Wack Pack

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The Wack Pack is the name given to an assortment of personalities heard throughout the history of The Howard Stern Show. As a parody of the Rat Pack or Brat Pack, they are considered part of what the radio show became notable for. As of 2010, more than fifty individuals have been designated "Wack Packers", who tend to be unusual in some way such as being blatantly racist, mentally disabled, having a comical appearance, voice or ability,[1] or otherwise odd. Not every regular guest on or caller to the show is considered a member, nor are any of the show's staff members; Stern has stated that Wack Packers are not defined by having any disability or peculiarity, but by their inability to understand why they are funny.

Through their appearances on the radio show, some Wack Packers have gained notoriety for personal appearances around the country and occasionally, played roles in films and television programs.[2]


In the 1993 book Private Parts, Howard Stern lists early members of the Wack Pack, including Irene the Leather Weather Lady, who is essentially the first Wack Packer, having met Stern in May 1980 when he was broadcasting from WWWW in Detroit, Michigan.[3][4] Upon the introduction of Fred the Elephant Boy on the radio show on November 28, 1988, among a collection of others, Stern began calling the group of show personalities the "Wack Pack" on July 6, 1990, as documented Stern's The History of Howard Stern radio series.

Since moving to Sirius satellite radio, Stern has offered some members of the Wack Pack their own shows.[5]

In October 2005, Howard revived his plan to lock the Wack Pack in a room to elect a group leader, who would also win $10,000; the discussion would be broadcast on Howard 100.[6] The contest however, seemed to be scrapped, as it has not been mentioned on-air since the show's early 2006 move to then-Sirius Satellite Radio.[original research?]

In August 2006 Stern held a three-way competition for "Next Top Wack Packer", with the top prize of $5000 going, unanimously, to Bigfoot (Mark Shaw, Jr).[7] In a second "Next Top Wack Packer" on June 10, 2010 the winner, receiving $5000, was Hillbilly Jack.[8][9] However, Hillbilly Jack has never reappeared on the show since winning the contest.[original research?]

Current Wack Packers

  • "Ass Napkin Ed" – a caller, and guest, who claimed: to be schizophrenic; to have an alcohol problem; to wear a napkin between his butt cheeks; to be "pansexual." Played and won a "Bigfoot Game", in which he was required to guess whether Bigfoot knew the answer to questions. 2007.[11]
  • Mark "Bigfoot" Shaw Jr.[15] (Next Top Wack Packer 2006[7]) A "shockingly tall" man, Bigfoot says "it is" quite frequently. His legal troubles back home in Vermont are fodder for his "graphic stories about his time in prison."[16]
  • "Bobo the Businessman"
  • "Crackhead Bob", said "I am thorry", a frequently played soundbite.[17] He is known for his unusual speech patterns which are a result of several drug induced strokes he suffered in the 1980s.[10][18]
  • "Crazy Alice"
  • Denise "the Kielbasa Queen" Miller. She had the ability to swallow a 14" kielbasa sausage. She appeared in Howard Stern's Private Parts movie. [19]
  • "High Pitch Eric" Bleaman – High Pitch Eric. Rolling Stone wrote: "Born with an unusually high-pitched voice, Eric will pretty much do anything to get on the air - he'll happily let Stern's team measure his bowel movements or dress up like a whore. Howard is fascinated by Eric's impoverished lifestyle, gluttony and constant schemes to use his minimal fame to get free stuff.[10][20]
  • Fred "the Elephant Boy" Schreiber – A longtime member of the Wack Pack. "Fred has a severe speech impediment and a history of sex with other men. That's more than enough to earn him hundreds of hours on the air over the past 25 years," according to Rolling Stone.[21]
  • "Gary the Retard" Loudermilk[1] – Described by Rolling Stone as a "regular caller" who is "interested in pornography". He dated Wendy the Retard once at a bowling alley and found that they were "compatible." Howard said he set them up because they had the same last name."[22]
  • "Hillbilly Jack" Rushman – Next Top Wack Packer 2010.[8]
  • Imran "Hanzi" Khan [23]
  • "John the Stutterer"[10]
  • "Junior the Farter"[1]
  • "King of All Blacks" – a garbageman and longtime caller to the Stern show.[10]
  • "Mariann from Brooklyn". Trademarked 2003.[24] Describes herself as "Howard's biggest fan".[10][25]
  • Siobhan (Siobhan Meow) ("shiv-VAHN") – According to Lucaire, "the gay male, transsexual 'wannabe' guest on the Stern show in the late 1980s and early 1990s who dressed in women's clothes and was always about to have a transsexual operation."[26] A cat collector, artist[27] and squatter whose building Howard helped save.[28] Appeared in Howard's counter-Super Bowl halftime show "The Stupid Bowl" in 2007.[29]
  • "Wendy the Retard". Described by Rolling Stone as a regular caller who likes to share her songs; dated "Gary the Retard" once at a bowling alley and discovered that they were quite compatible. Howard said he set them up because they had the same last name.[22]

Living former Wack Packers

A number of Wack Packers are no longer featured on the Stern show.

