Howard Stern “hated every minute” of his four-year stint on America’s Got Talent. He told Jimmy Kimmel on Friday that he initially took the job because he thought it would be “fun” and “interesting”: “Here I am, Fartman, and to see me juxtaposed [within] a family show like that, was interesting to me.”
In other words, the man who transcends shock-jockdom thought of what he was doing as a kind of art project — a more committed, purer version of what James Franco did when he entered the world of daytime soap opera, or Will Ferrell when he played it straight in a Lifetime movie. Stern is, after all, most famous as a fearlessly honest dispenser of brutally honest opinions. Wouldn’t it be great if he did this on AGT?
Alas, that’s not how it turned out. Stern turned out to be unaccountably generous on the show, rarely displaying the barbed truth-telling he exerts on the radio. My suspicion is that he figured, I can’t look as though I’m belittling young, aspiring acts — I’ll just come off as a bully. But why didn’t he offer more pointedly constructive criticism, as Norm Macdonald did this past season on Last Comic Standing?
Stern hated the way the cameras made him look — “I’m six-foot-five, and the camera man was shooting up my huge nostrils… I had no good side.”
And although he didn’t mention it, he did have to sit through horrible “talent” such as comedian Drew Lynch and Piff The Magic Dragon.
Oh well, it’s Simon Cowell’s problem now.
Jimm Kimmel Live airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on ABC.