Eric Lynch (born March 11, 1975), better known as Eric the Midget, is a member of The Howard Stern Show's Wack Pack. Lynch's small lungs often prevent him from completing a sentence without pausing to take a breath. Lynch suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a disease of the connective tissue, and claims to have outlived every doctor's prediction for his life expectancy. Lynch does not have a stable job in which he receives a regular paycheck; however, because of his condition he receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Due to a "family condition," his hair has grayed and his hairline appears to be receding. He admitted coloring his hair. He has also revealed that he is a virgin.
On the air, his voice is low-pitched and scratchy-sounding. He speaks slowly and haltingly. His voice lends itself to parody phony phone calls because of this. When he is angry, the pitch and rate go up. In addition, he makes small grunting noises interspersed with his words. Eric's many imitators will affect a gravel voice, low pitch, and nasal tone. He is known for being extremely belligerent and insulting, frequently addressing members of the show with insulting nicknames, such as referring to Stern as "big nose" or "jackass" and Robin Quivers as "cackling bitch" and Artie Lange as "fat ass."
Lynch is tall, weighs , and uses a motorized wheelchair. A self-styled "expert" on American Idol, Lynch is known for his fandom of the show, specifically winners Kelly Clarkson, and Carrie Underwood, as well as runners-up Diana DeGarmo and Katharine McPhee. Lynch has repeatedly asked Howard Stern to use his influence to get him dates with Clarkson or Underwood, despite the fact that Stern has only a limited relationship with the show and its cast. Eric also co-hosts his own webcam chat show on American Idol through stickam.
Stern helped Lynch land a guest starring role on one of his favorite television shows, American Dreams. Lynch is frequently prodded on the Stern show for expressing only limited gratitude for the favor at first. Because of the guest role, which was only given to him by producers as a feeble attempt to save the ailing show's ratings with Howard's audience tuned in, Lynch is known, by his own request, as "Eric the Actor," although he is rarely referred to as such. This is because he finds the word "midget" offensive to a "little person," equating it to referring to an African American as a "nigger" (in a recent interview on the show, Verne Troyer concurred with him on the issue). He was also for a brief time jokingly referred to as "Eric the Astronaut," because he is as much of an astronaut as he is an actor. Lynch has countered this nickname with "Eric the Idol Expert" as well as "Eric the Writer." In spite of Eric's dislike of the term "midget," the first time Eric called into the Stern Show, Howard asked if Eric was a midget and he answered, "Yes."
On April 6, 2006, Howard Stern noted that Lynch had been sending emails to the show discussing American Idol, but Stern wouldn't read them on the air due to Lynch's self-imposed ban. Lynch was interviewed by the Howard 100 News during the Stern Show's April 2006 vacation and stated that he would only return to the show if Will Murray is fired.
Lynch called in to the Stern Show on May 10, 2006, to make a plea to be included on the show without being called a "midget", having his voice made fun of, or being associated with the Wack Pack. Lynch no longer demanded that Murray be fired, as Murray had since apologized to him. Lynch also asked to be a West Coast correspondent for Howard 100 News. Stern deduced that the real reason for the call was to get tickets to the American Idol finale and teased Lynch by suggesting that Gary the Retard should cover the event instead, as he is a real "Wack Packer.
In May 2006, Lynch began calling the show with increasing frequency, despite none of his demands being met. It was during this time that Lynch coined his trademark sign off of "Bye for now," which is greeted with chuckles from the Stern staff at the end of each phone call. During that same period, Lynch called the show to turn down an offer from adult film star Tabitha Stevens to have sex with her.
McPhee reportedly hates the Stern show now because Lynch had called her too many times, according to Howard Stern, who told Lynch this news during the January 31, 2007, show.
On June 5, 2006, Lynch called the Stern Show and complained that his parents had read about him measuring his penis on Wikipedia (which he called "Wackipedia") in the article on The Wack Pack Stern read a paragraph of the article, regarding penis measuring, verbatim on the air. Also, Stern Show producer Gary Dell'Abate commented on the air he and the Stern Show staff enjoy the picture of Lynch in the article. Flustered, Lynch refused to perform any strange tasks to meet Katharine McPhee, including urinating or defecating in a diaper, inserting a ruler or a Sirius satellite receiver into his rectum, submitting to a proctological exam, wearing Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf's old bunny outfit, being vomited on by Richard Christy, being flushed down a toilet, being sent in the mail or holding seven-hundred and fifty helium balloons to see if he would fly (via cluster ballooning).
