Howard started the off show noting that Artie was back, despite still being sick. Artie claimed he had a chest cold, but was on antibiotics and feeling better. Artie laughed that his only big mistake recently was sending Dana a thousand roses the week before Valentine's Day, because he had no idea how to top it. Howard asked if Artie talked to Dana during the last two days, and Artie admitted that he had – and then changed the subject. Howard then told Artie about missing the latest Miss HowardTV, Brenda, who claimed to have a crush on Artie. When Howard
showed him a photo of her, Artie noted her red hair and wondered if she also had “fire in the hole?” After Artie proclaimed Brenda to be “the hottest girl ever to visit the studio,” Doug Goodstein made him feel better by reporting that Brenda was engaged Artie told the crew that his sickness might be due to the following factors; going out drinking with a buddy, smoking five packs of cigarettes (which all had to be smoked outside in the cold weather), and only being able to collect a quarter of the money he won on the Super Bowl. Artie added that he'd bankrupted his bookie, who's supposedly a smart guy, but, like Artie, was really just an “F’ up.” Artie complained that his bookie's wife was the one who really pissed him off; she treats Artie like he thinks he's a big shot. Fred speculated that the bookie would've had no problem collecting money from Artie if he'd lost, and Artie laughed an agreement.As a special Valentine's Day treat Howard got Eric the Midget and his “girlfriend,” Kendra on the line and after a quick exchange between Kendra and Eric, Robin said she believed they were in a relationship. Howard and Artie laughed that Robin was delusional, and Howard asked Kendra if he could look for a “real” girlfriend for Eric. Kendra doubted that another girl could make Eric as happy as she does – and then agreed to take Jimmy Kimmel up on his offer to pay for her visit Eric.
Robin asked Kendra what she was looking for in their relationship, and Kendra replied that “it takes time.” Gary wondered if Kendra would describe her last boyfriend, but Kendra shot back, “Who says it was a guy?” Kendra added that she couldn't wait to kiss Eric (“On the lips!”), leading everyone to note that Eric had a huge smile on his face (HowardTV had brought up his webcam on the in-studio monitors).
ERIC THE MIDGET SQUAWKS “WILD THING”
Howard told Kendra that Eric had recorded a special Valentine's gift for her – and then played Eric singing “Wild Thing.” Kendra said she was “touched.” Eric then claimed the song was only a “demo,” as he's planning to record a studio version soon. Kendra also demonstrated her commitment, asking Howard to delete all the emails he'd received from women who wanted to replace her as Eric's girlfriend. Gary joked that that wouldn't be necessary; the show hasn't gotten a single email. The TV Guide Channel’s Lisa Rinna stopped by to promote her upcoming red carpet gig at the Academy Awards, so Howard congratulated her on how much her red carpet interviews had improved between the Golden Globes and the Grammys; the dress was better, the questions were better, and she really listened to her interviewees. Howard cited Lisa's “fake laugh” as the only thing that still needed improvement, and Lisa agreed, adding that her nerves – which she can't prevent - caused her to “fake laugh.” Howard reported that he was recently approached with an incredible business proposal, and the idea was so “mindblowing,” he was “really tempted.” Despite the concept's “perfect fit,” Howard eventually decided not to pursue the idea because of his commitment to Sirius. Artie asked if Howard might've pursued the idea if he wasn't dating Beth, but Howard didn't think that was the issue; “Work takes up a lot of [my] time as it is.” Richard Lewis stopped by to catch up with the gang and started things off by yelling at Artie for talking bad about his act – but apologized when he found out it was really Fred that had been saying things about his act. Howard asked Richard if he had OCD, as he'd heard that Richard repeatedly adjusted his sunglasses in the green room just before coming in. Richard admitted he was the worrying type; he also recently mistook a hernia for testicular cancer, telling an audience that he was about to die. Howard then briefly covered Richard's substance abuse history; alcohol, speed, and – according to Richard - “something like coke.”
Howard asked Richard about his “champagne addiction,” but Richard denied the story, saying he only drank champagne at weddings and bar mitzvahs. Howard countered that he'd heard differently, so Richard confessed that he would have “bottles at a time.” Howard then wondered what happened between Richard and his mother (the last time Richard was on the show, his mom called in and Richard had a breakdown), leading Richard to reveal that his mother didn't understand his humor.
RICHARD’S LONG DISTANCE FINISH
Howard wondered if Richard was still obsessed with phone sex, so Richard pontificated on the uncomplicated joys of phone sex; “After you [finish], you can just go have a risotto or whatever.” Artie told Richard that he was the reason he became a stand-up comedian, but Richard said Artie was making him uncomfortable, as he “doesn't trust comedians – they steal.” Howard laughed that Richard's weird behavior was par for the course; he even ends phone calls by just hanging up – no goodbye. Howard got Mike Walker of the National Enquirer on the line, as he does every Thursday, to play “The Gossip Game,” in which Mike reads four gossip items – three (allegedly) true, and one false – and the crew has to guess the fake. Mike then read this week's stories:
1. Lindsay Lohan is drinking again, but she can control it.
2. George Clooney recently offered to buy a home in Newport Beach for $50 million.
3. Mariah Carey requires a two-masseuse rubdown.
4. Sharon Osbourne's dog Minnie went to the bathroom on the floor of a plane on a transatlantic flight.
Howard and Robin both thought George Clooney wouldn't make an offer on a home without seeing the inside first, Artie guessed that the Sharon Osbourne story was false, and Fred thought the Lindsay Lohan item sounded like a repeat. Mike then announced that no one had won this week; the Mariah Carey story is the fake.
IT’S TIME FOR ROBIN'S NEWS
• Women like tender kisses.
• A 45-year-old man is claiming to be JFK's (illegitimate) son.
• The trailer for the new Indiana Jones movie is out.
• Women who give birth to boys are more likely to suffer from “post-partum depression.”
• Texas will soon be home to a “body farm.”
• “20/20” will be revisiting questions behind the “Body Worlds” exhibit.
• The world's fattest man has lost 507 pounds.
• Merger news soon [repeat as needed].
• Fast food damages your organs.
• OJ's girlfriend has a head injury.
• Roger Clemens testified yesterday.
• President Bush signed his “stimulus package” yesterday.
• David Wilhelm has endorsed Barack Obama.
• Oscar producers are scrambling.
• Henry Winkler testified yesterday at the John Ritter wrongful death trial.
• Some guy hacked his psychiatrist to death.
• Rachel Bilson is insanely hot.
• The NAACP Awards are tonight.