There are very few celebrity guests that come on “Howard Stern” that truly feel like they could be a member of the show's staff, but from his very first appearance George Takei felt right at home with Howard, Robin, Fred, Gary and the rest. Over the last 25 years the “Star Trek” icon has been on the show dozens of times, and each time I find myself wishing that he could become a permanent fixture. His oh-so-proper diction is betrayed consistently by a naughty sensibility that makes him a true delight and game for anything that comes his way.
In celebration of George's appearance on this week's show, during which he judged the name of a contest that I probably shouldn't mention here, I've rounded up ten of his greatest “Howard Stern” moments in no particular order.
1. The time “Oh My” became his catchphrase.
While Takei admits he's been using the term “Oh my” for years, it wasn't until he invoked it on “Howard Stern” that it became his legitimate catchphrase (not to mention one of the most frequent sound drops employed by Howard sidekick/sound effects guru Fred Norris). Here's Takei recounting the story of that fateful day to TIME magazine.
2. Every time he pronounces words like “guacamole,” “tsunami” and “musculature.”
George's diction is so unusual it's become instantly recognizable, and it's never been put to greater use than with the words “guacamole” (“Hoowakamole”), “musculature” (“Musc-yoo-lay-ture”) and “tsunami,” in which the silent “t” is given sudden and unexpected life. I thank god every day for Fred Norris, who is ready with these incredible sound drops whenever the occasion calls for it.
3. The time he judged the Most Beautiful Penis contest (2012)
I love when Takei's proper diction is used in service of dirty shenanigans, and perhaps the greatest example of this came when he judged a contest to find the “most beautiful penis” among a group of hidden contestants. “I've got to see the whole cock,” he demands at one point. Don't miss Miss America-parodying theme song: it's a scream.
4. Every time he badmouths Shatner.
Takei's ongoing feud with his former “Star Trek” co-star is aired regularly on “Stern,” often to deliciously catty results. “I think he looks pretty good. I mean, the fat keeps the wrinkles from showing,” he snarks in the below clip. His behind-the-scenes stories of Shatner's diva-like antics on the “Star Trek” set are always welcome.
5. The time he debated a member of the Westboro Baptist Church (2006)
Here's the thing: there is no debating with a member of the Westboro Baptist Church. Their hatred is so deeply ingrained it's impossible to engage in a reasonable discussion about their views. In this memorable exchange back in 2006, George quickly loses his cool as the woman begins spewing hate speech — albeit with his trademark vocal politeness intact: “Well, you're awfully disrespectful aren't you?” he asks as if admonishing a small child. Which…he kind of is.
6. The time he was pranked by “Arnold Schwarzenegger” (2006)
Watch gleefully a passionate George promises to give the then-California governor (played by terrific impressionist Josh Robert Thompson) a back massage if he signs gay marriage into law over a prank call that lasts a full 17 minutes. Cry tears of joy as “Schwarzenegger” makes wildly inappropriate homophobic jokes, says he doesn't “give a shit” about the Japanese internment camps and admits that he's “pumped up” on Vicodin. A riveting, perfect prank.
7. Every time he makes one of his wacky show announcements
There's nothing better than hearing George deliver one of his signature show announcements about such important topics as incessant cursing (“Now I'm not a prude, but can't people on staff get their points across without resorting to foul language in every sentence?”) and Twinkies (“The only part that I liked about a Twinkie was that it was filled with creeeeaamm-uh”). He may not be a proper broadcaster, but George has one of the greatest radio voices in history.
8. The time he had a laughing fit over Robin parody songs.
There's nothing better than hearing George laugh like a first-grader hearing dirty words for the first time, and this clip where he's barraged with Robin parody songs is one of the most hilarious examples.
9. Every time Howard grills him on his sex life.
One of the marks of a great Howard Stern guest is their willingness to answer his questions honestly, and George never flinches in giving up intimate details on his physical relationship with husband Brad Altman, including the bombshell that they engage in sexually-charged naked wrestling matches every Sunday.
10. The time Artie “came out” to him.
In another memorable prank, former Stern sidekick Artie Lange admitted to George that he was gay in a secretly-recorded video that was then played on the air. The greatest moment has to come around 18:50 in, when George starts discussing same-sex experiences between non-human animals and insects. “Like penguins…they connnect with the same sex, and it happens,” he says as if delivering the most awkward “birds and the bees” talk in history.