Howard Stern Addresses Resurfaced Blackface Sketch From 1993
By Desiree Murphy
Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
Howard Stern is addressing a New Year's Eve special from 1993, in which he appeared in blackface and used the N-word multiple times.
Footage from the comedy sketch resurfaced this month, after Donald Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., re-tweeted an article that included video of the performance. Stern has seemingly been feuding with the family ever since he criticized the U.S. president for his slow response to the coronavirus pandemic, along with his comments regarding the Black Lives Matter movement.
"Yikes!" Trump Jr. tweeted on June 12. "NSFW: Howard Stern says N-word too many times during awful blackface impression that should have Libs yelling 'CANCEL!'"
The video, which also features the late Sherman Hemsley, shows Stern in blackface, parodying Ted Danson, who was dating Whoopi Goldberg at the time. Stern addressed the skit during his SiriusXM show on Monday, saying, "The s**t I did was f**king crazy. I'll be the first to admit."
"I won't go back and watch those old shows; it's like, 'Who is that guy?' But that was my shtick. That's what I did and I own it," he confessed. "I don't think I got embraced by Nazi groups and hate groups. They seemed to think I was against them too. Everybody had a bone to pick with me."
“It was something in me, a drive you wouldn't believe. As a young man, I wanted to succeed on the radio and I wanted to go f**king crazy," he added. "Emotionally it was costing me a lot. The FCC was after me, the right wing was after me, I had the Ku Klux Klan after me, threatening my life. All kinds of crazy stories."
Stern said his actions were so "crazy," that he could film "17 movies" on his life.
"I was fined millions of dollars by the federal government, for sex. Not for race, because if you talked about race, they never cared," he recalled. "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. A lot of people who did like that humor, where I was completely pulling my pants off, those people are pissed off at me now. They think I'm a sellout and I'm not doing a good show anymore. I got soft."
"I came to realize in therapy, if I'm going to be with my kids, and have a successful marriage, I can't be insane completely 24 hours a day," he continued. "I have to figure out a better way to communicate. So I evolved and changed."
Stern reiterated that he was able to change his approach, his life and how he communicated over the years. "If I had to do it all over again, would I lampoon Ted Danson, a white guy in blackface? Yeah, I was lampooning him and saying, 'I'm going to shine a light on this,'" he said. "But would I go about it the same way now? Probably not. Not probably, I wouldn't."
"At the same point, I will say, it f**king distresses me that Donald Trump Jr, and Donald, themselves won't go into psychotherapy and change," he continued. "Why not change the way you're approaching things because, wearing a mask is not a bad thing. Telling people the actual size of the crowd at your inauguration is OK. Attacking me during the coronavirus and Black Lives Matter is absolutely f**king 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. We all know. I was the craziest motherf**ker on radio. There will never be another show crazier than mine. There will never be another show, ever, that was as f**king wacky as my show."
The jabs toward the Trumps didn't stop there, however. Stern called out the president again, saying, "If you solve the pandemic, then we can go and review all my old shows."
"I paid a fortune to fix me, it ain’t easy," he admitted. "I would do anything. By the way, if you did some more digging, you would find I was fired by a ton of radio stations for a lot of different reasons."
"Am I a bad guy? I don't think so,” he added. "Donald Trump didn't think so. He was on my show 27 times."