"Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when you first heard Howard Stern?" yelled WAVA-FM disc jockey "Surf," to the rowdy crowd at last night's farewell party for WWDC's outrageous former disc jockey Howard Stern. Several hundred diverse devotees of good-natured bad taste gathered at Numbers nightclub in miniskirts and rock band T-shirts to give Stern a raucous send-off. Stern, who became Washington's number-three rated disc jockey in his year and a half with WWDC AM/FM, was fired from there shortly before his contract was set to expire. He begins work at WNBC-AM in Manhattan Aug. 1, having signed a million-dollar five-year contract with the station.
Stern, draped with blond groupies, was wheeled through the mob to the blaring fanfare of "Theme From Rocky" and the deafening chant "How-Weird, How-Weird," and immediately "mooned" the crowd. True to form, Stern left most of his expletives deleted during his patently offensive and mostly unprintable monologue, much to the delight of his fans. "We thought you forgot us," said an obviously moved Stern. "Anyway, thank you for coming to the Capital Centre tonight!" Stern said, poking fun at the cancellation of plans for a big farewell concert there.
After being partially undressed by two Eastern Onion strippers to the tune of "Let Me Entertain You," Stern introduced his temporary replacement at WWDC, Asher Benrubi, a.k.a. "Adam Smasher." Benrubi, who was roundly booed by the partisan crowd, called Stern "a tough act to follow." "Hey, he's ad-libbing!" screamed Stern. "You can get fired for that--I know!"
Harry Cole, one of Stern's three comic cronies, the "Think Tank," was there with bells on. Cole, a Washington lawyer by day, was decked out in a fool's cap, black "Think Tank" T-shirt and shades in the dimly lit club. "My partners tolerate it," Cole said of his collaboration with Stern. "I just did it for kicks, absolute kicks. Howard really got everything circulating in the morning," said Cole, who claims writer credit for "50 Ways to Rank Your Mother," a parody of Paul Simon's song on Stern's album of the same name. "I have all the respect in the world for him and Fred "Earth Dog" Fred Norris, Stern's producer, who is going with him to WNBC . A lot of people may say it's all scuzzy bathroom humor, but there's so much creativity involved in putting on a four-hour show every day, first thing in the morning."
"I'm really sick about losing him. He didn't have that fake attitude a lot of disc jockeys have," said Patty Smith of Laurel. "Me and my husband Tommy are long-distance truck drivers, and Howard's the best deejay we've heard, all across the country. We got here just about when he came here, when I learned I was a pregnant truck driver. I'd let my daughter Jennifer listen to him--after she's 13," Smith said.
Martha Sales, a legal secretary from Takoma Park, displayed her sentiments on her shirt. She wore a black "How Weird" T-shirt, with "Stern deserves an apology" printed on the back. "I had it made the day after it was announced that he was off the air. I guess you could say I'm a very dedicated fan," said Sales, who admitted to writing "some graffiti around town about Howard. I'd sneak out to construction sites and write things. This city will have to settle for less now, and they'll miss him."