Howard Stern said his final farewell to America’s Got Talent with an emotional segment during the finale.
“I’ve had such incredible moments on this show. I really have… It has been phenomenal,” Stern can be heard saying in the video. “I have had a great experience. It’s been wonderful, and [thanks to] the people at home for being so accepting of me.”
The longtime radio legend explained what made him decide to be a host in the first place, revealing it was based on his own experiences of being told no repeatedly and that he had no talent.
“I thought it would be really cool to be a judge, because I think I have something to offer,” he said. “If I had any dream about this, it’s that I could take someone who was struggling and seriously give advice. I was told over and over again that I had no talent. I was in college radio. No one was banking on me.”
— America’s Got Talent (@nbcagt) September 16, 2015
Howard Stern has been a judge on America’s Got Talent for the past four seasons, and he first announced his planned departure in June. He said the show has helped him retain a new set of fans all over the country.
“I’ll go to a restaurant and parents will bring over their 10-year-olds to sit on my lap to take a picture. I’m like, ‘Oh my god.’ It’s kinda funny to me because this never happened to me in my career,” he said.
Stern revealed the news to his fans on his SiriusXM radio show earlier this year, saying he was just too busy to continue judging the show, according to Variety. Not only will he be continuing his radio show, he also has a television opportunity that he says “excites me.”
“I told them, this is my last season,” Stern said at the time. “I am going though my own career evaluation right now. I’m just too f–ing busy.”
Aside from saying goodbye to Howard Stern, America’s Got Talent also crowned this season’s winner, ventriloquist Paul Zerdin, making him the second ventriloquist to ever to win the competition. Zerdin won a whopping $1 million prize and a spot in Las Vegas.
— People magazine (@people) September 17, 2015
“I’m so grateful that the American people have voted for me, and I’m so excited because it’s an opportunity to show people what I do and get out there and make people laugh,” Zerdin said, according to People Magazine. “I guess it is like the performer’s ultimate dream to be able to headline your own show in Las Vegas, and I’m so lucky and I’m so grateful to the American people for giving me this chance.”
[Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images]