Can a man who once bared his backside as Fartman maintain a clean-shaven image on primetime television? NBC must be hoping Howard Stern displays a cleaner side on America's Got Talent, unless they are banking on controversy to up their ratings.
Stern is replacing Piers Morgan who, while brutal in his judging, was always professional. Stern says he has been judging for a while now, having had dozens of acts go on his radio show. "This really fit what I built a career on," Stern said at a press junket. "We've had people come on the radio show for years that are talented or really odd. We’ve taken weirdos and made them stars."
And it appears the "weirdos" are already succeeding with the new judge. Stern says that he has already let through an act that consisted entirely of a man being hit in the groin. "One guy's act is he gets kicked in the nuts. He comes out with three guys, takes off his pants, you can see he's not wearing a cup and they start to kick him in the balls. I’m laughing like it’s the Three Stooges or Jackass."
Despite not having any episodes under his belt, the Parents Television Council is keeping a close eye on Stern. "Trusting him to do the right thing is like trusting North Korea to do the right thing," said PTC President Tim Winters. Stern shot back, "Some guy sitting in his basement calling himself Parent Television Council, I don't think there’s more than 25 people in this thing. I think it’s a money raising thing. They’re entitled to their opinion but they just seem awfully foolish. I invite them to see the show Monday night and see what kind of judge I am. This is a family show. It’s a different form of entertainment.”
We'll see if the new judge pays off for NBC, or if they'll be cutting checks to the FCC. The season premieres tonight at 8 on NBC.