aka: Howard Stern’s Private Parts, Private Parts – Dirty Radio
Director: Betty Thomas
Starring: Howard Stern, Robin Quivers, Mary McCormack, Fred Norris, Paul Giamatti
Never before has a man done so much with so little.
Private Parts is a comedic look at the life of the controversial radio personality Howard Stern. We get to see small parts of Stern’s childhood, but the movie really starts when he is a young adult who lands a very small gig as a radio jockey at local radio stadion. Because of his insecurities he starts out being very goofy, talking in a phony “radio voice” and plays by the rules. He moves around with his girlfriend from place to place trying out different radio stations, but its first when he stops the act and gives a few minutes of his real self that he strikes success.
And with the real Howard Stern there also comes controversy, major controversy. We follow Stern through his rise in popularity, all the way to his big gig at NBC where he struggles against old school executives and fights to give the audience the type of show that he, and them wants.
My relationship with Howard Stern is mostly from watching a few selected video’s online where he interviews some celebrities that I like. He’s not exactly a household name in Europe, even though we could use that type of radio over here instead of stations that are still stuck in the 80’s and 90’s, refusing to rethink what radio entertainment can be. I also remember him showing up at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards as Fartman, wondering what kind of weirdo this guy was.
Private Parts ia a fun travel through the life of Howard Stern. Howard and his sidekick throughout the years, Robin plays themselves in the movie and Howard also narrates the film. It’s very obvious that this is a simple attempt to please the fans, and perhaps Howard himself since it doesn’t go far into his private life, at least not with stuff we don’t already know about the guy. Most of the movie is focusing on the topic of censorship and what should be allowed to do in the name of entertainment. Howard does come off a little bit too innocent and nice here making the movie very Hollywood and “sweet”.
Even though he isn’t an actor, Howard’s charisma helps him get through this without doing any harm to the movie. He is fun to watch and very likeable on the big screen. The movie is directed by Betty Thomas, who had done stuff like My Breast and The Brady Bunch Movie before this. She does a good job of keeping the pace running well and stuff like that, but it would have been nice to see someone who would work with Stern to push the envelope a little more here, as he himself does on the radio.
Private Part is funny and entertaining, but it also plays it very safe. It’s an excellent movie if you are a huge Howard Stern fan and it’s enjoyable for those of us who have a more relaxed or none relationship with the guy at all. It is always fun to watch a guy fight against censorship and tries to represent the little guys against the big corporations and Howard does that quite well.