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I did a recent interview with Jackie "the Joke Man" Martling from the Howard Stern Show, and Jackie shed some more light on why he left the greatest radio show of all time ten years ago and also commented on Artie Lange's return to radio, as well as Jackie recently getting bashed by Robin and Howard for booking Pat Cooper on his show.
Jackie on leaving the Stern Show:
"It was a perfect storm of a lot of things. I am also a hypocrite because you know it’s like “I’ll never work in Russia…” And then if they offer you enough money, “Okay then, I’m going to Russia.” You know, so I didn’t just walk away. I set the bar to where I’ll suffer with this if I can make more money and then I’m a total hypocrite because a couple months later I said, “Hey, I’ll take the offer. If it’s still available…” Which it wasn’t. But I was a multi-millionaire and I was exhausted. I mean, you can’t buy sleep. I couldn’t get it together to take a nap and I would be so exhausted…
Then the weekends would come and I’ve been working as a comic forever and they’re waggling money that’s stupid in front of me, so I couldn’t say no. So I go to work the weekend and get drunk and come back and start all over again and I was so exhausted. Plus I knew I had to get divorced, plus I was drinking too much… There was like a whole perfect storm. Every time I talk about this people go, “Now Jackie’s got more reasons…” There was a lot of things going on. Plus they put a guy next to me who’s sitting there writing, kind of like to say, “Fuck you.” It was very weird. Nothing against him (Benjy Bronk) and it’s Howard’s show, I got no right to say anything, but imagine if Robin was sitting there and they put somebody next to her going, “Hey how bout this story?”
We had a perfectly honed machine, and it didn’t need any tuning up, it didn’t need more jokes, it didn’t need more anything. I think they kind of put him there to say, “If you ever leave we got this covered.” And I just thought that was kind of rude. But I don’t know if there was even that much thought put into it. I’m just trying to reflect and come up with… It was just a whole amalgam of shit. I didn’t ask for more billing or anything. I just said, “Negotiate.” They wouldn’t even negotiate, you know. They negotiated for like one time then they didn’t call us back for two months. It was just too unfair. But for the most part, I was so tired and I couldn’t go to bed, and nobody could believe that: “How do you walk away…” They say, “Hey Jackie walked away from a million dollars.” I was not making a million dollars. The offer I walked away from was a little bit more than half of that. Which is still a boatload of money, but I was so tired."
Jackie on his current relationship with Howard:
"We haven’t spoken on the phone or gone out to dinner in over a year. I’ve asked him a few times… I finally stopped asking. I saw him at the Christmas party and said, “Yeah we’ll get together.” I don’t want to harass him, if he doesn’t want to go to dinner with me, you know. The thing is we have fun when we’re together. We're compadres; we go back. Even if he goes on the air and says, “Oh I had to go to dinner with Jackie, it was the most horrible time of my life.” That’s bullshit. He always enjoys me and I always make him laugh. I made him laugh everyday I was there. It sounds like I’m being pompous but I’m not. If you’re a comedian or if you’re a funny person, some people you have their funny bone— and I had his funny bone. There’s some people I’ll never make laugh and there’s some people I can always make laugh because I know where to go."
Jackie on his relationship with Robin:
"I always figure there’s a problem in my personality if I’m having trouble getting along with somebody. People say, “Oh you and Robin hate each other.” She was like my sister. We were pals. They sent me a clip of her last week when I was going to have Pat Cooper on my show, where it sounded like she wanted to murder me. But I have no animosity towards her at all. I love her. I don’t know whether she’s doing shtick or… I think she’s angry because she thought I was trying to wreck our livelihood by leaving the show."
For the full interview click here.
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