Howard Stern did an about-face yesterday in his feud with former underling “Stuttering John” Melendez—or did he?
While interviewing him Monday on Mr. Media, host Bob Andelman asked John—who left Howard’s then-terrestrial radio show in 2003 to become Jay Leno‘s announcer on The Tonight Show—”Is Jay taking you with him to 10 p.m.?”
"I really enjoy working with Jay. He's been great to me thus far," John (l) tells us of his current boss (r).
(Bob—whose interview is cited in the New York Post‘s Page Six column today—was of course referring to Jay’s move to an earlier time slot on NBC this fall, with a show tentatively titled The Jay Leno Show, after handing off The Tonight Show to Conan O’Brien in June.)
“I don’t know yet. I haven’t heard yet,” John replied. “I’m assuming I’m going in some capacity—although assump- tions aren’t always good. But I really do hope that I am.”
The next morning, on Howard’s Sirius Satellite show, the King of All Media’s newswoman, Lisa G, reported:
“I have an update on ‘Stuttering’ John Melendez – appearing on [Bob Andelman's] Internet radio show yesterday claiming that he has not heard yet if he will be following Jay Leno to his new 10 p.m. show. John says he assumes he’s going in some capacity, but he’s doing standup and building up his website just in case.”
Before we tell you Howard’s response to that update, we should note that, in February 2008, John appeared on Adam Carolla‘s since-axed syndicated radio show and ripped into his former boss, claiming Howard never paid him fairly and didn’t fight to keep him when he quit Howard’s show.
“He resented me doing any outside work,” John told Adam.
On his own show a few days later, Howard called John a “no-talent ingrate,” adding:
“I didn’t have a beef with him before, but I do now. He’s delusional… He can go #$%! himself.”
"I can't imagine the magic of that show without John," Howard (above) says of a Melendez-less Jay Leno program.
Now for the kicker.
Yesterday on Howard’s show, in response to Lisa’s update, he said:
“I’m going to make an offer to John right now: If Jay doesn’t hire him back, he can stay in L.A. and ask questions, and we’ll hire him to go to some of those premieres and ask questions again.”
But then Howard added, “[John] can do that. It’s a dollar for every question.”
Will Jay bring John to his new prime-time show? Will John— jonesing for a broadcasting gig after being dumped—return to Howard? Stay tuned.
In the meantime, be sure to check out John’s full Mr. Media interview, in which John also:
—Tells the story of his awkward run-in with Billy Crystal backstage at The Tonight Show years after infuriating the comedian at a movie premiere while covering the event for Howard’s show.
—Explains why, much to his dismay, his latest Internet video in which he sings to his baby son is rife with profanity.
To hear John’s interview, click here.
To read the New York Post‘s coverage of Bob’s interview and the Howard-Stuttering John feud, click here.
To check out John’s new online TV show, click here.