Howard Stern recalls late friend Ralph Cirella’s first radio show call-in: Listen



Howard Stern is looking back on his late friend Ralph Cirella’s first time calling into his eponymous radio show.

The stylist and makeup artist died on Tuesday at the age of 58.

Cirella first contacted the “Howard Stern Show” on Dec. 24, 1985. His exchange with Stern, 69, and his co-host, Robin Quivers, was reshared to the program’s official Instagram account late Thursday.

Cirella was just a high school kid from New Jersey at the time.

Howard noted that he spoke to Cirella and his mother on Christmas Eve before he ever met them.

The stylist died on Tuesday at the age of 58. ZUMAPRESS.com

“Howard, can you play the new Connie Francis Christmas song,” a young Cirella asked Stern on the phone.

The DJ wondered why the teen wanted to listen to the tune again, to which Cirella said: “Yea, my mother didn’t hear it. She loves Connie Francis.”

He then handed his telephone to his mom and she spoke to Stern while on the radio broadcast.

Cirella’s mom joked: “What did my son say? That I like Connie Francis? She’s not a singer, not an entertainer.”

Cirella called in for the first time in 1985. Instagram / @sternshow

She then got off the call and Stern quipped: “I thought she had something to say. I wanna speak to your mother, not a dopey kid!”

A hurt-sounding Cirella chimed in: “I’m not dopey kid, man. I was on ‘David Letterman.’”

Turns out, he was actually on an episode of “Late Night with David Letterman” in the 1980s.

He was pulled from the audience by the late-night host to ask Larry “Bud” Melman — whose real name was Calvert Grant DeForest and was a character actor who frequently appeared on “Late Night.”

Cirella appeared on an episode of “Late Night with David Letterman” in the 1980s. Instagram / @sternshow

Letterman interviewed Cirella from his audience seat and the latter asked Bud: “What are the best investments for the ’80s?”

“History could have been very different if he had palled up to Letterman,” Stern laughed, after rolling the old clip of Cirella this week. “Letterman would have looked like me.”

“Letterman knew not to be friends with Ralph. I somehow became friends with him,” Stern said.

Stern announced the death of Cirella on Wednesday. He passed away after his “heart gave out” during a surgery, as he was being treated for a “curable” form of “rare” lymphoma.

Stern looked back on his late friend on Thursday’s episode of his eponymous radio show. Instagram / @sternshow

“My wife [Beth Ostrosky] said to me last night, ‘You and Ralph have a secret language’ and it’s true … we had a great chemistry, and we had a great friendship, and Ralph was one of my bros. In fact, I came to think of Ralph as family,” Stern said. “Ralph was a trustworthy, dear friend who made me laugh every time I was with him.”

“I was not ready for Ralph to go. I was not expecting Ralph to die,” he continued. “I just have been so sad and so angry. He didn’t take care of himself.”

He went on to commemorate Cirella, adding that “he loved me.”

“I think this is the toughest part of loving someone — when you lose them/ Lord knows I loved Ralph.”



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