EXCLUSIVE: Dying of embarrassment? Nick Di Paolo mulls the shame of being killed by a bomb signed by ‘Baba Booey’

To die by the hand of an enemy must be hard enough, but to be one of eight insurgents to reportedly lose lives at the expense of a bomb signed by Baba Booey? “Embarrassing,” according to stand-up comedian and northern Westchester resident Nick Di Paolo.

nick-pic-2.jpgWhile flipping through photographs of his recent USO trip to Afghanistan, Di Paolo pointed out in an exclusive interview with me last week that he and fellow regulars from the Howard Stern radio show autographed a bomb that he said was later dropped by an unmanned “Reaper” plane onto eight enemy insurgents.

Signing the 500-pound weapon at a military base were Di Paolo, fellow comedians Artie Lange, Dave Attell and Jim Florentine and Stern radio producer Gary “Baba Booey” Dell’Abate.

Mulled Di Paolo:

Imagine getting killed by a bomb signed by Baba Booey? How embarrassing.

Listen to the whole clip here:

Download:

And if you liked that clip and live in or close to the Lower Hudson Valley, tune in to RNN’s “NewsCenter Now” tonight at 5:45 p.m., when they’ll run a full three-minute segment of my interview with Nick D!

Related Suburbarazzi exclusive: Nick Di Paolo fires a few rounds, also shoots machine gun.

(Photo by Carucha L. Meuse/The Journal News)

Bombed! Comedian Nick DiPaolo and other Howard Stern regulars escape injury on USO tour

Normally, when there’s bombing in the vicinity of a comedy show, it’s due to terrible jokes, not mortar fire.

nick-d.jpgBut northern Westchester resident Nick DiPaolo and fellow regulars of Howard Stern’s radio show had to duck and cover following their USO show in Afghanistan early last week.

According to The Daily News, DiPaolo had just finished a show with fellow comedians Artie Lange, Jim Florentine and Dave Attell and Stern’s radio producer Gary Dell’Abate when the Kandahar base where they were performing came under mortar fire. The Stern crew reportedly waited for 35 minutes in a secure bunker before shelling stopped and they emerged uninjured.

Rick Dorfman, DiPaolo’s manager, told Suburbarazzi today that the local comedian returned to the United States uninjured and was already en route to the Just For Laughs festival in Montréal, where he was headlining for a series called “The Nasty Show.”

But really, how nasty could things be by comparison?

(Photo by Mark Vergari/InTown Magazine)

EXCLUSIVE: Chevy Chase weighs in on Howard Stern, ‘SNL,’ WGA strike and more

chevy-chase.jpgHalfway through my 15-minute phone interview with Chevy Chase yesterday, I asked the Bedford resident what movie and TV projects he was working on. His deadpan reply? “I have six pictures coming out and I’ll be on three sitcoms.” The former “Saturday Night Live” writer and cast member had been so cautious and measured with his replies up to that point, I didn’t laugh for fear it wasn’t a joke. But with his next two words, “I lied,” we chuckled and the rest of the interview flowed more comfortably.

Chase, 64, has been keeping a lower profile of late on the entertainment circuit; responding seriously to the aforementioned question, he said he’s working on a few screen projects, but cited the Writers Guild of America strike as one of the reasons he declined to elaborate. Off-screen, his high-profile appearances of late have been with wife, Jayni, raising awareness about environmental education in Bedford and beyond. The latter was the impetus for my call, but after discussing that for one minute, I had to ask him some entertainment-related questions. Wouldn’t you?

Below are highlights from my exclusive interview with Chevy Chase. In it, we learn about his truce with Howard Stern; whether he or “Caddyshack” costar Bill Murray is the better golfer; his thoughts on the strike; “SNL” then and now; and more. Some questions were rearranged and omitted to make for a cleaner read.

