Miss America: A Fan's Review
By Nate Goyer

It was November 7th, 1995. The bookstores were overflowing with people streaming in asking "Is it here yet?". The voices of the sour pussed old grannies answering the book store phones were showing their irritation. Everyone knew that today's the day. A day that will live in infamy. D-day for Colon Powell's piece of shit. Today was the day that Howard Stern's latest literary achievement, 'Miss America', was to arrive in bookstores everywhere.

As soon as I got my hands on it, I was proud. I called in sick to work that day so my entire focus could be devoted to The King Of All Media's latest masterpiece. I couldn't wait. I began to thumb through it in the parking lot on the way to my truck. Check out the back cover with Howard and OJ! Woah, look at the color section and all the comics! There are so many pictures, so much variety, so much....oh god, I found the picture of Jackie's ass.

I always enjoy products that Howard puts his name on. There is always so much more to them. Sure, he could have written his book with lots of straight text and all the pictures could have all been grouped together in the middle of the book. Even in that typical format, it would have been a best seller and fans everywhere would have still loved it. So why does Howard go to great expense and effort to bespeckle the pages with stylized type fonts and pertinent pictures? Because he cares! Like every author, Howard uses his words to paint a picture for the reader, but he goes the extra steps to ensure the picture in our minds is drawn accurately. This usually adds to the point and makes reading his accounts much more entertaining. Poets have used press tools and page layout to enhance their art for years, so why haven't we seen any novels taking advantage of them? Once again Howard proves he's an innovator by using the pages as a canvas and using available tools to best convey his message. In fact, I expect to start seeing many more books being printed in this fashion, but I doubt Howard will receive credit for his ideas.

But fine...he's got lotsa pretty pictures and type, but what's he going to write about that wasn't covered in 'Private Parts'? He's already talked about his life from cradle to 1993, his rise to fame, his friends, the Wack Pack and the FCC crap, what's he got left?

The book starts out chapter 1: Cybersurfing for Vagina. This chapter is devoted to Howard's experience on Prodigy (a national computer on-line service) and his curiousness to use the service as a vehicle for sexual encounters and various mischiveousness. His journey through cyberspace culminates with 2 encounters of cybersex with Howard Stern fans. It's most entertaining how he reveals the inner and sometimes embarrassing thoughts he's having while pleasuring himself in front of his computer. And boy how those type fonts are great!

Chapter 2 is largely devoted to the most notorious Stern gossip: Howard's meeting with Michael Jackson. Included are some previously undocumented tales of his flirtations with the possibilities of becoming the King of Late Night TV. His does a fair amount of venting on the incompetantcies of the major networks and their poor choices for talk show hosts. Very interesting reading. When discussing his meeting with The King of Pop, Howard gets distracted by a very disturbing sight; the melting of Michael Jackson's face. He details the flaws in MJ's plastic surgery that one could only appreciate from up close. The descriptions and the energy that Howard describes come out so accurately that the reader is sucked into the situation. Howard does such a brilliant job of communicating this thoughts, maintaining the energy of the situation and revealing the details, I felt as if I were the one who met with the King of Boy Bangers. There were several times throughout this chapter that I actually laughed out loud.

Almost 100 pages into 'Miss America', Howard reveals a secret he's harbored largely from his wife and entirely from Robin, Fred and the rest; He suffered from OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. OCD is a slight mental infraction that isactually quite common, but rarely discussed because of it's embarrassing nature. Those who suffer from OCD rarely acknowledge it's existence. It is a state of fear resulting in constant systematic routines while trying to complete even the simplest of tasks. Howard admits to dealing with OCD for many years, and claims to have discovered his own 'mental cure' to set oneself free from the burdens. The discussions of OCD are quite vague as the true nature of the disorder is not discussed. Howard's 'cure' for OCD is equally as confusing. This chapter is still very entertaining and I learned a bit about Howard's private life, but if I had OCD, I don't think I could be cured by reading this chapter alone. It is a good start however, if you'd like to hear one man's triumph over a very perplexing mental state.

