I just stumbled across a Stern Show from January 12, 1987 -- Howard's 33rd birthday show -- where they take a mystery call from a guy who turns out to be Bill Nosal, Howard's old program director at WCCC in Hartford. Bill and Robin surprise Howard with the demo tape that Howard initially mailed to Bill in order to get the morning man job in Hartford. It is truly cringe-worthy audio, with a soft-spoken, corny, over-enunciating Howard (he pronounces rock 'n roll as rock and roll, as though he's never heard the term before) coming out of a sunny James Taylor number and then reading an ad for the Hard Rock Cafe. (Audio at 2:33.) But that's not what caught my attention in this clip; even Howard admits he was terrible at radio in his early years, and we all know he's a fake rocker. What interests me here is Bill's response to Howard telling him that he was a genius in radio, and that it's a good thing he ignored Bill's directions. Bill: "We did teach you how to steal material ... That was good." (Someone in the background reacts: "Ohhhhhhh!") Howard: "That was true. You did teach me how to do that." Bill: "You were good." 1:45 in this clip: 6/22/16 EDIT: CLIP NOW REMOVED FROM YOUTUBE. This exchange between Howard and his old program director only adds weight to the claims that Howard began listening to tapes of the brash younger DJ Steve Dahl while he was working in Hartford, and stealing his bits and demeanor to become more of a personality. Steve had Tyrone the Traffic Copter reporter (Steve doing a black guy's voice while speaking through a megaphone), and two years later Howard had Mama Looka Booboo Day (Howard doing a black man/woman?'s voice while speaking through a megaphone). Steve (and other DJs) did Dial-A-Date, so Howard did Dial-A-Date -- although Howard acts as if he invented that bit in this audio clip. When Steve Dahl left Detroit for Chicago, Howard swooped in and landed his old job. Steve later complained on his show that a guy in Detroit was stealing his bits. Steve eventually syndicated his Chicago show in Detroit, and Howard's morning show underperformed. When his station went country, Howard found that there was no interest in him from other Detroit stations, because they thought he was just a Dahl impersonator.