They Call Me Baba Booey Review

The term “Baba Booey” is more than just the nickname of Gary Dell’Abate, producer of the Howard Stern Show. It has become the mantra for fans of the show. Yell out “Baba Booey” and you declare your love for everything Howard Stern.

For over 2o years Gary Dell’Abate has lived with the nickname. His mispronunciation of the Hanna-Barbara character Baba Looey’s name, earned him the now infamous title.  While it may seem from an outsider of the show that Gary Dell’Abate is just the butt of jokes on the show, he isn’t. Gary is beloved by the fans and by Howard.

Gary Dell’Abate’s autobiographical book “They Call Me Baba Booey”  focuses on his life before and during The Howard Stern Show. His personal life is now open for everybody to read. That isn’t to say we don’t get some behind the scenes stories from the show. Gary gives us his thoughts on the pitch, the videotape, and what its like to be known as Baba Booey. While Stern fans will love these stories, Gary also reveals some personal stories including his mother’s psychological problems and his gay brother Steven who died from AIDS.

Anybody who listens to the show always assumed that Gary’s childhood was normal compared to the rest of the staff. After hearing Howard discuss his difficulty in school and Robin’s child molestation by her father, who could have it worst than that?

Gary had it rough. His mother was committed twice to the psych ward where she received electric shock therapy. When she was home, her overprotectiveness of her son made it difficult for Gary to bring friends around. Gary also discusses his brother Steven who died of AIDS. He revealed his brothers struggle with being gay, and how difficult it was to tell his parents that your gay and dying of AIDS. The chapter about Steven is sad, emotional, and very personal.

The highlight of the book for me is the chapter about his ex-girlfriend Nancy and the infamous videotape. I began listening to the show when Gary was dating Nancy. He eventually broke up with her and later met Mary his wife. Years later a fan called into the show and told Howard that he dated Nancy after Gary. He told Howard that there is a tape of Gary “telling her” why they should get back together. Gary admitted that the tape existed, and he has a copy of it. The entire crew put together $25,000 to see the tape. Gary accepted, and for 20 minutes the audience got to hear Gary dictate, in a very selfish way, why Nancy needed to take him back. Stern show fans still consider this to be one of the greatest moments of the show.

If you’re looking for the tell all behind-the-scenes information on the Howard Stern show, this is not the book for you. This is Gary Dell’Abate’s life story. Of course the Stern show plays a big role. “They Call Me Baba Booey” is a great inclusion into the Howard Stern cast library. Howard’s “Private Parts” and “Miss America”, Robin’s book “Quivers a Life”, and Artie’s “Too Fat to Fish” all include stories about the show. What is far more interesting is looking into the personal lives of our favorite radio show cast.

You can purchase They Call Me Baba Booey at

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