Say what you will about shock jock Howard Stern, but the man definitely gets both fans and haters talking. And when NBC announced that the self-proclaimed King of All Media has indeed signed on to join "America's Got Talent" next season, the immediate response was incredibly loud and passionate.
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Naturally, the Parents Television Council was among those who had something (quite negative) to say about reality-competition fan Stern joining the talent competition. In a statement, PTC president Tim Winter called the shock jock's addition "an act of desperation for a flailing network" and said NBC had "lost its way and has made clear it holds no concern whatsoever for children and families."
It's a sentiment that quite a few Clicker readers who also happen to be "AGT" fans agree with.
"AGT is a family show! Where does Howard Stern fit into that?" reader Margie Gardner Dahl wrote on our Facebook page. "My family and I have watch AGT from the very first season on, but will no longer watch with Howard Stern on it!"
"AGT is one of the few shows we can watch with our kids. I can't feel confident that Stern can keep his mouth in check," wrote Gena Bethune McCown.
"He is only an expert on talent of a different kind and not for a family show," wrote Deborah Krisak. "This show is history now. Bad decision. What were they thinking?"
And though there were many responses along those lines in our Facebook conversation, others spoke up in his defense and to express their excitement. ("Baba booey!")
"A lot of people are going to be quite surprised I think; the ones intelligent enough to not be of the "I'll never watch it again!" mindset, at least," wrote Carol Venitt. "Howard's intelligent, funny, and multi-faceted, and the show won't be any more outrageous than it already is at times."
But reader Jay Levin may have put it best when attempting to calm the naysayers: "You do realize that there are standards and practices for network broadcast television. What Howard says and does on his uncensored satellite radio show is one thing, what he will say and do on AGT is a completely different story. ... Give the guy a chance and you will see that he is a smart person with great opinions and brutal honesty. Exactly what these 'talent' reality shows need."
In the end, even if there are tons of folks booing Stern's addition to the show, there's at least one very happy person: the shock jock himself. Cameras caught him out and about in New York today after the announcement was made, and Stern was clearly pleased with his new gig -- and that's not all. In a video posted on TMZ.com, he scoffed when asked if his paycheck would really be $20 million: "Do I work for that little? C'mon."
So watch the show or don't, but Stern's getting the last laugh with his giant new "AGT" paycheck.
Do you think Stern will unseat Simon Cowell as the most brutally honest judge on reality TV? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page!