Bottom line, NBC made a smart move hiring Howard Stern as a judge for "America's Got Talent." Regular guys like me that have never seen a single episode are now going to watch EVERY INSTALLMENT of this new season.
Stern will be a refreshing change to most of the other judges on these types of shows, if his history is any indication.
I've been listening to "The Howard Stern Show" ever since I could sneak headphones onto the middle school bus. I can remember the critics' comments when he was planning to make the jump from terrestrial radio to satellite radio. Their thinking was, "he just wants to toss out the 'F word' gratuitously and appeal to the lowest common denominator." Please. Have these people every actually LISTENED to his program?
Stern's appeal goes much deeper than that to me. His questions for his guests are so in tune with what I want to know that it doesn't even SEEM like an interview. It's just a guy with self-admitted flaws being honest and trying to get others to open up and be on the level along with him. I don't want the "PC" answer to, "Who do you find more attractive," from some star. I want the REAL answer. Stern has a knack for getting to the bottom of topics quickly, and the stars (almost) always open up to him. I love it.
With this in mind, I don't see how he can fail at being a good judge of people's talent. If that 10-year-old kid is trying to belt out Sinatra and sounds more like Stallone, I want Howard to honestly tell the kid that he has no talent. I wish somebody had said to ME when I was 10, "Bob ... the trumpet ... it's not for you," then I wouldn't have wasted my time on that instrument for an additional two years.
Also, If people are worried he'll hurt the contestants' feelings with foul language or dirty parables, don't be. The guy has been a professional for a long, long time. He can handle live TV without going to that level.
Lastly, I wish NBC would let him bring Fred along for the ride. I would pay good money to hear him do sound effects in the background as Howard critiques the people. Like, that whistling "incoming bomb" sound when somebody really stinks up the joint.
Anyway, good luck Mr. Stern. I think it'll be fun to watch.
See HLN meteorologist Bob Van Dillen weekdays 6 a.m-Noon ET on "Morning Express with Robin Meade." Follow Bob on Twitter @BobVanDillen