America's Got Talent: How'd Howard Stern Do?

I grew up listening to old-school '90s Howard Stern because my parents didn’t understand the concept of age-appropriate entertainment and I was pretty stoked when the man himself was announced as Piers Morgan’s replacement for the seventh season of America’s Got Talent. I was excited, but at the same time, I took it all with a grain of salt because let’s be real—he’s not going to get too foul on NBC at 8pm on a Monday night. At least, not if he wants to keep his job.

Still, muzzled by polite primetime sensibilities or not, Stern got in a few obligatory references to his small penis, a hallmark of the radio show that made me smile. He clearly understands why people are watching his tenure with baited breath and he winks at the proudly depraved members of the audience just enough to keep us interested. But how long will the IDEA of Howard Stern be an adequate substitute for what fans of Stern expect when they tune in to one of his programs?

During last night’s season premiere, we saw a side of Stern that doesn’t often make an appearance alongside the shock-jock persona—he was kinda dorky. I don’t say that as a bad thing. I don’t think being a “dork” is a bad thing at all. Some of my best friends are dorks. I’m a dork. I say cheesy things and get irrationally excited about stuff that no one else seems to get. You may also find that the definition fits “nerds” and “geeks” as well. Howard Stern is a self-professed reality-TV aficionado and has admitted to watching AGT in the past. If you were invited to be a judge on a program that you sincerely enjoyed, you’d be pretty excited too, right?

So Stern transformed his glee for the Light Wire Theater Company, a very cool performance utilizing awesome glow-in-the-dark puppets, into an awkward moment of shoehorned patriotism, “We are the greatest country in the world. We have the most creative people. You’re everything that makes America great. I applaud your originality and I thank you for lifting everyone’s spirit.” It was not entirely unwelcome when he raised the point that he’s the only American judge ON America’s Got Talent.

Stern managed a few zingers at the expense of some of the more hapless contestants in the Los Angeles and St. Louis auditions, telling one side-show veteran whose act revolved around driving long metal pins through his cheeks, “You remind me why I don’t like people.” He also admonished a male stripper/magician (it was one of the more bizarre acts of the night), informing the guy that strippers can’t have man boobs.

I sense that’s as cutting as we’re going to get in primetime, and that’s okay, because in a way, the most entertaining part of Howard Stern on America’s Got Talent will be watching him adapt to an environment where he can’t be the Howard Stern that made him famous. (The treat, of course, is that he’s really quite likeable).

I’m also really digging the Howard/Howie bromance.


Questions and Concerns:

1. Compare Nick Cannon on America’s Got Talent with Carson Daly on The Voice and tell me who seems to be having more fun. Hint: It’s Nick Cannon. Nick Cannon also has very nice suits. I was particularly fond of the pink and tan threads he wore in St. Louis.

2. While I appreciate the Montage of Horror because honestly, I’m not THAT horrible of a person that I get utter satisfaction watching some poor schmuck completely fail on national TV (it makes me really uncomfortable watching them squirm while suddenly realizing that everyone is laughing at them), I wish we’d get a little more time with the contestants who DO perform well and win the judges’ favor. Does Scorpion Guy have a name? What about the ventriloquist using his real-life dog as a dummy? What’s his name? And do we feel bad for that dog?

3. Maybe I’ll get grumpy and bored later on, but for now, I’m enjoying the latest incarnation of AGT. The world is weird and wonderful. Embrace it.

