http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/31/arts/howard-stern-sirius.html Confessor. Feminist. Adult. What the Hell Happened to Howard Stern? Scattered among the gleefully vulgar mainstays are now intimate exchanges that have made Mr. Stern one of the most deft interviewers in the business. By DAVID SEGALJULY 27, 2016 Near the end of his interview with Bill Murray, Howard Stern turned an already somber discussion about missed career opportunities into an existential grilling. “Is there something that you question in your own life,” Mr. Stern asked, “like why haven’t I found that great love of my life?” Mr. Murray audibly exhaled and let a pensive moment of silence pass. “Well, I think about that, I do think about that, that um, you know. I’m not sure what my — what I’m getting done here,” he said, sounding like a man questioning his ultimate purpose. Dating seemed like a bad idea, he went on, given that he was such a mystery to himself, and a mystery that he was not very eager to solve. “What has stopped you from getting in touch with you?” asked Robin Quivers, Mr. Stern’s longtime co-host. “What stops us from looking at ourselves and seeing ourselves is that we’re kind of ugly, if we really, if we look really hard,” Mr. Murray replied. “We’re not who we think we are. We’re not, uh we’re not as wonderful as we think we are.” As an irregular listener of “The Howard Stern Show,” I found this conversation, which took place in 2014, a bit startling. For years, Mr. Stern was known principally for pushing the limits of taste as the ringmaster of a raunchy circus of pranksters, oddballs and strippers. During his decades on terrestrial radio, his main passions seemed to be, in no particular order, boob jobs, prostitutes, lesbians and flatulence. Introspection and empathy were not fortes. What I didn’t appreciate, until hearing Mr. Murray lay bare his deepest anxieties, is that since settling in to his new home on satellite radio, which he did in 2006, Mr. Stern and his show have gradually taken on an improbable new dimension. Scattered among the gleefully vulgar mainstays are now long, starkly intimate live exchanges — character excavations that have made Mr. Stern one of the most deft and engrossing celebrity interviewers in the business and a sought-after stop for stars selling a movie or setting the record straight. “He’s truth serum,” said the comedian Amy Schumer, who has been on the show four times in the last five years. “It’s like you’re under contract to be totally honest in there, and even though it’s being broadcast, it feels super intimate and protected, even though you definitely aren’t.” By all accounts, the metamorphosis has been slow — the result of a combination of therapy, his second marriage, mainstream acceptance and a sixth sense Mr. Stern has about how to evolve with the times. “I couldn’t have done the show I’m doing now 20 years ago,” Mr. Stern said over the phone. “I’ve changed a lot. I’d be sort of pathetic if I’d reached this point in my life and I hadn’t. How else do you have longevity? There are so many guys who started out with me in radio, who have disappeared, because they can’t broaden their view of what entertainment should be, or get in touch with what they find to be exciting and fun and funny.” Mr. Stern, 62, has not dropped the adults-only material, and the freedom of satellite radio allows him and his crew to indulge an unconditional love for profanity. But he seems warmer now and his interest in people has never had greater depth or range. The interviews give the show a heft that it didn’t formerly have, turning his New York studio at SiriusXM into a destination of choice for those who a decade ago might have steered clear.