- Golden Globe Awards
Oral History: Howard Stern on His Place in Pop Culture
For over 40 years the HFPA has recorded famous and celebrated actors, actresses, and filmmakers. The world’s largest collection of its kind – over 10,000 items – is now in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Margaret Herrick Library. With Private Parts on the screens, we met shock-jock Howard Stern in a conversation about his life, from humble beginnings to celebrity status.
“Where is my place in American pop culture? I don’t think I fit any definition. Everyone said I wouldn’t succeed when I went into radio, I certainly didn’t fit the definition of a radio performer. In fact, most people I work for try to get rid of me. Then I decided to write a book and people said well, he’s not an author but the book Private Parts went to #1 and I can guarantee you that a lot of people in Hollywood said the film will never be successful, that I could never act and that I would never-because I’m not an actor and is no way to define who I am and what I do. I think that I was probably one of the people in America responsible for changing the face of radio. Radio, when I got into it, was very dull. I would notice talk shows were mostly homogenized radio. The talk show host never offered an opinion. For the most part, they’d say what’s your stand on abortion? Are you pro or con for example? I’m not going to tell you my stand. I’m an entertainer. I don’t want to offend anybody and wouldn’t it be interesting if someone got on the air and removed all of the façade, said whatever came to mind with kind of uncontrolled id. You know, I let it all fly. If you’re thinking something and you’re saying to yourself oh, I shouldn’t say that, remind yourself that you don’t have an image and just blurt it out. I guess my place in history is either I’ve ruined American radio or I’ve improved it. You decide.”