: Oh, yes because when you get fined, what happens the next day on the air, the reality hits. There's a certain nice rush. You get a lot of newspaper print, you go, "This is good for the show. Everyone's going to tune in." But happens, it becomes fatiguing. You get fined.

I mean, we've got millions of dollars of fines. And what happens is management gets seven delay buttons in. And you start to talk and -- we never used, I don't think we use foul language. It's concepts. And I couldn't -- you know, I talk a lot about my own bodily functions. I talk about this stuff because I think every person can relate.

We all go to the bathroom. We all have sex. We all have seen ourselves naked and want to throw up. Not you, Larry. You're hot. But I'm just saying most people. This guy works out like a demon.

But the fact of the matter is that what ends up happening is that then management starts getting scared. They are afraid. The government is coming. They are going to take away our license. They're going to fine us some more. They buckle. And concepts are thrown out the window. So by the way, what happens to me on satellite radio? The show goes back to what it was 15 years ago. It becomes more raw, more outrageous and more open.

KING: How do you react to the term bad taste. And taste, of course is all individual. Bad taste to me may not be bad taste to you.

STERN: Taste is relative. We were just talking during the commercials about Lenny Bruce. I mean, I remember this guy was so brilliant and he was harassed by a prosecutor named Richard Kuh. And when Richard Kuh died recently, he said in his obituary, he went, "I went after Lenny Bruce because that was the law and I had to go after the guy and I did my job."

And they did it with such aggressiveness to go after this guy who was performing in nightclubs where people pay. And I think at one of his trials they lined up 12 members to be on the jury who were considered representatives of the community. And they were all Christians with ashes on their head judging Lenny. And, now, how -- of course it's all relative.

Offensive to them is everything. Offensive to you is another thing. Who could -- I'd rather let the audience decide. KING: Phoenix, Arizona. We'll include some calls for Howard Stern, hello.

CALLER: Hi, how are you guys doing.

KING: Fine.

CALLER: Hey, Howard, I just wanted to tell you I'm looking forward to having you back in my life on Monday. I've missed you immensely. I feel like I've gone through some kind of a breakup. So I'm looking forward to having you back and I wanted to know if -- I'm in Phoenix. Is the show going to be aired all-day long, so that I can listen to it and wouldn't have to get up at 4:00 in the morning.

STERN: Because we can do -- yes. Because we can do anything we want, it's my channels, we will do the show in the morning. We have an L.A. feed that L.A. time, West Coast time.

And we have our New York feed. So theoretically you'll get the show from 3:00 in the morning on both channels until two in the afternoon, and we'll repeat it in the evening at some point.

You see, this is the great thing. You know, for $12.95. Here's my sales pitch. And I believe it. It's not just -- I've never -- I could never look my audience in the eye again if I misled them.

For $12.95, think about it. You'll go to a video store and you'll spend $20 for a DVD and you'll watch that DVD once. Or you'll rent a movie for six bucks and you'll watch the movie once. $12.95, you get every musical channel without commercials. If you're a fan of mine, you get two 24-hour channels filled with stuff my fans are going to love. All kind of specialty shows with regard to our show.

The show all the time, uncensored, less commercial time. You've got the sports package, NFL. Where do you get this much content for $12.95? And yet you'd pay 20 bucks for a DVD. You know people used to laugh when you'd say, "I'm going to buy a bottle of water." Why would I pay for water? If the water is better, you'll pay for it. And this is 10 times better. And look at this. You know what this is? This is the S50.

KING: What is that?

STERN: I saw the cameraman cut away and said, "Uh oh, it's got to be something pornographic. It must be a vibrator." No, it's the S50, it's the Sirius -- this technology is going to blow people away.

KING: What does it do?

STERN: Size of an iPod. It can download up to 50 hours. So let's say you don't catch my show. You download it, you can carry it with you. You program it like a TiVo. You can press a couple of buttons and it will record whatever music you want. So it's an iPod, but we give you all the content and all the music.

KING: You get that from Sirius? STERN: That's Sirius, yes. It's great. You know, someone asked me the other day, "What is the most important part of media right now?" And I said technology. A guy like me was dead in the water on terrestrial radio. I was dead creatively. They were taking away all my stations. Clear Channel fired me, I was gone. I couldn't work anymore with all the censorship. Because of technology like this, we have a complete rebirth. And that's brilliant.

KING: Tampa, hello.

