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One Photo; One Story: Howard Stern (and little Howard?)

One Photo; One Story: Howard Stern (and little Howard?)

I just completed my second radio show at WXRK (KRock) in New York City in July of 1997.

After two nerve racking nights 2a to 6a, I was proud that I didn’t say Q104.3. I was recently fired from the other station a few weeks back and I was glad to be starting over.

I thought I’d hit the restroom before making my way home to New Jersey.

I walked into the men’s room and there he was doing his business all by himself. The legendary King Of All Media, Howard Stern.

I am not sure what came over me during the course of the next few minutes. I felt weak. The bathroom closed in around me as if I were in a long cattle shoot. My surrounding became blurry as I walked past dozens of unoccupied urinals. I began to open my fly as I approached.

He tried not to notice as I got closer, he gave me the side-eye as I undid my pants and parked right next to him. His mind must have been reeling, if I could read his mind he would have said, “What the actual fuck is this?”

As I fumbled with my zipper, he looked at me. I almost passed out. We stood there going for what seemed like several minutes.

I mustered the courage to say one long sentence. “Hi Howard, I’m Mark Razz, just started it’s my second day, I’m so nervous and I’m happy to meet you, I think you’re great, and I’m a big fan, I just left Q104.3, I did afternoons, I can’t believe I’m here, this is great Nice to meet you Howard Stern”.

He just looked at me.

He said after a while, “Hey man. I heard you. You sound good. You did a great job at the other station, nice to meet you.”

He washed his hands and walked out.

“I JUST MET HOWARD STERN!” I screamed to myself. I walked out to my car to drive home.

As I drove into the Lincoln Tunnel the show intro played. I lost the station for a brief minute as I drove through the tunnel. Coming out of the other side I heard him talking about our encounter in the restroom.

art credit: Gregory Monaghan

It went something like this;

Howard: “Mornin, everybody. Robin, I just met the new guy Razz in the bathroom. I want him fired.

Robin: “What? Why?”

Howard: “I’m minding my own business and Razz stands right next to me and decides to have a conversation while I’m trying to go to the bathroom. Robin, who does that?”

Robin: “I don’t know, who?”

Howard: “Razz that’s who! There’s something wrong with that guy. Robin I want him fired. I swear he must be a homo, I think he was looking down at me. It was weird. I’m not sure about that guy. If he does it again, I want him fired.”

We got off to a bad start. I did not look down.

I’m sorry Howard. You really are my hero. It was a momentary lapse of reason. I hope you never find out that the Russian cleaning lady used to open your office for me at 40 West 57th Street, so I could sleep on your couch in between shifts. I used to grab an hour or two of sleep. I would sometimes just sit there and wait to fall asleep under the glimmer of your Emmy award. Hoping to God you didn’t walk in the door.

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