Trigger Warning: A Journey through Howard Stern's Most Controversial Interviews

By Sophia Maddox | March 11, 2024

He Tried To Weigh Anna Nicole Smith

Howard Stern's name has become synonymous with shock value, and his interviews often tread a not-so-fine line between straight talk and outright audacity.

This gallery is not for the faint of heart. No, dear friends, this is a front-row ticket to the wildest, most contentious, and mind-boggling chats in radio history. Prepare yourself to cringe, gasp, and perhaps even laugh as you plunge into the belly of the beast. These are Howard Stern's most controversial interviews - brace yourselves, because discretion is definitely not Stern's virtue!

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(WXRK)

In typical Howard Stern fashion, no topic was off-limits during Anna Nicole Smith's appearance on the Howard Stern Show, and this included the model's much-discussed figure. At the height of Smith's career, she was known for her voluptuous, pin-up style beauty. But in the years leading up to her Stern appearance, she had faced cruel and relentless media scrutiny about her weight gain.

During her interview, Stern, with his characteristic blend of audacity and insensitivity, dared to go where many wouldn't. He brought out a scale and asked Smith to weigh herself live on air. It was a moment that stunned listeners and left Smith in an understandably uncomfortable position. Critics accused Stern of fat-shaming and exploiting Smith's struggles for shock value. The incident stoked a heated debate about body shaming, particularly the often harsh standards to which women in the public eye are held.

He Berated Gilda Radner Into Tears

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(AP Photos)

This might have been one of the most infamous Stern moments of all time. In 1983, Gilda Radner came on The Howard Stern show as a mystery guest, and it didn't go well. Stern kept questioning her about her sex life, and was very aggressive, even when Radner was visibly uncomfortably. Eventually, she left in tears. Even Stern himself expressed regrets over the way he handled things:
 

Gilda Radner went running out of my studio, literally went running out of my studio… she didn’t trust me. I was being too outrageous, too in her face. And it was scary to this accomplished actress and comedian. I came on like a bull in a china shop and it was wrong to do because it didn’t lead to anything real, it didn’t lead to good conversation.