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Say what you will about Howard Stern, but when he takes a stand, he goes out guns a blazing and takes a stand. There’s no retraction if the general public gets upset. He says what he means and he means what he says. A few weeks back, he visited Piers Morgan Tonight and proceeded to rip Jay Leno for stealing material. That’s the story most of the media got out of the interview at least, but also in that same rant, Stern praised the work of David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel. Citing them as people who inspire his own work, he spoke glowingly of all they’ve done for the industry. That’s what usually gets lost in the Howard Stern equation. He may zealously tear down his enemies, but he’s all too willing to praise those he feels are deserving. Last night on Letterman, it was more of the same.

Rallying the troops behind the scenes and vocally praising all the Late Show efforts, Howard Stern implored those working on the show to drop their side projects and focus exclusively on beating Leno in the ratings. Wouldn’t that be nice? Once upon a time, Jay Leno was a wonderful stand-up comedian, but he all too often cops out and takes the easy joke. Meanwhile, David Letterman has consistently grown, changed and reinvented himself, televising a final product that’s not only witty but informative.

Here’s a look at Stern on last night’s Letterman

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