Jewish Journal

Fatel Gets It

by Rob Eshman

September 21, 2009 | 8:32 pm

Mitch Fatel

The blog has made me listen to Howard more intently, which may be a good thing.

Or may not.

I am actually in danger of using the Howard Stern Show as a self-help guide, which when I think about is, is frightening.  Who’s your life coach?  Deepak?  Oprah? Your shrink?  Your dad?

No, it’s Howard Stern.

C’mon, I’m fairly convinced even Howard wouldn’t think that’s a good idea.

But I’m going through… stuff… and as I do, I find that the insights I glean from the Show, on the way to work and on the way from work, are very helpful. (My dad’s helpful too, by the way).  And yes, I understand it’s a show, and I understand Howard is an on-air persona, not the real Howard.  I know enough famous people to know 99 percent of them aren’t looking to be anyone’s personal guru, and 99.9 percent of them have feet, hearts and minds made of clay.  Famous people are human, and humans are flawed.

But Howard keeps spinning off insights, which in these times of my…stuff… turn out to be relevant and useful.  I call them my “Stern Rules.” Some are simple, but as my wife the rabbi reminds me, most big truths are.

So, yes, Howard Stern is making me a better person.  A better manager of my own life.  A better husband.  A better dad.

How weird is that?

Today’s Stern Rule is, “Be Yourself.”

The comedian Mitch Fatel actually thanked Howard on air for teaching him this. From Marksfriggin.com:

Mitch said that he had to thank Howard for the internship there. He said that when he was a little kid he would listen to Howard and he got from him that he could be cool by not being cool. He said he just wanted to be himself and that’s what he’s done. He said he didn’t have to create a persona for himself. He said that’s the reason he’s successful today. Howard thanked him for that, gave him some more plugs and said he’s very proud of him for that.

“You don’t need to invent a persona,” said Howard. 

If you listen to “The History of Howard Stern” show, you hear how Howard himself learned this—it comes out in his voice.  In his early shows it is thinner, hurried and forced.  As his career progresses his voice deepens, slows and approaches his natural speaking voice.  As his persona became more authentic, and less “cool,” his true voice comes out.  Voice coaches speak of a person’s “body voice,” which seems to resonate from deep within their chest, not leap out from their throat.  Stern developed that as he dropped the persona of the cool DJ. And he passed it on to Mitch Fatel and other listeners, and that can only help them—and me—- with… stuff.

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Rob Eshman created the blog Serious Stern on June 17, 2009.  Serious Stern is devoted to a serious (hence the name) exploration of the cultural impact of Howard Stern.

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