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Obviously, I'm not a big Stern fan. If I were, I would have known that he calls himself the King of All Media. So to find out if his crown was indeed vulnerable to assault, I had to take a crash course in his controversial world of post-vaudeville irreverence and debauchery. Thus, for the last several weeks I've been watching his TV show on E! and checking out many Stern pages and FAQs here on the Web. I also read his book Private Parts. This is what I found...

Tesh vs. Stern
On the surface, they're opposites, the raw and the cooked, a pair of human Rorschach cards: look at the Stern-blot, and depending on your personality, you see satire or gratuitous crudity; look at the Tesh-blot, and you see polished professionalism or toxic smarm. Stern is dark and angular, spontaneous, profane. Tesh is margarine made flesh, bland and blonde, rehearsed, Vanilla Nice.

Nonetheless, in each there is an element of the other. Tesh's penchant for the oddly crude verbal outburst has been well-documented. And Stern, on the occasions he's able to transcend his volatile insecurity, is capable of Tesh-like complaisance.

There are other similarities as well. They were both born and raised in New York. They're both in their early forties and both exceptionally tall--Tesh is 6' 6", Stern an inch shorter. They both began their broadcasting careers while still in college, and met with early--and progressively greater--success. They also both appear to be workaholics.

In a way, it's an almost mythic confrontation. The Good Son and the Bad Son. Two trains running...