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Interview with Howard Stern

Aired January 22, 2011 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Howard Stern may think he's the king of all media, but I'm the British king of all media. And tonight, I'm the one asking the questions.


HOWARD STERN, RADIO PERSONALITY: England is the size of Philadelphia. I conquered Philadelphia in 1980.

MORGAN: On Howard Stern!

STERN: The Piers Morgan show starring Piers Morgan.

MORGAN: Look at the butt cheeks on that chick.

STERN: This is Piers' night, not mine. I'm just here for fun.

MORGAN: Howard Stern, how much of his private parts did he show?

STERN: You've got that (INAUDIBLE) clause. You've got it. You've got it. You're on a roll.


MORGAN: Howard Stern, when I first appeared on your show --


MORGAN: -- I remember being dragged into this sort of side dungeon and one of your producers saying, OK, this is how this works. You either appear for five minutes or an hour. It depends how interesting Howard thinks you are.

Talk about piling the pressure on. So, today, same rule applies.

STERN: First of all, I have no

MORGAN: If you did good, or you'll go.

STERN: First of all, I have no idea what you just said.

I'm looking at myself in the monitor and I'm seeing that my hair looks awfully big today. But that's all right. I'll deal with that.

It's a pleasure to be here on your show.

MORGAN: Thank you, Howard.

STERN: I want to congratulate you on unseating a 95-year-old man. Good for you. Poor Larry King is sitting home right now pulling what few hairs he has in his head out. I mean, what a nutjob.

MORGAN: You leave Larry King alone. Do you like Larry?

STERN: I love Larry King. And I was always amazed that, like, dignitaries, presidents, people who are important, people who have security teams would sit here with this maniac. I mean, Larry --

MORGAN: Larry King is not a maniac.

STERN: They should have had a reality show with Larry.

MORGAN: You're my second show. I want to have a third show, all right?

STERN: Listen, I like you. I like you on "America's Got Talent." I think you're a terrific judge. I think you're a nice man.

But who the hell knows what you're going to do on here? They tell me you're a journalist.

MORGAN: You tell me you're a journalist.

STERN: This is what they tell me. You're a journalist.

MORGAN: I was a journalist for 25 years.

STERN: OK. People in America don't know that.

MORGAN: But they are now.

STERN: What is your background? Tell the world. Where were you --

MORGAN: I'm doing the interview, Howard. It's not your show. I am in charge.

STERN: But, Piers, I want to see you be successful. Listen, I wish you a lot of luck. But as I said to your people in there, I said, look, Piers was in England. To be successful in England is very nice. But England is the size of Philadelphia. To conquer England, it takes about two days.

MORGAN: Let me tell you something, you call yourself the king of all media.

STERN: That's right.

MORGAN: You don't even have kings in America. You're not allowed to be a king.

STERN: The name "king of all media" was a goof, obviously. I didn't think I was the king of all media. I wanted to prove a point. It always struck me as fascinating that Michael Jackson decided to call himself the "king of pop." And I said to myself, boy, that's unbelievable. It's obnoxious and pretentious. Who's going to buy into that?

MORGAN: It was also true.

STERN: Well, after a while, everywhere he was introduced, he was then called king of pop. They didn't say he called himself king of pop. "The Rolling Stones" called themselves the world's greatest rock 'n' roll band. I happen to agree with that. But it's very pretentious to call yourself -- to call yourself that.

So, I said on the radio, I'm going to start -- this is 20 years ago, I'm going to call myself king of media. And then Jackie Marley (ph) who worked on my show time said, no, it should be king of all media. I said, OK. And then slowly but surely, it was a joke, but then slowly but surely, it started to become a name that was attributed to me.

MORGAN: But you've never denied being the king of all media?

STERN: No, I am the king of all media.

MORGAN: You can call it a good, but as you call it (ph), you believe it.

STERN: The reason I'm --

MORGAN: You're the highest paid figure in all media.

STERN: The reason I'm

MORGAN: Does that make you the king?

STERN: Yes. The reason I'm the king of all media is I am particularly good as being on the radio, being in broadcasting now my whole life. Whatever I say is interesting. I am a fascinating human being.

MORGAN: That's not true.

STERN: Well, it is.

MORGAN: That's not true.

STERN: Everything I say is interesting.

MORGAN: Like all people in your position, you're one of the best at it. But some days, you're off the game. You're boring.

STERN: I don't think so. No.

Piers, you can say that to be outrageous because you think you're different than Larry King. They've all tried it. You know, I heard a rumor that you were going to challenge me today, you wanted to be confrontational. You wanted to say that you are the best interviewer in the world.


STERN: And that's good. I'm glad you're confident.

But, my friend, you have a lot to prove here. We're going to see where these ratings, your report card is going to come in. And here's my prediction, in three months, you'll have fired your talent booker.

I said to Piers before, I said, the first week is great. You've had Oprah. You have me. You have some interesting people. Well, what's going to happen in three months from now when you're interviewing Scott Baio? I mean, really, what are you going to do? Who's going to care?

MORGAN: I want to play you a clip.

STERN: All right.

MORGAN: You said this on your show in the last few days.


STERN: They want to announce that I'm going to do this show. But I don't -- you know what? It is Piers Morgan. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When is he starting?

STERN: I don't know. I don't know what the big secret is. Who gives a (EXPLETIVE DELETED)? No one's watching that thing anyway?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, you -- it's not on.

STERN: That's what I mean. It might as well not on.



STERN: Piers Morgan is coming. Whoo-hoo!


STERN: I want you to be successful.

MORGAN: But you don't apologize?

STERN: No, I want you to be successful. I really do.

