‘History of Howard Stern’ spends 90 minutes on Westchester days

howard.jpgThirty years ago, Howard Stern launched his career as a professional deejay in Briarcliff Manor. The radio world would never be the same.

With Stern and his crew off for holiday break, Sirius satellite radio has been broadcasting the premiere of “The History of Howard Stern� in lieu of his live morning radio show this week. Featuring first-person interviews and narration by Jim Forbes of “Behind the Music� fame, the first 90 minutes of Tuesday’s broadcast alone were dedicated to Stern’s days spinning vinyl in Briarcliff and plugging various businesses and events throughout the Lower Hudson Valley.

“My first radio job really was WRNW in Westchester and that was a very difficult situation for me,� Stern said during the special. “I was not a good broadcaster; I was not a good straight broadcaster, and I wasn’t thought of much.�

Recently completing his second year of a five-year, $500 million contract at Sirius satellite radio, Stern said he launched his full-time career with a $5,000 annual salary on Jan. 1, 1977 at 107.1 FM. He was 11 days shy of his 23rd birthday.

“My first shift, when I got on the air, I was so nervous my hands were shaking,� he said. “The station was empty, thank God, because it was New Year’s morning. I hit the button to play the record, the whole board jams up. I must’ve hit it too hard.�

Reflecting on the incident with sidekicks Robin Quivers and Artie Lange, Stern said he woke up the program director when calling him in the ensuing panic.

“The engineer came in and started yelling at me – this big fat guy – and he fixed it at some point, I guess,� he said. “And all the other jocks heard me and they think I was horrible. I was the laughing stock of the station. The program director was going to fire me, I heard, because I woke him up. And again, I had to beg for his mercy. I said, ‘I’m so sorry.’ He goes, ‘You’re terrible; you’re horrible.’ It’s a miracle I sit here today.�

In addition to Briarcliff, check out the “King of All Media’s” direct connections to Armonk, Elmsford, Tarrytown, Bronxville, Scarsdale, White Plains and Yorktown after the break.

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For next year’s Christmas show, perhaps Phil Rizzuto should sing ‘O, Holy Cow!’

In today’s Journal News, my colleague Peter Kramer wrote a really fun piece about Yankees broadcaster Suzyn Waldman and her starring role in the Westchester Broadway Theatre’s production of “Christmas Inn.”

Kramer mentions how the Elmsford show’s script was tailored for the former “Man of La Mancha” star, with her character Maxine musing that she “could have been spending Christmas with one of (her) boyfriends in the Bronx,” and pining for “those Stadium franks in the Bronx.” Subtle!

The show features Waldman singing traditional Christmas music, including “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and “Silent Night.” But if Waldman’s lines are already tailored to reference her other job, why stop there?

My fellow Suburbarrazi Ted might regret mentioning my likelihood of writing song parodies, because let’s strike up the band to the tune of “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)”!

Yankees hoping that they aren’t fired
They lost, fueling Pinstripe woes
High-priced contracts prematurely expire
And folks wind up on the O’s

Everybody knows free agents and some help from Joe
Help to make next season bright
Those Red Sox, with their bank account blown
Will find it hard to sleep tonight

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