When Howard Stern admitted on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that his obsession with fame stems from daddy issues, Colbert turned into a thoughtful therapist.
The I Spill Your Guts star visited the talk show in 2019 to promote his book Howard Stern Comes Again, the entertainer admitted that he’s a “poster boy for psychotherapy.” And he shared that when he began his famed radio show, he always pushed the limits with his jokes and gimmicks because he was desperate for views and attention.
“I was so worried about the ratings; I was number one in all these markets,” he said. “I had 20-million-something people listening every morning.”
Stern first shared that his desire to be in the entertainment world stemmed from his mother, who suffered from depression. As a child, he “only wanted to make” her laugh. But he ultimately got into radio because of his strained relationship with his father.
“My father was not a very emotional guy. We didn’t share a lot of personal moments together. My father was a radio engineer. And later, he became a recording engineer. And when he worked in that business, he was the guy who’d set up the microphone and record some the greatest voice people… and the way he would look at these radio announcers and the way he would look at the performers, I was like ‘Oh, that’s how you get my father’s attention.”
He then started to understand that a radio career would help him communicate with his dad, though it wasn’t a “conscious” revelation at the time.
Fans Praise Stephen Colbert For His Interview with Howard Stern
Stephen Colbert immediately praised Howard Stern for being at a place in his life where he understood his trauma and was able to express it to his parents, both of whom were still alive at the time.
After digging a little deeper, Stern revealed that he had been “vicious” towards other people in the industry to bring them down because he couldn’t accept them being more famous than him. Later in his life, after going through therapy, he called and apologized to “several people.” But not everyone would forgive him.
“Some did [forgive me], some didn’t. There was a famous comedian I called, and he said, ‘You know what, Howard? You hurt me too much. I’m glad you called me, great, but I want nothing to do with you.’”
“And I said, ‘I absolutely understand. But I just wanted to let you know I feel badly about the way things went,’” he continued. “He said ‘Okay,’ and that was it.”
Stephen Colbert listened to Howard Stern process his experiences and asked very astute questions. In the end, he realized he felt a little better about himself. After the interview landed on YouTube, fans praised Colbert for his innate therapy skills.
“Oh man, that felt like a therapy session,” one person wrote in the comments. “One of the best interviews I have seen.”
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