MORGAN: You don't want me to be successful.

STERN: I do. I like you. I like you. MORGAN: Hold on. You could like me, but I don't believe you want me to be successful. They're all talking about me. They won't be talking about you.

STERN: No, I don't see it that way at all. I think that -- I think that I have a very nice career and that my career will always be here. I've seen them all come and go. And, you know, I really, truly want you to be successful. I hope you do well.

MORGAN: What's the secret? You're the master of this. What is the secret of being a long-time, successful entertainer in America, do you think?

STERN: I think you have to have a sense of yourself. I think you really have to understand what people want to hear. And by saying that, I think that's something -- not that you're born with, but it's cultivated.

I had a father and mother who would cut me off the second I went too long. If I started to talk, they'd say, you're boring. You're boring everybody. This is a horrible story.

And then when I got it right, when I would do an impression of their friends, and I had the whole room laughing, there's terrible pressure on me. This is the way I won love and acceptance from my parents. But it was the best training ground in the world, in a sense, I'd always been doing a radio show to get approval.

MORGAN: I stuck out on Twitter today. Give me a killer question about Howard today.

STERN: Right.

MORGAN: One of them stuck out to me. It's kind of like your point. If you've got the money that you made, the success you've enjoyed, the status and everything that comes with it, what would motivate you to get out of bed at 3:30, 4:00 every day to carry on doing this?

STERN: I don't know. I had to -- I came to a conclusion, because my contract was up a few months ago, and I really thought I was going to retire. I said, why am I doing this anymore? I've proven everything I need to prove.

My show has been successful. I went to satellite. We started with 600,000 people there. Now we're over 20 million. I feel like we hit a home run. When I say we, I don't mean the royal we, I mean the whole show, Robin and Fred and Gary, all the people I work with.

And so, I said to myself, really, why am I doing this anymore? It makes me crazy. I hate getting up early in the morning. And I don't particularly like doing the show. I am driven by a neurotic compulsion to do that show. And it doesn't seem enjoyable.

I go home every night and I go, I didn't get it right. I didn't do a good job. I did a horrible job. The show was horrible today. MORGAN: How much of that comes from that early experience with your parents? Because I read about you watching your father, you know, praising people that he really respected and you're craving that praise.


MORGAN: And you've already touched on that. There was a key part of your early life was this need to please your parents. Do you still feel that? Do they listen to the show?

STERN: I think -- my parents listen every day. I don't think my father listened to me growing up. When I say listen to me, I don't think we had a relationship where he sat and said, oh, how are you doing, son? What is happening?

The thing I used to see my father doing when we were driving into the city, sometimes he would take me to work with him. And my father was a radio engineer. And he would turn on that radio and he would shush me.

And my father has such reverence for people with a microphone that it stopped me in my tracks. It's all I wanted. I wanted my father to hear me.

MORGAN: And how often does he say to you, "Great show, Howard"?

STERN: Rarely. He said to me some years ago, and this really moved me. He said, "You're a genius." And I was rocked because I thought I'd never hear those words. I didn't think that I was ever going to earn that respect in my father's eyes.

MORGAN: What had you done to earn it, do you think? Was there a particular --

STERN: I think it was after my movie. It was after, you know, many accomplishments. And I think in many ways with my career, I was searching for that approval from my father. And it's a very empty search, actually, because when you get it, it's almost too late. It's like, oh, you mean, this is what this was all about, you know? This is what it was all for?

MORGAN: But if that's been your struggle, to earn your father's approval and he finally says, "Howard, you're a genius," and many people would agree with him, when you've reached that pinnacle, again, I come back to, what's the drive now? Once your dad's called you a genius, you've had all the success and the money, I'm curios as to what makes you, Howard Stern, at 4:00 in the morning, when everyone else is asleep, say, getting out of bed and I'm going to back into battle on the show that often drives me crazy, I'm not even sure I enjoy it?

STERN: I think it's my identity. I think it's my ego. It's also something that --

MORGAN: Insecurity? STERN: Oh, absolutely.

MORGAN: It's all about what? About losing your place in --

STERN: My mojo, you know, like this is who I am. This is what I do. There's no better feeling to me when I walk in some place and they go, oh, my God, did you hear what Camille Grammer said on your show today? She was sort of implying that Kelsey Grammer likes to dress like a woman. I go, I feel like I hit a home run, like I'm Babe Ruth, you know? I did a great show or made people laugh.

But more importantly I think for me --and I should admit it at some point to myself that I actually really enjoy it. As much as it drives me crazy, and my career has driven me crazy.

I was so neurotic about my career, I was talking about this on the radio the other day, that when I was in Detroit, it was 1980. And I only wanted to succeed. I went to Detroit. There were four rock stations there.

We were the bottom of the barrel. We didn't have a one rating at this one radio station. And the station was horrible, in a horrible location. Everything was bad about it.

And I was alone in Detroit. My wife hadn't moved there at the time. And I was living in a hotel.

I would tape my show. I'd go back to the hotel, listen to the show and then I would sit in the room, I wouldn't leave it. I never socialized. I never went out to dinner. I would sit and wait for the next show.

I was insane. I would wait and think about the next show. I only wanted to be successful on the radio.

And not being successful in Detroit tore me apart. I became distraught, really, because I put so much energy into it. And then I just sort of had an epiphany and I said, I think I know what I need to do now. I've worked this out. I went to Washington and the show took off and was very successful.

And one of the things that I knew that I needed in the show was someone to play off who was really great with me. And that was Robin. I got lucky and got her.

