Interesting comments all the way around in this thread. It always surprises me that there are so many Stern listeners (or ex-fans, take your pick) who hate O&A. Their show is usually really, really good. And comedians absolutely love coming in there and hanging with them. They literally get every big-name comedian out there....plus plenty of up-and-coming folks. The fact that they routinely have Louis CK and Ricky Gervais says volumes about how O&A is ground-zero for radio comedy.
Stern, on the other hand, seems to have a very narrow list of repeat comedians...Lisa Lampignelli, Joan Rivers, and Sarah Silverman. The only current big-name that he has on somewhat exclusively is Russel Brand, but those appearances seem few and far between. Those folks come in for one segment, are interviewed about the same shit over and over, then they're kicked out the door.
Even if you stack up the 2nd tier comics on both shows it's not close. O&A had Kevin Pollack on with Jay Mohr. Dave Attell and Jim Norton will come in for a couple of hours frequently. Stern has Bigfoot Jr. read lines written by Benjy and Shuli.
In Howard's defense, I think he no longer thinks of his show as a comedy show; I think he looks at it more like Regis and Kelly (or whatever the fuck it's called now). Just a lot of bullshit talk with some (purported) comedy thrown in by chance, not by design. O&A is a raunchy, politically incorrect comedy show still.