My Howard Stern Experience
Last weekend I was lucky enough to have won highly coveted tickets to the Howard Stern Birthday Bash in New York City. I brought my friend Sarah as my guest because not only is she a huge fan like myself, but she is my partner in crime and I couldn’t imagine experiencing this event without her (plus my husband had to stay back to take our daughter to a concert). From the moment we won tickets, everything else just magically fell into place. We were able to score pretty cheap flights, even though the event was the same weekend as Superbowl (and in the same city), her husband’s cousin hooked us up with a suite at a 5 star hotel in the city and we met some other fans through a Facebook group that offered to take us to the party in their party bus with none other than Jeff the Drunk!
We had a layover in LA, and while switching planes, we ran into a couple looking for the same gate as us. We got to chatting and discovered that they also were on their way to New York for the Howard Birthday Bash and they were also from Las Vegas! What are the odds? We quickly became friends with them and ended up hanging with them the next day too. We arrived in New York City around midnight the night before the party. After checking into our room and grabbing some quick sandwiches for dinner, we went to bed and tried to sleep, even though we were so excited that neither of us slept very well. In the morning, I walked over to Central Park and went for a quick 5 mile run to hopefully burn off all the alcohol I planned on consuming that night.
When I got back to the room, Sarah had ordered from room service an amazing spread for breakfast courtesy of her husband’s family. I’m so glad I ate every bite because it was the last meal we’d have for a long time. After we ate, we started getting ready, quickly realizing that we were going to need to move it to be ready on time. Luckily we were ready with a little time to spare. We took a couple of pictures in the hotel lobby while waiting for the party bus to arrive.
I was so happy with the dress I rented. It is by Cushnie Et Ochs and it was so beautiful. I loved the long sleeves and open back and felt like a movie star in it. And much to my delight, during the show, they gave the microphone to Beth Stern to ask who she was wearing (she actually wore 4 different dresses throughout the night) and the dress she was wearing when the show started was also by Cushnie Et Ochs! I must have great taste!
When the party bus arrived, we were so star struck to be on the same bus as Jeff! It was so much fun and we were so grateful to meet the lovely couple that let us hitch a ride with them to the party.
Once we had circled around a few times and had some champagne, we got off the bus and immediately spotted several other Wack Packers (Maryanne from Brooklyn, High Pitched Eric, Sour Shoes, Medicated Pete, Ham Hands Bill). Sour Shoes immediately took to Sarah. There was an odd connection between those two that ended up laying the foundation for our entire night. We also spotted Benjy Bronk and his girlfriend Elisa Jordana and snapped a quick picture with them.
We finally made it inside and after hitting the bar (the event was completely open bar with top shelf liquor) we anxiously awaited the show to begin. And they couldn’t have opened it any better. Every show that is on air always begins with Howard and Rob Zombie singing American Nightmare, so naturally this show would also have to being that way, except of course, Rob Zombie would come out and sing it live! I think we all had chills.
After the opening, it was just celebrity after celebrity. Jimmy Kimmel hosted, there was stand up by Jimmy Fallon and Lena Dunham, some roasting by Joan Rivers, incredible music performances (Adam Levine and Pat Monahan doing Purple Rain, Steven Tyler on a white grand piano singing Dream On, John Mayer doing Led Zeppelin, Jewel singing a song Howard wrote, and my favorite Dave Grohl singing There Goes My Hero), Brian Cranston doing a spot on J.D. impression, a strip tease by Ryan Phillippe for Robin, shots done all night by Howard and the celebrity guests, a David Letterman interview and so much more. I lost track of how many celebrities were there. The show was incredible. Hands down the most entertaining show I’ve ever been to in my life. It was a tribute to Howard and it got so emotional towards the end. Everyone had such nice things to say about him, you really have to believe that he is just a wonderful person in real life. The show was 4 hours long and there was not one slow moment in the entire show. *Disclaimer – These are NOT my photos.
About halfway through the show, we ran into Elisa (Benjy’s girlfriend) in the bathroom and got to chatting to her. She invited us to come watch the rest of the show from her box and of course we said yes! So we were lucky enough to have even better viewing for the remainder of the show.
When the show was over, and all the celebrities and show staff were still mingling down on the floor, Sarah and I were determined to get down there to meet some of them. We went downstairs and of course security turned us away, but Sarah is the most convincing, persistent person I’ve ever met (seriously she should either be in sales or a politician because she can talk anyone into anything). The next thing I knew, they were letting us onto the floor. We were able to meet Natalie Maines and Jeff Probst and we also met up with Sour Shoes again.
Then we realized that a lot of the show staff were mingling up on the stage, so once again, Sarah worked her magic and convinced security that we were supposed to be up there. So up we went on stage and there we got to meet so many people from the show (Gary, Will, Jason, John, and Scott). We even snapped a picture of the birthday cake backstage! Also, because we were able to finagle our way up onto the stage, we were given a ticket to the after party. We had no idea what kind of party it would be, or who would be there, but we were sure as hell going to go over there and try to get in!
By this time Sour Shoes and Sarah were now BFF’s, so of course he was coming with us (along with a few other people we met) We hopped in a car and headed down to the club where the party was being held at. When we got there, there was a huge crowd outside the club of people all trying to get in. My heart sank. There was no way we were getting into this club. While we tried to formulate a plan, we noticed about 30 feet down, another door with a velvet rope around it and none other than Jared from the show standing there with a clipboard. We decided to go investigate and quickly realized that this was the actual entrance to the after party (it was in the basement of the club, whereas the mob of people were just trying to get in to the regular club). Sarah started in on Jared…working her magic as usual. He checked his list and of course we were not on it, but we were with Sour Shoes and he (although not on the list either) is a Wack Packer and therefore should be allowed in (or so that was our angle). So after a lot of convincing on Sarah’s part (I seriously just stood there and nodded my head) he actually let us in. Holy crap…we were going in to the after party!
Now, we really had no idea who was going to be there. We had heard of a few different locations of after parties, so we didn’t know if this one would be the one to be at or what, but as we descended the stairs down to the club, Kathy Griffin walked right past us on her way out. Sarah and I just looked at each other and smiled. We were at THE after party. This realization was quickly confirmed once we were in and I saw none other than the beautiful Beth Stern standing a mere 5 feet away from us. Oh, and Steven Tyler just walked past us. Oh, and there’s John Mayer in the corner over there. Oh wait, who’s that? John Stamos and Ryan Phillippe talking together. Oh and there’s Maria Menounos dancing on the dance floor. EVERYONE from the show was there (well, other than Howard because he never goes anywhere). We got a couple of pictures with John Stamos and Ryan Phillippe, but had to quickly put the kabosh on all that for fear of being found out that we were totally crashing the party. So we spent the rest of the night dancing, drinking (this party was completely open bar too) and rubbing shoulders with celebs. It was so crazy!!!
Around 3am when the crowd was starting to thin out and we literally could not stand one more moment in our high heels, we decided it was time to retire for the night. We hopped in a car and grabbed a slice of pizza on the way home and literally collapsed on our bed.
The next morning, after sleeping only about 4 hours, we packed up and headed for the airport. It was all over and now it was time to go home. Thank goodness we had a long flight home so I had time to sleep and decompress before coming back to reality. It was the most amazing night ever. I still cannot believe all that happened and all that we got to experience. Even without all the extra things we got to do, my favorite part of the night was the show. It was such an experience that only a big fan of Howard could appreciate. I am so happy that I got to experience it all because I know a night like that will never happen again in my life. It was unreal!