So, you know, this career has been neurotic, you know? And what I've put into it and what I've really tried to cultivate with it and --


MORGAN: Talking about the things you've cultivated, and lots of energy, we're going to take a little break and when we come back, Howard, I want to talk to you about the three things I believe you care about most: sex, sex and sex.

STERN: You are a sexy man. What's going on with you? Really?


SUZE ORMAN: Piers, it's Suze O here. I can't wait until we go one-on-one. Good luck to you, big boy. You're going to do great.




STERN: This is the greatest. Everything's coming --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Howard, nobody knows what's going on here.

STERN: Well, they know now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think a bra has come off.

STERN: A bra just came off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And it's on his head.


MORGAN: Howard, the significance of that moment in broadcasting history is it was 1984 and that was the first naked woman you brought into your studio.

STERN: I think about how absurd that is. I remember --

MORGAN: A naked woman on a radio, Howard, is like taking a camel to an oasis and he can't drink.

STERN: Right. It was silly. And what was silly about it was, I was at NBC at that time, and NBC -- management hated me. They wanted to get rid of me. They were actively plotting to get rid of me. They just wanted to do it in a way that they didn't have to pay me the rest of my life.

So, when I went there, it was a battle. The whole career has been a battle. But it occurred to me that to have a naked woman on the radio would be outrageous and yet really who would it offend? It's all theater of the mind. You don't even really know if she's naked or not. But I want you to see a naked woman.

MORGAN: Of course.


MORGAN: There you are looking at these naked women having a great time --

STERN: But it was crazy.

MORGAN: -- tormenting your listeners who are listening to you watching a woman taking her clothes off.

STERN: But that wasn't what it was about for me. Interviewing somebody who's naked -- to me, the fascinating thing was that somebody in the audience had that need to be naked.

And people have said our show was the introduction of reality television because really what I was saying is, it's not about her being naked, it's that somebody would even want to come down to my studio and be naked and be seen in this way. There has to be something more to it. Ask me why the hell are you down here in the first place? And what do your parents think of this? And what's going on anyway?

But, no, I liked it. You know, I had many bits where I was hands-on, you know, for many years. But I'm older and wiser now.

MORGAN: Are you -- are you sex mad?

STERN: I'm fascinated by sex. I'm fascinated by the fact that it's so taboo. I found it fascinating that the government would go after me when you had -- you know, when we saw every day that priests were molesting young boys and all of this stuff, and you see all of the scandals in our world and the wars -- and the one thing in our country that everyone was freaking out about was this Howard Stern and it had sex, talking about sex on the radio.

And to me, I always thought the most interesting, sort of edgy radio was pissing everyone off. And this pissed people off. Sex, oh, my God.


MORGAN: It maybe a British thing, when I was in school, the guys talking about it the most were getting it the least. That's why they were so upset.

STERN: And I wasn't getting it at all. So I was thrilled. All of a sudden, I'm a guy -- I never got a lot of attention from women. All of a sudden, you know, I started to get popular, I was on the radio, people wanted to take their clothing off in front of me.

This is really true. I went out with a bunch of friends one night for dinner and they were shocked. We went to dinner -- and I'm not on the radio. I'm out to dinner. And three women came up to our table and said, "Howard, would you like to see our breasts?" And my friends are sitting there like -- you know, and I'm thinking, OK, this is not a big deal to me.

And there they, right in the restaurant, pull that you are top down. The restaurant asked them to stop. We walked outside, all my friends came and these women wanted to show me their breasts.

MORGAN: What did you say to them when you examined them? STERN: I said -- well, I said, they're beautiful. And you know what, it's so stupid, the whole thing --

MORGAN: Then what happens?

STERN: It's nothing. Nothing happened. I mean, my friends were thrilled.

MORGAN: Three women standing in the restaurant, with their breasts out, you're saying they're beautiful --

STERN: Right. And that was it.

MORGAN: The normal process --

STERN: They were there with their boyfriends.


STERN: They were there with their boyfriends. It was ant sexual thing for them. It was like they just wanted to show it to me.

MORGAN: How did the boyfriends feel?

STERN: They seemed to be proud to show --

MORGAN: What if my wife went up to you in a restaurant and said, Howard, look at my breast? I'd be absolutely horrified.

STERN: I would do appearances at record stores and I was flacking a record early in my career, and this was the amazing power of radio and what I was doing -- I walk in and this beautiful woman comes up to me with her boyfriend and says, the boyfriend, and he said, tough looking biker kind of guy, goes, "Howard, do you want my boyfriend?" I said, "What do you mean?" He goes, "Do you have to have sex with my girlfriend?" He says, "You're the only guy I would allow this." And, of course, I was married at the time. But I was fascinated.

MORGAN: You said yes or no?

STERN: The answer was no for me. But I never -- I never cheated. So, it was like the kind of thing --

MORGAN: You never cheated?


MORGAN: You're always being faithful?

STERN: I've been faithful.

MORGAN: Really?

STERN: Yes. Why are you shocked by that? MORGAN: It's a kind of contradiction. See, unlike most of celebrities who preach this sort of squeaky clean persona about themselves, to probably get a false brand, and then go home and take drugs and sleep around -- you're the complete opposite.

STERN: Right.

MORGAN: You talk this great game about wild nights out and strippers and drugs and then you go home and you're a domesticated little pussy cat.

STERN: No. I don't like to go out. I don't like to leave the house. I like to stay home.

But I'm fascinated by human behavior. And I love much like -- what you're doing here, I love -- I love talking to people and I love getting to the bottom of things. I had Ron Howard on the show today. And like, you know, we spent 10 minutes on the fact that Don Knotts was a ladies' man. And I only wanted to know the size of his penis. I'm not gay but I thought it would be interesting to know if Don Knotts had a big penis. I have an odd curiosity.

