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Bill Maher Mourns Losing ‘Germophobe’ Howard Stern as a Friend

'Club Random' podcaster shares duo's complicated past, uncertain future

“Club Random” showcases a kinder, gentler Bill Maher.

No sharp elbows, partisan smackdowns or gotcha queries. The comedy podcast is just Maher, a celebrity guest and a free-wheeling chat fueled by the occasion joint or tumbler.

Simple. Direct. And, as is often the case, brimming with banter that begs listeners to be kind to one another.

Maher will never be Mister Rogers 2.0, but the “Real Time with Bill Maher” host is genuinely building bridges one episode at a time.

Need proof? Recent show guests included Republicans Kid Rock and Dave Rubin.

Kid Rock | Club Random with Bill Maher

So it’s no surprise to hear he considers recovering shock jock Howard Stern a friend.

The radio star’s celebrity feuds are legendary. He’s sparred with Rosie O’Donnell, Kathie Lee Gifford, Chevy Chase and virtually every competing shock jock across the country.

Yet Stern, aided by decades of therapy, has mended fences with some of the aforementioned stars.

Maher included.

The “Club Random” host brought up Stern during his recent chat with author Sam Harris. Maher said the two fought for years but eventually pushed past their differences. And, to hear Maher describe it, they became fast friends.

Except it’s hard to be friends with Stern today.

The SiriusXM star became a recluse during the pandemic, and while most of American society has moved on from masks and lockdowns Stern still lives like its April 2020.


He recently dined with some celebrity chums, the first time he’s been out on a social event since the pandemic started.

Maher places great value in friendship and face-to-face connections, and that’s no longer possible with Stern. It’s why he fears their bond may be a thing of the past.

Maher and Harris spoke extensively about COVID-19, from various treatments to how Americans settled into distinct camps over the virus.

“I hate the way it’s dividing people,” Maher began. “Climate change never divided people for real in my life.” He segued to the so-called King of All Media, a figure whose pandemic fears proved paralyzing.

“Howard Stern and I … for years there was animosity. We got back together like two lost lovers,” Maher said with a smile. “And we had just repaired this relationship and were having this beautiful friendship. Now, I think I’ll never see him again.”


“I still love him and I hope he still loves me, but he is, in my view, a germophobe. I think he would admit [it], it’s pretty obvious,” Maher continues. “People have the right to be whatever level of scared they are of germs. I can’t live in that world. I don’t want to … I can’t live in your paranoid world.”

Stern began broadcasting from his Hamptons home early in the pandemic and has remained there for most of the past two-plus years. He did re-enter his SiriusXM studio earlier this month for an interview with rock legend Bruce Springsteen.

UPDATE: The Maher/Stern relationship hit a sour note months later when the “Club Random” host mocked Stern for talking up his marriage to the former Beth Ostrosky, his second wife. Maher felt it was insulting to Stern’s first marriage to Alison Berns, and Stern vehemently disagreed on a subsequent edition of “The Howard Stern Show.”

It’s safe to say the two are no longer friends. And it’s unlikely a makeup phone call will smooth things over.


  1. Oh my goodness. The comments here are quite an eyeful. May the Covfefe Confederacy of COVID-00+or-{÷√π£¢€¥} leave us undamaged and/or somehow surviving this spicy disaster of a space.

  2. Like Bill and most people I know I’ve been long past worrying about covid. Like I’m gonna wear masks to every indoor public place and boost every 6 months forever. No. Than Sunday I felt like I had a bad cold, tried one of the free tests I had lying around from my daughter’s school. I finally got it. Still sick 4 days later, isolated from people. Don’t recommend it. So I guess there’s a time when Bill sounds like he knows exactly what he’s doing and moments when Stern does. Couldnt see myself as paranoid as Stern, but the weeks leading up to getting this lousy virus? Absolutely wish I had. No question. Who cares how it wouldve looked to my carefree friends. Monday morning quartetbacking.

  3. First of all none of you have the slightest clue what you’re talking about. Alll of these comments are from lonely depressed people who are just venting online. Yea Howard Stern is washed up. Yes he was entertaining 20 years ago. And YES you all need to get a life.

    Now stand up. Turn around. And SMELL YOUR CHAIR!!! You might wanna go take a SHOWER!!!

  4. Joe Biden is a confoundedly gluttonous pervert and a grotesque stench-emitting derelict whose birth certificate is an apology from the condom factory.

  5. Howie was always an a$$ clown. Now he’s a complete sell out to the liberal media cabal. He says whatever they tell him. He fooled all his fans to get rich now that he is he couldn’t care less what you think of him. Never liked him so no loss to me. I guarantee he wouldn’t say the crap he says about real Americans to my face.

  6. As if human beings don’t change their opinions with age and wisdom. I see Stern as growing and at times apologetic at the folly of his youth.

  7. Howard was the reason I got Sirius radio, and was a fan for years. After Covid hit he became just like he mother , who he loves to make fun of, but he became the 69 year old whining yenta

  8. Stern stabbed Trump in the back and kissed up to Hillary to curry favor with his Hampton elites. Howard is as phoney as his mail order wig.

  9. Way too many Trumpster Deplorables Talking sh*t about Bill Maher HBO’S Real Time host and Howard Stern and Spewing their Conservative Extremist Delusional Childish rhetoric !!! Trump’s a Treasonous Traitor to the USA and a Criminal Grifter who moochers off his Cult of Personality disorders !!!! LOL. Trump !!! What a Loser !!!! He’s Running alrighty then !!! Running away from the DOJ !!! He’s been stalling and Running away for Decades with his Crooked Lawyer’s, he screws everyone around him , what a freeloader !!!! Trump will lose again !!!! Loser !!!! Lmao !!!!

    1. I’m your huckle bearer. You know that’s what he really said(Val(Doc)), you Biden followers are easy pickings. Sheep being led to the slaughter(thing is, your taking US aith you). See, the Dems can’t debate one issue, “not one”(Well, LGBTQ)…it’s all about feelings not results. What one thing has Biden done that was good for America 1st? One thing, we are requiring proof, however, because I’ve heard all the LIES. Want a fact. Fetterman would be better, poor fella, but a broke clock is right twice a day. Just being honest. Proud Trumper, he’s no SELLOUT. Bottom line, but I can go ALL DAY about your guy. All Facts, tho, not feelings.

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