But ''Son of the Beach'' shows his less raunchy side

By Josh Wolk
Updated March 14, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST

All those squeaky-clean TV watchers whose eyes are still burning from the last time they accidentally lit upon Howard Stern’s E! or CBS TV show should prepare for more excitement: Stern is executive producing a new comedy — FX’s ”Son of the Beach” (premiering tonight at 10:30). But not to panic; while the ”’Get Smart’ meets the beach” parody (as Stern describes it) has its share of barely-there swimsuits and off-color humor, its genial comedy about crime-stopping lifeguards is far less shocking than Stern’s regular blurred-out-breast fest.

”Because of his name, people will think this is gonna be real raunchy,” show creator Timothy Stack, who plays head lifeguard Notch Johnson, tells EW Online. ”It’s not. It’s much more in the ‘There’s Something About Mary’ vein. It’s not strippers, that kind of [dirty] humor.” So there won’t be Stern’s usual lesbian parade? ”Not until episode 2,” deadpans Stack.

Although ”Son” is far less explicit than Stern’s radio show, the shock jock still had a little trouble getting some of his costumes by nervous FX executives. ”I spent about three days with the [top execs] trying to figure out what bathing suits would be network acceptable,” said Stern. ”We had to measure the thongs and make sure the ‘butt cheek to material’ ratio wasn’t a problem, for crying out loud.”

Stern wasn’t arguing when it came to covering up Stack’s butt, though. The show’s central joke is that the valiant, crusading Johnson is pasty and doughy. This was the ideal role for Stack (a fellow E! alumnus with his last series, ”Night Stand With Dick Dietrick”), who had no desire to suck in his gut Hasselhoff-ishly. ”I actually lost 10 pounds for the pilot,” says Stack. ”But somebody said, ‘Tim, it might be funny if those big love handles came back, not just the little ones.’ I’ll look for any excuse to go back on an all-beer- and-butter diet, so I immediately bought a six-pack of Heineken.” Well, that’s one way to get belly laughs.