| Who is Howard Stern? Is he a shock jock radio
and television personality whose crudeness has sent vibrating radio signals across the
nation? Was this guy born to be shocking and disgusting? What kind of a human being can
this be? If Private Parts, the story of Sterns rise to the spotlight, is even
remotely true, Howard Stern is just another performer looking for a niche. In
Howards case, that meant foul mouth, irreverent humor, and anything goes on air
attitude. But Private Parts depicts another Howard Stern as well and therein lies
the success of Private Parts.
Howard at the mikeŠParamount
The journey from a little
boy berated by his father to a radio personality powerful enough to buck a father figure
in NBC is a consistently entertaining trip. With glimpses into Howards personal life
beginning with college where he meets his wife to be Alison, Privates Parts manages
to paint a portrait of a loving, loyal character who grows emotionally as his humor grows
Betty Thomas directs with a straightforward approach that
showcases Howard Stern in simple compositions with no clever adornment. Private Parts
moves quickly with some clever signage segments delineating the steps in the Stern career
odyssey. Fans of Stern shock radio may not get a strong enough dose of the dark knight of
questionable taste. As a simple biographical comedy of a controversial entertainment
figure, Private Parts is very successful and will make a pleasant surprise for audiences
that eschew the Stern presence on radio or television.
Stern is very funny and endearing playing himself, and even
manages the burden of imitating a college freshman with amiable grace. Robin Quivers, also
playing herself, appears to be genuinely enjoying Howards on screen humor. And Mary
McCormack is very appealing as Sterns patient wife.
Slightly lacking in light output, Private Parts is an
adequate DVD. Less than optimum detail is extracted from the source material and a number
of marginal scenes appear soft. Color, reflecting the output, is less dynamic than it
could be. The Dolby Digital 5:1 surround information creates an interesting stage for the
antics of Stern and company. Sound is well mixed and accurately located.