CALLER: Hey, Larry and hello, Howard. I just wanted to thank you for many, many hours after dropping the kids off to school for a lot of laughter sitting in my own driveway before I went in the house. And my question to you is, what was your best interview, celebrity, musicians and your worst.

KING: Do you have a best and worst?

STERN: You know, gee, that's funny. Because I have a weird sort of line on that, that most celebrities really aren't good on the air because they are so well-prepped and so guarded. That's a tougher interview.

I like real people. When I say real people, people who just live wild lives or sad lives, happy lives, whatever. Those real stories, I think, I'm best with. But having said that, you know, we've had some greats come on.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was always good on my show. Very funny. I loved my interview with Stevie Wonder. Stevie Wonder came in and he hung out for, I don't know, an hour and a half or two and people say to me, "Gee, we had a lot of fun." I had a lot of fun. There are some people who are brilliant.

KING: Who is the worst?

STERN: There are some people who just won't give you anything. And I'm thinking back all the way like 20 years ago when I was on NBC. Gilda Radner was really freaked out by me.

KING: Really?

STERN: Yes. She came in, I guess she had heard I was insane. And she came in and she was very shaky and kept, sort of getting up and she got up quick to leave and hit her head on a speaker. And she was just, it was a disaster. And you never know, you just never know who's going to be good. One of the best guests -- everyone told me I was nuts to have Paul Anka on the show.

KING: He's terrific.

STERN: He's like one of the best guests ever. So they come out of all different leagues.

KING: We'll get another break. He starts Monday morning on Sirius. Don't go away. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STERN: First of all, I'm going to kiss your ass here a little bit. You're a little -- what did you do?

ROBIN QUIVERS, RADIO SIDEKICK: We were just discussing, that was you in the movie, right?

STERN: You have any surgery or something? Now when you're in that -- you haven't had anything done?


STERN: Are you telling me the truth?


QUIVERS: You wouldn't lie to us, would you?

STERN: If you're lying, because...

SCHWARZENEGGER: ... I can tell you about my heart surgery, I can tell you about my shoulder surgery, I can tell you about all my surgeries.

STERN: I'm thinking of pulling myself back a little bit. What do you think?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Hey, you look great. You don't need it yet.

STERN: I do. I need a little work.

SCHWARZENEGGER: There's a certain point where you really do need it.




STERN: I grew up here but I really kind of blocked it out. I'm realizing that now. I'm just a little confused.

ED BRADLEY, 60 MINUTES CORRESPONDENT: Well your house is that way.

STERN: My house is this way? Oh, my God, I don't even believe that's my house. I can't believe that. Holy mackerel. I call it the house of horrors.


STERN: It was horrible. It was a horrible place to live. This town was a horrible place to live. It was a nightmare. BRADLEY: Because you were a minority? STERN: Because I was a minority.

BRADLEY (voice-over): And that, Stern says, left him isolated and alone.


STERN: Wah, wah, wah.

KING: You ever feel that way now?

STERN: What isolated and alone? Right now sitting here with you, I'm pretty isolated, alone, I've got to be honest with you.

KING: When you get all those crowds, thousands of people, 25,000 line up to sign a book. Isn't that a little humbling? I mean, what does it do to you?

STERN: It actually is amazing. But I think, I'm one of these sick personalities that wants to bring everyone with me. I was thinking about the psychological implications of this. So here I'm leaving terrestrial radio and I'm going to satellite. And instead of walking over there by myself, I brought thousands of my fans with me to hold my hand.

KING: Is it a need you have?

STERN: It's a need. And I have a tremendous bond with the audience. I now realize it. The audience is important to me. It's something that I thrive on, having this audience. But at the same point it can become so important in my life that I get lost in my work and I become obsessed with these channels and I'm not sleeping. And I'm like, "I've got to bring everyone over with me right now." Like I want to grab everyone through the T.V. set and say, "Don't you understand how great satellite is? You've got to come."

KING: Is it hard, frankly, to be funny every day for hours?

STERN: Yes, and I never relied on being the funny one. I always thought I could be provocative and interesting. And if the laughs come, I think I have a pretty good natural sense of humor. I have a -- I think just -- that comes from growing up in a family where the praise that I got was for telling good stories and constructing the perfect story. And my parents would laugh and I lived for that.

KING: Your still going to give it to some of your favorites, Kathy Lee Gifford, Rosie O'Donnell, Michael Powell?

STERN: I had a great idea for the first show on satellite. But we can still do it. But I couldn't pull it off.

