[Gary] Dell'Abate has been ridiculed throughout his 14 years as part of Stern's bawdy and often hysterically funny programs. "Big-toothed idiot," "smelly ape" and "ra-ra retard" are some of the terms of endearment [Howard] Stern has bestowed on Dell'Abate. Virtually every morning the amiable 37-year-old husband and father of two is degraded and defiled by his boss in front of 20 million listeners in 48 markets.
Every now and again Dell'Abate deserves the strikes from his stern taskmaster. During a 1990 broadcast, Boy Gary was touting his animation cel collection. He was compelled to mention his favorite cartoon character, Quickdraw McGraw sidekick Baba Looey. However, Dell'Abate called the character Baba Booey. The malaprop became Dell'Abate's new monicker. Whenever the stocky Long Island native wandered into the studio, Fred Norris, who handles sound effects, would start a tape loop of Dell'Abate uttering Baba Booey.
Fortunately, Dell'Abate is as tough as the decaying gristle attached to his considerable choppers. In reality, Dell'Abate, who does an admirable job scheduling guests, researching and organizing the show, is on great terms with Stern. The verbal salvos are usually just part of the show. "If it was as serious as it sounds on the air, I would have to be out of my mind to work this job," said Dell'Abate. "I actually get a great deal of respect from Howard [Stern]. Off the air, it's a totally different environment.