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Howard Stern On Hubbub Over Shock Jock Donning Blackface In ’90s: It’s Donald Trump Jr.’s Fault
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 10: Howard Stern attends the "America's Got Talent" Press Conference at New York Friars Club on May 10, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by
Dario Cantatore/Getty Images

Howard Stern, the shock jock who is never at a loss for words, was suddenly speechless on Monday morning after a slew of headlines over the weekend about old videos that emerged showing him dressed in blackface and using the N-word over and over.

In one clip, Stern, wearing minstrel-style makeup, is seen mocking actor Ted Danson, who wore blackface as a “joke” at a New York City Friar’s Club event in 1993. Danson was roasting his then-girlfriend Whoopi Goldberg.

On his XM-Sirius radio show on Monday, Stern didn’t apologize. Instead, he said, “the big headline is this: and this is my fear in all of this. I was able to change my approach, and able to change my life and, you know, how I communicated. You know, if I had to do it over again, would I lampoon Ted Danson, a white guy in black face, doing, you know — yeah, I was lampooning him, saying, hey, f***, I’m going to shine a light on this, but, would I go about this the same way now? Probably not.”

Then Stern added: “Not probably. Wouldn’t.”

Before he looked inward, the self-crowned “King Of All Media” blamed Donald Trump Jr. for digging up the old videos. What the president’s son did: Retweet a Twitter post about the videos. Stern implied that President Trump was involved in the hit, too.

“They leak TV shows that have been on TV to the press,” he said. “Dude, if you’re the president of the United States and you want to worry about me, go ahead.”

To the president, Stern said: “If you solve the pandemic, then we can go and review all my old shows.”

Listeners were speculating about how Stern would handle the mess when he returned to the air on Monday. His choice: Put on superfan “Marriann From Brooklyn” first to grease the skids by breathlessly praising Stern (Fred Norris, who plays drops on the show, didn’t add crows cawing over Marianne this time as he usually does).

“I know it was done with humor … yes, we make mistakes in life, we all do …” she said, then added, “I wrote this down … did I say it correctly?”

Stern also said he sought psychotherapy to deal with his problems, saying at one point, “I think I might have been insane.” And he said he’d do anything for a laugh. But he made clear: “I’m not apologizing.”

“Look, that was the show. I went into therapy and said, what is this? Do I always have to be the guy pulling my pants down? Can I find a way to do the show where I can be a lot happier? Over the years, I did change the show,” he said.

“At the same point, I will say, it f***ing distresses me that Donald Trump Jr. and Donald themselves won’t go into psychotherapy and change,” he said. “Attacking me during the coronavirus and Black Lives Matter is absolutely f***ing crazy, concentrating on me. You want to concentrate on me and bully me, and expose me, with all the TV shows I’ve done? They’re all out there. There’s nothing new here.”

“I assume Donald [Trump] is putting [his son] up to this,” he said, in response to Stern endlessly bashing the president. “According to the [New York] Post, they have sicced their dogs on me.”

Stern also said he’s “not a hater.”

“I’m excited about being on the radio as most of those who listen on the radio know,” he said. “I’m excited about gay rights, telling you not to beat up gay people. I’m excited about the changes that are coming out of Black Lives Matter.”

Stern’s Danson routine appeared on “New Year’s Rotten Eve Pageant,” which aired on pay-per-view on Dec. 31, 1993, the New York Post reported.

In the video he plays Danson, and addresses his long-time black sidekick Robin Quivers, making corny and highly racist jokes, such as, “What do you call a black rocket scientist?,” the punchline to which is the N-word. When his audience seems shocked by the language, Stern defends himself by saying, “Whoopi wrote it!” Then he calls Quivers a “smelly” N-word, and again excuses himself by saying, “Whoopi wrote that.” The point of the skit seems to be that Danson used Goldberg’s apparent blessing of his behavior as license to be freely racist.

Earlier in the 1990s, Stern wore blackface to portray Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

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