On mending fences with former Briarcliff Manor deejay Howard Stern, who donated an auction prize to the Chases’ charity following a feud that spanned almost 20 years:

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I saw Howard this summer and, you know, those kinds of things, they die down. I think he felt bad about what he’d done. And he likes me and he likes Jayni and he’s a likable guy, and it went our way. And it was a great help to have him do that. He has so many listeners, you know. And initially it wasn’t such a great help when he did what he did to us, because we don’t have any listeners. [Laughs.] It was kind of like beating a dead horse after a while.

He sort of started to lay off I think when I called him a few years back. I said, “Look, I can’t go to a Knicks game, I can’t go to a Yankee game with my daughters, because people yell out thing like, ‘Hey, no wonder Howard Stern says you’re a pr***,’ or just stuff that’s just hideous.”

So, I called and talked to his producer (Gary Dell’Abate) and said, ‘Look, do me a favor, tell Howard what’s happening and about how it’s affecting my family,’ and Howard got on the air apparently and said, ‘Look, this is business and it’s not anything to do with a personal issue. Leave him alone.’ And I thought that was a nice gesture back then. So, when I saw him at a Bon Jovi end-of-the-(summer party this year), we kind of were civil and were just two dads talking, basically.

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On the state of “Saturday Night Live” these days:

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chevy-chase2.jpgI love it. I really think it’s a resurgence. I called Lorne (Michaels) and told him I was surprised to see LeBron James, the dancing, the special effects, and all that stuff that they do — the videos — it’s so much more, technically, than what we were doing. And of course, I should expect that; it’s been 30 years. I hadn’t followed it much and then (was) following it and then (was) appearing briefly on the next show (hosted by Seth Rogen). I’ll do it again when we get closer to the elections.

To me, there are some very talented kids out there — Amy (Poehler) and Seth (Meyers) — who are perhaps doing their kind of comedy to the new [Laughs] — the new generation, whatever you want to call it. I feel secure in my own kind of comedy, too, so it’s nice to be there and get an ovation and all that.

In the end, I think that, yeah, the show has gotten quite a bit better than — it’s had some good years and some bad years. You can’t really tell what it’s going to be until you see it put together. And Lorne, as usual, is the man in charge, and even though he seems to separate himself a little bit more — because he is getting older, perhaps, or whatever — he’s still the guy who knows the right kind of edits and the right kind of thing to do from dress (rehearsal) to air, and it’s quite amazing that he still does it so well. And I’m very happy with him and the show.

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On his relationship with Sneden’s Landing resident and fellow “SNL” alumnus Bill Murray, with whom he had a backstage fistfight in the show’s second season:

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How would I describe our relationship? Well, we go (out). We date on occasion. You know, a little light petting, not heavy petting. … Yeah, if I can get him drunk, he’ll pursue anything. Unfortunately, he’ll also hit me with a hammer, but you know, those are the chances you take. I’d just as soon Bill Murray hit me with a hammer than anybody else because he’s pretty funny. [Laughs.] We’re friends. We’re not close; we don’t see a lot of each other, but we talk on the phone and we’ve played golf a couple of times. I can’t play for crap, but Bill’s quite good. Quite good.

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On his closest friend from “SNL” :

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EXCLUSIVE: Jimmy Fink confirms story about New Year’s Day debacle

fink01small.jpgLast week, Suburbarazzi published an item about Jimmy Fink, a deejay for the White Plains-based radio station The Peak. While working for another radio station and boss years ago, Fink was “fired” immediately after working an unwanted New Year’s Day morning shift that the boss “begged” him to do, according to a recent story told on air by Howard Stern’s producer Gary Dell’Abate.

Reached by phone last week, Fink confirmed Dell’Abate’s story, but said it warranted a couple of clarifications.

First, Fink said that after he worked the 6 a.m. to noon shift at WPLJ on the first day of 1980, his boss summoned him to his office to tell him he was fired. Dell’Abate had said that the boss “called” Fink to fire him, but Fink said that action happened in person.