On the next day, Lynch backed out due to new bits being played about him which he found insulting, including a song parody, "Fly Me with Balloons" (to the tune of "Fly Me to the Moon", sung by Sal The Stockbroker with a digital "midget" voice effect) and a prank phone call using recordings of Lynch's voice to a balloon shop. When Stern said one of the bits was great, Lynch responded, "That was not great, you big-nosed retard!
On June 7, 2006, Howard Stern played a voice mail message on the air indicating that Lynch is "at war" (see His own Sirius show and subsequent feud above) with Stern yet again, due to the constant mockery he had endured on the air recently. Lynch threatened to call Katharine McPhee to warn her not to do the Stern Show. Stern expressed his belief that Lynch will be back and will perform the balloon stunt.
After not calling in for perhaps a handful of days during one of his feuds, Lynch began calling several shows on Howard 100 and Howard 101. In the week beginning with June 18, 2006, Lynch called The Intern Show, Superfan Roundtable and The Friday Show in addition to the Stern Show. He had expressed concern over whether the Little People of America would accept him if he was to perform the "balloon stunt" or a similar stunt. On June 26, 2006 Lynch called the Stern Show, angered by Stern's calm assurance that Lynch would perform the stunt.
On May 14, 2007, when Jimmy Kimmel was a guest on the Stern show, he told Eric he could get him in to the American Idol finale, if Eric would do the balloon stunt on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Eric agreed to the deal, but some of the Stern show cast seemed skeptical, and didn't trust him. The following Tuesday it was announced Eric had emailed Jimmy Kimmel Live saying he was unable to follow through with this promise because his handler could not get off work. It was speculated he was afraid to fly with balloons and caused many to want Eric banned from the show, and even from listening to Sirius by canceling his subscription.
When Fratto played the message on the Stern show, Eric called in and claimed he just wanted Fratto to find the guy and make him call back and apologize, and that he didn't want any harm done to him.
On July 2, 2007, Howard 100 news reporter Shuli revealed that Lynch broke his promise to refrain from calling the show and contacted the news department in regards to a photograph of him posted on Shuli's MySpace account. Lynch was outraged at the fact that the picture was made public (and his picture on Wikipedia) and that Stern Fan Network members were manipulating it using Adobe Photoshop.
On September 11, 2007, Eric, by way of Johnny Fratto, once again contacted the Stern show. Eric used Fratto's answering machine to leave a message threatening that Stern would be in "hot water" if he didn't refrain from interfering with either Eric's personal or business affairs. This rant was brought on by Howard 100 News correspondent Steve Langford, who uncovered phone calls that Eric had been making to the mother of American Idol runner up Diana DeGarmo. To clear things up Johnny Fratto got Eric on the phone via conference calling, and Eric explained that he had been calling Mrs. DeGarmo "no more than twice a day" in hopes of being able to meet her daughter. Eric denied that his call through Fratto counted as calling into the show.
On October 24, 2007, Eric the Midget called into the show to read an excerpt from his children's book called "Dougie the Puggie's Holiday Adventure". Earlier in the week, Eric told the show that he would not read from the book because the cast of the show did not deserve to hear it. Over the course of the week, Eric rethought his position and decided not to punish the audience because of the actions of a few. Eric read the passage in his famed breathy croaky voice. In subsequent conversations it was learned that the basic premise of the book is that Dougie the Puggie helps his owner meet and marry American Idol contestant Diana Degarmo. It was pointed out to Eric that this was the first children's book was ever written that dealt with topics such as stalking.
After reading "Dougie the Puggie's Holiday Adventure", Lynch admitted to the staff that he has been working on a screenplay for himself, as well as his long time crush, Dianna DeGarmo. Stern has offered to produce one of Eric's screenplay, only if Eric will be starring. Originally offered by Howard to write an "Ocean's Eleven-type action movie", Lynch rebuffed this saying he'd rather do a Charlie's Angels type movie and that he is only doing this so he can get into both the WGA and SAG.
On December 6, 2007, Eric called once again (while broadcasting on Stickam) to comment on the script he sent to the show. Howard and the crew laughed at Eric's script Eric's Angels because it was a poorly written, obvious rip off of Charlie's Angels. Howard said he would not produce it because of plagiarism.
When the call was over, Stern and the crew then taunted Eric since Eric said there was "no chance in hell" that she would be on the show. Despite being bested, Eric refused to admit that she had been on the show and Howard compared him to a Holocaust denier.
