07.07 Stern’s Reverend Bob Levy
Filthy, Fearless, and Funny
By Bobby Hankinson
Fans of the Howard Stern Show know that The Reverend Bob Levy is many things ~ including mean and miserable ~ but, despite living in his ex-wife’s basement, he’s quite successful at what he does. And that’s being pretty damn funny.
Levy made his mark among the crass and kooky comedians on Stern’s show and now joins other Stern characters like Jim Florentine, Richard Christy, Shuli, Yucko the Clown, and Beetlejuice on the “Killers of Comedy” tour coming to the Palladium August 4.
Stern followers should know what to expect, but for the uninitiated, a look at Levy’s background is a good indicator. He’s been in comedy 18 years and he said it’s been off-the-cuff and raunchy from the start. His big break came in 2002 when he won Stern’s “World’s Meanest Listener” contest. “Once you’re on Howard it just totally puts you out there to the people and then people come to see you instead of you going to see the people.”
The competition asked listeners to send in tapes roasting people on the show like Stern, Artie Lange, and Robin Quivers. It was Levy’s take on Quivers that brought him into the top ten and then the top three and eventually into finals along with Yucko the Clown. (Levy told us some of the rips he made at Quivers’ expense, but trust me, they are too filthy and deliciously offensive for us to put into print!)
Levy proudly recalls that when it came to competing against Yucko in the finals, “I ended up, um, KICKING HIS ASS!” Since then, Levy’s become Stern’s roast master, hosting roasts of other show regulars like Gary “Baba Booey” Dell’Abate and Lange. “On those things basically anything goes, these are the most brutal roasts you’ll ever hear,” he said. “We’re doing it live and it kicks ass and we’re brutal.”
But even in good fun, Levy acknowledged it’s possible to go too far. He recalled roasting Lange and hitting a little too close to home. In the weeks leading up to the roast, Lange was discussing his paraplegic father. Levy went there. “I felt bad when I went there because you love the guy but you have to go for the pain, you have to get under somebody’s skin, make it funny, make it brutal. That’s why I love these roasts because they’re brutal and funny.”
Levy appears on another Sirius show, “The Miserable Men Show.” “It’s just about three guys whining like little bitches.” Levy and his co-hosts create an open forum for men to talk about personal problems. In addition to that, Levy, who’s based in New Jersey, can be heard on the Kidd Chris Show in Philadelphia.
As if he weren’t already busy enough, Levy shared that he’s currently shopping around a sitcom based on his life. “Something with balls, not like what’s on TV now. It won’t be like ‘Friends,’ put it that way.” He’s also hoping to work out about 10 minutes of clean material ~ surely a difficult task for him ~ to bring to the late night shows like “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
Fans eager to see what Levy has up his sleeves don’t have to wait until his act comes to the small screen. He promises a lot of laughs on the “Killers of Comedy” tour. He also says the guys are more than willing to hang out with the crowd, snap a few photos, and even have a drink. “We’re not like douche bags,” he said.
But just as fans are excited about seeing the show, Levy’s excited to come back to Worcester. “The crowd is great out there. I’m definitely looking forward to going back.”