MORGAN: Yes. But evil was maintained. And I think I'm quoting correctly that you're hung like a raisin.

STERN: I am.

MORGAN: Yes, I'm assuming that's a normal Howard reverse psychology. In other words, if you're always saying you're hung like a raisin, what you really mean I'm hung like a donkey.

STERN: No, well, I really mean is I'm hung like a raisin. And it's been source of great embarrassments to me.

MORGAN: Are you really?

STERN: Yes. I am. I would you, but I'm embarrassed. You would laugh at it.

MORGAN: Would you say physically impaired?

STERN: No. Listen, I'll tell you want? You want to really get into this?


STERN: I don't know much of this you can air because, you know, CNN is a little uptight. But --

MORGAN: Let's try it.

STERN: When I'm aroused, I'm what they'd call average, I'm six inches. How many inches are you?

MORGAN: I'm not getting into that.

STERN: Have you ever measured?

MORGAN: I'm interviewing you. It's about your measurements.


MORGAN: Have you ever taken Viagra?

STERN: Never.

MORGAN: Never tried it?

STERN: No, I don't need it. I'm 57 and I'm fully aroused. I'm aroused now.

MORGAN: Have you ever taken any drug?

STERN: Oh, yes, I've had a history with drugs. I never was a drug addict, I don't think. I don't think you classify me as one, but I experimented a lot when I was younger. And I think I was very unhappy.

And I've told my audience over and over again that I had a terrible experience that I wrote about in my book with LSD when I was younger. And I didn't understand. There's no direction on the acid that you buy. And I bought a four-way hit and I took the whole thing. And I really almost lost my mind.

It was the most horrible, worst experience of my life. And I've been a big advocate of saying on the air. I'm for the total legalization of drugs. I think that it's ridiculous to try to monitor that.

MORGAN: Even though you went through that kind of experience?

STERN: But for myself, I do not -

MORGAN: As a father, do you actually believe in legalizing drugs as a father?

STERN: I do.

MORGAN: Would you like your kids to have access free to illegal drugs?

STERN: I think that if my -- I think my kids are very strong, they have their heads together.

MORGAN: But your kids are lucky if they're strong. A lot of kids aren't.

STERN: They aren't. But I think that almost the illegal factor makes it more enchanting. It did for me. I thought it was sort of cool, you know, sort of taboo. Oh, I'm going into this world that's off limits to adults. I had all these fantasies about it.

Quite frankly, there are so many people hopped up on regular drugs out there, pharmaceutical drugs, that it hardly makes a difference at this point. Everyone's high on something.

So, I think a show like mine is actually healthy because when kids do listen to it, I can say to them -- you know what? This didn't work for me, here's why, I tried it and almost lost my mind doing it.

MORGAN: I'm going to come back in a moment, Howard, with the only drug you seem to really delight in partaking in these days, which is the drug of love with your wife.

STERN: I'm in love with you.

MORGAN: Marriage and your own life.

STERN: You're (INAUDIBLE) ever since you fixed your head.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this supposed to be some kind of in- depth profile, revealing you in ways you've never been revealed before?

STERN: I doubt he's going to get that because first he goes, can I interview you at your house? No. Can I talk to Beth? No.


STERN: You'll talk to me.


MORGAN: Howard, I want to show you a charming picture. --

STERN: Good.

MORGAN: -- of a happily married couple. There is your beautiful wife, Beth.

STERN: That is my wedding. Yes.

MORGAN: What are you thoughts when you look at that picture?

STERN: Well, Beth is my best friend. And, you know, honestly, I'm having a blast in my marriage. I am so happily married. I adore here.

I mean, I -- this is my wedding ring. I put a "B" on my finger. That's real marriage.


STERN: Where is your wife?

MORGAN: My wife's not here, luckily. The problem with having a "B" tattooed on your finger is you have to remain married now to "B" for the rest of your life. You just have it lasered off.

STERN: If I get divorced, you just say, oh, that was for bitch because my marriage was a bitch. You know, there's always a way to creatively work around that. Are you never about three months down the road?




MORGAN: You should be.

STERN: I'm not -- listen, I'm not --

MORGAN: King of all media is a big title. I mean, Muhammad Ali, there's just someone comes along and knocks you out.

STERN: Well, it hasn't happened, I don't even know how long I've been at this, 30 years.

MORGAN: But you're no spring chicken there.

STERN: I'm getting older. That is true. I'm hoping to get out before anybody knocks me over.

MORGAN: Are you worried, Howard?

STERN: About what?

MORGAN: This interview is doing pretty well. I'm teasing stuff out of you. You're thinking, hang on a sec, this could be a problem.

STERN: No, I don't think you got anything out of me. What do you get out of me? What, that I have a small penis? Everybody knew that. Come on.

Come on, Piers. Let's go. Open me up, baby.

What else do you want to know? Can I get out of here? Hey, let me promote something. I just want to mention that I am on Sirius satellite radio and our show is now on the Sirius app. People were complaining they couldn't carry us with, you know --

MORGAN: How much was your new five-year deal with?

STERN: Well, listen, you know, I've never released financial deals although I read in the paper every day how much I'm worth every day. And they've never had it right. They said I had to take a pay cut. I never took a pay cut.

MORGAN: You didn't?

STERN: No, I never took a pay cut. I adjusted my hours.

MORGAN: More or less?

STERN: I'm doing -- I'm going to be doing less hours.

MORGAN: Less hours for the same money or more money --

STERN: I'm not saying how much money. They've asked me not to say that.

MORGAN: More or less than the last deal, as a salary?

