Conspiracy theories, buzzing Reddit threads, and an outpouring of concern this week over … Howard Stern taking a day off. Page Six reports that the SiriusXM radio host abruptly dropped off the airwaves this week when he unexpectedly took a "personal day" Wednesday, per the on-air message explaining his absence (he didn't return Thursday or Friday, either, adding to the worry). Longtime fans who know his work ethic, and apparently his attendance record, expressed their concern for his sudden disappearance. "I am very concerned," tweeted one fan who says he's been a listener since the '80s and "NEVER" recalled the host cancelling a show, while another sent "peace and love" to his "hero."
Per Page Six and Campus News, some of the speculations about Howard's whereabouts include co-host Robin Quivers being "gravely ill"; his wife, Beth Ostrosky, being angry with him; and the IRS being after him for airing a confidential agency call. One Reddit user made an even more uneasy observation: "Just this year Howard said the only way he'd cancel a show is if a parent died." But Radar says it touched base with Stern's mom, Ray, on Thursday, and she insists her husband, Ben, who's been reported as being seriously ill, is OK (Ray noted he wasn't home when Radar rang). Some fans say Stern was in a down mood on Monday's show and are trying to connect the dots from there. Page Six notes there's been no word from SiriusXM, though Stern is expected to be back behind the mic on Monday. (Read more Howard Stern stories.)