Howard’s radio world will be a red-light district. “Wouldn’t it be brilliant if my audience could all lie down at night together and come together?” he wonders. “Cum together?” Howard’s idea is “Tissue Time With Heidi Cortez,” a 24-year-old Playboy model and “orgasmer” who will offer phone sex to Howard’s audience. He’s also working on a show called “Confessions From the Bunny Ranch,” a Nevada whorehouse. Howard plans to tape a room 24 hours a day. “You’ve heard of Taxicab Confessions, but that’s bullshit,” he says. “You’ll be right in the prostitute’s room. You’ll hear the negotiation. You’ll hear the screwing. You’ll hear the after-sex conversation. And that fascinates me. I want to be in that room.” Howard hopes to launch a show called “I Want to Fuck a Porn Star,” a send-up of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. “It’s going to be difficult,” cautions Howard. “If you can answer the questions, you will get to fuck a porn star. So many guys from my audience would love that opportunity.”
“I do miss you lately,” says Beth, Howard’s pinup-girl girlfriend. “I am not messing up this relationship,” says Howard grimly. “I don’t want to keep repeating my life.”
It’s possible that Howard is just a garden-variety pervert (as he’s sure every guy is). Howard’s instincts, though, are usually satirical. His targets are seriousness, good taste, the other boring virtues of adulthood (including reading books). Howard is a professional adolescent, though in his hands, adolescence is also a devilish send-up of mature, uptight opinion, like that involving bodily functions. “Sometimes flatulence is the funniest thing in the world to me,” Howard says. “It just is.”
Like the Craptacular. “Listen, to me the Craptacular is what I’m all about,” he says, and then, with earnestness, adds, “I really thought this guy was going to outproduce a baby elephant.” When done as a sportscast, it’s also a joke on every pompous sportscaster.
He has other self-serious targets. “You’ve heard of The View,” Howard says. “We’re going to round up four crack whores, and every night, we’re going to take the exact topics that The View talked about. I can’t stand those women on The View, but to hear ‘The Crack-Whore View’ girls talk about those same topics? It will be ten times better.” Howard has an idea for another talk show, the genre of, say, Meet the Press, except with girls from Scores, Howard’s favorite strip club. “One of the things that I love are these Scores girls get drunk about four o’clock in the morning, wasted,” he explains. “We want to have a round table, ‘The Drunken Scores Girls Show.’ I want to throw them topics of the day and just hear them.”
In his apartment, Howard has wound himself up. “It will be like nothing else,” he says. “It will be real.” Real is a favorite Howard word. Real is a retard on the radio for 24 straight hours, which was an idea in one of Howard’s late-night e-mails. Real is a racist with his own show, which Howard threatens. “One of the sitcoms we’re working on—very exciting—‘Meet the Fuckheads,’ ” Howard says. He’s written a synopsis, which reads, “An exciting sitcom starring married couple Jeff the Drunk and Wendy the Retard and their son Elephant Boy. Jeff, a hand-stamper at a local swimming pool, is spiraling downward and his retarded wife is fed up with him when suddenly life changes on a dime. He hits the winning lottery numbers. He moves into an exclusive neighborhood next door to Donald Trump.”
Of course, Howard could fail. Howard has been best when his oppositional disorder is engaged. Without a censor, a wife, or a manager trying to rein him in, who will be his foil? The calculation seems to be that he has good taste, everyone’s internalized arbiter, to screw with. Will fans cough up $12.95 per month for this? “That’s a very risky career move,” says Howard, “but I don’t care.” Maybe it’s the mania talking—or the promotional possibilities of the moment. But Howard acts as if he can’t believe his luck. “I mean, fuck me!” he shouts. “We’ll get the real Donald Trump.”
Howard reels off ideas, which he will also put on TV—he’s got a separate subscription deal with In Demand TV. “It’s crazy! All of a sudden,” he says, “I’m like on fire creatively.” He’s got more. “You’ve heard of Desperate Housewives? We have The Really Desperate Housewives.” It’s a show starring his staff’s significant others. “Each week, these wives desperately try to change their famous husbands into something they’re not: human,” says Howard. Some of the ideas are still incubating. Howard has to tell all. “Face the Shrink”: “Every night you will hear a live psychiatric session with a very famous celebrity,” he says. “It’s going to be a real shrink, real psychotherapy. Also, the shrink is going to analyze some of my Wack Pack guys.”