Pop Culture

Howard Stern on his new 'AGT' image: 'I'm like a Muppet,' 'Santa Claus'

After building a long career as controversy-courting shock jock, Howard Stern has finally found fans outside of his adults-only audience -- way outside. It seems children can't get enough of him now that he's a judge on a family-friendly talent show.

Stern stopped by "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" Monday and explained just how much "America's Got Talent" has changed his fan base.

"You know, it's unbelievable," he said. "I go into restaurants now and little 5-year-old kids, 6-year-old kids, they're like, 'There's Howard!' -- like I'm a Muppet."

Of course, at just 5 or 6, those kids wouldn't know about Stern's other claims to fame.

"They have no clue that I'm 'Butt Bongo' Howie; they don't remember Fartman at the MTV awards," he told Fallon. "They have no idea about the multiple spankings, and the things that I've done. I mean, I'm a monster, and these kids look at me and I'm like Santa Claus in the mall."

But the parents, well, Stern thinks they should know better, which is why he has a warning for the ones who want to put their kids in his lap

"I'll spank them!" he joked.