Photo Credit: NBC
Ever since America's Got Talent hired Howard Stern as a replacement judge for Piers Morgan, we've been wondering what to expect from the 58-year-old radio shock jock. The big question was whether Stern would be able to tone down is notoriously envelope-pushing behavior for the family-friendly NBC reality competition.
Well, after Stern's big debut alongside fellow judges Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel on Monday night's AGT season premiere, we have our answer: yes! In fact, Stern seems to love the gig and, based on our first impression, is an excellent adittion to the show. (Watch the premiere below!)
The SiriusXM radio host has been talking the gig up on his show over the past few months, and it seems like he is genuinely enamored with the ideals behind America's Got Talent. And it was clear from his behavior during Monday night's episode that he's out to play the game as it's meant to be played, and not pull any punches. Stern proved himself to be a fair -- albeit sometimes crass -- judge, who can be as sentimental as easily as he can be harsh. And that's exactly what we want out of him.
Of course, that's not to say that Stern went the whole night without tapping into his old comedic arsenal and mentioning the size of, um, "Little Howard." And when one not-so-talented performer told the judges that his parents were dead, Stern -- without missed a beat -- asked if they died of embarrassment (ouch!).
Still, we were a bit surprised to see how much Stern embraced America's Got Talent and the anyone-can-make-it premise upon which it's based. Stern got emotional while watching father and daughter duo Maurice and Shanice Hayes sing "I'll Be There."
"You move me. You guys are spectacular together," he gushed after the performance. "I think every father in America right now is like, 'Wow, that's the kind of relationship I want to have with my daughter.'"
And, after a dance group used glowing costumes and props to simulate dinosaurs and prehistoric plants, Stern told them: "This is going to sound sappy. We are the greatest country in the world. You are everything that makes America great."
So Stern passed the season premiere episode with flying colors. But the real test will be how Stern reacts when the auditions are over and he has to make some tough decisions with the America's Got Talent finalists. If Monday was any indication of how he will handle those situations, we think Stern could be America's Got Talent's best judge yet.