  • "Debbie the Pet Lady" (banned after failed Embedded with Jon Leiberman episode)
  • "Elegant" Elliot Offen[10]
  • Vinnie Mazzeo Jr.
  • "Slow Adam"
  • "Miss Howard Stern" #1 (2002) (Andrea Ownbey).[1][30]

Deceased Wack Packers


  1. ^ a b c d e Mintzer, Rich (2010). Howard Stern: A Biography. Greenwood Biographies. p. 86. ISBN 9780313380327. Retrieved 2012-11-02. 
  2. ^ Mintzer, p. 88
  3. ^ Lucaire, Luigi (1997). Howard Stern A To Z. St. Martin's Press (Google Books). p. 100. ISBN 312-15144-6. Retrieved 2012-10-10. 
  4. ^ Stern, Howard (1997). Private Parts. Pocket (Google Books). pp. 159, 162. ISBN 978-0671009441. Retrieved 2012-10-10. 
  5. ^ Edgers, Geoff (January 7, 2007). "A year after getting Sirius, Stern's entertaining as ever". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2012-10-10. 
  6. ^ Panasci, Thomas; Kaplan, Jason (October 20, 2005). "The Rundown - Isn't He Wonderful". The Howard Stern Show. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  7. ^ a b Panasci, Thomas; Kaplan, Jason (August 3, 2006). "The Rundown - The Next Wack Packer". The Howard Stern Show. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  8. ^ a b Dempster, Michael; Kaplan, Jason (June 10, 2010). "The Rundown - There's a New Wack Packer in Town". The Howard Stern Show. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  9. ^ Tady, Scott (June 16, 2010). "Howard Stern finds new talent in New Sewickely". The Beaver County Times (McClatchy-Tribune). TMCnet. Retrieved 2012-11-03. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i Popkin, Helen A.S. (2005-12-14). "Howard Stern's cast of characters, from Robin to High Pitch Eric". Today. 
  11. ^ Dempster, Michael; Kaplan, Jason (November 8, 2007). "The Rundown - Ass Napkin Thursday". The Howard Stern Show. Retrieved 2012-11-02. 
  12. ^ "Bio (Beet)". Jolly Dwarf. JollyDwarf.com – The Official Beetlejuice Website. March 29, 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-03-07. Retrieved 2007-02-10. 
  13. ^ Kaplan, Jason (June 16, 2005). "The Rundown". The Howard Stern Show. Retrieved 2012-11-02. 
  14. ^ "Sixteen People In Howard Stern's Universe - Beetlejuice". Rolling Stone. March 31, 2013.
  15. ^ btvbill. "The Bigfoot Bear, it is!!!". Ain't That Peculiar!. Vermonter Blog. Retrieved April 16, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Sixteen People In Howard Stern's Universe - Bigfoot". Rolling Stone. March 16, 2011.
  17. ^ Lucaire, p. 98
  18. ^ "Sixteen People In Howard Stern's Universe - Crackhead Bob". Rolling Stone. March 16, 2011.
  19. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Niw41dlv4zo
  20. ^ "Sixteen People In Howard Stern's Universe - High-Pitch Eric". Rolling Stone. March 16, 2011.
  21. ^ "Sixteen People In Howard Stern's Universe – Fred the Elephant Boy". Rolling Stone. March 16, 2011.
  22. ^ a b "Sixteen People In Howard Stern's Universe - Gary the Retard and Wendy the Retard". Rolling Stone. March 16, 2011.
  23. ^ http://www.howardstern.com/news/imran-khan-lives-with-his-dad-and-mom
  24. ^ "Trademarks, Volume 1277, Issue 4". Official Gazette of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. U.S. Department of Commerce. 2003.
  25. ^ "Mariann From Brooklyn Home Page". mariannfrombrooklyn.com.
  26. ^ Lucaire, p. 174
  27. ^ Malsin, Jared (March 19, 2012). "On a Tour of Former Squats, Trash Artists and Cat-Poo Painters". The Local. NYTimes.com.
  28. ^ Crossfield, Paula (November 2006). "Sweat Equity Pays Off". Brooklyn Rail. 
    Neuwirth, Robert (September–October 2002). "Squatters' Rites". City Limits Monthly. Archived from the original on 2004-02-25. Retrieved 2012-11-02. 
  29. ^ Cunningham, Sean (February 2, 2010). "11 Memorable Attempts at Super Bowl Counterprogramming". Esquire.
  30. ^ a b c Dempster, Michael. "The Rundown - Wack Pack Profiles". The Howard Stern Show. Archived from the original on 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  31. ^ Maurstad, Tom (March 11, 2006). "Lynn Zimmerman - Joined Stern's 'wack pack'". dallasnews.com (The Dallas Morning News). Newsbank. Retrieved 2012-11-03. (subscription required)
  32. ^ "Year in Review 2006 - In Memoriam". dallasnews.com (The Dallas Morning News). Newsbank. December 31, 2006. Retrieved 2012-11-03. (subscription required)
  33. ^ "Kenneth Keith Kallenbach: American Icon". Mvd Visual. 2007. ASIN B000NVT0OS. Retrieved 2012-10-10. 
  34. ^ "Howard Stern 'Wack Pack' Member Kenneth Keith Kallenbach Dies at 39". Fox News. Associated Press. April 25, 2008. Retrieved 2012-10-10. 
  35. ^ "Kenneth Keith Kallenbach, Howard Stern comic, dies at 39". New York Daily News. April 25, 2008. Retrieved 2012-10-10. 
  36. ^ "Delco Prison Too many deaths". philly.com. May 2, 2008. Retrieved 2012-11-02. 
  37. ^ * http://www.tmz.com/2014/09/21/eric-the-actor-dead-dies-howard-stern-wack-pack/]

External links