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Howard Stern on Sex, Therapy and Charlie Sheen

Revealing quotes from his Rolling Stone cover story

Larry Busacca/WireImage for Sirius Satellite Radio

“The biggest criticism of my interviews is that I cut people off. I think my biggest asset is that I cut people off. It sounds like a contradiction, but the fact is you can't allow people to drone on. You are the orchestra leader. You are the one who is saying, ‘My audience wants something new. I've got to get out of this. I gotta keep it fresh.’”

 

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Bill Swersey/Getty

Howard Gets Bitten in the Ass

"Those [old] shows can bite you in the ass, because I think the war in Iraq is ridiculous, but you can hear old shows of me screaming, "Come on, we have to go to Iraq and blow everyone up." Oh, fuck, I sounded like an idiot."

 

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Howard Becomes a Human

"Talking on the radio is a performance. Even though it's pretty raw, what I do, and I do open up, it's still a performance. If you go to a therapy session, it's a whole 'nother level. It's been useful to me because I think it's just opened me up as a human being. I feel less like a detached robot. I actually feel human. I don't think I did before."

 

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Ron Galella/WireImage

Howard’s Radio Strategy

"When I was starting out, I came to the revelation that if I was going to go anywhere in radio, I can't be playing records. I said, 'I can't rely on the Beatles or the Rolling Stones to get me ratings. Every asshole can play those. But if what I have to say was important, no one can replicate that.'"

 

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SGranitz/WireImage

Howard Makes Friends

"I notice when I'm able to break through my fear and hesitance and create some friendships, it really feels good. I missed a lot of that by not fully being human. It's really hard, because I'm the first one to tend to shut down. I'm the type of guy who will invite you to my home and then all of a sudden, I'll be angry you're at my house, like, 'When can I be by myself?'"

 

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Steve Eichner/Steve Eichner Inc./WireImage

Howard on His Divorce

"[Getting a divorce] felt like such a failure. It's so complicated, and it's hard for me even to figure out at this point what went wrong and how things that were so good could go so bad. It's tough. I think I'll spend the rest of my life trying to analyze that."

 

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Howard on Competition

"[In the past] I was a slug, and I was down in the mud. I felt very defensive. I had to do whatever I had to do to make a living, and that I would tear the fucking head off of anyone who got in my way. And now I'm more comfortable with my place and what I've done. I don't feel as threatened by anybody else. I have a really nice friendship with Jimmy Kimmel. Years ago, I could have had a friendship with anybody in show business, and I didn't, because everyone was a competitor."

 

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Photograph by Platon for Rolling Stone

Howard Seeks Balance

"I had something to prove to the world, to my father, to every woman that never fucked me. You know, everything. I'm not saying I'm fully evolved now. I'm not Buddha. Sometimes it's hard for me to accept that I don't have every listener and I haven't written every good joke. I get competitive. But that's no way to live. I'm tired of walking around angry. It's a burden. And that's why I'm trying to find balance."

 

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