Watching Private Parts, the film about Howard Stern’s early days is quite the hoot. It stars, of course, Howard Stern, Robin Quivers, Fred Norris, Gary Dell’Abate, Jackie Martling playing themselves, along with acting talent provided by Mary McCormack, Paul Giamatti, Carol Alt, Kelly Bishop, Allison Janney, Amber Smith and others.
This may sound crazy, but Stern’s struggle to fame and the risks he took to make his mark reminds me of Marvel Studios when they took the big risk of making Iron Man, when no one wanted to be a part of that crazy superhero movie world.
Watching Stern struggle to get recognized was pretty entertaining. To see him get his first break with DC 101.
And when they show him get his BIG break by being hired by the NBC radio network, the real fight to stay alive and true to himself began as he had fight tooth and nail to get his kind of brand on the airwaves and keep it there.
It’s a beautiful thing to see Howard stand up to the stingy corporate America standards with his kind of schtick. That beauty was cranked up a notch when the guy in charge of trying to put a lid on Stern’s NBC radio show is told, that the average radio listener listens for 18 minutes while the average Stern listener stays tuned in for an hour and 20 minutes. And his listening detractors, the ones that hate his style of humor, listened for two and a half hours per day. LOL.
Why? Because they want to see what he’ll say next.
The film is a tribute to the rise of his career and the everyday underdog who would love to bust out with their own brand of style, but feel squashed by the conservative infrastructure.
Obviously this 1997 film only covers his career up to 1997. In late 2004 he signed on with SIRIUS, and his signing on brought a slew of new subscribers to the satellite industry when his contractual stint kicked in during January of 2006.
Terrestrial radio had to say goodbye to one of its biggest draws due to the non-stop onslaught of the FCC’s focus on Stern. At least that’s how it was portrayed by Stern.
Admittedly I was never a fan of his when he was on terrestrial radio. I hated his material. But his style changed when he was hired by SIRIUS. Once on satellite, his style changed because he did not have to spend all his free time pissing off the FCC. Now he was allowed to do what he wanted, and to be honest, I love his satellite program now.
Sure, there is still a little schtick in there, but not like it was. He turns out to be one of the best personality interviewers I’ve ever heard. He has a great sense of what he likes for movies and if I hear he doesn’t like a movie, I avoid it. It seems we have the same taste in movies.
Did Howard beat the system? It’s funny to ask that question. In one sense, yes he did. In another sense, he only stayed true to himself. He stayed true to his co-hosts through the years like Robin Quivers and gang. Did he beat the system? Present day, Howard Stern’s net worth is reportedly around $550 million, with an annual salary of $15M.
Private Parts is pretty entertaining as far as this comedic biography goes.
BE WARNED… if you have young ones in the household, you may wish to wait until they’re asleep because there is nudity and language. We get to see one of his nude radio interviews take place and other skinematic moments.
If interested about details on Howard’s career, check out Wikipedia. They have it covered pretty well. Or pick up or rent the film. It’s pretty funny and entertaining since he’s pretty honest about how his life felt like through his years of growing up and getting into the industry.
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