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.”
Really good piece.