Saturday night’s (April 14) Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Public Hall in Cleveland was a heartwarming evening of music and celebration, but perhaps no onstage moment elicited the laughs and cheers that Howard Stern got singing Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive.” He then exclaimed, “Eat s—, Bob Dylan.”
The King of All Media, who labored all week on his speech inducting Bon Jovi into the Rock Hall, was his usual unflinching, no-filter self. “In a sign of the zombie apocalypse, Jann Wenner finally let Bon Jovi into the Hall of Fame,” cracked the Sirius XM host of the Rolling Stone and Rock Hall co-founder. “It took years of pondering to decide that this glorious band that sold 130 million albums [should be let] in.” Stern continued: “It’s over Jon. The dream has been realized — not the dream of owning a football team, that was ridiculous,” he joked.
Stern compared Bon Jovi’s sales numbers to the paltry number of “The Bubonic Plague,” which killed 50 million and other comparisons endearing to Stern fans.
He also joked that Jon Bon Jovi single handedly “destroyed the ozone layer in the 1980s with hairspray” and Richie Sambora saved many lonely women who couldn’t get dates — he name-checked Heather Locklear and Cher — in the process.
Of course, Stern got serious, too. “My friends, they are finally getting their due and it’s about time. … It was a great privilege to have this job where I could celebrate rock and roll. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making uplifting music and putting a smile on my face.”
The band clearly loved the speech, laughing hysterically in the audience. Drummer Tico Torres later remarked that Stern “always made me laugh.”
“He was my first and only choice to induct us tonight,” said Bon Jovi after a heartfelt speech accepting the honor.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will air May 5 on HBO.