By Barry Dutter
In 1989, Dustin Hoffman won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in the movie RAIN MAN. As he rushed up to the stage to accept the award, the first thing he wanted to do was to show his appreciation the man who had made it all possible: his director, Barry Levinson. In a breathless, raspy voice, Hoffman uttered the words, “Thank you, Barry” and then proceeded with his acceptance speech.
Flash forward to 2003. I’m living in Ft. Lauderdale, and publishing my own humor magazine, called GAG! It’s in the tradition of MAD and CRACKED and those those other humor mags I grew up with.
I’m having a little trouble getting the funding to put the second issue out. An idea occurs to me: how about going on the Howard Stern Radio Show and challenging the producer of the show, Gary “Baba Booey” Dell’Abate to an 80s music trivia game for the chance to win $5,000? That would give me more than enough money to publish the second issue of my mag.
The game was called “Stump The Booey,” and it was a semi-regular feature on the Stern Show. I had heard the game played many times on the radio, and every time I played along at home, I either tied Gary or beat him, so I was pretty confident I could win. There was only one catch: I had to bring a girl with me who would get naked if I lost.
I didn’t know any girls who were willing to get naked in a national forum like that. (Even though it was on radio, any girl who appeared on Howard’s radio show would also be seen on his web site.) I asked every girl I knew, and they all turned me down.
So I figured I would start going to strip clubs and find me a dancer who was willing to fly to New York with me if I was willing to give her a share of the prize money. I offered $1,000 if I won, plus the all-expenses paid trip to New York. I probably approached few hundred girls, and all of them turned me down. I like to joke that I probably spent $1,000 on strippers trying to find one who would help me win $5,000!
Most of the strippers I asked turned me down, and they gave variations of the same two reasons: 1) "I don’t want my parents to find out what I do for a living," and 2) "Howard is too mean."
I thought both excuses were pretty weak. I mean, Howard is usually very nice to the girls who come into his studio. The only time he was ever mean (or more accurately, “brutally honest,”) was when girls came in and said they were hot enough to be in Playboy and Howard and his crew would sometimes let them know why they were not Playboy material.
As for the parents thing, well, I really doubted most strippers’ parents listened to the Stern Show. (Howard didn’t even have a TV show at the time, as his E! Show had just ended and his Howard TV channel hadn’t started up yet.) But I suppose there was always a chance that a friend of the parents could hear the show on the radio and tell them about it…
I finally found a stripper who was willing to come with me in the Fall of 2003. She was a nice red-head named Angie from Pennsylvania. She described herself as a huge Stern fan. She even invited me over for Thanksgiving dinner.
Angie and I were booked for the show in 2004, but at the last minute, she backed out, saying she just wasn’t “ready” to get naked on a national radio show. (This was a girl whose job it was to get naked on stage on a nightly basis in front of hundreds of men!)
I made one of the hardest phone calls I ever had to make when I called the Stern show and told them we were backing out of the appearance. But I wasn’t defeated yet. I mean, I lived in Florida, a state with some of the most beautiful women in the world.
Surely I could find one girl willing to fly to New York and get naked on the Howard Stern Show for $1,000!
A few months later, I wound up finding my girl on, of all places, a casino boat. I had had a bad night of blackjack. I probably lost about $300. But I hit the jackpot in a different way when I met Jaimie, a busty blonde (and massage therapist) who agreed to make that trip to New York with me.
But first I had to convince the Stern people that I would be able to deliver this time. The Stern staff does not look kindly on people who bail out on an appearance. I decided to make it my mission to get back on the Stern Show.
First I began sending in emails to the Stern Show, where I challenged Gary Dell-Abate. I called Gary a coward, and said he wasn’t man enough to beat me at his own game. I came on pretty strong, telling Gary there was no way I could lose. One of the producers of the Stern show contacted me and told me to keep the insults coming. He said they were working!
Next I commissioned artist Steve Campbell to do a series of posters depicting me vs. Baba Booey, and I sent the posters to Gary over at the Stern Show.
In the first poster, Gary and I were shown as a pair of boxers about to face off, with me looking like a mighty champion and Gary looking like a Neanderthal. In the second poster, I was an organ grinder and he was my clueless monkey. (GAG art Director Dave Berns did an awesome job coloring the second poster.) I was going to commission a third poster, showing Gary as an ugly woman in a dress, but it turned out the third poster wasn’t necessary.