It was around this time that Howard began playing recordings of Eric's voice spliced together (most likely created by Richard Christy and/or Sal the Stockbroker) during his calls to the show for humorous effect. Frequently, Stern will rhetorically ask Eric what he would like to be called, since he dislikes the nickname Eric the Midget, and then play an edited-together response ("Eric the Jackass," "Eric the Piece of Crap," "Eric the Retarded Midget," "Eric the Shitty Penis," "Eric the Loser," "Eric the Asshole," "Eric the Major Cock" and others) as well as full nonsensical sentences (for example, "I butt-fuck Japanese male gymnasts"). This, combined with Fred Norris's playing the Doctor Who theme as well as sound effects from the movies The Shining and Mars Attacks! (which resemble Eric's voice), has become one of the more popular bits on The Howard Stern Show.
On February 15, 2008, Steve Langford, of Howard 100 News, began a series of investigative reports on a figure known only as "Paul," who claims to be a former associate of Johnny Fratto. In the first report, Paul claimed to be a co-conspirator, of sorts, in what he described as a "sham" to dupe Eric into believing that Kendra was in fact Eric's girlfriend. Paul claimed to have been emailed, text-messaged, and called by Kendra who expressed her discomfort with the fake relationship; Paul was encouraged by Fratto to ensure Kendra would continue to play along.
In a conference telephone call on the Howard Stern Show on February 25, 2008 with all of the parties, Howard Stern, Jimmy Kimmel, Eric the Midget, Kendra, Johnny Fratto, Steve Langford and others, Eric the Midget stated that the relationship with Kendra was not fake, he even swore on this life of his mother, that the relationship was genuine. Eric the Midget then acknowledged and told Kendra that he has decided he wanted to "play the field", after a stripper made advances to him, which he acknowledged aroused him. Eric told Kendra that he was interested in seeing other women, and that their relationship was "over". Artie Lange then offered to go out with Kendra.
However, on February 26, 2008 Eric called back to say he hadn't really broken up with Kendra and that the events of the 25th were “faked” to get the show “off her back.” Howard said Eric should change his name to “Eric the Liar,” but Eric insisted he hadn't been lying – he was “acting.” Eric said he would never go on the show again. Eric made his return to the show about two hours later, and he clarified that the breakup was a fake, but the relationship was real. Shortly after this Eric announced that he and Kendra were in fact no longer together.
Eric however, subsequently made an appearance on the Stern Show on March 13th 2008, when Johnny Fratto called into the show with Eric on the line. Eric hung up several times during the day, but eventually apologized to Howard for being deceitful and for stating (and continuing to assert) that he would never be a part of the show again, even while on the air. His excuse for calling in was that "Johnny had dialed the phone."
On August 20, 2008, Eric and Johnny Fratto had an on–air fight over Eric backing out on an event that Johnny helped plan in Las Vegas. Previous to the fight, Eric had been calling the show every day complaining that Johnny was no longer taking his calls. When questioned Eric did not admit that he had done anything to warrant this. However, when Fratto called he pointed out to Stern that Eric, as he has other times, backed out on a meet-and-greet that Johnny set to help him make money. The sponsor had booked flights, hotel rooms, and made full arrangements for Eric and his entourage. Eric pointed out the Johnny had mistakenly said that porn actress Brandy Talore would be there when.
Although Fratto and Stern casts pointed out that many other porn stars of equal or better quality would be there, Eric would not budge on his decision to stay home and watch TV. Fratto brought up the amount of money he had lost as a result of Eric’s actions in the past and mentioned the possibility of a lawsuit in the future if Eric did not agree to the appearance. The call ended with Fratto hanging up, and Eric begrudgingly agreed to go seconds afterwards.
Howard announced on September 25, 2008 that he had been offered a free, custom-made real doll, the staff and fan-base debated on who it should be modeled after and, as soon as Eric's name came up, he let it be known that he was vehemently opposed to such a creation. His extreme reluctance has made the staff increasingly interested in using him for the real doll. When he threatened legal action, lawyer Dominic Barbra informed that the doll would be "fair satire" and therefore legal. Eric mentioned that Johnny Fratto told him that the ruling of the case "Bergen vs. McCarthy" resulted in his being unable to sue. Unaware he was being made fun of, the cast mentioned that he might also want to look into "Henson vs. Miss Piggy" and laughed at him. Howard proposed that, if they were to profit from the real doll in any way (such as renting it out, etc.) they would pay him royalties. Eric remained reluctant after this, so Artie Lange said that if the real doll would be made, he wouldn't pursue any legal action from Eric's sale of their photograph together. However, Eric remains opposed to their making the real doll.