On July 26, 1990, Howard Stern called his show producer, Gary Dell'Abate, into the studio, to discuss animation art collecting. Dell'Abate was interested in the growing 90s fad and contemplated buying a Hanna-Barbera piece--either Quick Draw McGraw or his Mexican donkey pal, Baba Looey. However, Dell'Abate didn't say Baba Looey on the air, he said, "Baba Booey."
Stern picked up on his producer's slip-of-the-tongue and ragged on him for the remainder of the show, then a little more the following morning, and the day after that, and so forth. "Maybe it would last a week or two," Dell'Abate writes in his book, They Call Me Baba Booey, "It just wasn't a nickname that was going to stick--it was like an Abba song that reached No. 1. It had two week, three tops."
He was wrong, of course. Baba Booey went from an on-air goof, to "code for the show, like a battle cry." In the 20-years since Dell'Abate's boss coined the nickname, the phrase has been yelled by Stern show fans on live TV, referenced in an episode of Family Guy, and has been interjected into David Letterman's Top 10 List on several occasions.
This Friday at Book and Books in Coral Gables, Baba Booey himself, Gary Dell'Abate, will read an except of his new memoir, takes questions from the audience, and sign copies of the New York Times bestseller. Cultist is sitting down with the legendary radio producer that night for an exclusive Q&A, but we wanted to share some of our favorite Baba Booey moments with you now.
1. Gary Falls Asleep at Work
2. Peter Griffin Testifies in Court
3. Gary Throws Out the First Pitch Before a Met's Game
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4. Christian Public Access Show Gets Baba Booeyed
5. Baba Booey Song Parodies