A live report from Howard Stern's 60th Birthday Bash
FEB 01, 2014 12:28p ET
I don't even know where to begin.
I was VERY fortunate to attend Howard Stern's 60th Birthday Bash at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on Friday night.
As a longtime, diehard Howard Stern fan, this was the pinnacle. However, since this is a sports website, let me get the sports stuff out of the way first.
I spoke with Stern very briefly on the red carpet and asked him for a Super Bowl prediction. His response?
"In order to give you a Super Bowl prediction, I'd have to know who was playing in the game."
Despite not being a sports fan, I figured Stern would have an opinion on Alex Rodriguez. He did.
"He's being railroaded because the Yankees don't want to pay him his contract," Stern said.
Finally, I asked Stern, who often attends Knicks game, what New York has to do to turn things around?
"I don't know," he said, "but I like when they're bad because then I get those good seats."
As for sports figures at Stern's party, Mark Cuban, Gary Bettman, James Dolan, Robert Kraft and John McEnroe were in attendance.
Now on to the event...
The only way I can sum it up was that it was four straight hours of entertainment on steroids.
It was a combination of stand-up, interviews and musical performances from the best of the best in show business.
Stern friend Jimmy Kimmel was the perfect host for the event as he moved things along while dropping clever one-liners (he introduced Robert Downey Jr. as "the orginal Crackhead Bob") and engaging Howard in funny banter.
The highlights, in (sort of) chronological order were:
- Tracy Morgan, from his seat in the audience, talking about getting Barbara Walters pregnant, as she sat about a foot away.
- Joan Rivers and Jeffrey Ross roasting Howard and Robin Quivers. I can't even repeat anything they said here, but at one point Rivers made a joke about Paul Walker that generated groans, to which she responded by flipping the bird and saying, "F--- you, I'm 80 years old. Do you think I care?"
- Louis CK simply being Louis CK and telling funny stories.
- Adam Levine doing Prince proud with a great rendition of "Purple Rain."
- Jon Bon Jovi (introduced by New Jersey gov. Chris Christie) singing the classic "Wanted Dead or Alive."
- Jimmy Fallon whipping the crowd into a frenzy while imitating several comedians. This was made even better by the fact that Fallon's soon-to-be competitor, Kimmel, was on stage while this took place. As Fallon left to a loud ovation, Kimmel simply said, "I didn't think that was funny." However, they did do shots with Howard.
- Sarah Silverman and Natalie Maines performing a hilarious "Howard Stern Show" tribute song, complete with many inside jokes that the crowd ate up.
- A riveting interview between Stern and the very shy David Letterman, which went nearly 30 minutes. This was Stern at his best.
- One-time Stern enemy Rosie O'Donnell getting huge laughs as she sang about how Howard used to torture her.
- John Fogarty bringing the crowd to its feet with two songs.
- Maria Menounos just for being Maria Menounos.
- Dave Grohl with an awesome acoustic version of "Everlong," followed by "My Hero," with Howard looking on nearly in tears.
- Steven Tyler at the piano and going all out on "Dream On," with a surprise appearance by Slash.
- Tyler, Slash and Grohl performing "Walk This Way."
Mixed in among these live acts were video messages from the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Paul McCartney, George Clooney, Metallica and No. 1 Stern enemy Kathie Lee Gifford (she might be No. 2 behind Jay Leno), who called Howard a "motherf---er."
In addition to the celeb factor, the crowd was treated to live versions of some Robin Quivers tribute songs, which concluded with Ryan Phillippe coming out and giving Robin a lap dance that included him ripping off his shirt.
Lastly, the evening was filled with emotion. From Stern talking about his longtime partner Quivers surviving cancer, to Stern talking about his father being his hero, to Stern thanking his large staff (notably Gary "Baba Booey" Dell'Abate and Fred Norris) -- this seemed to be what the crowd enjoyed more than anything.
Stern seemed truly grateful and humbled at the end of the night. He worked the crowd better than all the celebrities I previously mentioned combined.
In his closing remarks, you could sense that Howard experienced the same thing as those of us in the audience: a four-hour roller coaster ride that was at high speed from start to finish. And an evening that no one in attendance will ever forget.
Encore presentations of "Howard Stern's Birthday Bash" will air on Monday, Feb. 3 beginning at 6:00 am ET on Howard 100 and 6:00 am PT on Howard 101 and through the free stream at siriusxm.com. The "Howard Stern Birthday Bash" is available on SiriusXM On Demand for subscribers listening via the SiriusXM Internet Radio App for smartphones and other mobile devices or online at siriusxm.com.