What a Friggin Week... 01/27/06
Holy crap! What a week this turned out to be... on Friday, January 20, 2006, during the Howard Stern Show, a comedian who goes by the name Ant mentioned MarksFriggin.com and gave me quite a plug. Ant was talking about his gay lover that he had cheated on and when Howard asked him if he knew about it, he told Howard that he didn't have a SIRIUS radio so he wouldn't find out... unless he reads MarksFriggin.com. Ant then went on to talk about how obsessed I seem to be and how detailed the notes are on the site. Nice plug.
After Ant mentioned my site, Howard didn't really have much of a response and quickly changed the subject to keep the show moving along. That little bit of a brush off led to a thread on SternFanNetwork.com where people were arguing about whether Howard is anti-MarksFriggin or not. Long story short, that thread led to Howard 100 News picking up on the story. They were going to run a story about whether or not my site had been snubbed by Howard, and possibly Mutt from SFN. When I was contacted by Michelle Jerson at Howard 100 News, I told her that I didn't feel snubbed and the story was dropped the same day... but that wasn't the end of my brush with Howard 100 News.
MSNBC Wants Me For An Interview?
The following Monday, January 23, I was contacted by Monica Novotny who works for the Countdown with Keith Olbermann show on MSNBC. Monica said they were doing a follow up piece on what fans thought about Howard's move to SIRIUS two weeks after and they wanted to do a quick interview with me.
I'm not one for doing interviews about Howard and have turned down many offers in the past because I didn't want them turning the tables on me and making me look like an idiot... but I had done one interview, via email, with Dave McGurgan from PhillyBurbs.com... That got reprinted in their sister paper "Philly Edge." Monica said that she had read that article and thought I'd make for the perfect interview. Yeah, right...
It took Monica quite a while to convince me to do this interview. I thought it was going to be a phone interview... I soon found out they were going to send a friggin camera crew to my house to video tape me! Holy crap again! Not only am I going to make a fool out of myself, but I'm going to do it on camera? Ugh! What have I gotten myself into?
Tuesday morning around 11:30 a freelance sound guy and cameraman showed up at my house to set up to video tape me for this interview. I lucked out though. Both of the guys were Stern fans. The sound guy, I think his name was Jason... I'm so friggin bad with names... asked if we could listen to Howard's replay on SIRIUS while they set up. No problem. Then he wanted to check out some Howard Stern On Demand. No problem there either. The cameraman, Bill, was also a fan and had done some interviews with Howard in the years past and he was a fan as well. We bullshitted about the show for a while as they were setting up the camera, lights and sound equipment.
Here's how the interview went... I sat in a chair with my back to my TV, which had Howard Stern On Demand playing, while holding my cordless speaker phone in my left hand. Monica was on the phone, Bill was behind the camera. I pretended to be talking to Monica as she asked the questions... but instead of Monica, I was staring at the sound guy who was sitting in a chair next to the camera. He would look back at me as I was talking but then he'd look over to the TV and see something funny on screen and he'd start laughing. It was hard to keep a straight face while doing this wacky interview.
The interview with Monica lasted maybe 20 minutes with short breaks in between some questions so I could take a breather, take a sip of water and gather my thoughts. The camera guys were at the house for about 3 hours total and we spent probably a good hour of that just talking about Howard. That helped relax me for the interview, that's for sure. I couldn't imagine doing the interview with a couple of Opie and Anthony fans as a camera crew. Anyway, that same night they aired the piece on Howard on Countdown with Keith Olbermann and it actually worked out very well. They only used about 10 seconds of my 20 minute interview and they seemed to pick the best 10 seconds. I didn't come across as the giant douche that I think I am. I actually sounded kind of intelligible for those 10 seconds. I'm glad it wasn't live though, then I would have been that giant douche. (Watch the Video)
Howard 100 News Profile
The same day I heard from Monica Novotny at MSNBC, I was also e-mailing back and forth with Michelle Jerson from Howard 100 News. Out of the blue she also asked me to do an interview having no idea that I was about to do one with MSNBC. I told her that I rarely do interviews but I would do one with her, the day after the MSNBC interview. Michelle wanted to do a profile piece on me for Howard 100 News so I figured it couldn't hurt.
