This is totally an apology to God and whatever is holy and spiritual in the world. I think possibly I could win a debate justifying my behavior, but in my heart of hearts, I know that it’s totally wrong and there’s no excuse, but I’ve never laughed harder than I have the last week listening to Howard Stern talk to his frequent call in guest Eric the Midget (go to the linked Wiki article to see how long this has gone on, how truly offensive it has been and how grumpily addicted to the show Eric has been). God help me, because as a believer in humor and satire, I know that it should be used to lampoon the powerful people on top of the heap and poor Eric has been dissed by fate about as badly as any human currently living in the United States, but I can’t help it. It’s just too damn funny.
Eric is an extremely grumpy handicapped little person, who is obsessed with American Idol and for some reason Diana DeGarmo in particular. One day he called in to complain about Stern’s abuse of first year Idol winner Kelly Clarkson, and Eric’s been a regular caller since then.
Stern is great with celebrities because he isn’t impressed with their fame and is the only one with the guts to ask them the questions that everyone really wants answered. He’s sort of the anti-James Lipton – there is no ass kissing at all, well no ass kissing unless you are Scott Baio and have stories about sleeping with an entire year of Playboy Playmates.
Of course, because of Stern’s take no prisoners attitude, he rarely gets any real celebrities to interview anymore. In response to this he’s created his own celebrities and almost all of them are seriously insane, severely handicapped, or in perhaps his lowest moments mentally handicapped. And yet, as an interviewer Stern is so fascinated by their lives that he continually gets golden material out of these poor people. Oddly, enough because of their ability to be entertaining on his show, they sort of wind up with the lives of C level celebrities and are probably better off with the abuseful notoriety.
It’s got to be wrong because it’s nothing but a modern freak show, but I can’t help myself – the whole parade is so fascinating.
To repeat myself, I could probably argue effectively that these people’s lives are better because of Stern, but I doubt that St. Peter would listen for more than a second or two.
One thing that’s fascinating to me about Eric the Midget is that he’s basically mentally sound, and because of infirmities and stature everyone else besides Stern probably tends to infantalize him. Stern is perhaps the only one that treats him like the 32 year old man that he is.
Eric, unlike some of Stern’s other Wack Packers, knows full well that he’s being mocked and is enraged by it. He always stands up for himself and in the course of his years on the show he’s gone from being a shy introvert to openly hurling profanity laced insults back at Stern and his cohorts.
He now has a My Space page with almost as many friends as Dane Cook and is featured on a web cam and interacts with his fans/detractors on his computer. He’s made numerous efforts to quit the show, but he has no life outside of the show and always winds up coming back.
The thing that makes him funny is that he’s completely delusional and overwhelmingly grumpy. Likely due to being infantalized by others, he has a completely virginal romantic view of love, despite the fact that he watches pornography and seems to have a preference for large breasted blondes.
It’s both really sad and oddly heroic that he holds out hope for a girlfriend, but unbelievable hysterical that the only place he really has the capability to act out his search is porn filled Internet chatrooms.
This week went to new levels of hilarity. He was immensely and incredibly profanely upset with Stern for telling him that the girl Kendra that he considers his girlfriend works in the porn industry. Eric doesn’t think so because she wears pasties on her web cam and tells him that she is his girlfriend in text messages.
Stern has done his best for a week now to tell Eric sincerely that this woman isn’t interested in him and that he shouldn’t get his hopes up, but Eric can’t let himself believe the truth. He’s convinced that they are in love and will one day be together despite Artie Lange piping in and telling him that this woman is as likely to marry him as she would be to marry a coyote.
Is there anyway I can keep up this commentary without looking horrible. It’s impossible to convey Eric’s truly hilarious grumpiness and it would probably take at least months of listening to these interactions for anyone not to feel like complete scum for laughing.
All I can say is, I know that I’m going to hell, but I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as hard as I have in the last week. Please, Jesus, forgive me.