Howard Stern Struggled To Control Richard Lewis During An Erratic Interview Before He Got Sober


  • Richard Lewis was erratic during a 1993 Howard Stern Interview before he got sober.
  • Stern struggled to control Lewis, who kept interrupting and going off on tangents.
  • Despite initial difficulties, Stern and Lewis built a better relationship in later interviews.

Richard Lewis’ life was plagued with shocking health issues long before he died tragically on February 27th, 2024. The wealthy Curb Your Enthusiasm star and iconic standup comedian dealt with Parkinson’s Disease in his later years, but he spent his lifetime dealing with alcoholism and drug addiction. Lewis, however, did become sober in 1994. But he famously spoke about how he took his sobriety one day at a time.

Right before getting sober, Richard Lewis was reaching his darkest moments. At least, that’s what he’s said about his private life. In public, he was as funny as ever. But in a 1993 interview withHoward Stern, fans got a glimpse at how erratic his addiction issues were likely making him. This article will delve into Richard Lewis’ 1993 interview with Howard Stern and then delve into their relationship before his death.

Howard Stern Struggled To Control An Erratic Richard Lewis Before He Got Sober

Radio legend Howard Stern became extremely rich and famous by shocking audiences and pushing boundaries. For the longest time, he was the one who couldn’t be controlled. Of course, that’s changed over the last couple of decades. Nowadays, Stern is best known for his hard-hitting interviews, including his bombshell conversation with Barbra Streisand. But back in 1993, Stern was still very much a shock jock. And that’s precisely why he was briefly given a show on the E! Network called The Howard Stern Interview.

The Howard Stern Interview didn’t last for more than a year, but the radio legend chatted with many stars during its run. This includes Richard Lewis. But instead of Stern being the untamed one during the episode, it was Lewis who couldn’t be controlled.

There’s no doubt that the eyes of Richard Lewis were the eyes of a drunk the moment he sat down for the Howard Stern interview. Stern could barely get through the introduction before Lewis started jumping from topic to topic and throwing his chair’s pillow across the room. While Stern was playfully insulting Lewis, it was clear he wanted to settle the comedian down in order to actually interview him:

“Be interviewed. Be interviewed. If you’re not going to be interviewed, I’m going to throw you off the couch.”

“Wow,” Lewis responded.

“I want you to be interviewed,” Stern said before trying to re-introduce Lewis. “You’re someone who came to the attention of the public through stand-up comedy–“

“Through you. Only through you,” Lewis interrupted. “Through you in your little dark room where you think you’re good. In your little dark room with your own little private world in your head with this crap [touching his jacket]. Actually whoever designed [his jacket] did a good job, you just had the wrong model.”

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Lewis then launched into a diatribe about his relationship with Stern which caused the radio host to say:

“Richard, sit back and be interviewed.”

“I’m making a point,” Lewis responded.

“Your point will go on endlessly. You’re boring people. You’re being psychotic.”

Howard Stern then tried to steer the interview back to the beginning but Lewis interrupted again by asking him who the sidekick was on Lone Ranger.


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“You’re not going to let me talk?” Stern asked. But he got no reply, as Lewis launched into yet another tangent-filled monologue.

“You look like Tonto’s son who went to Rabbinical school,” Lewis said, making Stern laugh. “Oh, you laughed, I’m sorry.”

“20 minutes [later] and you finally make me laugh,” Stern shot back. “Are you going to let me interview you or not? This is not funny what you’re doing. You’re interrupting every three seconds.”

Richard Lewis on the red carpet
via Instar

“You know, I think you’re a closet homosexual and that you want me,” Lewis interrupted again as Stern tried to ask Lewis about how relationships with women. This caused Stern to stop the interview and jump to a commercial, but not before saying the following:

“I’m going to take a break here and I’m going to have a serious discussion with you during the commercial. And if you will allow me to interview you, then we will continue this interview. If not, I will throw you off the couch and interview you without you being here.”

“Wow, you are a punk,” Lewis said as they cut to commercial.

As they returned from commercial, the energy appeared to have shifted drastically. Lewis was more upbeat and focused while Stern was more somber and serious. Stern then claimed that the two had a discussion during the commercial break because he felt the first segment “went badly.”


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“You were not allowing me to interview you. You were being difficult, am I correct?” Stern asked.

“Absolutely,” Lewis replied.

The rest of the interview went quite a bit more smoothly. But there’s no mistaking Stern’s frustration with Richard Lewis’ unhinged and bizarre behavior during the first segment of the interview.

Inside Howard Stern And Richard Lewis’ Relationship

Richard Lewis went on to appear on The Howard Stern Show many more times after his erratic Howard Stern Interview appearance. This is something Stern mentioned in March 2024 on his radio show when discussing Lewis’ death after going into cardiac arrest.

Richard Lewis Health Issues
Via: Instar

“Richard appeared on our show in 1987, the first time,” Stern said to his audience and co-host Robin Quivers.

“He was on our show 65 times.”

  • Richard Lewis was on The Stern Show 65 times
  • Richard Lewis was on David Letterman’s show 48 times

While Howard Stern and Richard Lewis didn’t hang out socially, he was one of the comedians who basically had an open invitation on his radio show. Despite not hanging out, the two got to know each other quite well through their interviews. And these later interviews went decidedly better than the one in 1993.

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