There are many reasons why I cherish my subscription to Sirius XM Canada, but having access to the Howard Stern Show tops my list. When I found out only recently that Chris Wilding, one of the program’s true rising stars, grew up in Laval and Hudson I knew I had to interview him.
Chris, who turns 31 in June, is the perfect example that anyone’s career dream can come true if you persevere. A graduate of the John Abbott College Professional Theatre Program, he unknowingly began training for a Stern Show opportunity by creating an extremely popular podcast that was uncensored and off the wall like Stern’s popular show. It quickly climbed to a prestigious ranking as one of the top 20 comedy podcasts on all of iTunes.
A longtime fan of the king of all media, Chris parlayed his talents for making hilarious prank phone calls and managed to get them in the hands of someone in production at the Stern Show. They liked what they heard and two of his bits made it to the air. This was in 2015. A freelance gig soon followed, with him producing regular material all on a single Macbook Pro from his home in Montreal. On a trip to New York he got to meet Stern in persaon. By August of 2016 he was hired full-time and relocated to the Big Apple.
The Stern Show is recorded near Times Square, with live shows three days a week. The fact that Chris has evolved into a personality who gets fairly regular air time is the ultimate statement to his value to the show. One of the more high profile moments for him in recent months was when he nearly hooked up with celebrity super fan Andy Cohen. Chris had revealed on air that he’d broken up with his boyfriend after discovering he was cheating on him. Andy heard this and swung by the studio to console Chris. The two actually went on a date, which became the subject of a pretty elaborate “Love Connection” type segment moderated by Stern himself. It even lead to Chris and Andy’s date going viral online, making headlines in publications like People Magazine, US Weekly and Entertainment Tonight to name a few.
Chris is a true talent. Since his debut on the show he has voiced close to 200 different characters, many of which have become recurring staples on the show. His specialty remains prank phone calls and let me tell you these are such masterpieces, and so rip roaringly hilarious, that they serve as testimony for why a talented Canadian like Chris was needed for the job. The reality that Chris is part of show listened to by millions of people around the world still has not sunk in. “I know how hard a job this is to get,” he says. “Howard only hires the best of the best. Everything he does is so well thought out and measured. The fact that he chose me for this job is an incredible endorsement. I get emotional thinking about it.”
Given the fact this is satellite radio, nothing is prohibited on the air. With that in mind the dialogue used by Chris can get pretty raw- like the rest of the cast. “We do get graphic and I know my mom and friends are listening,” he says. “But when you are in that studio there is only one person you have to impress and that is Howard. I love that he can call on me to talk about issues unique to my life that resonate with millions of people. Adding my own unique perspective to his show has been extremely gratifying.”
You can hear the Stern Show on channels 100 and 101 on SiriusXM. And get exclusive Howard Stern videos on the SiriusXM app.