Howard Stern’s morning radio show disappeared from Louisville’s airwaves three years ago when Clear Channel yanked it from WTFX’s lineup because of its so-called indecent content. Since then, Stern has quit terrestrial radio forever and jumped on board with Sirius satellite radio, signing a five-year, multimillion-dollar deal. This leap of faith paid off for Sirius and Stern’s show — Sirius has gained more than 2 million new subscribers, and Stern now has free reign to do and say anything he wants over the airwaves.
If you haven’t been listening, you’re missing out on a lot of fun, a lot of talk, a lot of speculation and a lot of drunk strippers. Fans of the show — myself included — have been given a free pass into Howard Stern’s ultimate dream: a medium that has no regulations on content. There’s been the good (a profound interview with former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle), the bad (co-host Robin Quivers’ revelation that she once pleasured herself with vegetables) and the ugly (a mother rode the Sybian — think saddle with a vibrator attached — while her son controlled the speed). The journey has been quite entertaining, to say the least.
On Saturday, local fans of the show can get up close and personal as Stern’s motley group of degenerates descends upon Headliners for a night of lewd, crude and rude comedy.
The line-up includes “Wack Pack” regulars the Rev. Bob Levy, Sal the Stockbroker, Yucko the Clown, Shuli and Beetlejuice. A wild night, indeed, is in store. I got an opportunity to chat with both Levy and Yucko about what exactly we can expect at Headliners, and about all things Howard, of course.
The Rev. Bob Levy has been a show regular for years and is quick to boast he won Stern’s “World’s Meanest Listener” contest in 2002. Levy often gets picked on because he has trouble pronouncing common words and because he lives in his ex-wife’s Philadelphia basement. He hosts the “Miserable Man Show” on Stern’s channel and often is the ringleader for the infamous roasts on the show.
[img_assist|nid=4041|title=Yucko the Clown|desc=Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images Yucko the Clown says he wants to storm some of our bourbon distilleries. â€œI hope they donâ€™t mind clowns standing in line for free samples,â€ he says.|link=|align=right|width=200|height=198]Yucko the Clown has also been a show staple for years — known for his dirty jokes followed by a few toots of a horn. Yucko had his own show, “Stankervision,” on MTV2 and pushes his DVDs at shows and on the Internet (www.damnshow.com). Yucko is a favorite during the roasts — uttering one-liners and inappropriate jokes I can’t repeat, even in LEO. Yucko hasn’t washed his clown suit in years, and told me it smells like a mixture of cigarettes, booze, mustard and pizza sauce. “It’s basically like a big scratch-and-sniff sticker,” he says proudly.
Levy says the Killers of Comedy Tour is an event not to miss for Stern fans. “It’ll be a lot of fun — it’ll be out of control. It’s not going to be like any other comedy show. There’ll be a lot of involvement with the audience,” he says. “It’s like a big party, it’s like New Year’s every time we go out.”
Yucko agrees: “It’s just way out there — raunchy in true Howard Stern style. We don’t hold anything back. We put it all out there.”
The backstage antics at these shows are discussed weekly on the show, and Levy and Yucko revealed a few recent developments.
“Oh, yeah — people start drinking when they hit the airport,” Yucko admits. “Especially Bob Levy. He has his vodka, or ‘vodker,’ because he can’t say it right. He wants to get to the club two or three hours early so he can start drinking.”
“From the minute we get there, it’s total ball-busting,” Levy adds. “Actually, it starts the minute we get on the plane.”
Both Levy and Yucko shared stories of Beetlejuice’s backstage debauchery — Levy says they watch him “get drunk” on shots of orange juice, and Yucko says the one-of-a-kind Wack Packer got it on with a crack whore in Dallas. “It was just freaking us out,” Yucko explains. “She was all over Beetlejuice. It was nasty.”
Both comedians agree that Stern’s show is better now than ever.
“I think he’s a lot happier working now,” Levy says. “It’s just a lot more fun, and it’s a lot more fun for us (Wack Packers) to be able to do whatever we want to do.”
“The show is a hundred times funnier,” Yucko says. “Reporters always ask me how he’s doing — he’s a billionaire and he’s banging a model, how do you think he’s doing?”
Hey now … he’s got a point.
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