Second, Fink said his boss mistakenly thought he was cutting him at the end of a pay period, but because Fink started another 13-week pay period Jan. 1, he had to be paid for that duration regardless. Fink not only was rehired, but also wound up staying with WPLJ — and his boss — until the station changed formats three years later, he said.

Even though Fink, an Eastchester High School alumnus, had been “fired” after 10 years at the station, he said he didn’t take it personally.

“He wasn’t firing me for something that I did or anything,” he told Suburbarazzi. “You know, that’s the way it is in the radio business. You usually will find out, ‘Hey, you just did your last show,’ for whatever reason it happens to be.”

(Photo courtesy of Jimmy Fink.)

Howard Stern producer recalls Jimmy Fink’s unhappy New Year’s Day

jf.jpgGary Dell’Abate, the radio producer for shock jock Howard Stern, recently talked on the air about the difficulties people in the radio industry face during holiday seasons. In the process, Dell’Abate referenced my fellow Eastchester High School alumnus and my favorite local deejay, Jimmy Fink.

Last week, Dell’Abate had been chatting with colleagues on Stern’s “Wrap Up Show” about unwanted holiday radio shifts early in their careers. He then recounted a story that involves Fink getting served — and I don’t mean delicious pancakes at his defunct Ardsley restaurant, either:

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Jimmy Fink, … great guy, he told me this story: He worked at (a) radio station, and the guy that ran the radio station begged him, begged him, begged him to work on New Year’s Day, which he did not want to do. And the guy says, ‘I really need you to do this: I need you to do 6 to noon on New Year’s Day.’ So (Fink) said that he went out (on New Year’s Eve), but he got home at like 10 o’clock. He and his wife toasted and then he went to sleep early. And he got up and he did 6 to noon, and he got off the air — and the guy called him and fired him…. (The boss) totally knew what he was going to do (and) figured, ‘Why (tick) off one of my employees I’m keepin’?’

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Here’s hoping Fink’s current radio bosses at The Peak are far more appreciative.

An interesting fact, which Dell’Abate did not mention: Fink — who spun records at WPLJ and WNEW before working at the same station as the Stern crew at what was then WXRK — now broadcasts on 107.1 FM, the same airwaves that in the ’70s provided Stern with his first paying radio gig. Back then, though, the station had different call letters and broadcast from Briarcliff Manor instead of its current White Plains digs.

(File photo by Seth Harrison/The Journal News)

Picking fights: With whom do you side when Howard Stern’s staff argues with each other?

Former Briarcliff Manor deejay Howard Stern yesterday got into an epic clash with Gary Dell’Abate, the show’s executive producer. Stern was angry that Dell’Abate (a.k.a. “Bababooey”) broadcast a prank phone call on the post-show program without first asking Stern’s permission.

During this already uncomfortable exchange, an argument within an argument broke out. Sal “The Stockbroker” Governale entered the studio, claiming he tried to tell Dell’Abate not to play the prank call without asking Stern first. Dell’Abate exploded with expletives at the writer, who was telling the truth but appeared to be kissing up to Stern. It was at this point that I realized that I’m almost always going to side with Dell’Abate over both Stern and Governale, because Dell’Abate seems to be the among the most prepared, justified and well-intended member of the crew.

That got me thinking: With whom would I side if two or more Stern show personnel were arguing, if both/all arguments were equally valid? So, I came up with an arbitrary list of 13 active Stern show regulars (no Jackie Martling or “Stuttering” John Melendez here), ranking them from my most frequent argument ally to my least-frequent argument ally. The list does not include infrequent guests, such as staff members’ family or significant others.

Here are my top three allies, with the rest of the Stern crew listed after the break:

1. Fred Norris – Rarely speaks, but when he does, he’s usually the best voice of reason. I’d actually give Dell’Abate the edge here, but Norris is a Yankee fan while Dell’Abate roots for the Mets. He can be a bit of a music snob, though. Agreement score: 9.5.

