Howard Stern Says His Robin Williams Interview Is One of His Biggest Regrets

The radio host also reveals his favorite guest and why he put his feud with Rosie O’Donnell to bed.

Howard Stern is reflecting on over 30 years of celebrity interviews in his new book, "Howard Stern Comes Again." Sharing excerpts from the book with The Hollywood Reporter, alongside an interview about its release, Stern was incredibly candid about his shock-jock reputation and how he’s tried to evolve in recent years.

"I was so completely f–ked up back then," he told the publication, referring to his pre-Sirius radio interviews. "I didn’t know what was up and what was down, and there was no room for anybody else on the planet."

A particular interview that makes him cringe is one he did with Robin Williams. "I loved Robin Williams, but there I am beating him over the head with, like, ‘Hey, I hear you’re f–king your nanny?’ I could have had a great conversation, but I’m playing to the audience," he explained. "They want to hear outrageousness, and that’s my arrogance thinking that Robin Williams can’t entertain my audience. How stupid am I?"

Admitting he was combative with many guests, Stern told THR he "lashed out at anyone and everyone whose career was prospering. I thought I should be at the center of the universe, and whenever it seemed like someone else was, I couldn’t accept it."

One person he lashed out at in the past was Rosie O’Donnell, with whom he eventually buried the hatchet. He explained Mia Farrow actually suggested they become friends, as they both took public stances against her ex, Woody Allen. Of Rosie, he said, "I remember thinking, ‘How could I have missed out in my life on someone so special because of some dumb posturing on the radio?’"

As for how his show has changed overtime, he said it was a necessary evolution. "You can only interview so many strippers," he told THR. "I loved the idea that we’d go on the air and measure our penises or discuss vaginal secretions — whatever it was, if it freaked you out, I loved it because, to me, it was not a big deal. But now I find it gross. And I’d feel really fucking shitty if I hadn’t evolved. I’d be completely out of step with the times."

On today’s episode of his Sirius show, he also revealed his favorite interview of all time was one he did with Conan O’Brien back in 2015. "If I had to pick out one interview for people to read, one I think is the gold standard, this would probably be the one," he wrote in a book excerpt.

The book, "Howard Stern Comes Again," drops May 14. His full interview with THR is live now.

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