STERN: I would say it's about the same. I would say it's about the same, maybe a little more.

MORGAN: A little more for a little less work?

STERN: That's right.

MORGAN: It was a better deal for you?

STERN: A better deal.

MORGAN: When you announced the deal, the stock price went up by 20 percent, presuming you have stock?

STERN: Well, listen, yes, I do have stock.

MORGAN: You made another skinful of cash --

STERN: No, the stock hasn't made enough for me to make any cash. I'm hoping a lot of people go out and buy that stock and we can all make some cash. But who knows?

MORGAN: Let me show you the first deal, because we can talk about that now. Obviously, the second deal is confidential.

STERN: Sure.

MORGAN: The first deal, it was rumored to be $500 million.

STERN: Well, what happened was there was a lot of speculation. I never went out and said how much money I was making. But at the time, it occurred to me that I did not want to be on regular radio anymore, so-called "terrestrial radio." The FCC was pounding me. I didn't feel like the show was funny anymore because they were editing it like crazy.

MORGAN: So, they were restricting you too much with the fines?

STERN: They were -- they were driving me insane. And when -- I'd always been keeping my eye on the technology on satellite radio and this looked like my way out. And they said, well, it would be just great if you came over. And yes, it was -- it cost money for me to come over.

But I will tell you this, as much money as they paid me -- I paid every dime back and then some. MORGAN: No, no, no one's disputing that everyone else gets a rate too.

STERN: Right.

MORGAN: I'm curious why someone so open as you is reticent, especially since you're a bit of a show off. You like knowing how great you are.

STERN: No, I'm very uncomfortable with money.

MORGAN: Are you?

STERN: Yes. I'm very uncomfortable about talking about it. I -- I -- I think that --

MORGAN: You don't dispute being worth hundreds of millions -- maybe even a billion -- you worth a billion?

STERN: No. No. I'm -- I'm not worth anywhere near what they're printing in the paper.

MORGAN: Are you worth a quarter of an Oprah?

STERN: Oprah is worth way more money than I am. And, you know --

MORGAN: Does that annoy you?


MORGAN: That the queen of all media is worth more than you?

STERN: I mean, Oprah -- Oprah was in syndication. And she took chances and I admire that. I do admire that about Oprah. I don't know why. It somehow bothers me that her career has been based on taking Phil Donahue's format and doing a retread. But that's OK. She's brilliant at it and people love her. And she deserves every penny she has.

You know, performers deserve to be paid if they have the audience. And listen, nobody is doing charity here. I --

MORGAN: Jay Leno said about you, when you made that call to move off terrestrial radio --


MORGAN: He had a bit of poppy saying, "well, now you don't really hear about Howard Stern. And that was a big mistake to come on main stream."

STERN: Jay -- Jay -- Jay is insane. And Jay is a crook. And the whole world knows exactly what he's up to. He steals a tremendous amount of material. He's not fit to scrub David Letterman's feet. Yes, I don't know why he's beaten David Letterman in the ratings. It's beyond my comprehension. America must be filled with morons who at night lay in bed -- the ones who are watching him, they must be in a coma.

MORGAN: What did you think of what he did to Conan O'Brien?

STERN: And as far -- he did a terrible thing to Conan O'Brien.

MORGAN: I mean, wasn't it just business, really?

STERN: No. It wasn't business at all. It -- it's such a -- you ever read Bill Carter's book on it?


STERN: Read that and then figure it out for yourself.

MORGAN: Yes, well what -- what did you, as a professional entertainer, isn't it law of the jungle? I mean if your ratings aren't doing great --

STERN: Of course.

MORGAN: -- and someone else comes along?

STERN: But he had made certain guarantees to Conan. Said "this is your show." If I was Jay Leno, I would have manned up. I would have said, "listen, Conan, you think you're so good? I'm going to go to Fox Network, or I'm going to go to ABC, and I'm going to put my show on, and I'm going to kick your ass."

That's what a man does. You don't sort of weasel your way back in by saying, "I'm going to do 11:30. Does Conan have a problem with that?" Conan said, "yes, I do have a problem with that."

Didn't matter. Jay took it anyway. Jay had to --

MORGAN: Well, how is it that you're number one in -- in what you do?


MORGAN: How would you --

STERN: I don't like Jay personally. Jay was one of the greatest --

MORGAN: No. But, but --


STERN: -- standup comics, in my opinion, when he was younger. But I do not like how he has behaved with me personally. I've done his show many times in the past. I won't do it again. And you know what? I've let go of all of that, even though I'm ranting and raving like a lunatic for your show. And as far as Oprah goes, I'm happy that Oprah makes a living. When people --

MORGAN: Who do you most admire in your business?

STERN: Well, Letterman being one of them. I like Jimmy Kimmel a lot.

MORGAN: Why -- why Letterman? What -- what makes him to you the --

STERN: Because Letterman is an original. Letterman came on there. He was a breath of fresh air. He -- he was able to do new types of bits. Even the way -- even the format of his show. Even the way he'd do his monologue, walk to his -- his desk -- but you wouldn't see him walk to his desk. Everything has been imitated now.

He would shoot a thing at the camera. Now everybody shoots a thing at the camera. There were things that Dave did that were very -- that were very innovative. And so I believe he's an original. I see when Dave does something, the other guys have to follow.

So, you know, I admire him greatly.

MORGAN: We need a break now, Howard. I believe we both need a break now.

STERN: Well, I need a break. I need a break from you, Piers.

MORGAN: I know. We'll have --

STERN: We need a little break. When is this show going off the air?

MORGAN: Probably the moment this show finishes.

STERN: Right. Right. I think this is it.



