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They Call Me Baba Booey  By  cover art

They Call Me Baba Booey

By: Gary Dell'Abate, Chad Millman
Narrated by: Gary Dell'Abate
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Editorial reviews

Gary Dell’Abate, the executive producer for The Howard Stern Show affectionately known as “Baba Booey”, has a lot of good stories to tell. And with more than 20 years of radio experience under his belt, Dell’Abate is completely comfortable doing his own voice work. He’s also been a longtime supporter of the audiobook medium, to such an extent that he even hosted the 2010 Audie Awards. Listening to him tell his own life story is like meeting a really cool weirdo at your local bar, getting chatty, and then getting sucked in to the point where you are surprised that the lights have come on and it’s closing time.

There are three types of chapters in Dell’Abate’s rotation. One set of stories, natch, concerns all the crazy highlights from his time with Howard Stern. Fans will appreciate fresh, deeper analysis of historic moments like Dell’Abate’s completely lame first pitch at a Mets game for an autism charity, his never-ending quest to win back ex-girlfriend Nancy that culminated in a very embarrassing video surfacing a full eleven years after the breakup, his car chase with the Ski Bunny’s crazy tire iron-wielding ex-boyfriend, and, of course, how he came to be known as Baba Booey. The second thread concerns more personal stories of Dell’Abate’s early life, from his mother’s terrifying mood swings and his father’s stoicism, to his hippie brother’s short-lived Woodstock hitchhiking attempt and his gay brother’s death from AIDS-related illness. The last type of chapter is a short series of interludes. Sometimes these take the form of lists of Dell’Abates favorite things, from best concerts ever to albums needed if trapped on a deserted island, and sometimes he is interviewing the people involved in the narrative of the previous chapter.

For people who care about the voice work industry, the cameos are terrific. There’s a brief snippet from narrator Edward Herrmann of the History Channel, as well as the producer at cutting edge radio station WLIR who gave Dell’Abate his first big break. For those who care about Dell’Abate himself, the cameos also offer major satisfaction in the form of his older brother and famed ex-girlfriend Nancy. None of the major Howard Stern Show personalities drop in, but that’s the way it should be. Dell’Abate has made a career out of acquiescing to be their whipping boy, and this book is an honest navel-gazing triumph that deserves to be heard without their interruptive jackassery. Besides, Dell’Abate is at his self-deprecating best here, and doesn’t need any help from professional put down artists. Whether or not you are already familiar with Baba Booey, his memoir is a guaranteed enjoyable listen that will leave you feeling like you’ve made a new friend. Megan Volpert

Publisher's summary

One of pop culture’s great enduring unsung heroes: Gary Dell’Abate, Howard Stern Show producer, miracle worker, professional good sport, and servant to the King of All Media, for the first time tells the story of his early years and reveals how his chaotic childhood and early obsessions prepared him for life at the center of the greatest show on Earth. Baba Booey! Baba Booey! It was a slip of the tongue - that unfortunately was heard by a few million listeners - but in that split second a nickname, a persona, a rallying cry, and a phenomenon was born. Some would say it was the moment Gary Dell’Abate, the long-suffering heroic producer of The Howard Stern Show, for better or worse, finally came into his own. In They Call Me Baba Booey, Dell’Abate explains how his early life was the perfect training ground for the day-to-day chaos that comes with producing the most popular radio show on Earth.

Growing up on Long Island in the 1970s, the youngest of three boys born to a clinically depressed mother, Gary learned how to fend for himself when under attack. Obsessed with music, he listened with religious intensity to Casey Kasem's Top 40 every Sunday morning, compulsively bought 45s of his favorite songs, and nerdily copied the lyrics into a notebook. Music became an ordering principle to his life, even as the chaos at home got out of hand. Dell’Abate’s memoir sketches the trajectory from the obsessive pop-music trivia buff to the man in the beekeeper’s mask who handily defeats his opponents playing “Stump the Booey”. We learn about the memorable moments in his life that taught him to endure epic bouts of humiliation and get his unique perspective on some of his favorite Stern show episodes - such as the day he nearly killed the Mets mascot while throwing out the first pitch, or the time his mother called Howard’s mother and demanded an apology. Hilarious, painful, and eye-opening, it’s Gary as you’ve never seen him before, telling a story that even Stern show insiders can’t begin to imagine

©2010 Gary Dell'Abate, Chad Millman (P)2010 Random House Audio