10 Of The Most Controversial Moments That Happened In ‘The Howard Stern Show’

10 Of The Most Controversial Moments That Happened In ‘The Howard Stern Show’ | I Love Classic Rock Videos

Howard Stern in the Late Show with Stephen Colbert - Youtube

The Howard Stern Show has been at the center of controversies from the time of its inception. Howard Stern initially rose to fame as a “shock jock” in the 1980s and cemented himself as a significant pop-culture figure by the mid-1990s. He pushed the boundaries on his radio show, which many believed went too far, and caused several controversies.

Insensitive Plane Crash Joke

On January 13, 1982, Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the Fourteenth Street Bridge, prompting Stern to make a tasteless joke on air. He asked, “What’s the price of a one-way ticket from National to the Fourteenth Street Bridge? Is that going to be a regular stop?” Stern’s callous remarks sparked controversy and contributed to his reputation as a “shock jock.”

Lorena Bobbitt Remarks

During the highly publicized case of Lorena Bobbitt, who severed her abusive husband’s penis, Stern openly sided with John Bobbitt. He even paid for John’s “enlargement” surgery and repeatedly criticized Lorena. Stern’s comments, including calling Lorena a “psycho b*tch,” drew criticism for their insensitivity towards domestic violence survivors.

Racist Comments After Selena’s Death


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by People Magazine (@people)

In April 1995, following the murder of Tejano singer Selena, Stern made disparaging remarks about her and her music. He mocked her work and suggested that Spanish people had poor taste in music. “This music does absolutely nothing for me… Alvin and the Chipmunks have more soul… Spanish people have the worst taste in music. They have no depth.”  Stern’s comments were widely condemned as racist and disrespectful towards Selena’s memory and her Latino fans.

Inappropriate Columbine Remarks


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Gabby Giffords (@gabbygiffords)

In the aftermath of the Columbine High School shootings in 1999, Stern questioned why the shooters didn’t sexually assault their female classmates before taking their own lives. He remarked, “If I was going to kill some people, I’d take them out with sex.” Stern’s insensitive comments provoked outrage and calls for his show’s cancellation.

Dana Plato’s Drug Test

Dana Plato’s appearance on The Howard Stern Show in 1999, shortly before her death, led to controversy. When callers accused Plato of being under the influence, Stern offered to test her for drugs using a lock of her hair. “[Plato] said, ‘I want my hair back.’ That’s when I knew she was lying.” Plato’s subsequent death and Stern’s handling of the situation drew criticism and raised ethical concerns.

Inappropriate Questions to Emma Bunton


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by DIMEPIECE (@dimepiece.co)

In 2005, Stern’s interview with Emma Bunton, aka Baby Spice, took a lewd turn as he asked intrusive questions about her personal life. Stern inquired about Bunton’s physical development and made inappropriate remarks about her appearance, leading to discomfort and refusal to answer. “You’ve got a hot little body. I can see you girl-on-girl action, I can see you with two guys. I could see you doing a lot of things.”

Badgering Robin Williams


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Robin Williams (@robinwilliams)

Stern’s interview with Robin Williams in the early ’90s took a regrettable turn when Stern repeatedly questioned Williams about rumors of an affair with his son’s nanny. “I loved Robin Williams, but there I am beating him over the head with, like, ‘Hey, I hear you’re f*cking your nanny?’ I could have had a great conversation, but I’m playing to the audience.” Stern admitted to playing to the audience instead of engaging in a meaningful conversation, later regretting his behavior towards the late actor.

Splicing Dolly Parton’s Voice


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Dolly Parton (@dollyparton)

In 2008, Stern played edited soundbites from Dolly Parton’s audiobook to fabricate offensive comments. “It’s obviously parody, and it’s funny as hell.”  Despite claiming it was parody, Stern’s actions were condemned by Parton and caused hurt and embarrassment. “I have never been so shocked, hurt, and humiliated in all my life.”

Lewd Aunt Jemima Remarks


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Aday Monzote (@nuday_aday)

Stern’s crude remarks about the character of Aunt Jemima in 1992 resulted in a significant fine from the FCC. “The closest I came to making love to a Black woman was, I masturbated to a picture of Aunt Jemima on a pancake box. I did it right on her kerchief.” His insensitive comments perpetuated racial stereotypes and drew criticism for their offensiveness.

Graphic Discussion with Rick Salomon


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by TheCityCeleb (@thecitycelebs)

Stern’s interview with Rick Salomon in 2004, discussing a sex tape involving Paris Hilton, crossed boundaries with the use of racial slurs and explicit content. The controversy surrounding the interview contributed to Stern’s move to satellite radio and a legal dispute with CBS Radio.