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King of All Media?
By Alex Gordon   March 4, 1997

Is Howard Stern truly the King of All Media? With Private Parts the movie due to open this Friday; the soundtrack for the film, featuring Howard's musical comeback (longtime fans are no doubt familiar with "Psychedelic Bee"), climbing the charts; and the media of radio, TV and publishing already vanquished, it seems Stern truly is living up to his hyperbolic moniker.

private parts Only the Internet, the newest medium, remains to be officially conquered by Stern. But just because the shock jock hasn't made an official foray onto the Net--several companies and online services have courted Stern, but Stern, never one to do something half-assed, has yet to take the plunge and set up an official site or content area--that doesn't mean that Stern, or Stern mania, hasn't infected the Net.

The soon-to-be blockbuster Private Parts movie has an extensive official Web site that, rather than letting you choose between low- or high-bandwidth options, lets you choose between "Howard Rules" and "Howard Sucks." Besides the requisite movie site items like a downloadable trailer, stills and bios, the site boasts a chat room and a game arcade. Among the bandwidth-sucking, yet amusing, Shockwave games are "Whack-a-Howard," which thankfully does not involve helping Howard indulge in one of his favorite pastimes, but rather is a variation on the Chuck E. Cheese staple Whackamole. And even if you're a big Howard fan, it's worth a visit to the anti-Howard side just to play the game where you have to clean Baba Booey's teeth.

With all the promotional work he's been doing for the movie, it has been hard to avoid reading about Howard lately, but the best overall source for Stern news is at The King of All Media Newsletter site. A fantastic resource for Stern newbies and diehards alike, the site is updated practically daily by Stern superfan Kevin Renzulli. The site boasts scoops such as a behind-the-scenes look at the Private Parts premiere party and a report on Howard's triumphant return to the Detroit airwaves. Other features at the extensive site include a Stern timeline from 1985 to 1996 and a "Who's Who" for those fans who have trouble telling Fred Norris and Fred the Elephant Boy apart.

Of course, Stern fan sites abound on the Net. While many of them are typically lame worship sites, Mark's Friggin Howard Stern Stuff Page is a testament to the devotion Howard inspires in his listeners. The best aspect of the site is the in-depth daily updates of the radio show--just in case you missed a day. The scariest aspect of the site? Short stories inspired by the Stern show.

Stern may not have an official home page, but several of Stern's associates have set up shop on the Web. Most notable is Jackie "the Jokeman" Martling's Jokeland on the Web. Here you'll find plenty of the filthy jokes culled from Jackie's CDs and routines, plus some surprises like Jackie's recipe for the perfect Bloody Mary. Surprise, surprise, just like on the radio, there's also plenty of plugs on the site for Jackie's CDs, Sgt. Pecker and The Jokeman (as always, buy two get one free). Beyond Jackie, Stern show regulars like strippers Tempest and Uzo, and phone prankster Captain Janks have set up official sites.

Stern fans will probably have to make due with Stern's quasi-presence on the Web, not to mention the newsgroup and the Stern IRC channel, for a while. Given his non-stop schedule and budding acting career, it seems unlikely that Stern will channel his resources into a site. Plus, if you believe his recent rants, Howard's soured to the very concept of the Internet. Still, just this week Howard could be heard discussing fans' reactions to the movie from the newsgroups. Either way, I'm just waiting for the glorious day that Crackhead Bob masters HTML.