Dateline: March 20, 1997
Has Howard Really Gone Hollywood?
One Man's Opinion...
By Kevin Renzulli
The latest attempt to derail Howard's rise to the top comes not from
the press, the FCC or citizen decency groups who'd like to take him off
the air and abridge his free speech. It's actually more insidious than
that. It seems that some of Howard's so-called fans are now questioning
whether he's sold out and gone Hollywood.
In the last week or so, my ever-packed e-mail box has started to receive
cynical notes from some fans who tell me that Howard has changed and that
he's hyping the movie and soundtrack too much. Another recurring e-mail
theme is that since I'm not critical of Howard and his ways (I love it
all) and don't openly challenge his assertions about how good the movie
and soundtrack are doing, that I'm part of the problem, which is nonsense
and laughable at best.
I've been following Howard's show since 1984, taping and listening
to every radio show of his in it's entirety. I've watched and taped just
about every TV appearance possible and I've purchased all the products
he's offered since the days of "The US Open Sores". Not to mention
my work on the newsletter, "Crucified By The FCC" and "Private
Parts" the book and now this Web site. Obviously, I know of what I
A great opportunity to kiss Howard's ass would have been to write a
glowing review of "Private Parts" but I chose not to review the
film because I honestly liked it so much that I thought my review might
read just like every other gushing review, so I opted out. Truth be told,
when I first saw the film at the premiere, I went into the Theater At The
Garden with an open mind and was somewhat skeptical that Howard could act.
My worst fear was that "Private Parts" might turn out to be nothing
more than an Ivan Reitman-Betty Thomas film version of Butt Bongo. But
guess what! I was wrong.
So to answer a few of your many questions;
Do I think Howard has gone Hollywood?
Am I kissing his ass?
Was there movie overkill?
Has it stopped?
Is the show back on track?
Almost. If you had worked on something for four
years and promoted it this heavily, you'd be burnt out from the promotion
and rightfully so. Things are already getting back to normal.
You have to keep in mind that Howard's hype of a product whether it's
a video, book or film, follows a pattern set by him a long time ago. It's
typical Howard. In my opinion, he hasn't changed with the release of the
movie. He's doing what he's always done. Pre-promotion, inside stories
about the making of the product and then the non-stop promotion when it's
released. Then it's the accolades, self-praise and finally overkill. Sometimes
to the point where his radio bosses have to tell him to get on with the
show. If this process had a name it might be called "The Six Phases
Of A Stern Project". But you know what? It works. You've got to admit
that. Howard is successful. He's got money, notoriety and fame, and he's
getting paid to do something he loves. How many of us can say that!
©1997 The K.O.A.M.
Newsletter. All Rights Reserved.