They Call Me Baba Booey
Published by: Spiegel & Grau
Release Date: 11/02/2010
It was a slip of the tongue—which was unfortunately heard by a few million listeners—and in that split second a nickname, a persona, a rallying cry, and a phenomenon were born. But, before Gary Dell’Abate became the long-suffering, tireless, producer of The Howard Stern Show, he was in training for the job. And becoming Baba Booey wasn’t easy.
“Hilarious, sincere, and wrenching.”
“Equal parts amazing and amusing . . . Fans will eat up the mortifying moments of [Dell’Abate’s] twenty-seven-year ride with the wildly popular and influential Stern show. . . . But it is the stories of extreme family dysfunction that give the book surprising heart.”
“Dell’Abate [has] pulled back the curtain [and his fans] will be pleasantly surprised.”
“Gary’s chronicle of how he developed the skills to survive a household shaken by both mental illness and the seismic shifts of the sixties, and of how he’s applied those skills to accommodate Howard and the gang, is nothing less than fascinating.”
—Dr. Drew Pinsky
“Following the simple plan outlined in this book, I lost fifteen pounds and became a happier wife and better mother.”
“If you think your family is nuts, wait until you read this story.”
Look, some ideas come from divine inspiration. They are a flash when you fall asleep or a moment of clarity driving to work. Those are special moments that happen once, maybe twice in someone’s life.
This was not one of those moments.
In fact, while I watched the Stern Show when it used to be broadcast on E, I had never been a regular listener. I had nothing against it, I’m just not a morning radio guy. But I knew about Howard, Robin, Gary, and the gang because, well, to live in New York, as I have since 1993, or follow anything about pop culture, it’d be impossible not to. They seemed funny to me.
Back in March, after I had just turned in the edits for The Ones Who Hit The Hardest, my agent asked me if I would talk to Gary about a book. “He’s a great guy,” he said. “Big sports fan, good stories, crazy life. I think you guys will hit it off.”
So Gary and I spoke one Saturday afternoon. The conversation lasted an hour. Up until then I didn’t know about the pitch, or his brother dying of AIDS or his mom being crazy. But, when we were done, I knew he had a book in him. In fact, I knew exactly how I would start the story if he decided he wanted to work with me.
Luckily, he did.