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Howard Stern’s Longtime Friend and Stylist Ralph Cirella Passes Away

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Howard Stern, known as the radio “shock jock” due to his sexual content, from porn star guests, Sybian rides, the Richard and Sal antic sexual dares, Howard’s show style has changed tremendously over the years, interviewing A List celebrities and musicians alike.

While people may not like the, “new” Howard, I have been a dedicated fan for years.

Sure, Howard has said things in the past, I may have been offended over or didn’t agree with, I’m not like most snowflakes who cry in a corner claiming cancel. It doesn’t make me stop listening to him.

Ralph Cirella, on the other hand, maybe was someone I preferred not to be judged by.

Ralph was the love to hate guy on Howard. He criticized everyone, he didn’t hold back on how he felt, what he thought of something or someone – I didn’t even want to make comments on what I disagreed with him out of fear of getting blocked.

Ralph Cirella was the guy you wanted to stay under the radar just to see what he will say next.

I remember the day he called in to talk about Bob Saget, after he passed away. As he was sharing what Bob Saget did in helping his sister, there was a silence but then Howard asked him something and Robin said, “I think he’s breaking up” (something to that effect). I was saying to myself, “is Ralph crying”.

In all of the years of listening to Ralph’s antics, his mean comments during contests, never have I heard Ralph break down in tears.

Here are some of the highlights from Wednesday’s Howard Stern Show

I wasn’t feeling well Wednesday morning (blog on will explain why). It was about 4:20 am and I was laying down deleting emails, when I caught something on Twitter, via another link I was looking at and caught a post Ralph had died.

Twitter being “x” now, I can’t believe anything on there anymore, so I went online and found a few articles but nothing I would take as credibility.

I waited for another half hour for Howard to come on live. Sirius XM will title the show you’re listening to or streaming, it was the only confirmation I needed to find it was true, when the title appeared on the app, “RIP Ralph Cirella”.

If anyone has listened to Howard in more than the 40 years he’s been on the radio, it would be a miracle from heaven if Howard cried on his show. His father, who he has imitated over the years, also passed away over the summer vacation and he did share the news upon returning from the break.

While Howard seems to showcase feelings of apathy for his father, with Ralph, I wasn’t sure how he was going to get through talking about someone who has been his close confidant for so many years. You can tell from the clip shared, via Youtube and Instagram, Howard was visibly upset.

Starting off the show, confirming any reports that have come out, Howard said he was very upset to share that Ralph has died. He found out the news via Ralph’s sister, who had contacted Gary Dell’Abate (Howard’s producer) to let Howard know what had just happened. After confirming the news, as Howard shared the love he had for Ralph and the special friendship they had, Fred played a drop of Ralph laughing and you hear Howard say, “mm mm” as in no, stop playing that.

Howard shared the first time Ralph called into the show, as his mom was also a fan of the show.

Just like some of the staffers who currently work on the show, it all begins with a phone call. Ralph wasn’t a “staffer” or wack packer, but he was definitely a staple of the Howard Stern show.

He talked about Ralph’s talents, putting together prosthetics, making Howard look like Larry King for a skit.

He eventually became Howard’s stylist, helping him find the right wardrobes for special occasions and working closely with Howard’s hair stylist Toni.

Probably the most important event in Howard’s life, when Ralph dragged him out to a party, where Howard and Beth met for the first time and their love began, of course, Ralph taking the credit.

Other than callers sharing their heartfelt condolences, the staff also shared their memories of Ralph, beginning with Chris Wilding, who established a very close friendship with Ralph, in between their fights, for which the last one, Chris shared, he highly regretted.

Robin shared the time she broke up with a guy Ralph knew and didn’t approve of Robin dating him. When they broke up, Ralph called her to comfort her and to tell her to “fuck that guy”.

Howard mentioned when someone was hurt, Ralph would have the same energy as the person who was experiencing it.

Ralph was the person who made everyone laugh and he was the friend you know you can be just as silly and be silly with.

After being diagnosed with a rare lymphoma, (something if caught in time would have not been an issue), Ralph told Howard, when 9/11 happened, he went running to volunteer in the efforts of recovery and suspected the cancer came from his volunteering. No one knew being down there would cause different types of cancer later on in life for anyone who worked at Ground Zero for an extended period of time.

The day before he passed away, Howard shared Ralph’s emotional state, regretting decisions he made, not having to take care of himself better and wishing he had someone to share his life with. Howard assured him he was getting the best people to take care of him, and everything would be all right. Sadly, after a minor procedure, Howard claimed, this was a procedure routinely done, Ralph did not survive with his heart giving out.

Fred shared his thoughts, even though not being close to him, he mentioned Ralph was one of the few people, unlike the “scumbags” of the past who left the show and ran their mouths of what it was like working there. Ralph understood and respected the privacy of those around him.

It’s a rarity to find a person who will be your friend and not speak about you behind your back.

Ralph may have said terrible things, he may have been too bold and truthful, but the recurring theme that came from every single staff member was the same, Ralph was a true friend, he may have overstayed his welcome when invited, but he was the friend you wanted to have in your life.

Going back to when Howard shared Ralph’s regrets.

I think that’s one of the many things I fear. Enough time to finish my books, enough time to finish my projects, enough time to finish whatever I want to finish and leave a legacy behind. We all want to leave a legacy. We all want to fulfill our goals and dreams, but if we behave as if we have all the time in the world, it’s only then in that moment, we realize, in the words of David Cassidy, laying on his deathbed, “so much time wasted”.

Ralph may have not been able to complete everything he aspired to do, he still leaves a very strong legacy of friendship, love, laughs and respect.

Rest in peace Ralph Cirella. “Bye for now”.

Until then. Take care of you.


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