Howard Stern had an uncharacteristically sincere moment on The Howard Stern Show on Monday, Sept. 22. The notorious shock jock, 60, spent his entire show honoring the late radio personality Eric “The Actor” Lynch, who passed away at age 39 on Saturday after suffering cardiac-related problems.
“I knew Eric's situation with his health,” Stern said. “I knew that we'd lose him at any time; I knew it. But I never really thought the day would come. [He] just seemed to be beating the odds all the time. I gotta tell you, it affected me so much. I always loved giving Eric airtime. Eric loved airtime.”
The frequent caller to the radio show was known for giving the America’s Got Talent judge a hard time on the air. His antics brought him a wide fan base, including late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who called into The Howard Stern Show on Monday to talk about the loss.
“I’ve been with him since the ’90s and he is, as he would say, the only normal caller that I would remember that fought so much with you. None of the other ones would fight so much with you,” Kimmel recalled.
“Absolutely, Jimmy, this really is devastating,” Stern replied.
“Oh it’s terrible! It’s just so sad that he's not going to call in anymore,” Kimmel added. “I mean, there were many times when he said he wasn't going to call in anymore, but that was a part of the fun — the longer it would go when you knew he would finally break down and call.”
“I loved Eric, I truly, truly loved him..he was the greatest…” @HowardStern on #EricTheActor pic.twitter.com/vlLDEtGse4
— Stern Show (@sternshow) September 22, 2014
The pair also recounted the time Lynch “banned himself” from the show, refusing to ever call again. Three months later, “Derek from Texas” called into the show.
“Of course it was Eric,” Stern said laughing. “He could not disguise his voice. He put on a bit of an accent. And I'd play along, I'd say, 'Derek, you know Eric could never call in again, but you I'd talk to.’ And he'd say ‘Yesss that's right. Howdy ya'll.' And once in a while he'd screw up and call himself Eric.”
Stern ended the show talking about his personal feelings toward his on-air “nemesis."
“I truly, truly loved him,” said Stern, who also said goodbye to Joan Rivers in a moving eulogy earlier this month. “When Eric would call in, I got so excited because he was the greatest. What I loved about Eric, here was this guy afflicted with every freaking thing on the planet, I mean you couldn't have gotten worst luck dealt to you, and Eric didn't view it that way. Eric wasn't a guy who acted any differently than any of us. I was always amazed how feisty he was, and how pissed off he was, and how he always called me 'Big Nose' and 'Gary Beaver Tooth.' Most people in Eric's condition would be bitter, but Eric loved life.”