I wanted to have a roast. But I didn't want to have a roast with the usual comedians. I wanted to have a roast with all of the people who hate me. I wanted to have Kathie Lee, Rosie O'Donnell, the head of the FCC come in. I won't respond, you say whatever you want and we called all these people. And they said, you know, forget it, we're not doing it.

And I was not surprised, of course, because I think it would be intimidating. And I don't know that they trusted me that I would really keep quiet and let them.

KING: Would you have?

STERN: I absolutely would have.

KING: Before we take a break, let's check in with Anderson Cooper, the host of "A.C. 360" at the top of the hour. These are tough times. Anderson, what's ahead?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, a chilling discovery. A letter written by one of the dying miners, that is the letter there, telling his family he wasn't in pain. He was just going to sleep.

It is a heartbreaking letter scrawled out in pencil. We'll have more on the letter from a man trapped underground, a man near death. We're going to have the letter.

Also, Larry, the latest on the conditions of the mine's sole survivor. That's in about 14 minutes from now.

KING: That's Anderson Cooper at the top of the hour. We'll be right back with Howard Stern, don't go away.


KING: We're back with Howard Stern. What do you think of one of the newer personalities, not in your vein, but coming on the scene with big contracts, Ryan Seacrest.

STERN: Well again, I mean, Ryan Seacrest to me, that career is milquetoast. It's not -- I think he's more attractive than he is a great broadcaster. He's a very hot guy. I mean, I look at him and I just get all worked up.

KING: You get hot?

STERN: Oh my God, Larry. We're not on yet, but you know I'm homosexual, right? And what are you doing later? No, no, I mean, I don't take that career seriously, I can't. I mean, no, I mean, he's fine. He's a good announcer, he keeps that "American Idol" moving and he's doing a radio show. It's a very safe, sort of watered-down show. But to me, you know, what is that? That's not for me.

KING: Ft. Lauderdale, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Howard. I just wanted to tell you that I love you and Robin very much, and my question is, I wanted to know what is happening with Robin Quivers' television show?

STERN: Well, Robin has a television show in development and I don't know that much about it. But Robin, I guess, got offered a syndicated show and they're waiting for a time slot to become available. And I think they're going to offer it up next fall.

KING: What kind of show?

STERN: Talk show. You know, she's going to have the guests on who are, you know, mentally ill and you sit there and you talk to them and you hope they say something stupid.

KING: What do you watch? What do you listen to? What do you listen to, by the way?

STERN: If you -- well, first of all, if you saw my T.V., if you asked me what I watched first. If you saw my TiVo you would think I was a 15 year-old-boy. I watch "American Idol." I love it. My favorite show is the one where all the fat people lose weight. I love makeovers. I like severe makeovers. I like to see people lose weight. That's fun.

I like any of kind of -- the best show on television right now, "Breaking Bonaduce." Danny is out of his mind and he doesn't mind us all watching. Great show. I love all this stuff. I love "Lost." You know, "Smallville." I like "Smallville." That is probably my favorite sort of show. I still think Superman is real. I love Superman, anything Superman.

KING: Radio show. What's your favorite radio -- do you listen to the radio?

STERN: Almost never. If I listen to the radio, I'll listen to the music channels now on satellite. I listen to Channel 9, which is kind of a '90s station. But I'm really not interested in radio, although what's interesting now that I have these channels, I have to listen to towns around the country because we're going to bring some people in.

There's a guy starting on my channel called Bubba the Love Sponge. He was thrown off of Clear Channel. Because he was thrown off of Clear Channel, I first became attracted to the idea of hiring him. And he's got a funny show. A very different sensibility than mine, he's got more of a redneck kind of show. And those guys get down and dirty. And he's a great guy.

KING: What do you think of Imus?

STERN: I was never an Imus fan. And you know, it's a funny thing when I comment on Imus, because I don't know how many people remember Imus and what he was doing. When I came to NBC, Imus was playing about 16 records an hour. And the only comedy he did was Reverend Billy Hargis. It was a bit for about two minutes. And he used to blow up high schools with Moby Worm.

And it was this very sort of, safe, boring show. And when I hit NBC and we started exploding and doing what we're doing, Imus would come into my office every day, sit on a chair and watch me. And he would learn what we were doing. I used to do a bit early on, I'd called my mother on air. Nobody did stuff like this. He started calling my mother on the air because he had no mother and my mother goes, "I'm not Imus' mother. He's calling me."

KING: But you know, he praises you.

