Howard Stern Suffers Heartbreaking Loss Of Friend & Stylist, Ralph Cirella

Howard Stern, potential future presidential candidate and the self-proclaimed "King of all Media," announced on December 6, 2023, the tragic news that his longtime friend, the stylist and makeup artist Ralph Cirella, had died at the age of 58 due to a rare form of lymphoma. Fox8 reported on the announcement, which was made on SiriusXM's "The Howard Stern Show." Cirella and Stern were pals for around four decades and made numerous appearances on the show together, starting back when it was on terrestrial radio stations. 

The shock jock stated that Cirella's lymphoma was "curable and treatable," which made him both angry and depressed because "He didn't take care of himself." The two found humor in the same things and shared a strong, brotherly love. "Ralph was a trustworthy, dear friend," declared Stern, adding that Cirella, "Made me laugh every time I was with him." When the radio DJ appeared on other shows like "America's Got Talent," the loyal Cirella was often by his side. 

Stern even credited his longtime stylist for the radio DJ initially crossing paths with his wife, Beth Ostrosky. The two met at a party that Cirella encouraged his buddy to attend and they really hit it off. Ostrosky observed a "secret language" between Cirella and Stern, clearly indicating the two were extremely close. According to "The Howard Stern Show's" website, Stern acknowledged it himself, noting, "It's true [...] We had a great chemistry, and we had a great friendship, and Ralph was one of my bros. In fact, I came to think of Ralph as family."

Cirella was multi-talented

As the official "Howard Stern Show" site notes, Ralph Cirella didn't start as Howard Stern's stylist. In 1985, he and his mother called into Stern's then-WNBC radio show, and Cirella later worked with Stern to create "a penis puppet" for a New Year's Eve event. When Stern hosted "The Channel 9 Show," Cirella tackled the special effects. The outspoken broadcaster frequently pointed out his talents, stating, "Ralph would make these elaborate prosthetics like in the movies or like on 'Saturday Night Live' and he'd do them for zero money."

What led Cirella from puppetry and SFX to styling were his constructive opinions about how Stern looked. He recalled how some of their most enjoyable times together occurred as Cirella sifted through Stern's clothes to find the right outfit for him to wear. Once found, Cirella would say, "Alright, take your pants off now," the memory of which still makes Stern chuckle. "It's just so stupid and it's killing me I'll never hear that again," he lamented.

John Stamos, the "Full House" alum and a close friend of both Stern and Cirella, took to Instagram on December 6 to also share his heartfelt remembrances of the stylist and makeup artist. Along with several pictures of Cirella and Stamos over the years, the caption read, "At the painfully young age of 58, my dear friend, Ralph Cirella, was suddenly taken from us, leaving us all in a state of profound shock. He was, without a doubt, a one-of-a-kind soul."

Friends had nothing but love for Cirella

John Stamos' Instagram tribute to his and Howard Stern's longtime friend Ralph Cirella continued, "Ralph wasn't just a friend; he was family. My mother adored him, and I'll always cherish the memory of her affectionately mistaking his 'berry' for a piece of red jello on his upper lip, playfully attempting to wipe it away." The actor also ruminated about Cirella's early days on "The Channel 9 Show," incredulously marveling at his makeup skills, specifically when he made Stern look like famed talk show host, Larry King. 

He went on to explain that Cirella's friends witnessed him struggling to find motivation in life despite his demonstrable gifts. Stamos also asserted that because anyone can die at any time, they should always pursue their dreams, and follow them to completion. "My heart aches at the thought of Ralph departing this world alone, without ever experiencing the deep love he undeniably deserved," he added, with the actor revealing that someone once said he was lucky to have been friends with Cirella, which was clearly true.

Stern also looked upon Cirella as a confidante, and poured his broken heart out for him, arguing on "The Howard Stern Show" that, "I think this is the toughest part of loving someone — when you lose them. Lord knows I loved Ralph."