Longtime radio host Howard Stern took an unexpected — and uncharacteristic — day off this week, and his multitude of fans literally lost their shit.
Stern, who hosts “The Howard Stern Show” live on satellite radio service Sirius XM Radio Mondays through Wednesdays, took what the show billed as a “personal day.”
While that might be a normal occurrence in offices across the country, it’s something Stern fans are saying never happens with the self-described “King of All Media,” and theories soon swirled on social media and Reddit.
Among the most talked about were health concerns for the host, the possible death of one of his parents or marital problems with his wife, Beth.
One fan tweeted that he was “very concerned about the reason” for Stern’s absence as he’s been listening to the show since the 1980s and the host “NEVER canceled a show before!”
I have listened to the #HowardStern show since the 80s… NEVER canceled a show before! I am very concerned about the reason.
— Dave Sweeney (@dsweeneyjr) May 10, 2017
Another 30-year listener backed that up, writing that he could “count on my fingers the number of days Howard took off when a live show was scheduled.”
One Reddit user said that Stern became “overly emotional” while talking about a song by Chris Stapleton when the country singer-songwriter appeared on Tuesday’s episode. Stern said “he’s in a weird place right now,” kapow31 wrote. “It struck me as out of character.”
Another mused Stern was angry Ryan Seacrest landed co-hosting duties for “Live with Kelly,” Kelly Ripa’s syndicated morning talk-show on ABC, and was “staging a sick out.”
But Beth Stern attempted to put the rumors to rest Friday morning by reiterating what fans were already told. “Everything is great. He’s coming back Monday. He had to take a personal day, that’s all,” she told the New York Post.
Never one to hold anything back, Stern will likely divulge the reason for his mysterious absence to listeners when he returns Monday.