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Howard Stern almost retired last year

By Katie McLaughlin, CNN
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Howard Stern struggled for dad's respect
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Howard Stern says a "neurotic compulsion" drives him to continue his radio show

  • Stern says he was "rocked" when his father called him a genius

  • Stern on Jay Leno: The "morons" who watch him "must be in a coma"

Watch "Piers Morgan Tonight" weeknights on CNN/US at 9 p.m. ET and on CNN International at 1200 GMT/1300 CET/2000 HKT.

(CNN) -- Howard Stern said he almost retired a few months ago because he felt he'd proven everything he needed to in radio.

In an interview on Tuesday's "Piers Morgan Tonight," Stern said he knew he had been wildly successful, and said to himself, "Really, why am I doing this anymore? It makes me crazy. I hate getting up early in the morning, and I don't particularly like doing the show."

But, Stern told Morgan, he is "driven by a neurotic compulsion" to do his show.

He also told Morgan about his desire to please his parents and says he was "rocked" a few years ago when his father, who worked in the radio business, called him a genius.

But Stern said despite his father's praise he remains driven.

"I think it's my identity," Stern said. "Like, this is who I am. This is what I do." Stern said he feels like he "hit a home run" after a particularly great show. "Like I'm Babe Ruth, you know?"

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RELATED TOPICS
  • Piers Morgan
  • Howard Stern
  • Radio

Morgan also touched on the early days of Stern's radio program, when the show's outrageous stunts had never before been considered for -- and didn't necessarily translate to -- radio.

"It occurred to me that to have a naked woman on the radio would be outrageous," said Stern. "And yet really who would it offend? It's all theater of the mind. You don't even really know if she's naked or not."

Stern also pointed out that people often tell him that his program was the introduction of reality television.

Despite naked women frequenting his studio, however, Stern confessed to being a homebody.

"I don't like to go out," Stern said. "I don't like to leave the house. I like to stay home, but I'm fascinated by human behavior."

One person's behavior he doesn't approve of is Jay Leno's. He said Leno "did a terrible thing to Conan O'Brien" when he went back to the "Tonight Show."

"Jay (Leno) is insane," Stern told Morgan. "He's not fit to scrub David Letterman's feet. Yes, I don't know why he's beaten David Letterman in the ratings. It's beyond my comprehension. America must be filled with morons who at night lay in bed -- the ones who are watching him. They must be in a coma."

When the discussion turned to politics, Morgan asked Stern what he thinks of the United States and what America has come to.

"I love America," he said.

"I love our freedom. And nowhere could a guy like me, a schlub like me have success with -- where would I get this freedom of speech? They don't allow this anywhere."

Watch Piers Morgan Live weeknights 9 p.m. ET. For the latest from Piers Morgan click here.

 
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