While many people appreciate friends who speak their mind, it turns out that leaning too hard into the "brutal" part of "brutal honesty" can ruin friendships.
Howard Stern can apparently attest to this, having recently declared that he and famously outspoken comedian and TV host Bill Maher are no longer friends following recent remarks the latter made about Stern's marriage.
The conflict began on a recent episode of Maher's Club Random podcast, in which Julian Lennon was a guest.
Julian Lennon | Club Randomyoutu.be
Maher told Lennon that he and Stern had repaired their strained relationship just before the global pandemic hit, and he didn't want to "start a fight" with Stern.
Even so, Maher shared that he was irked during an appearance on Real Time With Bill Maher, when Stern asked Maher, who has never been married, if he wanted to "settle down," before expressing his love for his wife of 15 years, Beth Stern.
Maher seemed to find Stern's remarks about his wife anything but endearing.
"He goes on about how much he loves his wife, Beth, which he has been doing on the air for like ten years."
"Well, we know Howard had this other wife before Beth, so he's trying to make me seem like I'm the slightly immoral one cause I won't settle down, and all I could think was, 'how does this gushing about the second wife, how does that make the first wife feel?'"
"Could we just not gush about the person while the other person still can hear it?"
Getting wind of Maher's remarks about his marriage, and his apparently inappropriate "gushing," Stern had a lot to say on Tuesday's episode of The Howard Stern Show.
Stern found Maher's remarks about his marriage "sexist," "convoluted," and "nutty," saying that Maher had no right to say anything about either his current or first marriage, as he didn't know nearly enough about either of them to comment.
"It’s assuming that he knows something about my first marriage."
"That, of course, the man must be leaving the woman and the woman must be devastated and be sitting around pining away for her famous man."
Stern said no one should be criticized for putting a positive message out into the world.
"He ought to shut his mouth!"
"I mean, I don’t think I come on the air every day and say, 'I love my wife'."
"But I thought it was a pretty positive message, to — especially with my audience — to say to guys: 'Instead of like ragging on our wives, how about talking about that we appreciate them and love them?'"
Stern also revealed that he privately reached out to Maher via email, asking Maher to call him and share his open, honest feelings about his marriage.
Maher, apparently, never responded.
"I wrote in an email, I said, 'Why don’t you give me a phone call?'"
"'Why don’t you tell me what you think about my life and my marriage since you’re, you know'."
"But of course, he never wrote me back."
Not everyone seems to be shedding tears over the end of this friendship, however.
Stern has a long history of controversial antics, which some felt compelled to call out.
Others, however were not impressed with Maher's comments, and said "good riddance."
Maher has yet to comment on Stern's remarks, though it's hard to imagine he doesn't have plenty to say.