Sunday, December 23, 2007

History of Howard Stern

Ok, I listened to more of the History of Howard Stern show while I was out shopping yesterday and I did think that the stories he and Robin Quivers told about getting Don Imus so worked up that he'd actually call into the show were pretty funny. Apparently when Howard started in New York, Imus was the king of radio and wouldn't even talk to Howard. Then, when Howard got bigger, Imus would allow Howard to reference him on the show but didn't want Robin to talk about him. One day apparently he called her something to her face "but he mumbled it, like he always does" and then she says he changed it to "negro" when asked to repeat it. She said this on the air and that's what got him fired up enough to call in. Then, on the air, he called her a "spear chucker".
I realize that this on the air part could be construed as "humorous" and the time wasn't nearly as politically correct as today. (Wasn't there a character on MASH named Spearchucker?) but wow. How is this guy still on the radio? or on the radio again I should say.

Then they talked about hiring Gary Delabonte, which is how I thought his name was spelled until I just googled him. They said on air that Fred Norris was the one who was instrumental in hiring him, which I thought was shocking because I always though Gary Baba Booey was far more important that Fred. Shows what I know.

Anyhow, they told the story of how he was hired, which was funny, and of how before Stern he was known as Gary Delabate, but Howard changed the pronunciation back to the original Italian.

here's some info from the Wikipedia article on him;
Early life

Dell'Abate was born in Uniondale, New York, on Long Island. He comes from a large Italian-American family, the youngest of 23 first cousins. His father, Sal, was an ice cream salesman. He attended Adelphi University where he interned at several college radio stations. While interning with Roz Frank, a traffic reporter on WNBC, he came into contact with Howard Stern, who took pity on him for the way he was treated.

Howard Stern Show

Dell'Abate has worked on The Howard Stern Show since September 4, 1984: originally on 66 WNBC, then syndicated at K-Rock in New York, and now Sirius Satellite Radio.

His nickname is Baba Booey (sometimes misspelled Ba Ba Booey or other variants) and is frequently used on Stern's show, as well as sometimes shouted by fans when they call into other radio or television shows (generally to the irritation of other hosts - see below). Despite the seemingly relentless jokes, pranks and taunts at Dell'Abate's expense, Stern readily acknowledges Dell'Abate's intelligence, organizational abilities, excellent memory and strong work ethic.


Gary is generally the most mocked person on the show, he is almost regularly made fun of for having large teeth, big gums, big lips and bad breath. A related point of ridicule is the speech pattern in which he turns "s" into "f". Fans also mock Dell'Abate - one fan used to wear a gorilla mask to Gary's public appearances as well as make his own animation cels featuring Baba Booey. In particular, fellow Stern Show staff member Sal the Stockbroker has routinely mocked and tortured Gary with prank calls, various song parodies, and a large number of jokes. Gary is often forced to wear a beekeeper's mask while holding the microphone for Stern show female guests so his lips and teeth do not distract the rest of the cast.

Gary is also often mocked for his yo-yo dieting. He has attributed his bouts with weight gain to his love of chocolate. He is also an on-again, off-again cigarette smoker. He is also often made fun of for enjoying anilingus.[1]

A fan created a likeness of Gary, the "Gary Puppet", which is now stationed in the Howard Stern Show studio and equipped with a mechanism to cause its comically oversized mouth to move whenever Gary speaks to Howard through the studio intercom. The puppet seems to be one of Stern's most prized possessions, possibly due to his fondness for Gary. He was featured in the May 2007 issue of "Sound and Vision magazine" where his home theater was profiled. In this article, he revealed that his favorite album is Aja by Steely Dan[2], he was later ridiculed and mocked by the staff for his choice. He was also ridiculed for stating that he could not mount his TV to the wall because they'd get in the way of his sconces. During this segment he also stated that he has a light system that lights up a trail from his bedroom to his kitchen.

Baba Booey

Previously nicknamed "Boy Gary", Dell'Abate's "Baba Booey" moniker originated on the Howard Stern Show in 1989, after telling a story of his prized collection of animation cels. In the course of discussing a Quick Draw McGraw cel he might purchase, he misstated the name of McGraw's sidekick "Baba Looey" as "Baba Booey" (In actuality, Gary was not entirely wrong when he referred to "Baba Booey". Quickdraw McGraw frequently referred to Baba Looey as "Baba Boy", which tended to sound like "Baba Booey" and could easily be misunderstood). As is typical of the show, the rest of the cast "goofed" on his mistake, becoming especially merciless since he was mulling the purchase of a cel of a character without even knowing the character's correct name. Dell'Abate said something to the effect that they would forget the name by the next day, yet after nearly two decades it is still his nickname.

Dell'Abate has often recounted that people unfamiliar with the Stern show think "Baba Booey" is his real name. A frequent guest on the TV game show The Hollywood Squares, Dell'Abate was sometimes just called "Bob" or "Baba" by unknowing contestants.

"Baba Booey" as a term has become a mantra for fans of the Howard Stern Show and is often used as a tag for crank calls to live network television or radio broadcasts. For specific examples, see References in popular culture below.

Baba Booey variations

Depending on the context, variations of Gary's nickname are used (e.g. if Gary makes a mistake, he is likely to be called "Rara Retard", if the discussion is about dental procedures, "Tata Toothy"). The following list is by no means comprehensive; if the first syllable of the nickname is repeated twice, the person under discussion is inevitably Gary.

* Fla Fla Flo Fly
* Fafa Fooey
* Fla Fla Flunky
* Mama Monkey
* Rara Retard
* Sasa Smelly
* Tata Toothy
* Baba Bad News (Coined by David Spade)
* Baba Bozo
* Baba Boo-Hai
* FaFa Fo Fi (Coined by J. Kurtains)
* Dada Dummy

Other Non-Baba Booey Nicknames

* Horse Tooth Jackass, or HTJ
* Bucky Beaver (coined by Riley Martin)
* Mac-Hine (pronounced "Mack Hine" - was created after Gary failed an on-air word game challenge where a caller asked what "m-a-c (pause) h-i-n-e" spells on November 7, 2006)
* Boy Gary (The original nickname of Gary)
* Tuckleberry
* Beaver Teeth (also coined by Riley Martin)

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