“I just lost all my reservations and said, ‘I’ve got to meet that guy!’ ”
It’s only 9:30 a.m., but it’s already been a long day for Quivers. On weekdays she wakes up at 4 a.m., first flipping on the TV to see what news broke overnight that she might want to mention on that morning’s show. She then feeds her cats, whips up a large smoothie that she’ll bring to work with her (Quivers became a strict vegan three years ago), showers, gets dressed and then hops in a waiting car for the 10-minute ride from her Manhattan apartment to the studio.
Once Quivers arrives, typically between 5:15 and 5:30 a.m., she applies her makeup (since the radio show is also captured on camera for the Howard TV on-demand cable channel) and then continues to scan through news stories on the computer in her booth, before the show begins at 6 a.m.
For their very first show together back in 1981, Quivers actually wasn’t separated from Stern by glass — only because her booth hadn’t been fully constructed yet. That small detail ended up being pivotal to the duo’s success.
Originally, Quivers was just supposed to deliver a brief newscast at the top and bottom of every hour. Since her booth wasn’t ready that first day, she had to read the news from the same studio Stern was sitting in. Seeing her walk in, Stern immediately engaged her in conversation on the air. He was doing a segment on how to pick up women – an author had claimed to have slept with thousands of women and had written a book containing the secrets to his success.
One of the author’s tips was for men to wear tight pants. “Howard said to me, ‘Robin, I’m telling you, this is how you pick up women, you have to wear tight pants,’ ” Quivers reflects. “And I looked at him and said, ‘How many women does this guy say he’s slept with?’ And he said 40,000, or whatever the number was. And I said, ‘Well, if he slept with that many women, when did he have time to put on pants?’ ”
Stern was floored — he couldn’t believe his news anchor had responded so humorously, and he began pleading with her to keep her microphone on throughout the show instead of just during her newscasts, so she could participate more fully. That’s been the way the show has worked to this very day.
“It is completely amazing,” Quivers says. “Believe me, when we first started, we never thought it would last. We always expected, ‘Oh, we’ll do this for a little while, it’ll be fun and then, you know, probably it will go away and we’ll have to go find real jobs.’ ”