I have written about “Stuttering John” (Melendez) in the past and his hilarious new memoir. It contains tantalizing memories and anecdotes we never knew – what comedian Heather McDonald calls “Juicy Scoop.” Longtime fans of the Howard Stern Show – and those who listened in the 1990’s – will enjoy a new podcast series co-hosted by Stuttering John. The show is in a round-table format with Melendez’s former Stern colleagues Jackie Martling (Stern’s former head writer) and Billy West (a comedian who is also known for his voice-over work, i.e. Ren & Stimpy). Melendez says he hopes to have other comedians join him soon in future episodes.
Howard Stern Show enthusiast Shari Weinick watched some of this new series, available at TVRemix.com, and said: “Great to listen to three of the original Howard Stern gang after all of these years. The show started with them, and what I just watched makes me wish they were still part of the show.”
Of course, there is always some dissent among die-hard Stern Show fans. That is nothing new. Charles Kaye told me he “enjoyed these guys reminiscing and talking about what was fun during their Stern days.” He continued: “I didn’t really know what to make of their gripes, how they expressed that certain things were unfair. John got his start with Howard, so my complaint has always been that he should be more publicly thankful. Perhaps he has…or he will be, so that makes me want to tune in for future episodes. Overall, I really did enjoy Billy and Jackie, so it was good to see them again. I’m planning to read John’s memoir, but I’m going to take it all with some grains of salt….I just don’t know what to believe when it comes to Howard Stern, but I do believe I’ll be entertained by John’s humor.”
Not only is Melendez known for his outrageously brazen interviews during the Howard Stern days, and his general chutzpah, but he garnered a lot of media attention when he was successfully put through to Donald Trump on Air Force One. He spoke of his real concerns regarding immigration while pretending to be Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey. This prank spotlighted major holes in the screening process for obtaining access to a sitting president.
“I loved what he pulled on The Donald and how Jared Kushner actually called him back to vet him,” said fan Kayla Rodriguez, “and how he was able to put him through. It just showed how idiotic things are in Washington. John had an LA cell phone number and when he was asked about it, he simply said that the senator was on vacation. That measly excuse was accepted as totally reasonable. It was ridiculous and hilarious. I would say ‘brilliant’, but it spotlighted the mayhem and stupidity in the White House. I’m eager to tune in to this new video podcast series since I already listen to The Stuttering John Podcast. My favorite episode was when that prank was recorded. I am all for premium content to a fun podcast I already listen to!”
Andrea Simpson Weathers explains that she has been listening to Howard Stern since the early days when she was a child. “I enjoyed the good memories that this video podcast brought back, even if I took issue with some of the discussion ,” she began. “There’s something odd that strikes me: this notion that Howard is a slave driver and no one knows how miserable he can be. Longtime listeners know Howard is miserable. Howard knows he’s miserable and he talks about it on the air all the time. He expects the best and there are certain rules of the show. When people don’t respond accordingly, he gets upset and can go on a tirade….Can you blame Howard for reminding people that they’re associated with the show? Would anyone know who John Melendez is without the show? Nope. That said, I like the format of this video podcast. I like the intimacy of it. I enjoyed getting some insight into the earlier years of the Howard Stern Show.”
As this feedback indicates, fans are opinionated about the new series and there is a great level of intrigue among social media users. Even those who have minor objections admit they feel quite enticed to tune in.
You can sign up for this premium video podcast by going to TVRemix.com. Start with the episode titled: Jackie, Billy & John on Howard: Loose Cannons & Terminal Negotiations. The cost of the premium content, which is analogous to Patreon (a platform that allows hosts of free podcasts to offer exclusive, additional material to listeners for a minimal fee), is $5 per month.