Earlier this week, word got out that NBC was preparing for a succession plan that would move Jay Leno out of The Tonight Show (uh, once again) and replace him with Jimmy Fallon. The question, then — well, one of the questions, once all the "Do we have the strength as a culture to go through another Late-Night War?" feelings were expressed — becomes who would replace Fallon on Late Night? Linda Stasi at the New York Post says NBC is thinking Howard Stern.
Stern stepped in as a judge on NBC's America's Got Talent last summer, to much fanfare, and according to the Post, it's all part of a strategy to make Stern palatable to TV viewers, in preparation for a move to something like Late Night.
The above clip (via EW) demonstrates why we still can't get into America's Got Talent, even if Howard Stern, one of our all-time favorite entertainers, is sitting on the judges' panel in hopes he can build some buzz for the country's leading prime-time showcase for vertigo-afflicted jugglers, sub-SYTYCD crews, and geriatric crooners. (And get some free publicity for his Sirius show.) We don't want to see him comforting a 7-year-old rapper he's reduced to tears with his dream-killing X button, then spin out into five minutes of anguished, theatrical hand-wringing about how he's "not cut out" for the rigors of freak-show buzzer operating, we want to see him emotionally brutalizing Baba Booey for forgetting to set up a studio mic, utterly without fear for the psychological consequences. The only way he can truly save the AGT format is to demand that at least once per show, he gets to zip line down to the stage in his Fartman regalia and dispatch a failing act with a deafening clap of ass-thunder. Failing that, give him a laser pointer, a paintball gun, a pneumatic cannon that fires mayonnaise-slathered chunks of bologna. Or get Eric the Actor up there to recite a monologue from this week's Grey's Anatomy while riding a tiny rocking horse. Let Richard and Sal try to shake Howie Mandel's hand after leaving a backstage restroom without washing up. Something. Anything. Let's go with the bologna cannon — that sounds like fun.
Now, if you'll excuse us, we have about 14 riveting, perfect hours of American Idol finale to sit through in the next two days. Good day, sirs!
The Women of Beverly Hills 90210 Are BFFs: "The scene was perfectly set for a showdown. Shannen Doherty had just marched into Jennie Garth's 40th birthday bash sporting killer boots and her trademark smirk — looking every inch like Brenda Walsh at her fiercest." YES. "The Beverly Hills 90210 vets, once such mortal enemies that costar Tori Spelling claimed they had a fistfight, strode toward each other and … hugged." Hugged?! Reunited and acting "just like real friends," the former "Kelly and Brenda have called a cease-fire to their 20-year war." Why now? "A Doherty pal attributes the bonding to the simple matter of growing up — and feeling nostalgic for the Peach Pit days: 'It's like high school friends that you fought with but now love. They're a big part of your past.'" OK, sure. "Shannen and Tori were in New York doing press, and they were warm. The '90s were a long time ago." They sure were. At least they all still hate that bitch Valerie (Tiffani Thiessen).
Things You Don't Know About Ice-T (Excerpts):
"I love grape Kool-Aid"
"As a kid, I dreamed of being a bank robber"
"My favorite artist is Prince"
"If I could time travel, I'd go to the Roaring '20s"
"I love all kinds of cereal"
"My most embarrassing moment was getting diarrhea while performing at a concert."
"Harvey Keitel is my favorite actor."
"I prefer to be indoors."
"The first famous person I met was my neighborhood crime boss."
Last week, Howard Stern announced that he will be joining the judge’s table on the NBC show America’s Got Talent, replacing Piers Morgan as ‘the judge with an actual opinion.’ Even as a prosumer of media, I really don’t know the difference between American Idol, X-Factor, and America’s Got Talent -- they are all shows attempting to manufacture stars who can capture the hearts of Middle American audiences. The only real difference is in the voice of the show, and now we will know AGT as ‘the show with Howard Stern as a judge’ in the same way that we know American Idol is ‘the show that used to have Simon Cowell as a judge.’
Depending on your perspective on the current media landscape (which basically depends on how old you are), Howard Stern’s title as “The King of All Media” might be a bit outdated. Not based on diminishing power as an influencer, but just because the internet has turned our perception of everything that doesn’t appeal to conservative Middle America into a ‘niche voice or content source.’ Even the massive cult of Howard Stern could be considered a ‘niche product for high end consumers’ if you aren’t a SiriusXM subscriber. The internet empowers unique voices to build tribes, but it also lets the loudest voices exist in quiet corners.