4. Did you catch last night’s premiere? How do you feel about Howard the Judge?

Comments (14)
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Howard is alright, he's less harsh then Peirs was.
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I enjoyed Howard, but he kind of got old quick, kind of like his radio show too, and yes I do like him, but a little goes a long way. I do have to say when that one guy said he had no respect for him, he looked a little shocked, but quickly recovered and shrugged it off with some class...that I admired!! I still like Sharon the most the way she reacts to Howie and and Howard is so funny!! The acts... boring sorry, nothing new other than the dog act. I can't stand the dance acts, and the kid and her dad were cute, but neither were all that good. The kid actually started to get on my nerves. The only act I enjoyed was the guy who used the building as an instrument... can't remember the name of the act... very cool and different... other than that I skipped most of it.
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I think American got talent is a great hit. The contestants is good but i think the judges and nick is what reallymakes the show more exciting!
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The father and daughter were adorable but other than that...meh! We've all seen the "iluminate group" before so even though they were amazing it's just not...unique anymore :(
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Howard was "OK". But i fear he wants to have the studio audience on his side all the time. He is supposed to be the "tough" judge, last night he made some questionable calls. Nothing really that bad, but he praised some very average acts. I know that maybe he is not comfortable yet. But i hope he comes around and become tough, we already have an "I like weird" Judge and an "i always side with the audience" judge. We still need someone tough there. But in all fairness is to early to tell, and he did not do a bad job by any means.



He played it waaaaaay to safe. That's what i am trying to say.
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The thing I enjoy about every other 'Talent Show' from everywhere else in the world is that they all focus more on the talent than the rejects. So far this year Ive caught Canada, Australia, Britain and Holland, and I enjoy them all a lot more than the American version. The judges in all of the above are all excellent, knowledgeable and usually pretty damn funny.
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I actually liked Howard Stern on AGT. I mean it's only been one night, but time will tell. honestly, to the people who are saying he wasn't vulgar or swearing enough: AGT is considered a family show (for the most part), it airs at 8pm not 10pm and it's on NBC.



Also, I think Nick Cannon is a good host. He's not all serious and he looks like he's having fun up there.
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I watched the show last night, loved the guy that turned the stage into his instrument, very unique. I think Howard Stern is a great addition to the show, can't wait for tonights show
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I watched a few minutes of hours 1 and 2, was unimpressed. Stern was too nice, too generous, and had an old-man sensibility to it all. He's done this talking on his show about movies and TV before, where it gets really annoying, but he's never been afraid to tell someone to their how he really feels about every little thing, and with AGT it felt like he was holding way too far back. He didn't elevate it, and he didn't seem to bring that Stern punch I was hoping for, leaving the early judging way too soft. Especially with such meh acts as I saw.



BTW, "old school Howard Stern" is '80s, not '90s, by '92 Stern was already overusing Fartman on MTV and such. You young children need to get off my lawn, consarn it.
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Hahaha, oh no, well, as inaccurate as it may have been, know that just typing "old school" and "90s" in the same sentence killed me a little inside. ;)
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I didn't get to finish watching the ep but I plan on it tonight. I watched over half of it though and I thoroughly enjoyed Howard Stert! I'm looking forward to the rest of the season:-)
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The show is garbage. Stern was the only good thing about it, but even he won't have me tune in every week. Imagine how much worse the show would be without him, which was the last 6-7 years.

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It was funny to see "Simply Sergio" since I've said hello to him. He's at this Samba party in STL that I've gone to a bunch. Howard was great to him and he made it. Sergio is a way better dancer. Never knew about the singing. There is a lot of crap on the show and it goes too long. I swear it'll go until the first week of Sept. In the end some pretty good acts get to finals so it looks like Howard is taking it all pretty seriously.
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the show sucks! the talent is mediocre at best. i liked the harp guy, and the dragon people though, lol...howard stern has always made a name for himself by being rude, disrespectful- and just a complete ass. and hey, it has majorly worked for him all these years. i don't dislike stern. but personally, the show is a fail..........the nasty ass bird lady with her birdy shit all over her, and the slimy food that she feeds these animals by her mouth. gag! the dude, with the pins coming out his face and neck- total gag. the only thing that makes the show remotely tolerable is NICK CANNON! hes funny, hes talented, and he needs to be placed on a show where other hosts, judges, coaches- should be replaced for their lack of skills and enthusiasm...cannon should run far far away from the circus acts that they subjected me to viewing last night.

i'm hoping duets is good. i'm only watching idol cus of philip philips. if and when he gets bounced i will be turning back to reruns of desperate housewives. not much else going on in tv world
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