Last September I began my 27th year of producing the Howard Stern Show. It's been an amazing ride. I've met so many incredible people and been part of so many unforgettable experiences. I've been in the middle of some crazy fights and I've been the target of some merciless jokes.
People always come up to me and ask about the show. The number one question they ask: How do you deal with taking so much abuse? My stock answer is that it's all in good fun and that we all love each other. I tell people we are like a family and that I love the show. If I really hated it, I would have left a long time ago.
That is all true.
But there is another way I could answer that question. I grew up in an insanely chaotic house and I developed a hard shell way before I met my radio family. My mom suffered from mental illness and depression, and that made every day different and something of a challenge. When I first started seeing a shrink some years ago he said, "So when you walked in the house every day, you didn't know if you were going to get punched in the face or hugged? Does that sound familiar? It sounds like the same thing, every time you open the door to the studio."
He was right. That's when I figured out my mom inadvertently prepared me for my dream job.
I know, I know what you're thinking. Wahhhhhh ... He had a rough childhood ... Wahhhh!
Listen, I didn't have the worst childhood in the world. In fact, it wasn't all that bad. But it did have an undeniable effect on who I became and why the job I have suits me so perfectly.
I'd been toying with the idea of writing a book for some time, though it wasn't a memoir. I had been thinking of a book that would really be about my love of music and music trivia. I mentioned the idea to a literary agent friend who told me he wasn't so interested in that idea. Instead, he asked me, "What's your story?"
"I don't have one," I said, knowing that wasn't true. I just had to decide if I wanted to tell it.
I talked to my mom and my brother and they were comfortable with the idea of putting out there what had previously been off limits. I mean, in 26 years, I never talked about any of this stuff on the show. Next I talked to my wife and kids about it. To my amazement, everyone was on board!
So the story of my life is the story of the making of Baba Booey - the hard-working guy who's okay with all the jokes - the guy who was in training his whole life to learn how to take a lot of crap and come out smiling in the end. The paperback will be out this spring. I'll be coming to a book signing near you. Hope to see you there!