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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, 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.
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. 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.
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. 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). In a second "Next Top Wack Packer" on June 10, 2010 the winner, receiving $5000, was Hillbilly Jack. However, Hillbilly Jack has never reappeared on the show since winning the contest.[original research?]
Current Wack Packers
- "Angry Black"
- "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.
- Lester "Beetlejuice" Green - a dwarf, about 4 ft 3 in (1.30 m) tall with microcephaly. Rolling Stone describes him as the most popular member of the Wack Pack.
- Mark "Bigfoot" Shaw Jr. (Next Top Wack Packer 2006) 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."
- "Bobo the Businessman"
- "Crackhead Bob", said "I am thorry", a frequently played soundbite. He is known for his unusual speech patterns which are a result of several drug induced strokes he suffered in the 1980s.
- "Crazy Alice"
- "Debbie the Pet Lady"
- Evil David Letterman - Known for his uncanny impersonation of late night talk show host David Letterman.
- "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.
- 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.
- "Gary the Retard" Loudermilk - 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."
- "Hillbilly Jack" Rushman - Next Top Wack Packer 2010.
- "Jeff the Drunk" Curro.
- "John the Stutterer"
- "Junior the Farter"
- "King of All Blacks" - a garbageman and longtime caller to the Stern show.
- 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." A cat collector, artist and squatter whose building Howard helped save. Appeared in Howard's counter-Super Bowl halftime show "The Stupid Bowl" in 2007.
- "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.
Living former Wack Packers
A number of Wack Packers are no longer featured on the Stern show.
- "Elegant" Elliot Offen
- Nicole Bass
- Vinnie Mazzeo Jr.
- "Slow Adam"
- "Miss Howard Stern" #1 (2002) (Andrea Ownbey).
Deceased Wack Packers
- Celestine (1956–1998), quadriplegic street musician known for playing the keyboard with her lips and tongue.
- Lynn "Clef Palette" Zimmerman Remembered in the Dallas Morning News Year in Review 2006.
- Matthew "Big Foot" McGrory (first appearance: 1996)
- "Blue Iris"
- Hank "The Angry Drunken Dwarf" Nasiff (1962 – 2001)
- Irene "The Leather Weather Lady" De Cook
- Kenneth Keith Kallenbach. Released American Icon video in 2007, died in April 2008 in police custody.
- "Ted The Janitor"
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