Howard Stern and Brian Linehan

I can now honestly say I've interviewed hundreds of people. I have no formal training or education under my belt, just a natural curiosity and interest in extracting compelling stories.

Throughout my life, two interviewers in particular have helped shape my style. In my younger years, I was always impressed by Brian Linehan's research. City Lights would air on Citytv and you could tell Brian had done his homework. I find nothing more frustrating than a longform interview by someone who clearly wasn't prepared for their subject. I decided if I was going to conduct longform interviews, I'd always be prepared.

In 1997, I watched Private Parts, and discovered Howard Stern. I was taken by how Howard was able to withdraw real talk by making guests comfortable. I've been modelling my personal interview style on a blend of Linehan, Stern and instinct.

Toronto Mike'd listener Steve M. discovered this footage of Brian Linehan interviewing Howard Stern and correctly suspected I'd dig it.

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Comments (18 - click here to join in!)


Excellent! Thanks for sharing this with us. It brought back good Linehan memories.
Good on-air interviewers today are few and far between. Most just want to hear themselves pontificate.

March 17, 2019 @ 10:02 AM


I'm sure that B. Linehan would be quite proud that you have more than ably picked up
from where he left off and continued to honour that great Deep Dive/Real Talk tradition.
Lots of varied podcasts out there, but your dedication to the craft and insistence on providing
more than cutesy soundbytes or potential Twitter-worthy CLICKBAIT gold (not that you don't also organically create a lot of that as well), are both key components in your ever-evolving success.
As for H. Stern, while I'm looking forward to his new book "Comes Again" (with thanks to
12:36 tweeting about it earlier last week. Think I was third on the TPL holds list!), I kinda miss
the Stern-era largely celebrated/elaborated on in the above clip, Much like with Ed the Sock,
kinda feel like the love of a good woman perhaps dulled his edge more than just a smidge!!

March 17, 2019 @ 2:21 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

It was quite the thrill saying hi to Brian Linehan when he walked past me in a little park by Runnymede and Bloor.

March 17, 2019 @ 2:35 PM


I saw him from afar many times on the subway and at movie screenings, but I always lacked
the hearty Cojones required to even minimally trifle that industry giant with my fanboy
Mishegas. ( Although I certainly don't seem to have that inhibition when it comes to either you or your blog!! Probably because you appear to be a lot more grounded/down to earth. Whereas B. Linehan came off like he was from the Mount Olympus of cinema studies. Most likely because he DID!!).

March 17, 2019 @ 2:51 PM


Howard Stern is going to be doing some press for his new book coming out. How great would it be to have Mike interview him???

March 17, 2019 @ 6:38 PM


When Howard says, "great interview", you know that Brian did a great job.
I used to see Linehan at SuperFitness, downtown, all the time in the 80's, He stared at me a lot in the change room.
Howard Stern is the greatest interviewer of all time. Linehan perhaps the second greatest.

March 17, 2019 @ 7:17 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Heck, I'd do a phoner for that one.

March 17, 2019 @ 7:58 PM


I guess we all have our own tastes. I don't get the adulation so many seem to have for Stern, and never found him to be particularly entertaining or interesting, and actually quite dull, despite his frequent instances to the opposite.

March 17, 2019 @ 10:57 PM


^ by "get" I meant understand.

March 17, 2019 @ 10:59 PM


@ H.o.E

i thought the same thing about Howard Stern, until I heard him interview Howie Mandel. I didn't like either of them, but had rented a car with satellite radio in it, and it was tuned to the the Howard Stern Show. The interview was so good I walked away liking both of them.

Since then I've watched a bunch of back catalogue Stern interviews and for me the ultimate are the times he was on Letterman's show in the last few years of it. Those interviews are great because it's two old friends who have outgrown some immaturity and are pretty much interviewing each other simultaneously.

March 18, 2019 @ 9:46 AM

Brian Gerstein (Raptors Devotee)

Howard Stern does not go out of his way to thank an interviewer like he did there. I have always said that Mike has followed in Brian's style, and it matches up well with his own personalty. I can also see Stern's influence as well, but at the end of the day, even if there never was a Brian or Howard, Mike, your own personality would have led you this way regardless.

March 18, 2019 @ 11:51 AM


I found out about Brian Linehan through Martin Short’s “Brock Linehan” parody on SCTV. It was brilliant.

March 18, 2019 @ 2:22 PM

the brother

What a gem! How different would Toronto radio have been if we got Howard Stern in the morning instead of Roger Ashby in 1985?

Howard got his wish of being on the radio in Canada a year after this interview!

Awesome stuff, thank you for sharing.

March 18, 2019 @ 5:49 PM

Glasgow Megasnake

Sorry, Stern is an absolute misogynistic scumbag who somehow has managed to conveniently avoid the grasp of the #metoo movement. This man, more than any other in radio, was responsible for reprehensible behaviour towards women on his show, let alone his disgusting treatment of
people with special needs on his show.

Look up what this reprobate said on air the day after the Columbine massacre. Utterly indefensible, Mike. Yet you quite rightly have no time for Toronto’s own waste of skin, Dean Blundell...this makes no sense at all. Sort yourself out, man.

March 19, 2019 @ 10:46 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Glasgow Megasnake

I can appreciate Stern's interview style without agreeing with everything he says.

March 19, 2019 @ 10:59 PM


Hey Megasnake,

When was the last time you listened to Howard Stern? He is far head and shoulders above anyone else when it comes to interviews.

Although his show may get "R" rated from time to time, he has toned it way down.

I suggest you listen, and give him a second chance.

His show is very entertaining to say the least!

March 20, 2019 @ 5:26 PM

Steve M

Glad you enjoyed it Mike.
Unsurprisingly Howard historically has been a great guest. His several Letterman appreances are epic.
Citylights was fantastic. Been enjoying digging up some of the old footage.

March 23, 2019 @ 7:28 AM

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