RIP: Kenneth Keith Kallenbach, Hero Of The Stupid



For Howard Stern fans of a certain age, yesterday’s announcement that Wack Pack member Kenneth Keith Kallenbach had died of pneumonia at 39 was both a shock and a chance to reminisce about their own, possibly misspent, youths listening to Stern before there was such a thing as satellite radio. Philly Grill caught up by e-mail with phone prankster extraordinaire and fellow original Wack Packer Captain Janks, known off the air as Tom Cipriano, to talk about his longtime friend.

When and how did you first meet Kenneth Keith — was it before you both started appearing on Stern?
I met Ken in 1990, at Howard Stern’s 37th birthday show. That was when he first went on Howard’sKenKeith2.jpg Channel 9 TV show. Back then, Wack Pack members sought each other out, especially when they lived in the same area.

Had you seen much of each other recently?
Yes. We spoke at least once or twice a week via phone. He had just sent me a couple of Iron Maiden CDs he burned off for me a day or so before he was arrested. He also occasionally did personal appearances with me.

How was his career going? I know he was doing comedy and some commercials, and had a few bit parts in TV and movies. Was he still appearing on the Stern show?
He was on Howard’s show now and then. He was always looking to get on the show, so he was always coming up with new song parodies, or filming some TV commercial. I’d say he was doing pretty well. Better than me!

KenKeith2.jpgHow close was the real Ken to his on-air persona — was it all just acting?
That’s a tough question. Let’s just say that that the on-air persona and him in person were similar. But there was something that went deeper. He was not stupid, or an “airhead” by any stretch of the word. He knew what was going on!

What’s your favorite memory?
I have many. But my absolute favorite was the time he and I went to a mall somewhere to interview Leonard Nimoy — Mr. Spock — doing a book signing. He asked him, on tape, “Yo, Lenny, what do you think of that prick Bill Shatner?” We were promply escorted out. MORE

RELATED: PhillyGossip
RELATED: When Kenneth Keith Kallenbach Met Darren Finizio
RELATED: Kenneth Keith Kallenbach Blows Smoke Out Of His Eyes 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *