Howard Stern Addresses His Past Use of Blackface and N-Word: 'I Evolved and Changed'

"I cringe when I look at myself 30 and 40 years ago ... and that was 27 years ago," Howard Stern said on his SiriusXM show on Monday

Photo: Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Howard Stern is speaking out about a resurfaced television special in which he wore blackface and used the N-word multiple times.

The performance, which was taken from Stern's 1993 New Year's Eve special, recently came to light after Donald Trump Jr. retweeted out an article containing a video of the sketch, writing, "Yikes! NSFW: Howard Stern says N-word too many times during awful blackface impression that should have Libs yelling 'CANCEL!'"

Stern, 66, addressed the unearthed clip during his SiriusXM show on Monday, saying, "The s— I did was f—— crazy.

"I'll be the first to admit. I won't go back and watch those old shows; it's like, 'Who is that guy?' But that was my shtick, that's what I did and I own it. I don't think I got embraced by Nazi groups and hate groups. They seemed to think I was against them too. Everybody had a bone to pick with me," he continued.

The sketch showed Stern satirizing a 1993 incident in which actor Ted Danson dressed in blackface during a Friar's Club roast of then-girlfriend Whoopi Goldberg. In the parody, Stern wore blackface to play Danson, now 72, and liberally used the N-word. (Danson previously addressed his use of blackface during a 2008 interview with NPR, calling it "a graceless moment in my life.")

Howard Stern. Kevin Mazur/Getty

On Monday, Stern said his style of comedy has since "evolved," explaining, "As a young man, I wanted to succeed on the radio and I wanted to go f—— crazy."

"Look, that was the show. I went into therapy and said, 'What is this? Do I always have to be the guy pulling my pants down? Can I find a way to do the show where I can be a lot happier?' Over the years, I did change the show. A lot of people who did like that humor, where I was completely pulling my pants off and doing it, those people are pissed off at me now. They think I'm a sellout and I'm not doing a good show anymore. I got soft."

"I came to realize in therapy, if I'm going to be with my kids, and have a successful marriage, I can't be insane completely 24 hours a day," he said. "I have to figure out a better way to communicate. So I evolved and changed."

Though he did not apologize for the sketch itself, Stern did say that he would not have used blackface if he were to repeat the performance.

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"If I had to do it all over again, would I lampoon Ted Danson, a white guy in blackface? Yeah, I was lampooning him and saying, I'm going to shine a light on this. But would I go about it the same way now? Probably not. Not probably, I wouldn't," he said.

"I never go back and look at that stuff," Stern added. "I cringe when I look at myself 30 and 40 years ago ... and that was 27 years ago. When I look at that, I go, 'Oh f—, I can't stand it.'"

During the show, Stern also blasted Trump Jr., 42, for focusing on a decade-long skit amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Reflecting his own personal growth and willingness to admit to his mistakes, Stern called out Trump Jr. and the businessman's father, President Donald Trump, as people who "won't go into psychotherapy and change."

"Attacking me during the coronavirus and Black Lives Matter is absolutely f—— crazy, concentrating on me," he said. "You want to concentrate on me and bully me and expose me, with all the TV shows I’ve done? They’re all out there. There’s nothing new here. We all know. I was the craziest motherf— on radio. There will never be another show crazier than mine.”

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• Campaign Zero ( which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies. works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.

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