Stern wrote a chapter devoted entirely to his radio family. Each person has their own section where Howard relates information and stories that define his view of them and their contributions to the show. These individual sections drew me closer to understanding the crew and afterwards, I felt I knew them better. At times it seemed that he's being a little too polite to them, as if he knows they'll be pissed if he doesn't end their section on a good note. It gets a little thick and, especially during the section on Jackie, I felt as though I should get my boots with the bullshit getting so deep. Goddamn Howard, why didn't you just give Jackie a blowjob??

Gary's section is a friggin' scream. I found myself laughing uncontrollably out loud when reading about Gary's constant abuse and especially seeing the Gary artwork. I have to admit though, I was quite disappointed about the lack of information on Billy. He's my favorite...I mean... was my favorite.... and not a word about Tom Chiusano.

Probably my favorite chapter is about what Howard affectionately calls 'The Beast'. The Beast is inside Howard and compels him to unmercilessly slaughter his radio competition. He goes into chronological remembrance of his highly praised defeat of the Philadelphia ZooKeeper John DeBella. With the radio show breaking into new markets every month, this is a great history lesson for those unaware of the shenanigans that Howard & Company did to rise to #1 in Philly. What the chapter did miss was a little more insight from the Zookeeper. Since John Debella and Howard have since kissed & made up, it would have been interesting to hear the perspective of DeBella on his crushing defeat.

Probably one of the most entertaining chapters is the section Howard devoted to prank phone calls. Hearing about some of the calls to goons like Larry King and Jerry Lewis almost make you start feeling sorry for them. Howard does an excellent job in what would normally be a difficult task: Discussing a phony phone call in writing and still making it as funny as if you'd listened to it. This is by no means a small accomplishment, but once again we're dealing with a great communicator.

And of course Howard speaks out about his hardly forgotten short-lived campaign for Governor of New York. This chapter seemed a bit tiring, sometimes taking pages to say what could have been summed up in a few paragraphs. His depictions seemed a little on the defensive side and I think he's still a bit hurt from the outcome. Nonetheless, Howard's got balls of steel and the heart of a king for wanting to improve the state he loves for his fellow citizens. He once again reminds us that politics is a lot of fluff concealed in constant image maintenance and red tape. Laws are designed by politicians to insure their successors are even more crippled then they were. No one gets a free ride or a fair shot, not even an honest man like Howard Stern. He does make a startling revelation about his political views tho: He's now no longer for the death penalty. I would have liked to hear him expand on that subject a bit. Why the switch?

'Miss America' ends with a furious chapter about Howard's constant struggle with the FCC. He does his best to expose the underbelly of the dirty deals that surround the FCC and their motives. And it's no wonder the FCC is trying to discourage Howard out of radio: He's honest and tells it like it is. He's not afraid to name names and talk openly about issues that effect him and his forum. Howard has considerably risen in power over the last few years and he knows it. In fact, he blatantly points out it out that he's making several friends in high places such as US Senator Al D'Amato, NJ Governor Christine Todd Whitman, NY Governor George Pataki, etc... It is these friendships that could finally give Howard Stern a fair rebuttal instead of the FCC striking six-figure fines and enforcing them with extortion when a listener disagrees with the content of his show.

'Miss America' is a great book and Howard is a great communicator. He writes from a fresh perspective that is overly welcome in the sea of Seinfeld and Kathy Lee books. The last time I had so much fun reading a book was when 'Private Parts' hit the shelves in 1993. For newcomers to Stern's humor, I would definitely list 'Private Parts' as the pre-requisite to 'Miss America'. 'Private Parts' seemed a little more free form and more like his radio show, while 'Miss America' reveals the side of Howard that locks himself in his cellar with himself. I can definitely feel a more mature outlook on this book. Howard is not growing up, he's growing out. It seems as though he's realizing his popularity and power and becoming a little more concerned with where he's headed and what kind of impression he'll make. Howard always excelled at his radio forum, constantly hitting number one in most every market he touched. His products are always of superb quality and his fans are never disappointed. 'Miss America' is no exception.

Special Thanks To: NATE GOYER (ngoyer@killuglytv.com)

1995. The K.O.A.M. Newsletter. All Rights Reserved.

Page 1 Next Page