I’m basically replacing Howard Stern … except for the “replacing Howard Stern” part.


Testing, testing … one, two … mic check … is this thing on? It is? OK, good.


Listen, you might find this hard to believe, but things went so well for me at Howard Stern’s Birthday Bash that Howard himself gave me a job. In fact, he said he’s grooming me to take over the show after he retires. My first move? Fire Benjy.

Of course, the reason you might find that hard to believe is that it’s, well, total bullshit. Completely made up. Nothing more than a figment of my imagination. HOWEVER … I did get to appear on one of Howard’s SiriusXM channels the night before his Birthday Bash. Granted, not quite as exciting as landing a multi-million-dollar radio gig, but still … a way-cool adventure that made my trip to NYC that much more awesome.

Here’s how it all went down.

After I won tickets to the Birthday Bash, Mutt — the dude who runs SternFanNetwork.com and hosts the “Super Fan Roundtable” radio program on SiriusXM’s “Howard 101” channel — pretty much begged me to appear on his Birthday Bash Eve show … and by “pretty much begged me,” I mean “had no idea who I was, but was kind enough to invite me up after I relentlessly hounded him like an annoying douche.” Same thing.

And so it was that I boarded a train to Manhattan a day earlier than originally expected, checked into my swank digs at the Cassa hotel, and headed over to the SiriusXM studios, a sprawling complex located on the 36th floor of the McGraw-Hill Building in Midtown.


They forgot to put up the “…welcomes Daddy Scratches!” banner. An innocent and deeply regretted oversight on their part, I’m sure.

Shortly after my arrival, I met my fellow panelists and our gracious host:


From left to right: Zachary (a.k.a. winner of the Most Beautiful Penis Contest … a 2013 “Howard Stern Show” segment that I’m happy to say I didn’t witness); moi; Drew; the previously mentioned Mutt; Joseph Mooski (proprietor of SuperFanWorld.com); Erin; Jesse from San Diego; and Dan, who is from Boston, has two kids and is mental about Howard Stern and Van Halen. Hmmmm. That sounds familiar…

Before hitting the air live for “Super Fan Roundtable,” we all went into a studio and took turns voicing intros that may be used during replays of classic “Howard Stern Show” segments … so if someday you hear “Jon from Philly” introducing a segment during which former “Stern Show” sidekick Artie Lange talks about snorting cocaine through a prosthetic pig snout while stopped at a traffic light wearing a half-man/half-pig costume? That’ll be me.

Once we finished with that, it was showtime … and, clearly sensing that I was radio gold, Mutt hit me up first.


We professional radio types often keep one ear free from the “cans” (« that’s radio lingo right there) so we can hear sounds in the studio that aren’t captured by the microphone. It’s a tricky concept that I don’t expect you civilians to fully understand, but don’t feel bad; as you may recall, I had a tiny bit of college-radio experience back in the early ’90s, so, you know … I’m kind of an expert.

Upon Mutt’s prompting, I regaled the surely captivated audience with my fascinating tale of how I almost won tickets to Howard’s Birthday Bash … and then how I actually won tickets to Howard’s Birthday Bash. There was heartache. There was triumph. Tears followed by joyful laughter. It was some of the most riveting radio in the history of broadcasting. Which was impressive, since I spoke for all of about a minute and a half.


Stern Show Trivia: That dude in the black shirt and glasses? Producer/board operator Al Ragone. You’re welcome.

The thing is, it was a larger-than-usual panel and a shorter-than-usual episode, and the agenda was packed tight with coverage of the impending Birthday Bash — none of which was a surprise, as Mutt had advised us well in advance that the modified format would mean very little airtime for each of us. I could not have cared less; I was happy just to be there and to have such a unique experience.

My son texted me the following critique while I was still in the studio:

Zan calls me out for dropping F-bombs.

In my defense, I didn’t know my wife was going to let the kids listen. Imagine my surprise. And then imagine my horror when I thought they might still be listening during another panelist’s graphic description of a sexual act. (They weren’t … thank GAWD … which was a relief, because I’m pretty sure I don’t want my kids learning about sex from anything having to do with Ronnie the Limo Driver‘s deviant behavior. I’ll spare you the details … and you should thank me profusely for doing so.)

After the show, we took advantage of our surroundings for some unique photo ops.


I’ve been telling people I got my picture taken with Howard. This counts, right?


The cover of my forthcoming book, “When Wrinkles Attack: What to do when your 44-year-old face looks 80.” But I’m not Photoshopping it. Because I don’t care. Nope, doesn’t bother me at all. Clearly. You what? You think I’m “obsessing”? I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration, don’t you? Just because I keep talking about it and can’t seem to let it go doesn’t mean I’m … OK, I’ll stop now.

When they finally pushed us out of the building, all of us who were spending the night in New York grabbed a couple beers … but I kept it mellow and turned in early so I could rest up for the next night’s festivities — which, as previously reported, were epic. But getting to visit the SiriusXM studios and appearing on “Super Fan Roundtable” the night before? That made the trip exponentially more special and memorable than it otherwise would have been.

Hopefully, Mutt will have me up again sometime … and then I’ll land that multi-million-dollar contract. No doubt about it.

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