Hearing old interviews between Howard Stern and Donald Trump that have resurfaced in the 2016 election cycle serve — if nothing else — as a reminder of how much the radio host has toned down his act in the course of the past decade. Whether it has to do with him getting up there in years, his marriage to Beth Ostrosky, or something else, the Stern of today is far less crass than he used to be and as a result has transformed himself into one of the best and most insightful celebrity interviewers around.
But not everyone is a fan of Stern’s new persona. Artie Lange, once a regular on Stern’s radio show until personal issues caused him to leave in 2009, did not mince words when speaking about his former boss on his Artie Quitter podcast earlier this week. While discussing a documentary about himself that Stern allegedly refuses to be a part of, Lange lashed out at his old friend for pretending that he “doesn’t exist,” calling him a phony for his kinder, gentler treatment of celebrities.
Howard has lost his mind. I think my old friend Howard — he was my hero, and became a coworker, and became a friend, and — I think he’s lost his mind. If the stories I hear are accurate … And I don’t listen a lot so I don’t get to hear, Ellen Degeneres, he loves her dancing, and that is sickening. I couldn’t imagine, that seems hypocritical.
Lange later went on to accuse Stern of “wanting to be at the table” instead of an outsider looking in at celebrity culture; attending Jennifer Aniston’s wedding instead of making fun of her. The fallout between the former friends may have something to do with Stern refusing to promote Lange’s 2013 memoir Crash and Burn, but hearing Lange’s bitter remarks you have to wonder if there isn’t more going on below the surface.