STERN: "Piers Morgan Show," starring Piers Morgan.


MORGAN: Now Howard, I was told that one of the reasons why you were a little bit late arriving in the studio today was the -- the hair issue. That we had gel, we had Pomade, whatever that is. We had spray. There was a kind of flotilla of people around you --

STERN: No, actually --

MORGAN: -- effecting this beautifully crafted bouffant.

STERN: This -- this look is very, very complicated. Listen, I am not a handsome man, as we can see. So in order to look --

MORGAN: Rugged.

STERN: To look -- I'm a rugged man. So in order to put this look together -- in order to get the appropriate look, it takes hours.

MORGAN: Is it real -- that hair?

STERN: The hair is real, and I -- and I --


STERN: -- and I don't color -- don't get too frisky.

MORGAN: I mean, if I was to give a good yank, it wouldn't all just --

STERN: No. No. It wouldn't all fall out. No. I have my own hair.

MORGAN: And you dye it, obviously?

STERN: I do not color it. As you can see --


STERN: -- I have some gray in it. But, no. I'm very blessed. My -- my grandfather --

MORGAN: Howard, look me in the eye and repeat that.

STERN: I swear on a stack of Bibles that I don't color my hair.

MORGAN: Really?

STERN: Yes. Yes.

MORGAN: So you're 57, and you have a naturally pretty, dark --


MORGAN: -- curly --

STERN: A -- a big bouffant --


STERN: -- as they call it. Yes, I'm very lucky.

MORGAN: Do you feel -- does it make you feel virile?

STERN: I am virile. I am.

MORGAN: Are you -- are you romantic?

STERN: Yes, I think so. I -- I think -- I think what I've learned after all these years -- and I'm in therapy, you know? And that's really helped me. In fact, that's where I was before I came to see you. And one of the things --


MORGAN: You might be afterwards as well.

STERN: I think I've learned that my -- that, you know, it can't all be about me all the time. And that in order to have a successful marriage, somehow I have to learn to also make it about my wife, and -- and to put her first, and to try to address what she's saying, and listen to her, and hear her. And I think -- I think I'm being a good husband. I'm trying very hard.

MORGAN: Every -- every woman I -- I've talk to about you was curious about the same thing, given your -- your on air brand. Just ask Howard, is he good in bed?

STERN: Well, you know, I -- that's a tough one. Some women have said yes. Some women have said yes.

MORGAN: How many have said no?

STERN: Well, you know, listen. Here's the sad part. Before you become famous it's the real test of how you are in bed. I had women cry. I had women --

MORGAN: No. Wait a minute.

STERN: What?

MORGAN: With happiness, or with despair?

STERN: No. No. Despair. In fact, I -- the -- first time I did it, the woman said, "I really think this is a bad idea."

She said, "You know why?" She said, "I know that for a guy you're always going to remember the first woman you made love to. I don't want to be stuck in your head all those years."

So it was not -- it was not a good start. But as time went on, you know, I -- you know, God bless the porno industry. I learned from watching these pornos. I don't know, you watch porno?

MORGAN: Well no. I was going to ask you about this. You bang a lot about the glory of porno a lot. And yet, again, I come back to say you're now a family guy. You've got kids.

STERN: No. Of course. No.

MORGAN: Are they going to be exposed to all this stuff? What's your real view?

STERN: My real view is this, that it -- it's a sad day when I -- I interview many porno stars and I'm fascinated by their lives, because I say, you know, the -- the parents must be like out of their minds. And -- and you get all kinds of strange reactions.

You get my parents are my best friends. They support me in the business. Then, you get the opposite reaction. I come from a -- a very religious family. And then you get this other kind of wacky answer. And that's what I'm after. I think that's what's interesting about the show.

Sitting and interviewing another naked porno star would not be interesting. The show would have been off the air.

MORGAN: Do you ever feel -- I -- I'm going to play you a clip of the -- the David Arquette moment, which is --

STERN: Sure.

MORGAN: -- stuff of legend. And let's just come back after that and ask you -- I want to ask you one thing when you watch this afterwards, whether you ever feel guilty when this kind of thing happens spontaneously.

STERN: Sure.


DAVID ARQUETTE, ACTOR: We get a -- a trial separation. We have agreements with it. She knows she's not (EXPLETIVE DELETED) me and she's like listen, want you to be able to, you know, do whatever you have to do, you know? Essentially, free to see people.


MORGAN: I mean, listen, from a journalistic point of view, fantastic. You know? This major star rings up and he pours his heart out. He's clearly under the influence of alcohol and it's riveting radio.

But when you actually go home and you think about it, are you proud about that kind of moment? Or do you feel uneasy?

STERN: First of all, David is a friend of mine. And has been on my show many times. So that was the history. That's why he felt comfortable calling in. He's -- he's actually spent a whole day on the show. He just kind of hangs out with us.

And I like David very much. And I'm really upset for him, because he really is hurting about his wife. I don't think he minds me saying that.

But, you know, there's a part of me that, when on that day, said yes, I hope this doesn't backfire on David. But I just kind of get caught up in the fact that I was genuinely interested in what was going on in his life. But you do sometimes wonder, gee, what is going to be the implication?

But David is a grown man. I -- David was not intoxicated when he did that interview. He was just bummed out. And he was upset. But he was not intoxicated. And I think he was saying something really beautiful.

He came on because there were reports in the newspaper that were saying that David was cheating on his wife and that's what broke things up. People picked up what he said there and blew it up to make it look kind of ugly. And he became the cheating husband again. It completely backfired. But his intent was good.

And to answer your question, no, I didn't feel guilty.