On Wednesday, January 25 I was typing up my show rundown as usual. Howard had Lisa G from Howard 100 News in the studio to give them an update on what they had coming up on the news. Lisa starts off by saying ''Who is MarksFriggin?'' and mentions that she saw me on MSNBC the night before and suggests that I should be Howard's 'Expert' and that I was very well spoken... ahhh, the magic of a pre-taped interview... and then tells Howard that they're doing an in depth profile of me on Howard 100 News. Then, much to my surprise, Howard starts talking about me and the site.
Howard explained who I was and how ''he just keeps meticulous notes on everything we say...'' and ''... it's a rundown of the show that is absolutely staggering... it's almost every word, it's almost a transcript... yeah, Mark's a big fan.'' My heart stopped, my jaw dropped... finally, some praise from the King himself. I'll accept that as my 10 year anniversary (of the site) gift thank you!
By this time I hadn't even heard from Michelle Jerson yet. I got the call from Michelle at around 11:30 that morning. She asked me a bunch of questions about my life, how I run the site, how I got started... Stuff like that. Later that day they ran a teaser on Howard 100 News at Noon and then ran the whole 3-4 minute profile on Howard 100 News at 6. Wow! What's going on this week? Why all the press and notice all of a sudden?
The Bob Levy Roast Invitation
As if all of that stuff wasn't enough for this humble Stern Fan... I was also invited to be one of the audience members on Rev. Bob Levy's Roast show that was supposed to be taped on Thursday evening. I was all set to go into the city to support my man Bob. Then I got an email from Mutt and a phone call from Jason who wanted me to appear on the Superfan Roundtable show that night. I turned down the offer though because I really didn't think I did all that well the first time. I don't express my thoughts and feelings very well when under pressure so I'm not going to subject the fans to my dopey ass anymore.
Things wouldn't have worked out for the roundtable show anyway. Levy called me on Thursday afternoon and told me they were moving his Roast show to do it live during Howard's show... and I was invited to be in the audience. Wow! When is this great stuff going to end? I'll tell you when... Friday morning at about 4:40am.
I got my ass up at 3:40am to get ready to head into New York City from my house that's about 50 miles West of there in New Jersey. It can take up to 2 hours due to traffic so I gave myself plenty of time. By 4:10am I was on the road heading for the city. I live out in the sticks here in Hunterdon County so I don't like that drive into the city at all so little things can discourage me... So when I came upon a line of flares and police cars blocking the four lane Route 78, about 25 miles from home, I thought to myself ''Uh oh, not good...'' Traffic was being diverted off the highway and cars were going every which way. I didn't know my way around that area and SIRIUS traffic was reporting that the highway was closed for about 3 exits due to a fatal accident.
This may have been a really bad decision but I pulled off a side road, called my wife and told her I was heading home. I didn't want to get lost trying to find my way around an area that I didn't know... So I flipped around and got back on 78 heading West, away from the city. My god, what have I done? Yes, that's right, I blew it, I missed my chance to be in Howard's studio during one of the funniest segments I've heard in recent years on Howard's show. Bob Levy's Celebrity Roast of Ralph Cirella. The only positive thing about my disastrous morning is the fact that I was able to get my rundown finished at the usual time instead of trying to catch up later in the afternoon after going into the city.
So that was quite a week for me. Two (actually 3 if I throw in George Flower's mention of my upcoming profile) mentions during Howard's show, an interview with MSNBC and a profile of me on Howard 100 News. Not a bad week even if I did miss out on Bob's great Roast show. What more could a Stern fan ask for?
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