Howard Stern quit his high-visibility primetime TV gig judging America’s Got Talent last year, yet he still manages to assert himself in primetime — especially in some of the big time slots. In fact you might say Stern, or at least Stern-isms, are on a bit of a broadcast roll this year. In July, comedian Sarah Silverman knocked out the Stern faithful with a “Baba Booey” shout-out on live TV from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Silverman, you might say, numbers among Howard Stern’s wide and rich legacy — part of a group of comedians that owe a measure of their anything-goes style to the self-styled “King of All Media.” (Baba Booey is a nickname for Stern’s producer and has been an aural “meme” since before the Internet made memes a thing.)
Another famous face in this Stern acolyte group is late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, who first came to national recognition as the co-host of something called The Man Show — a show that was a sort of homage to Stern’s sensibility. Kimmel is a frequent guest on Stern’s SiriusXM radio show, and has been unabashed about his admiration for Stern. He showed it in a coded shout-out from the stage of the 2016 Emmy Awards, closing the proceedings with another Stern-ism, another Stern-based aural meme — “hit ’em with the Hein.” Kimmel’s last line as Emmys host was “we hit ’em with the Hein.” John Hein hosts the Howard Stern Show wrap-up on SiriusXM, but the “hit ’em with the Hein” has a life beyond the man it’s named for. Watch for more Stern-isms to pop up in primetime, especially at big events. Can a Stern meme sneak into the Super Bowl?