Ralph Cirella Dies: Howard Stern Pays Tribute to Long-Time Sidekick

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An emotional Howard Stern paid tribute to his friend Ralph Cirella on Wednesday’s (December 6) edition of SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show, where he confirmed Cirella died during a routine procedure on Tuesday (December 5) morning.

“His heart gave out,” Stern explained, revealing that Cirella was being treated for a “rare lymphoma” that was “curable and treatable.” The longtime radio host also said he was in the midst of arranging various doctor consultations for Cirella before his tragic passing.

Cirella, born on April 20, 1965, worked as Stern’s personal stylist for decades, later being promoted to wardrobe consultant and then set designer. He appeared in two episodes of the TV series Howard Stern on Demand and was a frequent contributor to the broadcaster’s radio show.

Stern said he was “angry” that Cirella kept his diagnosis secret for so long. “I just have been so sad and so angry,” he stated. “He didn’t take care of himself.”

Ralph Cirella on Howard Stern

Araya Diaz/Getty Images for SiriusXM

The famous radio host shared how he had known Cirella for over 40 years, describing him as “trustworthy” and “a dear friend who made me laugh every time I was with him.”

He also said Cirella often accompanied him during his TV appearances on shows such as America’s Got Talent and The Late Show with David Letterman.

Stern also credited Cirella for introducing him to his wife, Beth Stern. “He’s the reason I met Beth,” Stern explained, recalling how Cieralla encouraged him to go to a party where he would meet the woman who later became his wife.

Full House alum John Stamos, a close friend of Stern, first revealed Cirella’s passing in a heartfelt Instagram post early Wednesday.

“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,” Stamos wrote.

He 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” [birthmark] for a piece of red jello on his upper lip, playfully attempting to wipe it away.”

“In our final exchange, I shared a story about someone who called me lucky,” Stamos added. “When I asked why, their response was simple and profound: “Because you’re friends with Ralph from the Howard Stern show.” And they were absolutely right. My dear friend, I will miss you so much. I love you, Ralphie boy. Rest in peace.”

Cirella also had a connection to another Full House star, the late Bob Saget, who he previously revealed helped his sister in her battle with Scleroderma (the condition that killed Saget’s own sister).

“He personally hooked up my sister with this guy at Johns Hopkins. My sister’s a mess, you know. He saved her life,” Cirella said on a 2022 episode of The Howard Stern Show. “It’s hard to talk about it… Bob was such a great guy. He was the nicest guy, like everybody says. But, you know, what he did for my sister is just unbelievable.”

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