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Arcadia

Interview with Eli Braden of the Howard Stern Show

11:48 AM PDT on June 2, 2015

    PeCSWAaU


    Eli Braden is a musician turned comedy writer who is best known for his song parodies on the Howard Stern Show. His ribald tunes explore every inch of co-host Robin Quivers' anatomy in graphic and hilarious detail, all set to the top hits of the day. His work on Stern has caught the attention of the comedy world, and he's written for Television since moving to Los Angeles. Please enjoy this Q&A where Braden discusses family life, his favorite taco spot, and how he get his start in the lucrative world of parody songs... 

    Favorite taco spot in LA?
    I live in Pasadena and like to go to Taco Lita in Arcadia. It’s really not that great, but supposedly Van Halen ate there back in the day so that’s kinda cool. My favorite tacos in L.A. are always from random food trucks I never remember the names of.

    What brought you to Los Angeles, and what keeps you here?
    I came here after wasting several years pursuing rock stardom in San Francisco. I finally realized I needed to go somewhere I could get a real job, ideally involving music. Instead, as soon as I moved down I ended up transitioning into writing/performing comedy: the SECOND least stable profession in the world, after music.

    Your song parodies are heard by millions, but what's your day job? How do you balance the two?
    I work in TV, mainly as a writer. I’ve written on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Fashion Police and Billy On The Street, as well as a few programs I’m less willing to admit to in print. The parody songs I do for the Stern Show don’t take long to record; they’re basically a thing I do in my spare time for fun. I’m so happy to be a small part of one of my favorite things in the world.

    What was the first song you sent into the Stern Show, and what was your inspiration to do so?
    I’d been a Stern fan for years but it had never occurred to me to send anything in. Then one day in 2011 I heard Tina Turner’s “You’re Simply the Best” on the radio, and I couldn’t stop singing it “Big Tits on Her Chest” in my head. I recorded a crappy lo-fi version and sent it to the email address on the Stern Show website. Howard played it the next morning, and I was blown away! I immediately recorded another one that afternoon, and he played that one the next morning. I was unemployed at the time so, needless to say, I was off to the races.

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    What's the weirdest thing that's happened to you in connection with the Stern universe?
    For awhile, some of the on-air personalities were doing a comedy tour called “Ronnie’s Block Party” one weekend a month, and they invited me to be a part of it. Those were great times: partying with porn stars in Vegas, hanging with Beetlejuice at a resort in Jamaica. But the weirdest thing ever? After a show in San Diego, a very drunk woman asked me to pose for a picture with her husband. We took the photo and it was all good. Then, ten minutes later, the same woman offered to take me backstage to do something that probably can’t be mentioned in L.A. Taco. I was like, “Um, your husband’s here!” She insisted, “No, he’s not!” I told her, “Lady, you just introduced me to him!” After some more back and forth, she finally admitted I was right, but told me it was “still probably OK.” I passed though. I guess I’m just not that big a freak.

    Favorite local, neighborhood spot in Los Angeles?
    I like to write at the Coffee Table in Eagle Rock. Big rooms, big tables, full menu. Fantastic outdoor patio in back. And an adjacent bar if you happen to be there when 5 o’clock rolls around. Or 11 AM, if it’s that kind of day.

    What is best in life?
    I’m grateful for my kids. On a purely selfish level, I’ve never received a better gift than the purpose and meaning I’ve found in busting my ass to be the best dad I can be. And yes, the guy who writes songs about Robin Quivers’ boobs is a good dad.

    What's the deal with the other song parody guys? Do you ever communicate with each other or hang out?
    There are three of us. I’m good friends with Little Mikey, not so much with Psych. He’s a talented musician, but he’s really arrogant and, frankly, not nearly as funny as me. We sort of made up at Howard’s big Birthday Bash show last year though. He’s blind, and it’s kinda hard to hold a grudge against a guy after he needs you to help him to the bathroom.

    When did you realize that you could make comedy a full time profession, and how long did it take?
    Having gone from music to comedy, I’ve never really known stability. It’s just never occurred to me that I could give up pursuing a career that allows me to create. It’s probably a form of mental illness, to believe you can defy the odds and have success doing something almost everybody else fails at. But L.A. is full of people like that, right?

    What are your top 5 song parodies of all time, and why?
    That’s not for me to say. However, I’ve posted all 450 or so of them at http://www.SoundCloud.com/EliBradenSternSongs for free streaming or download; people can decide for themselves! Most of them are very NSFW, but I’ve been told going through them when you’re home drunk on a Saturday night is a very fun hour or so if you’re a Stern fan.

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