Howard (along with his on-air crew, Robin, Fred, Gary and Artie) spent close to half an hour on Tuesday's show discussing Stern's fiance Beth's crush on Shane from "The L Word."
As always on the show, the discussion was hilarious, insightful and downright fascinating. Beth's crush on a girl seemed bothersome to Howard, and the fact that the crush seemed to be getting more and more intense a mere two weeks after the couple announced their wedding engagement seemed to make him even more insecure.
Given Howard's decades-old on-air fixation with lesbians, the extent of his genuine insecurity over his fiance's lesbian crush may seem shocking. But longtime listeners know that Stern has made it clear time and time again that, unlike most men, he would panic in a threesome out of fear the two women would fall in love and forget about him.
"Beth has some sort of weird thing for this chick on 'The L Word,' Shane," he complained. "You know, sometimes at night we watch separate TV shows in separate rooms, and every time I go in, she's watching that Shane."
Show producer Gary Dell'Abate chimed in, saying he watches "The L Word," too, but not for Shane. "No, I like the chick Shane is fucking on the show," he clarified. "But not only does Shane fuck every woman she sees, she can turn a straight chick gay."
Howard: Honey. I'm trying to get to the bottom of this . . . Shane thing.
Beth: [Flustered] Oh, my God. I'm blushing.
Howard: Why? I don't understand this?
Beth: All of these years you have asked me if I was into girls, and if I was into girls, what would be my type, right? It would be that.
Howard: Do you do any fantasizing about Shane?
Beth: I don't fantasize about her, but I have to say that when I watch that show, I . . . I fixate on her scenes. Especially her sex scenes. I love watching them.
Already clearly bothered, Howard gets even more upset after his sidekick Robin gushes over the Internet images of Moennig -- and Beth gushes in agreement.
Robin: Oh, my God! Look at the arms on this girl!
Howard: Wait, wait, wait. You're not helping, Robin.
Robin: I know; I just wanted to see what Beth is looking at!
Howard: What do you mean "the arms on her?"
Robin: I just mean that I just pulled up "The L Word" site and I'm looking at Kate and she's got the most muscular arms. . .
Howard: Like a dude?
Beth: Yeah, she looks like a dude, but she's so cool and I find her so . . . beautiful.
Things get more interesting as the crew tries to learn more about Moennig's personal life and to dissect the sexual aspect of the crush. (Note: We'll address Beth's answer to Howard's very interesting question about the difference between her "non-sexual" crush on Gwyneth Paltrow vs. her "sexual" crush on Shane in another article...)
Robin's theory is that Beth would never go through with actually having sex with a woman. "The moment a straight woman starts to fantasize about that person, she will realize it's another woman and it cuts everything off," she said. Robin then hypothesized that there was a male aspect of the Shane character that really excited Beth.
Beth agreed. She also said that when she did an Internet search for Kate (a fact that made Howard panic and the crew howl) and saw photos of Kate in a dress, it turned her off. She said when she read that Kate was straight in real life and had a boyfriend, that also turned her off.
After determining that the crush was actually on the character of Shane, rather than the actress Kate, talk turned to getting Kate the actress onto the show -- at Beth's request. Howard said he'd only book Kate on the show if Beth came into the studio that day, and then added, "Are you going to, like, leave me or something?"
By the end of the segment, Beth was trying to console Howard and told him not to be jealous of Shane. "I'm not jealous," he said rather sadly. "I just want to understand it, and I don't, that's all."
In many ways, this is another breakthrough moment in broadcasting -- not just for Howard Stern but for the gay community as well. It is the first time we can recall that a major celebrity figure has publicly considered the possibility of his/her partner's own homosexual fantasy or leanings. And what makes it so intriguing is that the catalyst for this is an ambiguous, dark, monosyllabic lesbian -- not some silicone-inflated, bisexual porn star.
Obviously Shane isn't real, but Beth's (and who knows how many other straight girls') attraction to her is real, as is everything that Shane represents. Furthermore, Kate is real, so Howard -- in his own manic and obsessive personality -- can't just write this off. We only hope that Kate agrees to go to the studio so that this topic can be explored and that maybe she can help Howard understand it all.
By Jenny Stewart
Originally Published 2008, PlanetOut.com, Gay.com