The following is a transcript of a phone conversation taking place between Howard Stern and Don Buchwald in early January, 2010. This transcript, and others, have been leaked by Penguin books in anticipation of a tell-all book by an unnamed Stern Staffer to be released later this year.
DON: Hey Howch. It’s me.
D: So I guess you heard about your pal Artie.
H: Yeah, it’s terrible
D: Yes, awful, such a promising young guy
H: oh yes yes
D: I think he’s gonna be okay though, right, so we can move on with life, right?
D: I mean, he’s out of the picture regardless of whether or not he stabs himself. Persona non grata. So let’s talk about where the show is going.
H: Yeah. I’ve been thinking a lot about Artie. And I think it’s best if the show just, you know, goes on like he never existed.
D: All these years and you know what? I swear to God we think with the same brain.
D: So look. We talked about this already at the Jap place the other night. My feelings are the same. This is a good time for a new beginning.
H: I agree.
D: Cowell still wants you on Idol but he figures he’s gonna get shitcanned outta there sooner rather than later. So that’s out, I think. But maybe you can try to drum up some interest from other parties….
H: I’ll play it up on the show. You can talk to some of your guys at (inaudible)
D: I can and I will. But the truth is, you’re not getting on Idol. Still, there’s a whole ocean full of fish we can fry. I get a lot of calls about you, kid.
H: We talked about the five year plan, you know, and the end game…
D: Late night could happen. Late night could definitely happen. But it’s one of these things where you’ve gotta wait for the timing to be right. Someone’s gotta get fired. Or we gotta get someone fired. Conan's out but I don't think NBC is ready to take a chance on you--
H: right, right
D: Forget the particulars though. Let’s talk about that five year plan.
H: I’ve been on fire, Don, I haven’t slept at all the past couple of days thinking about this…
D: We’re gonna get out of radio once and for all. We did it all any way, didn’t we kid? We did everything you could do in that business.
H: We sure did.
D: You’ve got nothing left to prove. So like we talked about, I think it’s time to ditch all the retard and racist and fag stuff.
H: Do you really think so?
D: I know so. You are ten times funnier than Conan or Jay, or even Letterman. But you can’t be in the club if you don’t play their game. You are a genius, Howard. You can be funny without being crude.
H: Thank you Don.
D: You’re welcome. So look. You gotta take it slow, right, you gotta make it a smooth transition. But what I want you to do is take the show from where it is now into the 21st century. The Howard Stern Show will be an interview-type show. If you do humor, don’t do anything too crazy.
H: But Don, that’s easier said than done. That’s who I am. I don’t know how to be funny without being edgy.
D: Figure it out. Maybe you could do some kind of monologue or something.
H: That’s ridiculous, Don. I don’t do that kind of corny stuff.
D: You’ll figure it out. I’ll say it again: you don’t need to rely on retards for funny, okay? Trust in yourself, How.
H: You’re the greatest, Don.
D: Hey, and forget this whole Artie suicide business. You remember when you got fired at NBC? And I came in with that champagne bottle?
H: (sings) Happy times are here again….(laughs)
D: Exactly. I’ll talk to you soon. Say hello to your beautiful wife.
H: Will do. Good night
D: (Hangs up)