In July, 2005, I took some short videos of Jaimie at the beach in a wet bikini, saying she was ready to come to New York and get naked. I sent the videos in to a producer from the Stern Show. A few days later, he called me and said all my posters and videos and insults had worked. Jaimie and I had been booked on the show. The only condition was that I had to guarantee that Jaimie would be perform as promised. I assured them they she would.
I made the reservations for Jaimie and myself to fly to New York. Then I began brushing up on my 80s music. I have a pretty good memory for 80s tunes -- after all, this is the stuff I grew up with. Still, I started listening every 80s CD I had. It never hurts to refresh your memory on stuff that is 20 to 25 years old.
And so it came to pass that on August 3, 2005, Jaimie and I flew to New York. It was Jaimie’s first time in the Big Apple, so she wanted to do some sight-seeing. We ended up going to Scores, a strip club that was, at that time, a favorite of the Stern crew.
Jaimie was so kindhearted, she actually bought me a lap dance. Then she got one for herself, and hers was even better than mine! Nothing like a little girl-on-girl action to start the trip off right. Following that, we went to Hogs N Heffers, the bar which as the inspiration for the movie Coyote Ugly. Jaimie danced on the bar while I shot pool, and everyone had a good time.
We got to bed around 2:30 a.m. that night. (Separate beds, in case you were wondering!) We had to be up in three hours to get ready for the Stern Show. I figured we would never make it to the studio on time. But Jaimie was a true pro-- she got dolled up in her sexiest outfit, did her hair and make-up, and was camera-ready by 6:30 a.m.! And not once did she complain about being tired.
I think we both had too much nervous energy to be tired. I called a cab to bring us to Howard‘s studio, and we were on our way.
We arrived at the K-ROCK building at 7:00 a.m. We waited in the Green Room, where we met Will, the producer who had been my contact on the show. Will explained the rules of the game to us. He handed Jaimie a towel and instructed her to get naked. If I lost the game, Jaimie was to whip off the towel and show off her bodacious bod.
We were scheduled to go on at 7:30 a.m. but wound up getting bumped back to 9:00. We had arrived at the studio at 7:00 a.m., so it was a full two hours before we got to go on. It’s like a kind of torture, waiting in that green room. Jaimie and I took turns pacing. She was wearing only her towel, at this point.
At least we got to listen to the show while we were waiting. After what seemed like an eternity, Howard finally started talking up our segment. He said he was excited to meet Jaimie because based on the photos he had seen, he thought she looked like actress Kate Hudson (which is true, if Kate Hudson added on some massive double-D’s!)
Gary said he was going to try extra hard to beat me, because he said I had been “particularly cruel” to him in my taunts. That is true, I had been razzing him pretty hard, but it all was all in the spirit of the show.
Finally, around 9:00 a.m., Will came in and got us. It’s a very surreal experience walking on to the set of the Howard Stern Show. You walk through that door, and you see the King of All Media behind his console… Robin Quivers in her booth… Artie Lange off to the side.. and sound effects guy Fred Norris doing his thing... it's like you walked inside your TV and ended up on the set of one of your favorite shows!
Howard introduced me as a “very arrogant guy” who had been “sending in FAXes and emails every other day.” Truth is, I never sent in any FAXes, but I did send in a couple of dozen emails over a three-year period.
As for the arrogance, hey, I’ll cop to that, but it was the only way I could get on the show. I mean, what was I gonna do -- write in and say I’m “pretty good at trivia” and have a “fair” chance of winning?
Hell no! My attitude was to go in there and be the cockiest guy who ever played Stump the Booey. As far as I was concerned, the money was already mine. Playing the game was a mere formality!
Howard had a ton of questions for Jaimie, including how old she was, how much she weighed, and how big her boobs were. He asked if she had ever done any stripping, and she said she had been in a few amateur contests. He asked what she did for a living, and she lied and said she was a secretary.
Howard asked what was the largest amount of money she had ever been offered for sex. She said it was $10,000 but she had turned it down. Artie Lange shouted, “I’ll double it!” Jaimie said she would never accept money for sex, but added, “If I like you, I’ll do it for free!!”
(She later admitted to me she had made up the $10,000 figure. She’s not a huge Stern fan, but she clearly gets the show!)
Howard was very intrigued by the fantasy of this buxom blonde leaning over her boss’ desk in a short skirt. “Do you ever tease your boss with your ass?’ he asked. Jaimie giggled and admitted that she had.
Howard then spent the next few minutes making disgusting noises with his mouth, as if to simulate the boss having sex with Jaimie. Fred Norris threw in a squirting sound effect when Howard was done, and then Howard announced he was “ready to work.”
