Review: ‘Howard Stern Comes Again’ by Howard Stern

"Howard Stern Comes Again" by Howard Stern; Simon & Schuster (549 pages, $35)

"Howard Stern Comes Again" is proof that radio's bad boy has finally reached adulthood. The King of All Media rose to the top of his field by triggering fights, recruiting unstable regulars and poking at guests. But this collection of celebrity interviews, most of which were conducted on his satellite radio show during the past five years, shows off Stern's skills as a journalist tapping into his innate sense of curiosity and deep well of compassion.

Stern remains obsessed with himself – his questions can often be longer than the answers – but his willingness to confess his own shortcomings often leads the stars to follow suit.

It's hard to imagine many other personalities convincing Jon Stewart to open up about his split with his father, Michael J. Fox to detail his battle with alcoholism or Gwyneth Paltrow to relive her romance with Brad Pitt, but Stern makes the revelations seem like casual conversations over brunch. There's a heavy focus on his interviews with fellow talk show hosts – David Letterman, Ellen DeGeneres, Bill O'Reilly and Conan O'Brien all made the cut – but it's a kick tracking how his peers react to being on the other side of the microphone.

The book also includes excerpts from nearly a dozen chats with Donald Trump and in-depth forewords from a man finally ready to address his private parts – in the cleanest sense of the words.