Radio “shock jock” Howard Stern is bringing his schtick to primetime on America’s Got Talent, and unpredictably, censorship groups are not pleased that the morning drive funnyman is sullying the airwaves with his plain-spoken and sometimes offensive brand of humor.
Howard Stern is, for all intents and purposes, notable because he is offensive- that is to say, you don’t really expose yourself to Stern’s show without knowing that chances are in a few minutes of listening, someone, somewhere will be offended. Stern’s move from terrestrial to satellite radio a few years back only freed up the broadcast pioneer’s ability to offend liberally, and many people just find the fact that Howard Stern exists to be offensive.
(As a fellow Long Islander, while I don’t always agree with Stern, I happen to find him entertaining, so nyeh.) This morning, Stern appeared on TODAY, joking about his new gig on the decidedly vanilla America’s Got Talent, and said:
“What a crazy idea, to put me on a family show- someone on NBC should be fired for that.”
But perhaps the true shock in all the hubbub over Howard Stern’s America’s Got Talent judging gig is- to those who haven’t witnessed Stern’s not-infrequent moments of sincerity- that the DJ respects the show and takes his role quite seriously:
“I’m not going on the show to disrupt the beauty of America’s Got Talent- cause I love the show… I merely wanted to go on and be a very serious judge. And what we found as we traveled all over the country that it turns out, I’m the judge that everyone agrees with.”
But while Stern is respectful of the competition and plans to offer his best judging capabilities, he also confirms that he doesn’t plan to be nicey-nice all the time. After relaying an anecdote about how he felt “horrible inside” after disappointing a 7-year-old contestant, Stern says that sometimes painful critique is part of the job. The DJ explains that as a judge, “you owe it to the contestants to offer criticism.”