Howard instructed Gary, “Booey, you gotta win this one.” Gary assured his boss that he was up to the task.
He asked if I thought I could beat Gary. I assured him that I could. I added, “I’d like to thank Gary in advance for the $5,000.” I really didn’t see any way I could lose.
Gary started ripping into me, as expected, referring to my magazine as FAG instead of GAG! That gave me license to razz him back. I promised he would go down like a ma-ma-monkey.
Artie Lange said that with all our trash-talking, this was taking on the aura of an Ali-Frazier fight. The game began. The first song had started with a generic electronic beat that almost sounded like Depeche Mode. But the instant I heard the vocals, I knew it was Tiffany, singing her hit, “I Think We’re Alone Now.”
Gary and I both got that one right. But the next song had both of us baffled. It had a long intro that sounded like any one of a million 80s metal songs. I had a vague clue of what the song might be, but I had to hear the lyrics to be sure.
The lyrics began, “One foot on the gas, one foot on the brake, hey!” It was clearly a driving song, so I just named the only 80s metal driving song I could think of: “I Can’t Drive 55” by Sammy Hagar.
Turns out I was right. Gary came up blank, admitting that 80s metal tunes were his weak spot.
I was now one ahead of Gary. In order for Gary to win, I would have to get two wrong.
The next three songs were:
“Doctor, Doctor” by the Thompson Twins
“Talking in Your Sleep” by the Romantics
“Your Love” by the Outfield
I knew all the songs, but I pretended to stumble on one of them just to make it interesting. I performed so well, Robin joked that they should change the name of the game to “Stump the Barry.”
After the fifth song, Howard announced that the game was over and I had won. Gary noted that he had lost because of a “gay Sammy Hagar song that wasn’t even a hit.” (For the record, the song was a Top 40 hit, reaching #26 on the Billboard Charts back in 1984.)
But we weren’t finished yet. Howard still wanted to see Jaimie nude. “I know you’re just burning to take off that towel,” he said.
He offered Jaimie $500 cash plus a free trip for two to Washington, DC to see a WWE wrestling match, and a chance to give a group hug to Howard, Artie and Fred if she would drop the towel.
“I guess it could be fun,” Jaimie said. She dropped the towel and stood there completely nude. As soon as the towel hit the floor, Fred Norris played a drop that he had prepared earlier: it was the voice of Dustin Hoffman saying, “Thank you, Barry!”
I instantly recognized the sound bite from Hoffman’s Academy Awards acceptance speech from 1989! I shot a look over to Fred, and gave him a nod, as if to say, “I know whose voice that is and where the clip is from, and it’s perfect!” Fred gave me a smile, happy to see that his hard work was appreciated.
“Look at those boobs!” Howard exclaimed. Gary chimed in, “I was wondering where the 135 pounds were on that frame, but now I see it. Those things weigh 20 pounds each!”
Jaimie did a trick where she made her boobs bounce up and down. “You really want men’s attention, don’t you?” Howard asked. “Yeah, I like men,” came the reply.
Artie Lange chimed in with a funny voice saying, “Look at those baby gorillas!”
Howard asked, “Do you want your group hug?” Jaimie politely declined. Howard said, “That’s okay, I understand. We are pretty gross.”
Howard asked if I was banging Jaimie, and I invoked Bill Clinton’s classic line, “I have not had sexual relations with that woman.” I added, “I would like to, but she has a boyfriend.”
And then, just like that, it was over. Jaimie put her towel back on. A photographer from the Stern staff took some pictures for their web site. Gary and I shook hands. Gary told me he had enjoyed busting my balls, and I agreed it was all in good fun.
I told Gary that if he wanted a rematch when the Stern show moved to satellite, I would be up for it.
After the show was over, Jaimie and I headed back to Florida. Our three-year odyssey had finally come to an end. Jaimie was positively giddy to have made her national radio debut. We were both happy to have won some money. Jaimie got the $500 from Howard, the $1,000 from me, and she even negotiated an extra $500 from me. Not bad for dropping a towel!
Jaimie never did get to take that free trip to D.C., because she had a family reunion that same weekend. Her whole family was happy for her that she got to be on the Stern show. But her mother did comment, “It would be nice if you got famous for doing something else!”
My experience with the Stern show demonstrates that if you work hard at something, and you truly believe in yourself, and you have enough of a stalker mentality, all your dreams will come true.
And you may even find Dustin Hoffman thanking you for getting a girl naked on the radio!