Southamptonite Howard Stern has been labelled a shock jock for most of his career, and with a superhero alter ego named Fart Man, it’s easy to see why. However, in a May 12 interview with CBS Sunday Morning’s Tracy Smith about his career and new book, Howard Stern Comes Again (Simon & Schuster), it’s clear that he’s much more than that.
During his time as the host of The Howard Stern Show on SiriusXM, Stern has gotten countless celebrities to share intimate details about their lives, largely due to his own openness. “My whole career has been about honesty—painful honesty,” he tells Smith. “When people walk in, they feel that expectation, like maybe they should open up.”
Stern’s star-studded list of radio guests includes Easter Enders Alec Baldwin, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Jimmy Fallon and Billy Joel, as well his favorite interview of all time—Conan O’Brien. However, one guest he couldn’t help but bring on the show again and again was Donald Trump. “He’s one of the best guests ever. Why? Because as a radio guest, he says whatever pops into his mind, and he understands how to play that game,” Stern explains. However, despite the pair’s friendship on and off the air, he turned down Trump’s offer to endorse his campaign. “I always had a good feeling about Donald, but the presidency is a different story,” he says. “I don’t sense his passion for it. I think he’d much rather be at Mar-a-Lago.”
One area of Stern’s personal life he’s had difficultly being open and honest about is his health. In 2017, he took a sick day, claiming it was the flu, bit in actuality, he had undergone surgery for what doctors thought was kidney cancer. “The weird thing about it was, I could’t admit it to the audience. I was afraid to,” he says in the interview. “I didn’t want to admit that I was somehow getting older.”
At the end of the segment, Smith touches on the incredible philanthropic work Stern does, fostering over 1,000 cats to date alongside wife Beth Stern. “Fart Man now helps cats,” he jokes.
Learn more about Stern’s life and career when Howard Stern Comes Again comes out Tuesday, May 14, 2019.