America’s Got Talent may be rated TV-14, but it’s about to get some TV-MA boosted into its system. Earlier today, EW confirmed that shock jock Howard Stern is in talks to replace outgoing judge Piers Morgan on the hit NBC reality series. It’s a surprising — and, for some, exciting — prospect: The talent show is geared towards families, one demographic Stern seems to actively avoid.
But is it as strange a fit as it seems? Though Talent might have that TV-14 rating, the show is still filled with acts that range anywhere from disgustingly offensive to oddly appealing. And if there’s anyone who could be described as both disgustingly offensive and oddly appealing, it’s Stern, a man who regularly welcomes freak-show talk — and boobs, which Talent has plenty of — on his show.
Not to mention the fact that Stern as judge would open the show up to an entirely different audience. Not only could Stern encourage his loyal viewers to turn on the television, but also those who have felt the series has been entirely too soft over its six seasons. More specifically, people like myself: I have tried to give the popular program a chance summer after summer, but was never able to connect with its tendency to inexplicably reward outlandish characters with little discernible talent. I always felt the series needed a Simon Cowell — and I’m not talking about just any TV personality with a British accent. Talent needed someone with the ability to not take his role on reality TV too seriously, and be serious about his ability to lambaste fame whores eager for their 15 minutes.
Of course, I’m guessing there are many out there who are not very excited about this news — after all, this is a man who once got fired for a segment called “Beastiality Dial-a-Date.” And I am not looking forward to the first “baba booey” joke.
But what about you, PopWatchers? Does the idea of Stern on Talent excite you or disgust you?