I just finished reading a book entitled "Backstage at the Tonight Show" by Don Sweeny. Sweeny had worked for The Tonight Show for 17 years with Carson and around 3 years after that when Leno took over. Anyway, he gives an interesting insiders look at one of Stern's later appearances. Sorry about the length, but it's worth the read. "Months after Helen Kushnick was no longer with the show, Howard Stern was invited back as a guest. With Kushnick no longer calling the shots, Jay had to deal with Howard in his own way. Howard was touring the country and visiting all the talk shows that would have him. He was plugging his book Private Parts. His book was selling like none before, so he really didn't have to appear anywhere, but he was making headlines and was seen on the national news when near riots broke out among the 20,000 or more fans who showed up at the book signings. It was being equated to when "Beatlemania" happened in the '60s. Why do the media always try to compare things to the success of the Beatles? Howard's book was a huge success, but it was nothing close to the phenomenon of the Beatles. Forty years later we are still talking about the Beatles. Ten years since Stern's book, people are saying "What book?" [insert Jackie laugh here] Jay knew he had to have Stern on or he would look like a wimp. Howard would soon be on his radio show badmouthing Jay. The "nicest guy in show business" could not have that happen. This time, Jay was more confident in his hosting chair. Jay's ratings had improved and he was occasionally beating out Letterman and Koppel. Jay decided not to let Howard get the upper hand. Jay let Howard have his say, but would not let him get away with fabricating conversations. Howard loved to make things up that Jay supposedly said backstage that were completely true. I guess Howard simply fabricated stories to make the interview more edgy. Each time Howard tried this tactic, Jay stepped on his fingers. After a while, Jay was attacking Howard. Stern was caught completely off guard and even repeatedly asked what had gotten into Jay. He asked Jay why he was being so mean to him. Jay wasn't being mean. He was fighting back. And he was fighting back in the best way he knew how, through his comedy. He outwitted Howard Stern that night. When the show was over, Howard didn't even stick around while the closing credits rolled. Howard made a "B" line for his limo and was out of there before the closing theme was over. My office was just down the hall from Jay's dressing room and I heard some voices immediately after the show. I looked out to see who it was and saw Jay surrounded by several of his writers. Jay was telling them, "Did you see that? I beat him. Howard didn't know what hit him. He left without saying good-bye." One of the writers said, "Howard ran down the hallway and out of the building! You scared him off." Jay was almost giddy like a little kid who finally slew the dragon that had been appearing in his nightmares. It was a fascinating sight to see." My memories of why Howard hates Jay have become fuzzy through the years. I always thought it was because Jay gave him shit for bringing strippers on the show. Of course that may just be Howard's version of events that I'm remembering. I'm not sure anymore. Oh, and if your thinking about buying this book don't bother. It's not a particularly interesting read. The author doesn't really dish the dirt on anybody, therefore the most interesting stories remain untold. His tales of celebrity encounters in the Green Room don't really have any payoff and often go nowhere. And how do you write an insiders look into the Tonight Show and not even touch the subject on how pissed Johnny was when Joan Rivers signed to do her own talk show against him? He did apparently really like Carson and Leno as people and employers from what I gather.