Howard Stern may be famous for being a shock-jock who doesn't pull any punches, but when he makes his America's Got Talent debut, audiences will be treated to a more "compassionate" side of the guy who once wore these.
Stern replaces departing judge Piers Morgan in the Monday, May 14 premiere, joining Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel at the judges' table. "He was always a fan of the show," executive producer Jason Raff told reporters Wednesday at NBC's summer press day. "He was such a fan of the show and he could picture himself in that seat, he jumped at the opportunity."
"The dynamic is dynamic," Mandel said of the new trio deciding the fates of America's most talented acts. "He is so passionate about finding a star, so passionate about the show, that I think America is going to see a side of Howard that they've never seen before... Yes, he can be edgy, yes, he's honest, but he's a very bright and smart man... As much as he's being edgy and honest, he's also compassionate, he's also emotional... and he has good, constructive criticism."
Osbourne called people's view of Stern "dated," saying, "Everybody thinks he's going to come in and be really outrageous. That's what he does on his radio show. He comes to us as a man of great experience, especially about music... Everybody has got preconceived notions of him, but he's a mature man now...and he doesn't need to try and get attention because he's already the king of all media."
While Mandel called Stern — who was not in attendance at the panel — brutally honest, he also said the radio show host has a lot of heart. Mandel recalled one instance in which Stern quickly rang his buzzer on a 7-year-old child trying to rap. When the kid broke down into tears on stage, Stern quickly ran up to console him. "Howard turned to me and said, 'Oh my God, this is not what I signed up for,'" Mandel said.
How do you think Stern will do as a judge on America's Got Talent?