MORGAN: So as his friend, though, when it backfires, did you feel uneasy about it?

STERN: I wrote him an e-mail immediately. I said, "I don't like what's going on here. I'm getting upset about it."

And he said, "I'm not." "I feel comfortable in what I said." And I checked in on him as a friend to see if he was OK about it.

Listen, when you're doing a radio show and you invite people on -- anything I've said here -- Jay Leno might be upset with -- by what I said today. I'm willing to accept responsibility. I'm not going to blame you. Do you feel bad that I -- that you had me on your show and I --


STERN: -- said yes. Of course not.

MORGAN: The more outrageous the better.

STERN: Right. I mean, why not? And David felt most comfortable talking to me, and that's what I'm proud of. And I'm also proud of the fact that I'm the type of broadcaster where when you come on my show, people tell me they forget they're on the radio.

And to me, that's a good sign. I'm doing something right. So you know, no. I don't feel guilty about what I do. I -- I'm proud of what I do.

MORGAN: Let's take another break now.

When we come back, I want to know what you think about the state of America and about Barack Obama.



MORGAN: About 15 years ago, Howard, you -- you nearly ran -- or you did start to run as governor of New York. But then you -- then you didn't take it any further.

A lot of people say to me Howard Stern would be a real maverick politician. I wish he would stand again at some high level.

STERN: I would be an awful politician because I polarize so many people. I mean, there's a lot of people out there who just, you know, whatever their impressions are of me, I would not be good.

But the odd thing about running for governor was, it was -- it was something where I just got on the air and said I'm going to run for governor. I'm going to get a really good lieutenant governor. I'm going to accomplish three things. And after I accomplish those three things, I'll resign and let this real guy run the thing.

And it kind of caught on in a weird way. And we were going up in the polls.

MORGAN: You meant it as a bit of a joke, right?

STERN: Well, a joke -- I started to believe it. I won the nomination of the Libertarian party. And that was crazy. I mean, that's a whole show in itself what went on there. And actually, it was real politics.

I had to win the nomination. Got it. We were about 28 percent in the polls. It was a three-way-race between myself, at the time Governor Cuomo, Pataki and myself. And I was going up in the polls.

And I still, to this day, believe I would have won. I think in a three-way race, I would have won.

MORGAN: But you pulled out.

STERN: I pulled out and I backed Pataki. And Pataki won.

MORGAN: Are you -- are you tempted to go again?

STERN: No. No. I would -- I would never -- I -- I can't even understand how anyone does it now. I -- as I matured --

MORGAN: But what about -- when I hear your show, a lot of it is great fun and great banter.


MORGAN: Obviously, you're incredibly smart. You've a great, quick wit. You have a great sense of what American culture's about, about what real people care about. You said yourself, that's your -- your gift is your instinct for knowing what people care about. These are the credentials for what I would call the modern politician.

STERN: But you've got to have a love of service. You know, I'm not one of these people gets on the radio and knocks every senator. I happen to think there are a lot of intelligent senators out there. I hear them speak and I'm proud to be from this country and I'm proud of our politicians. There's a lot of good people out there.

And I would have run for office. And I'll tell you why. Because I'm not serious enough and I'm not serious enough about helping people. There are too many --

MORGAN: I think when I hear you speak like this, I think you are serious enough. You are. STERN: I'm serious about the fact that --

MORGAN: You always deflect it in the end with humor, but actually, you are a serious guy.

STERN: I think, listen, when you got guys over in Afghanistan and Iraq, you need some serious people who are going to -- - I -- I don't want to see guys on endless vacations. I want to see guys working. I want to see politicians taking the job seriously.

Bill Clinton was a great president. Why was he a great president? Because he was into the job. This guy was on the job all the time. He loved it. He lived it. He breathed it. And he -- and before he got you in a war, he made sure he thought things through.

I was a big backer of Hillary Clinton. I think she would have been the same way.

MORGAN: What do you think of -- of America right now? What do you think it's come to?

STERN: I think America is the greatest country in the world. And I don't just say that to, you know, to -- to -- I love this country. I hate leaving this country. I just went to that Turks and Caicos. I want to go hang myself. They have so many ants over there, I was going to throw up.

I get in my room. I'm -- I'm deluged with ants. I was paying a couple of grand a day.

MORGAN: So, to be serious --

STERN: I love Americans. I love America. I love our freedom. And nowhere could a guy like me, a schlub like me have success with -- where would I get this freedom of speech? They don't allow this anywhere.

MORGAN: This show -- this show airs the day after Martin Luther King Day.

STERN: Right.

MORGAN: And by sublime irony, really, you now have the most powerful man and woman in America both being African Americans. Barack Obama and Robin, who you created, of course.

STERN: I didn't create her. She --

MORGAN: But to be -- to be half serious about that, when you first took Robin on, it was controversial. You made a big deal of it. It is actually a very symbolic thing that the president now is Barack Obama, African American.

STERN: Listen, I didn't -- it's almost ridiculous to say I took Robin on, who happens to be a black woman, because -- some people said well, was that calculated so you'd have a black woman working with you? I couldn't care what color she was. I was desperate.

I needed somebody who was fantastic on the radio to work with me, someone who played off me, who had a fabulous laugh, who got my humor, knew when to back off and let me roll and -- and -- and knew when to come in and save me. And that was Robin.

I never could -- in fact, I met Robin over the phone. I didn't even know she was black. A program director put us on and said let me hear you two guys talk. We started talking. It was effortless.

And that's -- that's Robin. So this whole idea that, you know, Robin, black woman and then, you know, some -- someone said it's brilliant. Then you can talk about black people.

I go, "I'm not that calculated." I needed a real good partner and Robin's it.