STERN: Of course, he has this whole career. Listen, Imus was looking for something to do in T.V. his whole life. Couldn't get anything going. He had a couple of failed shows. I took my radio show and put it on T.V. Seems like an idea we're used to now.

So what did Imus do? He put his radio show on T.V. Imus never dreamt of syndication in radio. He was always trying to do his radio show in New York. I broke ground. I got my show on in Philadelphia. I proved to the industry that a morning show could be more than just a local morning show.

They said I'd never succeed in L.A. and I became the No. 1 broadcast. We set up a plan. When I say we, I mean the whole cast. We elevated radio. It is now a medium where you see guys making real money and having real careers.

KING: Do you like Mancow in Chicago?

STERN: No, I think Mancow and I've listened to two tapes of his in my entire life and I think that he is frantic on the air. He isn't real. Doesn't say any reality and his line now is that, please hire him and he's changed somehow. And now all this stuff he did in the past, management made him do, and now he's a new born-again guy or something. And that doesn't fly with me. You've got to be honest and real with the audience. You can't lie to them.

KING: Back with our remaining moments with Howard Stern. Sirius radio, the beginning for Howard is Monday morning, January 9th. And we will find out many things, a secret from every member of the group.


KING: An unknown thing. And whether Howard Stern is wed. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, this just came from the FCC. Did you say testicles on the air?

STERN: Wait a second.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Screw the FCC. We just lost Muffler Man.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hold on, we have a real problem here.

STERN: I'm just trying to get ratings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am just trying to run a radio station.

STERN: I understand that. And I'm telling you that the commercial sponsors are there once you get the ratings.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a very big problem.

STERN: I know that. And they're going to be lining up 10 in a row.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen to me, you stupid (BLEEP). Radio is a business and you just cost us $40,000.

STERN: Wait a second. If I do a lame show, it's never going to take off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm calm. I am perfect calm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: D.C. Carpet canceled because of him.



KING: We're now about to create a bigger audience. Monday morning at 7:00 a.m., Howard Stern will announce whether he is married. 7:00 a.m. Eastern, it will be 7:00 Pacific too, because they're going to repeat the whole thing, right?

STERN: Larry loves romance, everybody, and everyone knows that.

KING: 7:00 a.m.?

STERN: 7:00 a.m., I said I'm going to do it for Larry. I'm going to talk about whether or not I am married. I will promise you that.

KING: When I was on Howard's show once. By the way, he's going to do a bit about his parents on his show. But let me show you the last time I was on his show with his parents. Watch. Oh, he was on our show, watch.


STERN: When I get on the air, I'm probably the most free. It's the time in my life when I find that I can really be myself. I think I'm a phony off the air and I'm probably most real on the air.

KING: So this is phonier?

STERN: This is phony right now. What I'm doing today...

KING: ... You don't like me?

STERN: No, I didn't say I don't like you. I never said I didn't like you. I made fun of you.

KING: You called me a frog.

STERN: I said you look like a frog. But look at me. I mean, you don't think you're good looking, do you?

KING: No, never.

STERN: Right. Do I think I'm good looking? I know I'm hideous.

KING: I'm a frog. What are you?

STERN: Well, I'm just as bad.

KING: Nobody is tuning in now for Redford and Newman.

STERN: That's right, we are not good looking guys. I don't think that's a bad thing to say.


STERN: You know, you don't look like a frog, for God's sakes.

KING: Not then, but I weighed more then.

STERN: You're much better looking now.

KING: I weighed more. Meet the Sterns?

STERN: Yes. Now, again, why I love satellite radio. I'm getting to do all of my fantasy shows. My parents are great on the air. And I said to them, you've got an hour show, it's called "Meet the Sterns." And my father and mother sit there and take questions from the audience.

And my father's very serious, he talks about politics and people call in. Kansas or something. He goes, Kansas the heartland of America. He's got a saying for each thing and his personality comes out. My mother sits there and laughs and cackles at what he says. They are a great dynamic duo. You can't do that kind of stuff on regular radio. You know how it is, Larry.

KING: OK. And I am told that -- oh, he's also doing Howard Stern on Demand, via digital cable T.V.

STERN: This is exciting.

KING: We only have -- we're running out of time.

STERN: Well real quick, on demand, I've got my own television channel. It's available on cable. You go on and I'm telling you, it's all uncensored. It's all our old E! shows uncensored, which you like.

KING: I love.

STERN: I caught Larry in front of a T.V. set watching it with his pants down. It's a whole another story.

KING: Thanks, Howard.

STERN: All right, good.

KING: See you Monday.