2. Gary Dell’Abate – As I mentioned, the guy seems to be the most prepared, justified and nicest guy on the entire staff. He also can remember the details of some of the most obscure moments in show history, so he is a trusted authority. Agreement score: 9.

3. Artie Lange – Perhaps the most naturally funny member of the staff, Lange’s well-placed punchlines, self-effacing nature and generous attitude make me empathize for the guy when the staff is picking on his weight or history with gambling and drugs. Plus, he’s a huge Yankees and New York Giants fan. Agreement score: 8.5.

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Where did the Howard Stern show first go to try to replace sidekick Jackie ‘The Jokeman’ Martling? Westchester County Airport.

Today on the Howard Stern show, Jackie “The Jokeman� Martling returned as a sit-down guest for the first time since the show moved from terrestrial radio to Sirius satellite radio on Jan. 9, 2006. There were plenty of laughs and awkward exchanges between Martling and friend/rival Fred Norris, who both wrote jokes for the shock jock before Martling left the show after a drawn-out contract dispute.

In early 2001, Martling rejected a final contract offer from Infinity Broadcasting (now CBS Radio) to return to the show and laugh too hard at his own jokes. Stern — who launched his professional radio career at 107.1 FM in Briarcliff Manor — agonized over the transition to move on, but it was one he said he had to make, according to producer Gary Dell’Abate (a.k.a. “Bababooeyâ€?).

After today’s show, the producer explained to listeners how Stern made his first real step toward replacing Martling by authorizing Dell’Abate to pick up a prospective replacement at Westchester County Airport, which straddles North Castle and Harrison and borders Fairfield County, Conn.:

<blockquote><div>Howard called me that weekend and he was like, ‘Listen, it’s done. Jackie’s not coming back. I just got off the phone with (92.3 FM General Manager) Tom (Chiusano). The last offer was made. We’re moving forward.’ And for Howard to speak those words was very difficult. And I remember we talked about who would we get to sit in. … He goes, ‘Hey, you know, Ron Zimmerman? The comedian? He’d like to sit in.’ And I remember, it was a big deal. I had to go to Westchester Airport on a Saturday night and put on my credit card a first-class ticket for him to come in overnight. But I remember when Howard gave me the go-ahead — he was like, ‘Fly him in’ — that was really the finality of it: that, like, we’re putting a different guy in that chair. And it was hard for him. It was hard for him to do that. He did not want to do that. It wasn’t what he wanted, but he was like, ‘I have to move ahead.’</div></blockquote>

In the months that followed, other comedians — including Tarrytown product Greg Fitzsimmons — would audition for the right to sit in Martling’s chair. Former “Mad TVâ€? star Artie Lange was awarded “The Jackie Chairâ€? later that year.

(Associated Press file photo/Louis Lanzano)

Suburbarazzi voters don’t care who Howard Stern’s soul mate is

One thing you can say about Suburbarazzi voters: They care about not caring.

When asked who Howard Stern’s true soul mate is, not only did a non-Suburbarazzi writer suggest the answer “Who cares?” but 34 additional people followed suit and voted the same way. Nearly a quarter of the 147 voters (registering 35 votes) felt compelled to make known their apathy, though it remains to be seen if the bulk of those people were part of Les Moonves’ legal team or Kathie Lee Gifford supporters.

The former Briarcliff Manor deejay’s fiancée, Beth Ostrosky, finished fifth in the voting with 7 percent (11 votes). Who finished ahead of her? Howard Stern, himself (22 percent; 32 votes), Stern show co-host Robin Quivers (19 percent; 28 votes) and first Stern wife Alison Berns (8 percent; 12 votes).

Here are the rest of the results, with producer Gary Dell’Abate and the enigmatic “Thanks! Good Photos!” at the bottom of the list with two votes and one vote, respectively.

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