MORGAN: When we come back, Howard, I want to talk to you about Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and whether I was right to ban Madonna from this show.



MORGAN: So Howard, I -- I banned Madonna for life from this show. For reasons I won't -- believe me -- what was your view of me doing so.

STERN: Well, I thought that was a particularly good move. First of all, Madonna's never doing this show. In fact, most people in show business are not going to do your show. I'm doing it because --

MORGAN: Well, you are.

STERN: I'm doing it because I like "America's Got Talent." I don't' even know what this show is. I love that. I love when you hit the buzzer. It's -- first of all, you're the only good judge. I love Sharon. I've known Sharon for years. But she is -- she does want to be everyone's friend.

This -- the guy you got to wonder about is Hasselhoff. Now that's who you got to get on here.

MORGAN: Well, he's actually left "America's Got Talent." But he's now taking over for me on "Britain's Got Talent."

STERN: But "Britain's Got Talent" is nothing. Who cares about that? I'm just -- this guy was on --

MORGAN: "Britain's Got Talent" produced Susan Boyle.

STERN: You honestly are going to sit here and look me in the eye and tell me you don't know why David Hasselhoff left? Or you do know.

MORGAN: No. I'm just not going to tell you. STERN: He left for a personal reason?

MORGAN: I'm not going to tell you.

STERN: Tell me.

MORGAN: It's not your interview. It's not your damn show.

STERN: How big is your penis?

MORGAN: Bigger than yours.

STERN: Well, big deal. Nothing to brag about. But I love you on "America's Got Talent."

MORGAN: Thank you.

What do you think of the current music scene? You're a DJ. And when you see Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber dominate, what do you think?

STERN: I love watching these -- like Miley Cyrus grow up and then start taking all her clothes off. It's very fascinating. She didn't even wait until like her 18th birthday, right?

I like her. I like some -- I like Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus. I don't know. I must -- I must have weird taste because I like a lot of their songs. I'm actually in to some Miley Cyrus.

In fact, the other night -- this sounds really pervie -- I was -- I typed her name in and was looking at her videos but --


STERN: I liked it. But the current music scene. You know, listen, I -- I was a disc jockey for many years. You know, I played records. I hated playing those records. It was insane. I was neurotic about it. When the records would run out, my hands would shake because I had to get the next record on. They wanted the perfect segue. So I hated that aspect of my career. I hated playing records.

But I do love music. But I am a real fan of David Bowie and Crosby, Stills and Nash, the Beatles, like the classic rock.

MORGAN: An age thing?

STERN: Well, yes. I think it's part of you know --

MORGAN: Do you worry about getting old?

STERN: No. I don't. I'm actually feeling really good. I mean, I don't want -- I would like to stay like about this age. You know, I'm -- I'm very happy right now.

MORGAN: Could you imagine being 80 and happy? STERN: I don't know. It's weird. My parents are in their 80s now and my mother's like what the? You know, she said it's -- it's really kind of depressing, because all of her friends have died and she's == you know, she's like -- and they're in great health, my parents. But what she sees going on around her gets her sad. And --

MORGAN: Well what's been -- what's been the moment in your life which, if you had five minutes to live, you would have again?


MORGAN: If you could.

STERN: Well, you know, this sounds corny but it's the truth. I -- I -- I adore my children and having my children was an amazing time in my life. That was pretty spectacular. And you know, in terms of my career, making the film "Private Parts" was unbelievably satisfying.

I wrote the book and never expected that it would be made into a movie. And low and behold, they bought the movie rights. I got to work with Ivan Reitman and Betty Thomas. And I loved acting. And I loved putting that story out there.

And I feel it's a great accomplishment. I liked writing the books. I liked the movie.

So those were real big highlights.

MORGAN: But also the moment == you know, you said earlier, your father suddenly worked out, you know, Howard, you've done good, actually. You are a genius. You -- you've -- you've realized that hard work has come to fruition.

STERN: Yes. That was a big moment for me, because my father and I don't have those kinds of conversations. So --

MORGAN: Did he ever tell you that he loves you?

STERN: Yes. He does now. He -- he did -- that was something that he wasn't comfortable with. I think my father always loved me, but it wasn't the kind of thing where he'd say hey Howard, I love you. And I would badger him on the radio. I'd call him up. Dad, say you love me. Daddy, say you love me. Say you love me.

And then finally, he broke down. And now he says it regularly. And I think it makes him feel good. And you know, I love my parents very much.

Piers, time for another plug. I was very lax when I plugged Sirius Radio. I forgot to tell you that there's also Howard TV On Demand.

MORGAN: Thank goodness you mentioned it.

In the end, you are just a shameless little plugger, aren't you?

STERN: Yes. Hey. That's -- what do you think? I'm here for my health?

Piers, you're a nice guy, but no one wants to sit and talk to you. I mean, I'm doing it for the plug. I want you to get the Sirius XM app and don't cut this out. One thing about Larry, it was live. You couldn't cut out those plugs.

MORGAN: You can have your plug, because I got the tiny raisin.

STERN: That's right. You got a lot of --

MORGAN: Oh. That's it? That's it.

STERN: I need 10 more minutes of plugs.

MORGAN: You're gone.

STERN: Piers, I wish you a lot of luck.

MORGAN: Thank you. I don't believe you but I thank you.

STERN: No. I really do wish you a lot of luck. Management at CNN, they turn on you on a dime. Look at poor Spitzer.

MORGAN: OK. Thank you, Howard. We really had a great evening.

STERN: Good luck.

MORGAN: And we --


MORGAN: -- can't wait to be back here tomorrow with less Howard Stern.